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November 5, 2011
McObjet a
Lacan and the McRib
Each year, the McRib returns for a brief visit to Earth. Its arrival elicits reactions ranging from horror to awe. No matter the tenor, each response's inspiration is the same: this would-be rib sandwich is really a restructured pork patty pressed into the rough shape of a slab of ...
September 15, 2011
Seeing Things
My talk at the Third Object-Oriented Ontology Symposium
Here's my short talk from the Third Object-Oriented Ontology Symposium (Sept 14, The New School), on the photography of Garry Winogrand. As I've already mentioned here, I had to miss the symposium because I was in China, so I submitted this short video instead of giving a presentation in person. ...
August 8, 2011
Gamification is Bullshit
My position statement at the Wharton Gamification Symposium
(Also available in Portuguese, Japanese, and reprinted at The Atlantic and Kotaku) In his short treatise On Bullshit, the moral philosopher Harry Frankfurt gives us a useful theory of bullshit. We normally think of bullshit as a synonym—albeit a somewhat vulgar one—for lies or deceit. But Frankfurt argues that bullshit ...
May 3, 2011
Exploitationware
On the rhetoric of gamification. From my "Persuasive Games" column at Gamasutra.
January 14, 2011
Reality is Alright
A review of Jane McGonigal's book Reality is Broken
Jane McGonigal's new book Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World is destined to be one of the most influential works about videogames ever published. The book is filled with bold new ideas and refinements of old ones. It's targeted at ...
January 12, 2011
What is an App?
A shortened, slang application.
I've been thinking about this question a lot over the past year. It may sound silly given the ubiquity of the word, but despite all the "apps" on our phones and webpages and other devices, I'm not sure we have a good sense of what it means, or what that ...
December 30, 2010
Review of TRON: Legacy
By my eight year-old
We saw TRON: Legacy. My eight year-old daughter wrote this review of the film, which she suggested would be appropriate for blogging. If you haven't seen Tron Legacy yet please for your own good don't go see it. Because if you did then you would almost definitely die of boredom. ...
July 21, 2010
Cow Clicker
The Making of Obsession
(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1&appId=111596662223307"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));Also read Wired Magazine's January 2012 feature on Cow ClickerI made a Facebook game about Facebook games, called Cow Clicker. You can go play ...
January 9, 2010
The Turtlenecked Hairshirt
Fetid and Fragrant Futures for the Humanities
In a reflection on all the recent hubbub about the sordid state of the humanities and the recently proposed possibility of a cure in the form of the "digital humanities," Cathy Davidson offers the following lament: When I think of what the humanties offer...it is astonishing to me (and tragic) ...
August 2, 2008
The Geek's Chihuahua
A Review of the iPhone
Despite attempts to maintain my geek cred, despite my propensity for gadgeteering, despite my favor for the cult of Apple, despite my lust for shiny things with microprocessors, I didn't get an iPhone when it first came out earlier this year. Indeed, I also didn't get one when the new ...