December 3, 2015

A Year of Thanks: 2015 in Review

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.

Awards

This year, to date, Tiltfactor garnered much recognition!

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Smorball and its ‘Best Serious Game’ award

  1. In September, the Tiltfactor team won the “Best Serious Game Award” for our transcription game Smorball at the Boston Festival of Indie GamesRead 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.

November 2, 2015

Post Doctoral Position for 2016

Post Doctoral Researcher Position at Dartmouth College for 2016

The award winning  game design and research laboratory at Dartmouth College, Tiltfactor (http://www.tiltfactor.org) has an opening for a full-time postdoctoral research position in social psychology to begin January or August 2016. The Tiltfactor team designs, creates, and studies games for social impact. The postdoctoral researcher will design and conduct formal empirical studies, primarily on games.

October 27, 2015

Four Jobs at UC Santa Cruz

UCSC logo

I’m happy to announce that UC Santa Cruz is currently searching for four jobs in areas of computational media (and we expect to announce two more soon). Two of the currently-advertised positions are in Engineering and two are in Arts.

Engineering

Generative Methods – Assistant Professor

October 26, 2015

Here’s How Game Design Can Reduce Stereotypes and Social Biases

New research by Tiltfactor published in Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace illustrates how games can have a positive impact in our society. Using a new approach in game design— ‘embedded game design’—former Tiltfactor postdoc Geoff Kaufman, now an assistant professor at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, and Tiltfactor’s founding director Mary Flanagan, demonstrate how games utilizing this approach can change players’ biases, reduce social stereotypes and prejudice, and engender a more complex view of diversity.

Through embedded game design, an intended persuasive message is incorporated into the overall game’s content, mechanics, or context of play—rather than making the message overt to the players.

October 5, 2015

Why I Hate The Martian

from Post Position
by @ 4:42 pm

The Martian is a movie (a book, too, but I haven’t read it) where Matt Damon’s character, Matt Watley, is stranded on Mars and has to figure out how to survive as people on Earth figure out how to rescue him. It is a version of Robinson Crusoe (without Friday). There are no enemies or bad people, just understandable mistakes and the capricious forces of “nature,” or as it’s called here, space. Watley declares himself officially the first colonist of Mars, and he solves every problem, as he explicitly says, with science.

September 23, 2015

A New Poem: “Forgetfulness, by Billy Collins”

from Post Position
by @ 6:34 pm

Gur anzr bs gur nhgube vf gur svefg gb tb
sbyybjrq borqvragyl ol gur gvgyr, gur cybg,
gur urnegoernxvat pbapyhfvba, gur ragver abiry
juvpu fhqqrayl orpbzrf bar lbh unir arire ernq,
arire rira urneq bs,

nf vs, bar ol bar, gur zrzbevrf lbh hfrq gb uneobe
qrpvqrq gb ergver gb gur fbhgurea urzvfcurer bs gur oenva,
gb n yvggyr svfuvat ivyyntr jurer gurer ner ab cubarf.

Ybat ntb lbh xvffrq gur anzrf bs gur avar Zhfrf tbbqolr
naq jngpurq gur dhnqengvp rdhngvba cnpx vgf ont,
naq rira abj nf lbh zrzbevmr gur beqre bs gur cynargf,

September 21, 2015

Awkward Moment at Work Giveaway!

Awkward Moment At Work puts players in terrifically awkward social situations in the workplace! Players gather a hand of reactions and together face embarrassing, hysterical, or stressful events. How awkward! Gameplay pulls from moment, decider, and reaction cards. Discovered your boss’ Facebook page is full of company complaints? Tech innovation committee didn’t invite the older coworkers? Maybe you faked a British accent during an interview and got hired. Players choose their reaction based on deciders like “Most likely to get you promoted” and of course the ever-practical “What would Batman do?” Is it best to ask for a raise, belch loudly, or do an interpretive dance? It’s up to the judge.

September 14, 2015

Smorball wins “Best Serious Game” award at the Boston Festival of Indie Games 2015

On Saturday the Tiltfactor team took Smorball to the Boston Festival of Indie Games. Our computers were constantly filled, as players loved the game and fiercely competed to top each others’ high scores!

smorball-at-bfig

Then, at the end of the day we were surprised and thrilled that Smorball won the “Best Serious Game” Figgie award, over the 100+ games in attendance at the Festival!  The award itself was presented by Cambridge City Councillor Leland Cheung, and he spoke about how playing Smorball is more than just playing a game – it’s a form of civic engagement.

smorball-figgie-nohat

September 8, 2015

Explorers of Bottomless Pit Return with Treasure

from Post Position
by @ 2:04 pm
They found the key.

They found the key.

Far from plunging us into darkness, Reading Project: A Collaborative Analysis of William Poundstone’s Project for Tachistoscope {Bottomless Pit} provides brilliant and multifaceted reflections on a rapid, serial electronic literature work. (You can read Bottomless Pit for free online, by the way, in ELCv1 and on Poundstone’s site.)

August 25, 2015

Paging Babel

from Post Position
by @ 11:20 pm

About 12 hours ago I was reading a text by Ulises Carrión, one that I’d read before but which I hadn’t fully considered and engaged with. As I thought about Carrión’s writing, I felt compelled to put together a short piece on the Web. That took the form of a Web page containing a rapidly-moving concrete poem. The work I devised is called “Una página de Babel.”

August 19, 2015

Tumblrs of the Everyday

from Post Position
by @ 7:43 pm

I collaborate with Flourish Klink on two very specific Tumblr blogs, which are both open for submissons.

street_crts

streetcrts.tumblr.com features photos of CRT televisions (or monitors) that have been placed on the street to allow others to take them away, or to allow them to be removed as trash.

xp_in_the_roost

xavierpauchard.tumblr.com chronicles, in photos, the legacy of industrial/furniture designer Xavier Pauchard, who, without formal training, designed steel furniture early in the 20th century that seems to be in about 1/5 of all New York restaurants, bars, and coffeehouses, and in many, many other places worldwide. Pauchard does not, as of this writing, even have an English-language Wikipedia entry.

August 11, 2015

Running All Night

from Post Position
by @ 8:39 pm

A recent production of mine, Running All Night, was shown at Babycastles in New York recently during the Playdate, July 23-August 7, 2015.

The piece is a 128-byte Commodore 64 program that functions as a clock or timer. It was executing during the whole show and presented a different image every moment of the day. Here’s once glance as what it looked like as it ran on a TV turned to face the window.

Running All NIght at Babycastles

There was also a TV inside and a single page (dot-matrix printed) of the assembly source code.

July 29, 2015

Remarker #1 Is Out

from Post Position
by @ 2:58 pm

Remarker #1

This month I published a zine in the form of a bookmark. It’s available by asking me for a copy, asking a contributor for a copy, or going to my local radical bookstore, Bluestockings, at 172 Allen Street, New York, NY. If you wish to find Remarker there you must, alas, look under the register among the freebies (and advertisements), not among the “grown up” zines. The upside is that Remarker is free.

July 20, 2015

The Great Vowel Shift

from Post Position
by @ 6:45 pm

My first PuzzleScript game is a concrete poem that, after a few levels, taunts you, the player, with a metapuzzle.

great_vowel_1

great_vowel_2

It’s “The Great Vowel Shift.”

July 16, 2015

You Have Been Offered ‘More Tongue’

from Post Position
by @ 3:10 pm

I just put a new poetry generator up. This one was released in inchoate form at @party, the Boston area demoparty. I’ve finished it, now, writing an HTML page of 2kb that employs JavaScript to generate nonsense poems that I, at least, find rather amusing.

More Tongue (paused)

‘More Tongue’ is available in an expanded version (functioning the same but with uncompressed code and more meaningful variable and function names) which I suggest for just about everyone, since I encourage everyone to study and modify the code, for fun, for art, and so on. If you want to see the 2k version working, that’s there too.

June 29, 2015

Seeking Program Director for Professional Games MS

UCSC logo

Interested in working on innovative games, with passionate people, in an academic position in Silicon Valley?

We’re seeking a leader for the UC Santa Cruz professional MS in Games and Playable Media. The MS is offered through our Silicon Valley campus, now expanding into a new building (with about 5000 sq ft dedicated to the program) and in active planning to shift to a two year program.

The position will include working both with our current game faculty and with new personnel hired specifically for the program. The degree is focused on expanding the possibilities for games — and on helping students build the skills and connections they need for what they want to do next.

June 24, 2015

Curing Games’ Amnesia with NLP

GameSage

Video game playing is plagued by amnesia. One reason is that there are no good tools for finding related video games across time. Everything is focused on the present or future. Yet if you are fascinated by a certain game, the best next games to investigate are not necessarily the other ones featured in Amazon’s “bought together” display.

June 21, 2015

@Party 2015 Productions

from Post Position
by @ 3:38 pm

I had five productions (one of them a collaboration) this time around at @Party, the Boston-area demoparty.

Browser demo: “More Tongue.” This was, well, not really a standard demo, even for a browser demo, that generates nonsense poems with compact code. Like everything at demoparties, it’s been released, but I’m going to work on a post-party version, so I’m leaving the party version out of this list.

Wild: “Shortcat.”

Shortcat is a very simple encoding scheme to make bytes (thus computer programs) into pleasing Unicode tweets, IMs, etc. #demoscene

Encoder: cat x.prg | perl -pe ‘binmode STDOUT,”:utf8″;tr/x00-xff/x{2500}-x{25ff}/;’ > x.txt #demoscene

June 11, 2015

Shebang Bash at Babycastles, July 2

from Post Position
by @ 12:04 pm

Shebang Bash is a two-part event at Babycastles (137 West 14th Street, Floor 2, New York City) on Thursday, July 2.

It'll be sort of like this reading in Saint Petersburg, but with projectors.

It’ll be sort of like this reading in Saint Petersburg, but with projectors and a workshop beforehand.

The workshop (beginning at 6pm) provides an opportunity for anyone to begin developing computational poetry by modifying existing programs. Those without programming experience are particularly encouraged to attend. Workshop participants will develop, share, and discuss their work. Participants must register in advance and bring their own notebook computer running Linux, Mac OS, or Windows. (A tablet or phone will not suffice; computers are not available at the gallery.) Those who wish to can show and/or read from their work during the second part of Shebang Bash, although presenting during the reading isn’t a requirement.

“Apple II vs. Commodore 64″ Trope Tank Video

from Post Position
by @ 11:33 am

Apple Commodore videoErik Stayton’s 12-minute video “Apple II vs. Commodore 64″ is now up on YouTube. It’s shot in the Trope Tank with him in conversation with me there. We discuss several of the things you’d experience in emulation, but also make reference to material specifics of these systems and the two specific computers and controllers that were used.

Erik played three quite different games that we had on hand, on disk, for both systems: Skyfox, World Karate Championship, and Hacker. Besides discussing graphics and sound quality, we also talk about the playability of these games with the controllers we have and issues such as loading times.

June 9, 2015

Dartmouth’s Tiltfactor Launches Games to Improve Access to Biodiversity Heritage Library Content

pressRelease_dartmouthLogo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media contact: Amy D. Olson | Amy.D.Olson@dartmouth.edu | 603-646-3274

Dartmouth’s Tiltfactor Launches Games to Improve Access to Biodiversity Heritage Library Content

Smorball and Beanstalk Allow Players to Transcribe Texts through Play

HANOVER, N.H. – June 9, 2015 – Today, Dartmouth College’s Tiltfactor, an interdisciplinary studio that designs and studies games for social impact, announced the launch of two new crowdsourcing games, Smorball (smorballgame.org) and Beanstalk (beanstalkgame.org). The games have been created to improve access to books and journals online in the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) collection by verifying the accuracy of text previously encoded by optical character recognition software.

Dartmouth’s Tiltfactor Launches Games to Improve Access to Biodiversity Heritage Library Content

from Tiltfactor » Tiltfactor |
by @ 7:01 am

pressRelease_dartmouthLogo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media contact: Amy D. Olson | Amy.D.Olson@dartmouth.edu | 603-646-3274

Dartmouth’s Tiltfactor Launches Games to Improve Access to Biodiversity Heritage Library Content

Smorball and Beanstalk Allow Players to Transcribe Texts through Play

HANOVER, N.H. – June 9, 2015 – Today, Dartmouth College’s Tiltfactor, an interdisciplinary studio that designs and studies games for social impact, announced the launch of two new crowdsourcing games, Smorball (smorballgame.org) and Beanstalk (beanstalkgame.org). The games have been created to improve access to books and journals online in the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) collection by verifying the accuracy of text previously encoded by optical character recognition software.

May 13, 2015

Role Playing Game to Change Ideas on Public Health

New research at the Tiltfactor Game Research Laboratory at Dartmouth College indicates that people’s thinking about public health policies and spending priorities can be shifted through a novel new game genre–role playing sports.

A key challenge in public health in the United States is lowering costs by focusing on health priorities. Often, these priorities are discovered by complex visualizations and in-depth workshops such as those sponsored by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Aligning Forces for Quality initiative. Research groups across the country have taken a variety of approaches to rethinking health spending, for example. ReThink Health, an initiative from The Rippel Foundation, offers a robust dynamic modeling system for testing and visualizing scenarios and changes to the whole US health system.

May 4, 2015

Crowdsourcing Work goes to Washington

Tiltfactor is proud to announce the NEH and IMLS
Co-Funded event to discuss Future of Crowdsourcing at 
#crowdcon 

 

Hanover NH— This week, lead organizers Dartmouth College and the University of Maryland-College Park, announce “Engaging the Public: Best Practices in Crowdsourcing across the Disciplines,” a workshop to gather by invitation over 60 leaders from the humanities, sciences, and cultural heritage domains in order to move the national discussion about crowdsourcing forward.

Donald Brinkman on “Tin Cupping for Plutonium” (Media Systems)

How can people embedded in large, for-profit companies find a way to direct some of the present expertise and resources to make a positive difference? In this talk from the Media Systems gathering, Donald Brinkman describes how he has worked to do this within Microsoft. In particular, he describes Microsoft’s role in enabling the digital projects engaging the AIDS Memorial Quilt that were also discussed in Anne Balsamo’s talk.

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