How To Make an _ebooks Bot

or: I Am _ebooks And So Can You!! Everyone should have an _ebooks bot on Twitter, if they want one. What follows may not be the best way to do it, but I hope it is the easiest way to get a good one. Depending on your platform, familiarity with…

Spelunky Death Extractor

Context Spelunky is a Great Game. The procedurally generated treasure-hunting cave exploration game started (and still exists) as a free PC download created in GameMaker and was later upgraded to Spelunky HD for commercial release on Xbox Live. You can also play a port of the original in HTML5 for…

Dessert of the Real: A Pre-Partum

After a sprint Monday afternoon, I prepared a proof of concept for my upcoming generative fan-non-fiction adventure based on the works of Slavoj Žižek: Dessert of the Real. I brought it to a local demo night for indie developers, but had little courage (and still less success) presenting it to…

Twitgnostic: Removing Social Context from a Social Network

How relevant are the username, handle, and avatar next to the 140-or-fewer-character messages in your Twitter timeline? How do the experience and meaning change if content is decoupled from social context? How clearly can you recognize the ‘voice’ of individual people you follow? If you use Google Chrome, you can…

Tokyo Jungle Is Not About Survival

Tokyo Jungle, a feral post-apocalyptic urban simulation game, is ostensibly about survival; its Challenge system and player affordances wrap that core in ambition and domination. Where the avatar’s need of food is insufficiently compelling, the game dangles carrots in front of the player directly. These carrots and the behaviors…

Embracing Failure in Game Narrative

Notes from GameLoop 2011 GameLoop is an “unconference” on the topic of games (both digital and non-) organized by Scott Macmillan and Darius Kazemi, based on the BarCamp spirit of enabling direct, spontaneous discussion not possible within the typical “draft, submit, obtain approval, dictate to audience” model of traditional conferences…