April 30, 2024

Gram’s Fairy Tales: Manual & Grimoire

from Post Position
by @ 9:00 pm

Taper, an online literary magazine published twice yearly, is now in its 12th issue. An independent editorial collective (Kyle Booten, Angela Chang, Kavi Duvvoori, Leonardo Flores, Helen Shewolfe Tseng, and Andy Wallace, for this issue) makes all the decisions about selections, themes for forthcoming issues, and so on, and also handles all communication with authors. They do all the work! Editors are allowed to submit works, in which case they recuse themselves from the collective’s discussion. I’m proud to be publisher of this magazine — although it’s really the editorial collective that makes it happen.

February 26, 2024

Future Thinking

Professor Flanagan participated in the Ditchley Foundation’s thinktank on the “Impact of AI on work and education.” Focusing on the large questions of our time, the group debated questions such as, “Should we be adopting a precautionary principle, waiting to see what unwanted effects might emerge? Or does that risk companies being outcompeted, and, in education, students left unprepared for the world of work they will be entering? Should students and teachers be encouraged to embrace AI now to learn through experimentation, or is that premature? and “If work is changing, then how does education need to adapt in response in order to prepare people to enter the world of work?”

February 14, 2024


from Post Position
by @ 2:52 pm

February 14 is Valentine’s Day for many; this year, it’s also Ash Wednesday for Western Christians, both Orthodox and unorthodox. Universally, it is Harry Mathews’s birthday. Harry, who would have been 94 today, was an amazing experimental writer. He’s known to many as the first American to join the Oulipo.

Given the occasion, I thought I’d write a blog post, which I do very rarely these days, to discuss my poetics — or, because mine is a poetics of concision, my “poetix.” Using that word saves one byte. The term may also suggest an underground poetix, as with comix, and this is great.

January 24, 2024

Can Games Disturb Your Social Biases Without Disturbing You?

Card games are more often associated with family-gatherings or leisurely afternoons than with realizing social change. However, one group of game designers is creating games with an aim to do just that.

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 4.39.04 PMTiltfactor Lab, a Dartmouth College research laboratory with Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor Mary Flanagan at the helm, is dedicated to “creating games for social change.” They designed and produce Buffalo—described by Amazon reviewers as an “extremely simple,” “adaptable” party game—and Awkward Moment—and is “an interesting, family-friendly card game that is worthy of your attention” and “makes you laugh”— provide more than just endless fun at parties. According to a paper to be printed in CyberPsychology’s upcoming issue devoted to the prosocial effects of games, Buffalo and Awkward Moment are also games with a proven purpose. These games have been shown to change players’ implicit biases without them ever knowing!

October 31, 2023

Mary Flanagan travels to Spiel Essen 2023!

SPIEL Essen is one of the world’s largest board game conventions boasting of roughly 1000 exhibitiors and over 150,000 visitors annually. Professor Flanagan attended this year’s extravaganza, meeting with many game designers and publishers.

May 23, 2023

Tiltfactor’s Max Seidman ’12 presents at Hypertherm’s HR retreat

Hypertherm is a 100% employee-owned company focusing on industrial cutting technologies and solutions and is leading the industry in this area. Their local campus in Lebanon, NH invited Tiltfactor to their annual human resources retreat in an effort to seek advice about how to enhance employee experience at the company. Max engaged the staff in game play and discussion, sharing the Tiltfactor method of Embedded Design, and how it can be used to foster a fun and inclusive work environment.

February 27, 2023

Professor Mary Flanagan joins other game professionals to discuss colonialism in games

Homo Ludens, a youtube channel dedicated to history and board games, featured Mary Flanagan along with other game professionals and researchers in a stream that aired on Feb 27. The discussion centered around the evolution, ethics, and history of colonialist depiction in board games and tabletop wargames. Watch “Game Ethics #2: Playing Colonialismhere.

February 1, 2023

Tiltfactor Lab and the National Academy of Sciences Team Up To Create “Glitch Squad”

Glitch Squad was created in a collaboration between Professor Mary Flanagan’s game design publishing company, Resonym, LabX, a public engagement test bed at the National Academy of Sciences, and Tiltfactor Lab. The game is designed to interest the public on issues surrounding forensic science.

January 23, 2023

Professor Mary Flanagan Serves on the Jury of National Academies Awards Program

The goal of the National Academies Eric and Wendy Schmidt Awards for Excellence in Science Communication is to “encourage high-quality science communication and build a diverse community of science journalists, research scientists, and institutions that will help society meet the challenges and opportunities posed by climate change, future pandemics, human genome editing, and other issues that can only be understood and navigated with the help of effective science communication.” These annual awards, give to 24 exceptional writers, total $60,000. Professor Flanagan was among the jury members in 2022 and will continue into the 2023 award cycle. Says Flanagan, “It was a lot of work but such great writing— what a pleasure!”

January 10, 2023

Advice Concerning the Increase in AI-Assisted Writing

Edward Schiappa, Professor of Rhetoric
Nick Montfort, Professor of Digital Media
10 January 2023

[In response to a request, this is an HTML version of a PDF memo for our colleagues at MIT]

There has been a noticeable increase in student use of AI assistance for writing recently. Instructors have expressed concerns and have been seeking guidance on how to deal with systems such as GPT-3, which is the basis for the very recent ChatGPT. The following thoughts on this topic are advisory from the two of us: They have no official standing within even our department, and certainly not within the Institute. Nonetheless, we hope you find them useful.

December 13, 2022

Game On! Tiltfactor Alums gather at Pax Unplugged

PAX Unplugged is an annual tabletop game convention in Philadelphia, PA in December. This year, Professor Mary Flanagan’s game studio Resonym featured two games at the convention: Phantom Ink and Retrograde. Joined by Tiltfactor alum Lucas Sanford-Long (Dart ’12), Tiltfactor’s staff Max Seidman (Dart ’12) and Sukie Punjasthitkul, Mary and the crew enjoyed a productive 3 days, and even a surprise visit from Geoff Kaufman, former Tilt research guru!

August 31, 2022

Professor Mary Flanagan: New Games and New Book!

Professor Flanagan’s game company Resonym has introduced two new games this year: Phantom Ink and Retrograde. Her recent trip to Gen Con indicated that Phantom Ink is a huge hit already with gamers, families, and enthusiasts! On the writing front, 2023 will begin for Flanagan with the introduction of her new book entitled Playful Oppression: The Legacy of Conquest and Empire in Board Games – MIT Press. This book is the result of several years of research and travel throughout Europe, focusing on Germany and France.

August 23, 2022

Tiltfactor’s Mary Flanagan gives Keynote address at Gen Con

Professor Mary Flanagan delivered the keynote talk at Gen Con this summer. Gen Con is one of the largest gaming conventions in North America and is held annually in Indianapolis, IN.

May 26, 2022

Glitch Lab Exhibition a Huge Success

PortrAIts: Digital Portraiture & Social Identity opened in the BVAC Student Gallery on Tuesday, May 24th with a small but very engaged crowd of viewers. The interactive exhibition explored how artificial intelligence visually reproduces existing forms of bias in our digital commons. The show featured a series of digital portraits created by using a text-to-image generative algorithm trained on large datasets of images sourced from the internet. Viewers were be able to participate in the generation of AI art and engage in critical conversations about the work.

April 7, 2022

Glitch Squad Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: contact@resonym.com

April 6, 2022 (Hanover, NH) – The latest board game designed at Tiltfactor, Glitch Squad, is being published by Resonym, and coming to Kickstarter on April 19th.

Glitch Squad was designed at Dr. Mary Flanagan’s Tiltfactor research lab at Dartmouth College by distinguished designers Mary Flanagan and Max Seidman, and designed in collaboration with LabX at the National Academy of Sciences. Glitch Squad will join the independent publisher Resonym’s ever-growing repertoire of acclaimed titles such as Monarch and Mechanica.

February 14, 2022

Glitch Lab Student Spotlight: Egemin Sahin ’23

In our second installment of our Glitch Lab Student Spotlights, we hear from Egemin Sahin ’23 about his work experimenting with and researching various A.I.s for our project.

Can you tell us a little more about yourself and what you do in the lab?

I’m Egemin, I’m a ’23 double majoring in Math and C.S., modified with Music. In the lab, I come up with ideas for what kinds of A.I.s we want to use, I do a lot of literature reviews on how we can implement these ideas into the computer, basically. Also I experiment with the A.I. itself after I put it on there. I’m more of an A.I. applicator, I guess you could call it that.

February 4, 2022

Glitch Lab Student Spotlight: Clara Pakman

This winter, the GLITCHLab’s started meeting in person for weekly lab hours in which we collaborate on our most recent projects, swap ideas, and get to know each other better. As the designated documentarian of the group, I recently had the chance to interview Clara Pakman ’23 on her thoughts about our project and the work that she does for the team!

Can you tell us a little more about yourself and what you do in the lab?

Tiltfactor Receives Hopkins Center Arts Integration Initiative Grant

We’re happy to announce that Tiltfactor is the proud recipient of an Arts Integration Initiative Grant from the Hopkins Center for the Arts to sponsor our student and faculty-led work. Our ongoing project is focused on using feminist AI to explore gender bias in art and create new works from female artists.

The Arts Integration Initiative “is part of the Hop’s Arts at the Core Initiative which aims to enrich disparate areas of study through the arts and to support an arts-infused network of students, faculty and artists.”

February 2, 2022

The Engagements of Difference Machines

from Post Position
by @ 4:53 pm

It’s been a while since I stopped over in Buffalo, but I’m finally unfrozen, and I’m unfreezing my blog, too, to comment a bit on the exhibit I saw — this was the purpose of my brief wintry sojourn — Difference Machines: Technology and Identity in Contemporary Art at the Albright-Knox Northland. I visited the show with my spouse, Flourish; Tina Rivers Ryan (who curated the exhibit with Paul Vanouse) was kind enough to give us a big chunk of her day and provide a detailed tour.

January 22, 2022

Mary Flanagan and Tiltfactor Alum Gili Freedman Publish New Article in Technology, Mind, and Behavior

Tiltfactor founding director Mary Flanagan and Tiltfactor alum Gili Freedman (currently Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at St. Mary’s College of Maryland) recently collaborated on an article entitled “The Effect of Embodying a Woman Scientist in Virtual Reality on Men’s Gender Biases” for the peer-reviewed, open-access journal Technology, Mind, and Behavior.

Flanagan and Freedman, along with collaborators Max Seidman (Tiltfactor Senior Game Designer) and Melanie Green (Professor and Department Chair in the Department of Communication at the University of Buffalo) tested “whether embodying a woman scientist in virtual reality (VR) leads to more positive attitudes toward women in STEM.”

November 12, 2021

Mary Flanagan Makes Guinness World Records 2022 Book for Atari-Style Artwork

Tiltfactor Lab’s very own Mary Flanagan was inspired by the Atari 2600 digital experiences of her childhood to create the artwork [giantJoystick], a 10-foot tall Atari CX40 controller weighing about 3,000 pounds.

[giantJoystick] was recently recognized by the Guinness World Records 2022 Book as the largest joystick in the world and is currently housed in the permanent collection of ZKM Center for Art and media in Karlsruhe, Germany. To learn more about the piece and gain exclusive insights into Mary Flanagan’s artistic journey, check out our Dartmouth News profile below!

Source: https://home.dartmouth.edu/news/2021/10/atari-style-artwork-makes-guinness-world-records-2022-book

October 26, 2021

Meet Tiltfactor’s Student Team

At Tiltfactor, we wanted to celebrate our first term back in person with a shout-out to our amazing student squad! These critical play superstars are hard at work in the @tiltfactor lab examining gender bias in AI datasets, testing upcoming editions of games both old and new, and keeping up with current events in the world of games and social impact. Coming from diverse academic disciplines, passions, and backgrounds, all of our students add a valuable lens to our work.

But while we could definitely hype them up all day, we thought you’d like it more if you heard it from them directly! Read on to check out their self-introductions.

August 9, 2021

A 6 byte Commodore 64 Demo

from Post Position
by @ 10:38 am

If you thought my last post about a 32 byte (plus 2 byte load address) Commodore 64 demo was esoteric, wait until you burrow into this one.

Back in March at Lovebyte I released a C64 demo that is a total of 6 bytes. I contrived this one so that the 4b of code end up “wedged” into a zero-page routine that runs every time RETURN is pressed. The effect is a pulsing pattern on the border. (You can just as easily make the screen pulse, which I personally find less aesthetically pleasing because the pulsing in that case happens over any text that is on the screen. It’s also a bit more eye watering and more likely to trigger seizures.) While it’s a very simple effect, I don’t know of any demo at all for this platform that has this file size or any smaller one. Some extensive trickery was involved in injecting my code into existing memory contents to produce this effect.

August 2, 2021

C64 Coding Under (Many) Constraints

from Post Position
by @ 8:22 pm

Yesterday I wrote a little demoscene production, an intro, called “Tyger Tyger.” It’s a Commodore 64 machine language program with 32 bytes of code and the requisite 2 byte header, found on all C64 PRG files. It only garnered third place out of five entries in the 256b compos at @party 2021, behind two impressive entries that were for a different platform (DOS) and went to the limit of allowable code (eight times as much).

July 26, 2021

Tiltfactor Lab and National Academy of Sciences LabX Collaborate on a new Game

Tiltfactor and LabX examine the challenges of forensic science in an upcoming game that will be announced this fall. Can you and your partner figure out the clues in time? Look for a sneak peak coming soon!

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