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May 19, 2012
A Game of Throwns
For some reason I made this...
September 19, 2011
Hard Clicking, Soft Clicking
More Cow Clicker on national Australian Television
I'd previously shown you Leo Burnett Sydney CEO Todd Sampson advertising a popupar Australian TV show called The Gruen Transfer, about advertising techniques, while wearing a Cow Clicker t-shirt. Here's a shot of Sampson on last week's episode, in which he proudly dons the shirt. You can watch the whole ...
July 20, 2011
The Mooen Transfer
Todd Sampson in a Cow Clicker t-shirt
Watch this TV ad. Pay close attention around 0:23. Did you see the guy in the Cow Clicker t-shirt? Pretty crazy. I posted about this on Facebook and Twitter, but here's a bit more information about how that may have come to pass. The Gruen Transfer is an Australian TV ...
December 27, 2010
A review of Adam Kotsko's book
Adam Kotsko's little book Awkwardness is a pleasurable and insightful read, yet another reminder that Zero Books is quickly becoming the trusted source for short, punchy works on philosophy and cultural theory. In the book, Kotsko offers a tiny theory of awkwardness: "The tension of awkwardness indicates that no ...
August 24, 2010
The Magic Carpet
Notes on Glamour
When I was an undergraduate at the University of Southern California, the Academy Awards were still being held at the Shrine Auditorium, which is located just north of Jefferson, directly across the street from campus. It's quite a structure, built in the Moorish Revival style and opened in 1926. At ...
July 29, 2010
Against Aca-Fandom
On Jason Mittell on Mad Men
Television scholar Jason Mittell doesn't like the television show Mad Men, and he's written an article about why. It wasn't news to me; indeed, I'm one of the interlocutors he mentions having argued with about the show on Twitter and elsewhere. I knew Jason was writing this piece and I've ...
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 20, 2009
Oh Woe Is Oprah
A Billionaire's Blight
Am I missing something here? Oprah, who has a net worth of roughly $2.5 billion and can do whatever she wants, is crying and soul searching because she is ending her talk show so that she can restart it on her own cable network? ...
October 25, 2009
Rise, Crossover
Learning from the jazz pop instrumental
I seem to wind up in the car for at least part of the early afternoon every Saturday. As a result, I've developed a habit of listening to the reruns of America's Top 40 with Casey Kasem that play on satellite radio channel 70s on 7. This week's chart was ...
September 13, 2009
Don Draper and Elle Macpherson
So good for beautiful people
On last week's episode of Mad Men (season 3, episode 4), the fictional Sterling Cooper ad agency shot a TV spot for the then-new diet cola Patio. 1962-3 was the year of diet soda, with the introduction of RC Cola's Diet Rite, Pepsi's Patio and Coca Cola's TaB. As often ...
August 8, 2009
Meh and the Mundane Sublime
On Netflix, the Simpsons, and Jean-Luc Nancy
We just rejoined Netflix after several years away from it. While recreating preferences and ratings on a fresh account, we noticed something surprising: Netflix doesn't allow a user to judge things as "just ok." Take a look at the tool-tip explanations for their five-star ratings: Netflix's recommendation system is generally ...
April 22, 2009
Texture, Bleed, Afterimage
CRT Emulation for the Atari VCS
This spring, I had the pleasure of advising a Georgia Tech Computer Science capstone group. The capstone is a requirement for the degree that is meant to draw on all aspects of the students' experience in the program. Each project requires an advisor and a customer. In my case, I ...
February 27, 2009
Venture Brothers Does Atari
Two Digital Video Discs
Speaking of the Atari VCS, Georgia Tech colleague David Terraso pointed out to me that the cover art for the third season DVD release of The Venture Bros. is styled after an original Atari game box. (Venture Bros. is one of the animated shows in Adult Swim on Cartoon Network.) ...