Amanda Herz has been a student employee at Tiltfactor since the winter of 2016 and received a full-time fellowship in game design for the summer of 2016. Her daily schedule in the lab is usually varied, but Amanda works largely to create and implement games “with a focus on excellent user experiences.” While everyone at Tiltfactor works to target social issues and how to address these issues through games, Amanda is particularly focused on making sure that the games are as fun as possible for their players, because even the most impactful game will have no impact if nobody plays it.
August 19, 2016
August 17, 2016
Even in the summer months research doesn’t stop at Tiltfactor! We’re currently conducting game research at the Salt Hill Pub in Hanover and studying how party games are played.
Once concluded, the findings from these studies at Salt Hill Pub will join other papers and journal articles on our research, such as our recent papers on POX: Save the People and Buffalo the name dropping game. These studies, through illuminating the way individuals perceive and think about non-digital and digital media, can be, already have been, applied to gaming.
August 3, 2016
The Trope Tank is accepting applications for a writer in residence during academic year 2016-2017.
Our mission is developing new poetic practices and new understandings of digital media by focusing on the material, formal, and historical aspects of computation and language. More can be discovered about the Trope Tank here:
The main projects of the Trope Tank for 2016-2017 are Renderings and Heftings, as I’ve described for a forthcoming article in Convolutions 4:
July 21, 2016
Here’s a first effort (as of 2am on July 22) at a bibliography of computer-generated books. I have not included books where the text has been obviously sorted computer (e.g. Auerbach, Reimer). I have included some strange outliers such as a book written with computational assistance and a book that is human written but is supposed to read like a computer-generated book.
I’d love to know about more of these. I’m not as interested in the thousands of computer-generated spam books available for purchase (unless a few of them are truly awesome), but would particularly like to know if some of the great NaNoGenMo books I’ve read are available in print.
June 29, 2016
Tiltfactor’s director Mary Flanagan was honored at the 13th Annual Games for Change Festival in June 2016!
Flanagan was awarded the Vanguard Award. This award recognizes the significant contributions of a practitioner by being a champion, advocate, and mentor for a new generation of game creators, and rewards outstanding individuals in impact games.
The Games for Change Festival organizers noted that Flanagan is:
“… A leading innovator, artist, educator and designer, whose works have included everything from game-inspired art, to commercial games that shift people’s thinking about biases and stereotypes. Flanagan established the internationally recognized game research laboratory Tiltfactor in 2003 to invent “humanist” games and take on social change through games.”
June 24, 2016
Tiltfactor’s director gave day one’s closing keynote at Connected Life 2016: Collective Action and the Internet, a two day-long conference, held at the University of Oxford on 20th and 21st June 2016. The conference is dedicated to igniting multidisciplinary exchanges on internet research across information studies, digital humanities, psychology, engineering, business, health, and computer science. This is an excellent gathering focused on emerging research that brims with promise for the further of tech scholarship. @OxConnectedLife
June 16, 2016
Hearts and Minds: The Interrogations Project Wins Electronic Literature Organization’s 2016 Robert Coover Award for a Work of Electronic Literature
On June 11, 2016, during the Electronic Literature Conference at University of Victoria, Hearts and Minds: The Interrogations Project won the top prize for a creative work in the field of electronic literature, the Electronic Literature Organization’s 2016 Robert Coover Award for a Work of Electronic Literature! The jury’s remarks from the awards ceremony:
The Robert Coover Award for a Work of Electronic Literature
June 6, 2016
This post is a distillation of some current thoughts on game preservation (extending to software preservation) that arose from a presentation I gave at Stanford two weeks ago. Video of that talk is here. The discussion in this post is a little more advanced and focuses mainly on the last 10-15 minutes of the talk. I have also posted a link to another presentation I gave at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in February. This earlier one is exclusively about the issues with standard game preservation. If you are unfamiliar with this whole topic, definitely check it out.
May 28, 2016
Our new research studies published in the paper “High-Low Split” at #chi4good this year show that users demonstrate different types of psychological construal using digital screens– that is, a focus on concrete details (low level construal) as opposed to “big picture” thinking (high level construal), and media is very very interested in this research. This May our work has been covered in publications such as The Daily Mail, The Washington Post, Psychology Today, Fox News, Entrepreneur.com, and many news outlets in India, such as the Economic Times and Hindustan Times.
May 27, 2016
Mary Flanagan’s chapter ends the provocative Zones of Control: Perspectives on Wargaming (MIT Press 2016), Edited by Pat Harrigan and Matthew G. Kirschenbaum. The book offers a diverse set of perspectives on wargaming’s past, present, and future, covering both digital and tabletop games. In her chapter, “Practicing a New War Game,” Flanagan notes that wargames have long been understood a form of war simulation. She asks, however, if their simulation of conflict isn’t so much about war as it is about critical thinking and critique? In this conclusion to a very hefty, rich, and insightful book, Flanagan posits provocations against which readers can consider the readings in the book in order to continue to look at the ancient practice of wargaming in new light. In the end, she calls for new models of war games to foster creative solutions to all kinds of conflict facing the world today.
May 23, 2016
On the 14th of May 2016, Tiltfactor’s director, Mary Flanagan, received an Honorary Doctorate in Design from the Illinois Institute of Technology. She was honored with an honorary degree with Ray Kurzweil, inventor, and Chris Gladwin, entrepreneur.
The degree recognized, among other significant contributions, the innovative focus human values in design, and research into gender in computing, in her work.
Mary Flanagan (Center) with President Cramb (Left), Ray Kurzweil, and Provost Frances Bronet (Right)
May 9, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media contact: Amy Olson | firstname.lastname@example.org | 603-646-3274
Digital Media May Be Changing How You Think
New Study Finds Users Focus on Concrete Details Rather than the Big Picture
HANOVER, N.H. – May 9, 2016 – Tablet and laptop users beware. Using digital platforms such as tablets and laptops for reading may make you more inclined to focus on concrete details rather than interpreting information more abstractly, according to a new study published in the proceedings of ACM CHI ’16, the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, held May 7-12. The findings serve as another wake-up call to how digital media may be affecting our likelihood of using abstract thought.
April 26, 2016
We are looking for a full stack developer to create a small mobile application that can capture, process, and display images. The software is to run in a standalone setting— the main reason for mobile is to use the touchscreen on wall-mounted tablets (likely iPads) and access the camera. Therefore the project could be made in a wrapped browser window inside something like Phonegap — it’s not intended for distribution on the app store.
April 25, 2016
On Saturday, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death (and, happy birthday, too, Will), I delivered to Twitter, via post-haste dispatch, the following four Commodore 64 BASIC programs, versions of the famous “Hello world” program:
400 ? chr$(147)"hello world":for a=1 to 500:next:? chr$(19)"brave":new:rem #c64
400 ? chr$(144)chr$(79)chr$(84)”hello world”:rem #c64
400 ? “hello world”chr$(4^3+(2b or not 2b)):rem #c64
400 for a=0to255:? chr$(147)spc(a)”(QRQ) hello world”:next:? chr$(147):rem #c64
Type ’em in to a for-real Commodore 64 or to this Web-based emulator here. No special characters are involved, so entering these programs should be easy; lowercase letters will appear capitalized and the few capital ones will appear as graphical symbols.
I had a launch event Saturday afternoon for my new book, Exploratory Programming for the Arts and Humanities. Not a typical reading or book party, but a workshop for people completely new to programming but interested in pursuing it. It was at the excellent gallery and venue, Babycastles, on West 14th Street in Manhattan.
April 20, 2016
Tiltfactor Lab Open House
April 27 (Wednesday)
3:30 – 6:00pm
Room 245 in the Black Family Visual Arts Center (VAC)
Enjoy Thai appetizers and beverages while playing video games developed at Dartmouth’s very own Tiltfactor lab, including the award-winning Smorball, as well as top secret games still in development, and board and card games. Meet and chat about games and game design with Professor Mary Flanagan and the Tiltfactor team.
April 14, 2016
I’m pleased to announce the publication of Exploratory Programming for the Arts and Humanities, an MIT Press book to teach programming as a method of inquiry and creativity, no background required.
I’ll be running events that are associated with the book to help people start programming. The first of these is at Babycastles (137 West 14th Street in Manhattan) on April 23. If you’re near and interested in starting to program, please sign up! A copy of the book is included with the workshop fee, which, with processing charges, comes in under $60 and supports this community-oriented gallery.
March 24, 2016
March is a time of many talks! Tiltfactor director Mary Flanagan spoke at the History and Theory of New Media Lecture Series at the University of California Berkeley. The audience represented those interested in art, dance, post colonial studies, gender studies, game design, and even peace studies. It was fantastic to meet you all!
March 21, 2016
We had a great panel at SXSW Interactive on March 11, exploring several radical ways in which langauge and computing are intersecting. It was “Hacking Language: Bots, IF and Esolangs.” I moderated; the main speakers were Allison Parrish a.k.a. @aparrish; Daniel Temkin
DBA @rottytooth; and Emily Short, alias @emshort.
I kicked things off by showing some simple combinatorial text generators, including the modifiable “Stochastic Texts” from my Memory Slam reimplementation and my super-simple startup name generator, Upstart. No slides from me, just links and a bit of quick modification to show how easily one can work with literary langauge and a Web generator.
February 16, 2016
Everyone, we are excited to announce that Dr. Gili Freedman will be joining our Tiltfactor team. Gili is a social psychologist who is interested in how people interact with each other and how we can make those interactions better.
She received her B.A. in Psychology from Haverford College and her Ph.D. in Social and Personality Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Most recently, she was a visiting assistant professor at Roanoke College researching social rejection and teaching social psychology, personality psychology, and psychology in the media. Dr Freedman is very excited to be joining Tiltfactor this Spring, and we are excited to have her!
February 2, 2016
Christian read late last semester in the Purple Blurb series, a Trope Tank and CMS/W production. Here’s a video record of this appearance of his at MIT:
January 29, 2016
UC Santa Cruz has two more faculty jobs in games and computational media. One is an Assistant Professor in game design (apply by February 1st) and the other is a Teaching Professor position in computational media available for applicants at any level of seniority, and open to a wide range of specialties (apply by February 23rd).
The game design position is for one of the founding faculty of the new BA in Art & Design: Games & Playable Media. The ideal applicant is a designer with experience pushing games in new directions, working with innovative design and technology approaches. This position is in the Arts division.
January 12, 2016
We’ve been talking about player psychology to nudge us toward a better world for years and years. Journalists have even called this “social engineering.” That’s interesting, because games are intricate designed systems and typically, though not always, they are social. So social engineering may be an apt term for games in general, and not simply games that try to effect positive change.
Our research in bias is pushing ahead with thinking about implicit bias and stereotype threat. After the release of our recent paper “A psychologically “embedded” approach to designing games for prosocial causes,” which garnered national attention in the media, we’re currently working with digital and non-digital narratives to understand how these could help alleviate bias. And oooh, we have some really interesting data.
December 4, 2015
I hope you enjoy this one, and don’t dismiss it as lighght verse.
December 3, 2015
We’d love to share our gratitude for all of the good Tiltfactor goings-on with you! There is quite a bit to be thankful for this year.
This year, to date, Tiltfactor garnered much recognition!
Smorball and its ‘Best Serious Game’ award
- In September, the Tiltfactor team won the “Best Serious Game Award” for our transcription game Smorball at the Boston Festival of Indie Games. Read all about it! Our computers were constantly filled, as players loved the game and fiercely competed to top each others’ high scores! Check out the complete list of awards at the festival.