April 2, 2011

Tiltfactor Talks and News

from tiltfactor
by @ 6:58 am

Last week, we launched our game POX: Save the People. Today, we’re visiting the New England Archivists to discuss results of our Metadatagames Pilot Test! And next Monday, Mary Flanagan will be interviewed (4/4)  during Morning Edition on NHPR.

Meanwhile, our new TiltBling is in stock  — Check out project manager Sukie in his new TiltWear:

"I Heart Huge Pixels" shirt

This is the only known photograph of the Tiltfactor exclusive "I Heart Huge Pixels" shirt in existence.

March 28, 2011

New Media history book launches

from tiltfactor
by @ 12:47 pm

The long awaited Context Providers, edited by Margot Lovejoy, Christiane Paul, and Victoria Vesna has just been released from Intellect Press! Context Providers explores the ways in which digital art and culture are challenging and changing the creative process and our ways of constructing meaning.

The authors introduce the concept of artists as context providers—people who establish networks of information in a highly collaborative creative process, blurring boundaries between disciplines. Technological change has affected the function of art, the role of the artist, and the way artistic productions are shared,
creating a need for flexible information filters as a framework for establishing meaning and identity. Context Providers considers the work of media artists today who are directly engaging communities through collaboration, active dialogue, and challenging creative work.

March 24, 2011

POX: Save The People is Launched!

from tiltfactor
by @ 8:56 am

Our new board game, POX, was officially released at the New Hampshire Immunization Conference in Manchester NH this week!

Sukie and Max

Tiltfactor project manager SukdithPunjasthitkul and our über intern Max Seidman were on hand to explain gameplay, playtest with educators and public health officials, and discuss the design process.

Max Seidman shows folks how to play POX

Our partners in the planning and design process, Mascoma Valley Health Initiative, was awarded the 2011 NH Dept of Health and Human Services / Public Health Service “Excellence in Immunization Partnerships.” Edward Ihejirika of MVHI picked up the award in person.

March 20, 2011

Critical Play Method

from tiltfactor
by @ 8:16 am

Yes, we’re using it! The Critical Play Method, culled from work from the Values at Play project and Mary Flanagan’s  work creating games that take on issues that need to be deeply and meaningful ingrained in a game. It is included in Critical Play, but here’s a succinct checklist to share!

March 18, 2011

At the British Library: Playtimes: A century of children’s games and rhymes

from tiltfactor
by @ 5:41 am

This is so cool:

About Playtimes: The Playtimes website is part of a wider Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project entitled ‘Children’s Games and Songs in the New Media Age’. The project is part of the AHRC’s ‘Beyond Text’ programme which seeks to highlight the importance of communication, sensory perception, orality and material culture within current scholarship and today’s digital culture. The ‘Children’s Games and Songs’ project aims to preserve children’s games and songs as an important aspect of our national culture; but also seeks to explore how they continue to be a part of the lives of children living in the age of computer games and the internet. What does this oral tradition borrow from the media; and how might it connect with the entertainment and information technologies of the age of new media?”

March 17, 2011

More on Moms

from tiltfactor
by @ 8:47 pm

I’ve been thinking about this post about Chris Trottier’s gameplay models as well as my own experience with casual games in general and Facebook games more specifically.

It has become reasonably clear, zeitgeist-wise, that at least the perceived demographic for most Facebook games is the mom demographic.  For many casual games as well (I’m willing to bet that is a big reason for the otherwise inexplicable rise of the “hidden object game.”  Highlights magazine is really sad they didn’t pioneer that genre and make a mint.)

March 16, 2011

Improviso is Out

from Post Position
by @ 8:40 pm

Jeff Orkin, of Restaurant Game fame, has just launched Improviso, a system that allows players to improvise (online) and make a somewhat corny science fiction film by taking the role of director or lead actor. Orkin developed the system with collaborating students at the Singapore MIT GAMBIT Game Lab. I was pleased to see an early version of the system this summer, and very glad that the project has now blasted off. If you do Windows, download Improviso and see what you can make of it and with it.

Context Providers Book Launch

from tiltfactor
by @ 6:41 pm

Please join the editors of Context Providers – Margot Lovejoy,
Christiane Paul, Victoria Vesna – and contributors Mary Flanagan and
Ellen Levy for a brief introduction to the book, followed by a
reception at The New School, New York.

Context Providers
Conditions of Meaning in Media Arts

edited by Margot Lovejoy
Christiane Paul, Victoria Vesna

Intellect Press, UK / University of Chicago Press


March 13, 2011

The IF Summit Peaks

from Post Position
by @ 9:39 pm

I had a great time showing Curveship, and explaining the motivation behind it, at the IF Summit next to PAX-East today. And it was generally a great weekend of catching up with the people who are continually discussing this system (and many other matters) with me online. My thanks particularly to Zarf, the main organizer of the IF suite, Dave, who set up us the conference room, and Emily, who ran the IF Demo Fair on Saturday night. And generally, hooray for interactive fiction and the People’s Republic of Interactive Fiction – I hope we have many other productive gatherings in years to come.

March 12, 2011

a Pox on Pax East!

from tiltfactor
by @ 10:27 am

Tiltfactor continues to represent and engage at Pox East this weekend!

First off,  a panel discussion on Friday with lab director Mary Flanagan on Getting the Most Out of Your Game Education.

Pictured here, playtest sessions for our nearly-released game POX: Save the People with folks in the long lines by lab researcher Sukimon. A great way to pass the time, save lives, etc!

March 9, 2011

March 15 in Philadelphia: OuLiPoLooZa

from Post Position
by @ 4:35 pm

[An announcement from Penn’s Kelly Writers House:]

We’re pulling out all the constraints for our OULIPOLOOZA next Tuesday,
March 15, at 7:00 pm. Organized by our own Sarah Arkebauer (C’11) and
Michelle Taransky, this celebration of all things Oulipo will feature five
experts and aficionados talking about the “Ouvroir de littérature
potentielle,” the highly-influential French school of avant garde poetry.
The evening will be rounded out by the launching “An Oulipolooza,” a
collection of new Oulipian writing, and a constraint-inspired reception.
This is one celebration you should not A Void!

The Kelly Writers House presents

March 14 in Philadelphia: Platform Studies, Material Computing, and the Atari VCS

from Post Position
by @ 4:34 pm

Platform Studies, Material Computing, and the Atari VCS

Nick Montfort, MIT

A presentation in the
Workshop in the History of Material Texts
University of Pennsylvania – March 14, 2011 – 5:15pm
Van Pelt Library, 2nd Floor

March 8, 2011

More about Dynamic and User-Generated Content

from tiltfactor
by @ 9:17 am

Brian Green (Psychochild) has a recent post over at his place about why he might be changing his mind about the possibilities of User-Generated Content that I think contains a very strong idea: that of [player] intent, and I think it relates strongly to something I’ve been talking about, including this post.

I think here it is worth dividing up two concepts that I have been lumping together somewhat:

March 7, 2011

The People’s Republic of IF is Shiny

from Post Position
by @ 8:50 pm

As if polishing a statue of our glorious leader, the Web secretariat of the People’s Republic of Interactive Fiction has hoisted a fine new website. It has everything the old site had, but shiner and more expandable – which is important for a Cambridge-based group with a destiny that is manifest, a group that continues to share IF with the Boston area and the world.

Please do note that PR-IF will be at PAX-East 2011 with a suite and a conference room. All events are open to the public and do not require a PAX-East badge. I’ll hope to see some of you there.

March 3, 2011

The ELMCIP Knowledge Base is Online

from Post Position
by @ 10:24 pm

Interested in electronic literature, and a new large-scale resource listing works, authors, and more? The ELMCIP Knowledge Base is now available in beta form. Also, check out this screencast about the ELMCIP Knowledge Base.

By ELMCIP, we mean Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice, a research project that extends throughout Europe and is funded by the Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) JRP for Creativity and Innovation. ELMCIP is a project to try to understand creative communities working in electronic literature. Among the many involved parties are friends and collaborators Scott Rettberg and Jill Walker Rettberg.

The Harry Dean Stanton Corollary

from tiltfactor
by @ 8:58 pm

Naomi Clark and I had a remarkably reasonable discussion in the comments section here the other day, and I’ve been mulling over it since.  The gist being I was saying I didn’t really see the point of describing labor mechanics as a specific thing, and Clark discussing (at length, to her credit) what that point was.  I think she’s the right one here, which I probably would have figured out earlier had I seen the talk, especially since so much of my thinking of late has been in terms of organizational/behavioral economics (specifically, relating a large social game audience to a large corporation conceptually.)

Chris Trottier + gameplay models

from tiltfactor
by @ 1:29 am

At the 2011 Game Developer’s Conference, esteemed designer Chris Trottier assembled advice from her astounding career as a game designer […]

March 2, 2011

Best Failed Search Ever

from Post Position
by @ 12:31 pm

Search: 'i never promised you a cheeseburger' One result: 'The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Judiasm'

I guess that answers the perennial question, “I can has cheezburger?”

There is a lot to say about the term “gamification”

from tiltfactor
by @ 9:12 am

…in my opinion, little to none of it good.  For the moment, I just want to point out this little […]

March 1, 2011


from tiltfactor
by @ 3:26 pm

Pox is done. The boards are being packed and shipped and I’m doing what I always do at the end […]

A quick response to Zimmerman & Clark’s presentation

from tiltfactor
by @ 11:24 am

Wow, I’m starting to really hate missing the actual talks…notes and slides are great but I’m afraid I am probably missing nuance.

Zimmerman is typically on-target, but I’m wondering about this (paraphrased?) passage from his presentation with Naomi Clark, taken from notes from an attendee (thank you, Tiny Subversion):

“Why is there a rise in games of labor? It is linked to contemporary culture. In industrialized 21st century cultures there are new lifestyles that are mirrored in these games of labor. We are taught to want and to work for the fantasy of labor. You don’t really have a desire to make a virtual farm until the game explains to you that that is what you want.”

February 28, 2011

The IF Theory Reader Arrives

from Post Position
by @ 11:47 pm

Almost a decade after the project began, the IF Theory Reader is finally here, thanks to the hard work of editors Kevin Jackson-Mead and J. Robinson Wheeler. The book has been published by Transcript On Press and has made it out in time for PAX-East, where Kevin’s group The People’s Republic of Interactive Fiction will be hosting a hospitality suite.

There are 438 pages in this book, which can be downloaded as a PDF for free or purchased as a paperback for a mere $13.26.

Social Network Clusters – Re: Koster’s GDC Presentation

from tiltfactor
by @ 8:46 pm

Raph Koster has [as usual, certainly] summed up a fair bit about social gaming in his GDC presentation. I wasn’t […]

On Dynamism and Player-Affected Game Content

from tiltfactor
by @ 8:20 pm

To me, the white elephant in the [digital] game design room is that of dynamic content. Maybe it’s an invisible white elephant, because not many other people seem to be talking about it.

Reader’s Block

from Post Position
by @ 9:33 am
Reader's Block, David Markson, Dalkey Archive, 1996

Reader’s Block, David Markson, Dalkey Archive, 1996

A pivotal point in this book – one that is reassuringly labeled “A Novel” – is the paragraph that reads, in its entirety, “Spent Adidas.” The other shoe drops. Imagination finally spills from one isolated paragraph to the next. This two-word paragraph does not stand out as unusually short among many that relating incidents or facts; literary, artistic, or philosophical deaths; and sometimes simply an author’s or some famous character’s name. How can we avoid being overwhelmed by the weight of what we know, what we have read about other lives? How can what we have learned about history frame, rather than imprison, what we seek to create as readers and writers? Why even attempt to imagine, when truth is stranger and so weighty? These questions raise themselves like ghosts in Hades scenting blood. As in Wittgenstein’s Mistress, a powerful image of a writer’s path of thought. Then, the poesies that succeeded in Borges’s “The Circular Ruins” takes a different turn in Reader’s Block, after a struggle.

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