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April 1, 2012
Write My Missing Chapters
Mark Sample's assignment for How to Do Things with Videogames
I've been flattered to see so many courses in media studies and related fields adopt my 2011 book How to Do Things with Videogames so quickly. But my favorite use of the book in a classroom thus far comes from Mark Sample's Videogames in Critical Contexts course. He's assigned his ...
Historical Approaches to Digital Media
Graduate Seminar, Georgia Tech, Spring 2012
This seminar will focus on the historical and philosophical aspects of media and technology. In addition to the traditional historical approach to several media forms, we will focus specifically on a number of methods of the material history and analysis of media forms, the evolution of those media forms, and ...
The Philosophy of Sport
Seminar and Studio, Fall 2011
This course is a seminar on the theory of sport, with an interest in its historical, philosophical, sociological, and political-economic implications. The course will primarily consist of readings and discussion of some key texts in the history and philosophy of sport. While the readings themselves will not primarily deal with ...
January 25, 2011
Computers are Systems, not Languages
On substituting programming languages for natural languages in the humanities
Last year I learned about a rumor swirling around the comparative literature department at UCLA, where I did my PhD. Supposedly I had managed to get C++ to count as one of the three languages required for the degree. It's not true, for the record, but it is a topic ...
March 17, 2010
Jobs of the Future: Coffee Engineer
Caffeinating at Georgia Tech
There are many good things about Georgia Tech, but coffee is not one of them. On campus, after 3pm, it's almost impossible to find coffee. I find this utterly baffling. My seminar this term meets 2-5pm Wednesdays. We take a break around 3:30. The coffee stand in the student center ...
February 19, 2010
Pascal Spoken Here
Learning about Learning Programming from the Apple ][
Among the many, many things we talk about when we discuss curriculum for the Computational Media degree is how to make learning programming facile and appealing all throughout a student's career. Many sub-problems arise, for example, how can one help students learn new languages and environments after they've become familiar ...
Atari Hacks, Remakes, and Demakes
Special Topics in Game Design and Analysis, Spring 2010
In this intensive seminar, we will explore every aspect of the Atari VCS (2600), the most important early home videogame console. Based on a critical-technical practice Nick Montfort and I call platform studies, we will investigate the way the Atari VCS influenced games and game design through a thorough analysis ...
November 1, 2009
Atari Hacks and Demakes
My Spring 2010 seminar
Some of you might be interested in this, the course description for my Spring 2010 graduate seminar/studio course, LCC 8823 Special Topics in Game Design and Analysis: The Atari Video Computer System: Hacks and Demakes In this intensive seminar, we will explore every aspect of the Atari VCS (2600), the ...
October 5, 2009
Object-Oriented Ontogeny
Kids and Objects
Just to assure everyone that the torch will be passed to the younger generation, behold the following. My seven year-old has been working on analogies in her schooling, and she recently took the opportunity to affirm the wonder of the world of objects. She reads: "Happy is to sad as ...
September 9, 2009
A Gigantic Vermin
Kafka in Spore
Georgia Tech alumna Kate Compton has been working for Maxis on Spore for the past four years or so. Back when she was a masters student, she took my course on videogame translation and adaptation. This week, Kate announced a new official scenario for Spore Galactic Adventures, which she created ...
May 19, 2009
Teaching Computing with... Computers?
The NSF Prefers Strings, Crayons
After an unintentional hiatus, last week I resumed following Georgia Tech CS colleague Mark Guzdial's Amazon blog. His latest salvo is a thought-provoking piece called Using computing to teach computing (Hint: Don't use the "P" word). The post centers around a question Mark posed to Jeannette Wing, Director of the ...
May 13, 2009
Positions, Post and Permanent
Notes on Nick Montfort
Two quick notes relating to friend and Racing the Beam coauthor Nick Montfort. First, he has a new blog, Post Position, which already boasts a number of insightful posts on games, IF, constraint, and other topics that will probably interest you if you are reading my site. Second, as Nick ...
April 27, 2008
Liberal Arts College vs. Research I University: Deathmatch
Ten principles for better academic career advisement
Jason Mittell, a media studies scholar at Middlebury College, recently wrote about his experience being a researcher at a liberal arts college. Mittell's offering points to and comments upon a related article in the Chronicle of Higher Education by Kristen Ghodsee, who explained her path from UC Berkeley graduate student ...
April 16, 2008
The future lasts forever
This spring I was awarded tenure at the Georgia Institute of Technology and leveled-up to Associate Professor in the School of Literature Communication and Culture. As I tried to think about an appropriate way to announce this accomplishment to my readers here, the phrase that kept entering my head was ...
January 19, 2008
New Student Atari Games
Titles from Fall 2007 just added
Each fall, students in my LCC 2700 - Introduction to Computational Media make Atari VCS games. The students work in teams of three to create them. This term we had a large enrollment and thus a number of games -- 29 new ones, to be exact. There are some superb ...
September 2, 2007
Atari Games Ahoy
Updated courses and Atari student games
In between sessions of Bioshock, this Labor Day weekend I've been updating this website. Of special note, I've added some of my courses over on the teaching section of the site. I haven't included every class I've ever taught, but rather the ones I thought would be most useful or ...
August 19, 2007
A Professor's Impressions of Facebook
Musings after several months of use, as I prepare to start the semester
This spring, I created an account on Facebook. I'm a web 2.0 cynic (and a cynic in general), so this surprised some of my friends and colleagues. But I was encouraged by so many of them, I wanted to give it a try. For example, Ian McCarthy just wanted an ...