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November 16, 2013
Let's Get Real Estate Listings
Perfectly adequate home in decent area. Architecturally coherent, after a fashion. Updated, insofar as it was once renovated, probably in the 1970s or 1990s, but in a manner that did more harm than good. Features rooms, hallways, ceilings, and other details unremarkable in a structure meant to be a residence. ...
March 16, 2013
A Brief History of Websites
1989 Any particle physicist can have a website! 1993 Any researcher can have a website! 1995 Anybody at a university can have a website! 1996 Any company can have a website! 1997 Anybody can have a crappy website! 2001 Anybody can have a decent website if it's a blog! ...
January 28, 2013
The Potty
A Toilet Training Koan
Some time ago I lent my voice to the audio guide for a Koine Greek curriculum for kids. Around the time it was released, we found out a family friend's then-three year old had taken to listening to the CD at bedtime, not for the Greek but just because he ...
July 2, 2012
BIT.TRIP Sisyphus
Camus said, the struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. ...
June 11, 2012
Cube Clicker
I implemented Peter Molyneux's Curiosity inside Cow Clicker
Peter Molyneux is unusual among commercial game designers. He's very well-known and successful, yet his games are often quite unusual, and his crazier ideas have a reputation for not quite making it to market. Molyneux's penchant for absurdist, conceptual design koans even inspired a Twitter parody, @PeterMolydeux, whose design one-liners ...
April 21, 2012
My Spam Readers
...might be more interesting than my human ones
Yesterday I participated in a panel on the life and work of Alan Turing, for whom 2012 marks a centennial. As you'd probably expect, the discussion included conversation about artificial intelligence, what counts as "intelligence," and when AI is "good enough." The Turing Test, of course, is famous for reframing ...
October 15, 2011
Pearly Pixie Services Inc
A tooth fairy tool for parents
When your kids lose teeth, they may be inclined to write extensive letters to the tooth fairy, making specific requests or posing questions. While this is an endearing act to be sure, you'll want to stop short of penning a false reply. Instead, see this as an opportunity to educate ...
July 13, 2011
Save the Pigs, Click a Cow
An Open Letter from Cow Clicker to Pig Assassins Worldwide
(Cross-posted from Cow Clicker) For almost a year now, Cow Clicker has helped thousands of people from dozens of countries engage in the affectionate practice of clicking a cow every six hours (or even more often). While the lamentable practice of cow-tipping may get more public attention, cow clicking ...
June 21, 2011
The Clickness Unto Death
The Fate of Cow Clicker
This is hard to explain. Something's happening to Cow Clicker. Some months ago, evil bovine lords broke into Cow Clicker and started making demands. Their mysterious clues became the Cow ClickARG, which, Inception-like, sent up Alternate Reality Games from within the send-up of a Facebook game. Clues were scattered by ...
February 21, 2011
My First Cow Clicker
Are you investing in your calf's future?
By now, the virtues of cow clicking are well-known and understood. But there's a problem: Cow Clicker is bound to Facebook, and to use Facebook one must be over the age of thirteen. Are our children meant to be cooped up indoors, never allowed to romp through pastures of their ...
February 5, 2011
The End of Conceptual Art
Lessons from iCapitalism
Whether via the lamentable trend of gamification or through the very public release of Jane McGonigal's new book, the topic of videogames' impact on the real world has been front-and-center of late. Enter iCapitalism, an iOS game that critiques both capitalism and iOS games through a simple design. As in ...
January 20, 2011
Anything you can click you can cow click!
Last year, the social gaming phenomenon Cow Clicker captured the world's imoogination, offering players the opportunity to click on a cow every six hours—or even more often. Since July 2010, more than 50,000 people have clicked over 50 breeds of cows over 5 million times, engorging their accownts with over ...
December 22, 2010
Two cows battle for supremacy, and you decide the victor
In celebration of Gamasutra naming Cow Clicker one of the top 5 cult games of 2010, a glorious new feature is born! Cowfight! Now two cow types can battle to supremacy. Each click counts as a vote, thus buying and clicking a cow marks a player's support. Watch your cow ...
November 20, 2010
A Personal Appeal from Cow Clicker Creator Ian Bogost
We are soon entering our 6th month online, and I want to take a moment to ask you for your help in continuing our mission. Cow Clicker is facing new challenges and encountering new opportunities and both are going to require major funds. Cow Clicker is based on a ...
July 6, 2010
Thank Galt I've Stockpiled
Let's Laugh at Libertarians
After a few days talking about Marxism here and elsewhere, I figured it would be good to spread my wings and pick on libertarians. Here are two specimens. First, from cartoonist Barry Deutsch comes the 24 Types of Libertarians (or click on the cartoon for a legible version at Deutsch's ...
May 26, 2010
TNT Airlines Safety Video Parody
For medium light, pull the shade to its middle section
Check out this funny send-up of an airline safety video: I particularly love the unreasonably extended instruction for using the window shade, but the entire thing is choice satire. ...
May 10, 2010
Duchamp's Grandchildren
Videogames as Art
From Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. Nothing is new under the sun. (thanks to Aaron Lanterman) ...
February 26, 2010
A scientist, a philosopher, and an engineer walk into a conference...
Courtesy of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, I bring you a cartoon comparing scientists, philosophers, and engineers. It speaks for itself, of course, but I'll make two observations about it nevertheless. First, the cartoon thinks it's mocking scientists and philosophers, but when I read it, it's the engineer who looks like ...
December 25, 2009
Christmas Cracker
A tiny dollop of yuletide greetings
As we do most years, we opened Christmas crackers—those little cardboard tubes that pop when pulled, revealing small toys, paper crowns, and jokes. I thought I'd share a particularly brilliant joke from one cracker, one that made me think of object-oriented philosophy as much as it did Christmas (even if ...