October 30, 2010

Horror Lurks on Halloween

from Post Position
by @ 1:34 pm

A special event: The People’s Republic of Interactive Fiction is hosting a session in which we’ll play The Lurking Horror, October 31, 2-5pm, MIT’s room 4-145. We’ll take a tour of some MIT campus locations that inspired the ones in this game, and David Lebling, the Infocom implementor who created the game, will be joining us.

Also, remember that there’s a Tuesday Nov 2 book party for the release of my Riddle & Bind, at Grafton St. in Harvard Square, 6-9pm. And on Sunday Nov 7 we’ll have a codefest where people can work on games in Curveship, or on the core system, if they like. Contact me (the login name is “nickm”, the domain to use is this one) if you’d like to join us for that event.

October 26, 2010

Riddle & Bind is out. Party!

from Post Position
by @ 3:51 pm

My book Riddle & Bind (with an official publication date of October 31) is out. One day Amazon will have an image of the cover. But for now, anyone can order it through Spineless Books or Amazon, and … there’s a book release party here in Cambridge, in Harvard Square:

Grafton Street Restaurant and Bar
1230 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138

Tuesday November 2

Projectiles of all kinds

from tiltfactor
by @ 3:04 pm

Isn’t it interesting to get a reminder that even in carnie games, the American obsession with guns prevails? In the UK, the carnie game of choice is archery, as seen here in a vibrant Leicester Square.

Absolutely Fabulous..

from tiltfactor
by @ 1:56 pm

and stereotypical, this recently spotted advert in London by Tiltfactor folks reminds us of some of the, ah, allegedly ‘old school myths’ about gender and computing.

Holiday shopping is already in swing. For him, the Vanquish Game. For her, Stella McCartney Gift Set.

October 25, 2010

Curveship Codefest Coming Up

from Post Position
by @ 8:33 pm

Anyone who is in the Boston area and interested in spending a day (or a good chunk thereof) helping me push Curveship toward release should shoot me an email. Thanks to a great suggestion from Prof. Fox Harrell, I’ll be hosting a one-day Curveship Codefest soon in MIT’s building 14. People are welcome to write games, to write spin (ways of narrating), and to hack on the core Curveship system with me. We’ll be working toward a release of Curveship under a free software license in December or January.

October 19, 2010

Chaim Gingold Visits EIS

Title: Human Play Machine
Speaker: Chaim Gingold
When: Wednesday 10/20/10 at 11am
Where: E2 room 506

Every game or form of play toys with some human faculty. Slot machines play with our sense of probability and reward, and soccer players play with social coordination, physics, and their bodies. Newborn babies play with and explore their hands. In a sense, our games are software that run on our players’ physical, cognitive, emotional, and social hardware. But what are the specs of the human game playing machine? Are we using all of its memory, processing power, and input/output devices?

Flanagan gives two talks at METAL

from tiltfactor
by @ 9:10 am

Tiltfactor’s Mary Flanagan is giving a talk this Wednesday in the UK at METAL, and participating in an arts pecha kucha this Thursday.

METAL is the artist’s laboratory space set up by Jude Kelly OBE in 2002 to create space for artists and thinkers to develop their ideas and further the philosophy of their work. METAL is committed to supporting artists from all disciplines through residencies, commissioning, producing, debate and discussion, touring and publishing.

The public is invited to participate in the third autumn debate sponsored by METAL, entitled ‘Visualising Our World’ at the Park Suite, Chalkwell Park at 7.30PM on Wednesday 20 October 2010.

October 15, 2010

Creativity (ICCC-11) Deadline Looms

from Post Position
by @ 2:14 pm

A reminder that the deadline for the 2nd International Conference on Computational Creativity, taking place in Mexico City, April 27-29, 2011, is now in less than two months:

  • December 13, 2010 – Submission deadline
  • February 14, 2011 – Authors’ Notification
  • March 14, 2011 – Deadline for final camera-ready copies
  • April 27-29, 2011 – ICCC in Mexico City

I posted about the conference back in July; the CFP has been out since then and information has been up on the Web. Our site (I’m one of the organizers) now has resources for authors preparing papers as well as travel information.

October 14, 2010

Talk, Talk

from Post Position
by @ 6:33 pm

I had a great time speaking with people and giving a talk about Curveship, my interactive fiction and interactive narrating system, at Tufts University today in the Department of Computer Science.

Next up is my panel discussion with two others at the Boston Book Festival. It’s on Saturday at 10:30am in the main auditorium of the Boston Public Library. If you read the following incisive paragraph very carefully …

Phoenix in flames

You’ll see that Eugenia Williamson of The Boston Phoenix considers me “a novelist of supreme confidence” – wow! I’m flattered!

StarCraft AI Competition Results

The AIIDE 2010 StarCraft AI Competition has come to a close. The challenge given to competitors was to build the best performing bot for an immensely popular, commercial game. The competition consisted of four tournaments of varying complexity. This was the first year the competition was held and it turned out to be a success. Even though no prizes were offered, twenty-eight teams participated in the competition. My presentation on the competition provides an overview of the  participants and results.

October 13, 2010

My New Book, Riddle & Bind

from Post Position
by @ 8:58 pm

My new book – a book of poems entitled Riddle & Bind – has been published by Spineless Books. The book contains figurative language that does not explicitly state what is described, but leaves this for the reader to discern: riddle. And I have placed myself within certain constraints to write poems in this book: bind. The official publication date is October 31, but thanks to the attention and deft work of my publisher, I was able to lay my hands on a book and volume today. I will follow up soon with details about this tome and its availability, but for now: Riddle & Bind is bound. And it even has a spine.

October 10, 2010

Values at Play Research

from tiltfactor
by @ 11:05 pm

Tiltfactor is interested in design and human values, and our influential research project begun in 2005 with Helen Nissenbaum and Mary Flanagan (PIs) with a group of diligent, introspective, and committed researchers called Values at Play has produced a strong body of research. Check out the article in the Canadian game studies journal Loading… Vol 3, No 4 (2009) for our article “Instructional Methods and Curricula for “Values Conscious Design,” which details the curricula and instructional materials created to date. Values at Play researchers investigate how social, moral, and political values are expressed in digital games. Values at Play has developed a systematic approach to considering values in the design process. We have also created and disseminate for all a values based curricula and instructional materials including online Grow-a-Game tool for introducing game design students to the consideration of values in “values conscious” design. Another useful report on research is published in Eludamos: Journal for Computer Game Culture 2010; 4 (1), p. 57-67. “Exploring the Creative Potential of Values Conscious Design: Students’ Experiences with the Values at Play Curriculum” offers a report and discussion the results of a focus group study and design work conducted with students in an undergrad game design course with the Values at Play curriculum. Enjoy more articles posted on our website — the project has produced nearly ten journal and conference publications to date , and games from Layoff Profit Seed to Massively Multiplayer Soba and Massively Multiplayer 晚餐 [wǎncān] – and thanks to all of our team members, and especially our Advisory Board: Celia Pearce, Tracy Fullerton, Jesper Juul, Frank Lantz, Katie Salen. Values at Play has been funded by the National Science Foundation.

October 8, 2010

UCSC Hosts Symposium on Narrative Intelligence: AI Approaches for Games and Fiction

Narrative Intelligence: AI Approaches for Games and Fiction

DATE: October 14th, 2010 — 9:30am to 5:30pm
LOCATION: UCSC Campus, Engineering 2, Room 599
PRICE: Free (though UCSC parking pass required)
HOSTED BY: The UCSC Center for Games and Playable Media. Co-sponsored by the Digital Arts and New Media program and Institute for Humanities Research.

October 4, 2010

On Researching Adventure Games

from Post Position
by @ 3:59 pm

Clara Fernandez-Vara, a postdoc here at MIT in Comparative Media Studies who researches at the GAMBIT lab and is part of the People’s Republic of Interactive Fiction, has written a short, helpful piece for Adventure Classic Gaming, explaining some ways that academics have studied adventure games – and some of what’s useful about that activity. The piece is called “Adventures in games research.” Give it a read and, if you have one, drop a comment there or here.

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