November 30, 2011

Emergency! Please Help!

from Post Position
by @ 8:19 pm

I really hope this gets to you in time! During a trip to Brookline,
Massachusetts I was robbed — robbed of all poetic impulse. All of the
brilliance of language was stolen from me. My poetic license was taken as
well. I need your help encountering English once again.

I know the unusual diction of this note, the unusual nature of this
request, the fact that I am using more than one exclamation point per
email, and the fact that it is being sent to everyone in my address book
must make it seem like my account was hacked, but I assure you, that’s
not the case!

November 28, 2011

Multiple Forms of Interaction in Games

from tiltfactor
by @ 11:00 am

Recent developments in digital game hardware allows for multiple methods of interacting with a given game. For example, the Nintendo DS incorporated the use of both a stylus-based touchscreen and tangible game control buttons. Similarly, Android and iOS games often use a combination of touchscreen controls and accelerometer-based controls.

In these platforms, there is often a moment in which players must transition from one mode of interaction to another, or use both simultaneously. I believe this transition or need to multitask a player’s mode(s) of interaction can be utilized to develop new skills.

November 27, 2011

Brian Moriarty to Speak at MIT

from Post Position
by @ 9:07 pm

In the Boston area? Please join us for a talk by


Brian Moriarty

Creator of Wishbringer, Trinity, Loom, and other interactive fiction and graphic adventure titles

and professor of practice, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

“Beyond Zork: Games & Interactive Fiction”

Monday, November 28, 5:30 pm

MIT’s room 6-120


Brian Moriarty built his first computer in the fifth grade. He began
publishing games in the early 1980s and in 1984 joined legendary text
adventure company Infocom, where he authored three award-winning interactive fiction titles, Wishbringer (1985), Trinity (1986) and Beyond Zork (1987). His first graphic adventure game, Loom, was published in 1990 by Lucasfilm Games to wide critical acclaim.

November 23, 2011

Mind/Games #1: Reducing Implicit Bias with Games

from tiltfactor
by @ 8:09 pm

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Here’s a little more (okay, a lot more) to digest along with your turkey (or tofurkey) this year…

Given that one of the major goals of Tiltfactor’s current research is to design games aimed at reducing implicit bias held toward (or by) women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), I thought it would be worthwhile to take a step back and discuss what psychologists have discovered about implicit bias – and how games might be an especially powerful means of reducing or combating it.


November 22, 2011

“Electrifying Literature” Deadline

from Post Position
by @ 1:43 pm

An exhortation for those creating or researching electronic literature to please submit to Electrifying Literature: Affordances and Constraints, the 2012 Electronic Literature Organization conference. The gathering will take place June 20-23, 2012 in Morgantown, West Virginia. A juried Media Arts Gallery Exhibit will be held from Wednesday, June 13 through Saturday, June 23, 2012 at The Monongalia Arts Center. Registration costs have been kept down to make it easier for writers and artists who don’t have institutional travel support to be part of the event.

The deadline for abstracts & proposals is November 30, by the way.

November 21, 2011

Positive Publication

from Post Position
by @ 8:08 pm

An interview that James J. Brown, Jr. did with me is now up as part of the latest issue of JEP: The Journal of Electronic Publishing.

It’s entitled “The Literary and the Computational: A Conversation with Nick Montfort.”

I’ve banged up against some fairly conservative, and indeed rather backwards, ideas about what publishing is recently; it was great to talk with Brown and see him and JEP representing a much more positive idea.

Workshop on Design Patterns in Games – May 29th 2012

We’re planning a workshop on Design Patterns in Games in conjunction
with next year’s Foundations of Digital Games conference. There is
more info on our website ( or you can contact
me directly.

CFP follows:

Chicago Colloquium Notes

from Post Position
by @ 12:02 pm

I went to the Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities & Computer Science this weekend (Sunday and today), and gave the keynote that opened this event. I spoke about Platform Studies, describing how the difference between Pong and Hunt the Wumpus could be better understood by considering that these games were made of different stuff — different material computing systems. Then, I brought in the five-level model of digital media studies that I introduced in Game Studies in my article “Combat in Context” back in 2006. I spoke about the existing and forthcoming titles in the Platform Studies book series by MIT Press: Racing the Beam (Montfort & Bogost, 2009); the book on the Wii, Codename: Revolution by Steven E. Jones and George K. Thiruvathukal; and The Future was Here by Jimmy Maher, covering the Amiga. I also spoke about 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); GOTO 10, a book engaging with platforms that I, and nine co-authors, are completing. Finally, I concluded by offering 16 questions about the digital humanities, in a lecture moment that was inspired by a particular 20th century American composer.

November 18, 2011

New Dartmouth Course: New Media Art

from tiltfactor
by @ 3:15 pm

This winter, there is a new media art course being offered between two departments at Dartmouth.

Currently the course is accepting enrollments!

November 17, 2011

STRP Festival coming up

from tiltfactor
by @ 6:04 pm

STRP Festival

The 2011 STRP Art and Technology Festival in Eindhoven NL will host lab director Mary Flanagan (that would be me) in a keynote talk at the miniconference “Master of Play,” and show four of her new video works. The STRP Festival is one of the largest art & technology festivals in Europe. It should be rad! The eclectic mixture of art, technology, music + e-culture has made it a highly-anticipated annual event. It is designed to appeal to a wide audience, and the multidisciplinary program boldly “combines a full sensory experience and adventure.” Can’t wait!

November 15, 2011

Report on the AAAI Fall Symposium on Advances in Cognitive Systems

This year the AAAI Fall Symposium Series included a track organized by Pat Langley on Advances in Cognitive Systems. Pat identified the following objective for the symposium:

Pursue the initial goals of artificial intelligence and cognitive science: To explain intelligence in computational terms and reproduce the entire range of human cognitive abilities in computational artifacts.

Pat’s motivation for re-evaluating the goals of artificial intelligence is presented in a recent editorial in Machine Learning, while my motivation for attending the symposium was to discuss how to build integrated, heterogeneous agents. The introduction to the symposium was a discussion of why AI research has gone astray. Pat identified the following issues in his talk:

November 11, 2011

Prom Week: Gameplay and Social Physics

When we started making Prom Week, our mission was to make social interactions truly playable. While games have increasingly gotten better at physical simulation, social interactions in games still tend to be scripted, with most games using dialogue trees of some form. A result of this is that many games end up being about physical conflict, as the physical simulation is the only part of the system dynamic enough to enable interesting gameplay.

Just like physics simulations in puzzle games such as Angry Birds support many emergent solutions to game challenges, we want to support emergent gameplay for social interaction.

November 10, 2011

A Giant Sucking Sound

from Post Position
by @ 10:30 pm

*uck. After five years of activity at the dawning of the Web, after about fifteen years of keeping the site online, it seems that they are gone.

Prom Week!!!

For the past two years we’ve been working on a game called Prom Week and I’m happy to announce we’ve just launched our closed beta! Look here for announcements, news, and tales of its development in the coming weeks!

Prom Week is a social simulation game where the player shapes the lives of a group of highschool students in the most dramatic week of their highschool career. Each story is centered around a character, and it is up to the player how it goes. Using our sophisticated social artificial intelligence system, Comme il Faut, Prom Week is able to combine the dynamic simulation of games like the Sims with the detailed characters and dialog of story driven games.

November 7, 2011

Game Day at Lebanon Public Library!

from tiltfactor
by @ 6:15 pm

Attention NH/VT Upper Valley kids!

The Tilt team is heading to the library, and we’re bringing our games with us!

On November 12th, we will bring many classic games (such as Set, Uno, and Apples to Apples) as well as our own mid-design stage games for some fun times.

We hope you’ll join us as with games, it’s always the more the merrier!

Game Day
Saturday, Nov. 12
Lebanon Public Library

Mark your Calendars!

November 3, 2011

The Twelve Propositions

from tiltfactor
by @ 3:04 pm

Twelve Propositions from a Critical Play Perspective:

1. Values are everywhere,  designed into play and into games

2. The history of computed games has created certain types of interactions.

3. These technical constraints have limited what we think we can do today.

4. Innovation can come from prioritizing the human.

5. Unorthodox methods spur change.

6. Meaning in a game  comes from the feeling of responsibility.

7. A good game will teach you  one thing, so you can  learn another.  In educational circles,  ’far transfer’ is the holy grail  of learning technologies

8. Producing challenging work as an artist means that  you are willing to break the rules.

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