We’re excited to announce the release of the report on our large research project on bias and women in STEM! Check out Cutting Through the Bias: Using Games and Interactive Experiences to Transform Bias Against Women in STEM is now available on Amazon! This book is an indispensable document of our innovative research and study findings. The book also outlines interventions and prototypes that can be used by educators to reduce the impact of bias in the classroom.
March 3, 2020
February 2, 2020
When it rains, it pours, which matters even on the sea.
Thanks to bug reports by Barry Roundtree and Jan Grant, via the 2020 Critical Code Studies Working Group (CCSWG), there is now another new version of Sea and Spar Between which includes additional bug fixes affecting the interface as well as the generation of language.
As before, all the files in this version 1.0.2.are available in a zipfile, for those who care to study or modify them.
January 30, 2020
Stephanie Strickland and I published the first version of Sea and Spar Between in 2010, in Dear Navigator, a journal no longer online. In 2013 The Winter Anthology republished it. That year we also provided another version of this poetry system for Digital Humanities Quarterly (DHQ), cut to fit the toolspun course, identical in terms of how it functions but including, in comments within the code, what is essentially a paper about the detailed workings of the system. In those comments, we wrote:
The following syllables, which were commonly used as words by either Melville or Dickinson, are combined by the generator into compound words.
December 3, 2019
Years ago we created a board game, POX: Save the People, a gane tgat helped players understand infections diseases, as well as ZOMBIEPOX and POX: Save the Puppies, about vaccinating pets. Watch a video about the project, read an interview, and read one paper about an empirical study, looking at the basic question of whether transferring a public health game from an analog to a digital format would impact players’ perceptions of the game and the efficacy of the game for stimulating changes to beliefs and cognitions; or read paper two which looked at the design process and how we modeled “herd immunity.” We love public health, with or without the undead.
November 16, 2019
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak November;
And each separate bit and pixel wrought a novel on GitHub.
April may be the cruelest month, and now the month associated with poetry, but November is the month associated with novel-writing, via NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. Now, thanks to an offhand comment by Darius Kazemi and the work of Hugo van Kemenade, November is also associated with the computer-generation of novels, broadly speaking. Any computer program and its 50,000 word+ output qualifies as an entry in NaNoGenMo, National Novel Generation Month.
October 23, 2019
The next game developed at Tiltfactor, Clowns Applaud Insanity, is now being published by Resonym! It’s a hilarious black and white party card game filled with adults-only humor, and after writing and rewriting its cards for years now, I’m excited to make it available to the world.
Draw a question card, like “With our planet doomed, our only chance for survival is ___________.” Then all other players submit their funniest answer card, like “Nothing” or “Nick Offerman chained to a power-generating exercycle.” Choose the most hilarious answer, and the player who submitted it gets an “Applause Point.” Play until you get bored, then whoever has the most points wins.
October 9, 2019
In addition to her game design work, Director Mary Flanagan has also been creating new pieces as a part of her fine arts practice! These range from technologically-driven 2D images to experiential projections and sculptures. Her work covers a broad range of issues including language, artificial intelligence, and acts of mass violence.
Read about her work and subscribe for more updates here!
July 16, 2019
This week Professor Mary Flanagan of Tiltfactor joins Laura Knoy of NHPR, and Dr. Paul Weigle, a child and adolescent psychiatrist who studies the mental health impacts of video game and internet habits of young people, in a conversation about how to study the impacts of video game design.
Read the transcript or listen to the recording here: Video Game Design: How It Impacts Us, And How We Study Its Impacts
July 11, 2019
We’ve just completed data collection on our VR study!
Stay tuned for more information as we submit our results for publication…!
July 2, 2019
The untitled poem by Eugen Gomringer that we can only call “silencio” is a classic, perhaps the classic, concrete poem. According to Marjorie Perloff’s Unoriginal Genius, the “silencio” version of the poem dates from 1953. In my 1968 edition of The Book of Hours and Constellations I find the German manifestation of this poem (with the word “schweigen”) and the English poem (with the word “silence”), on the same page at the very beginning of the book — but no “silencio.” The place where I do find “silencio” is An Anthology of Concrete Poetry from 1967, edited by Emmett Williams. My copy is the re-issue by Primary Information.
May 15, 2019
Grace is a sophomore at Dartmouth College doing game design, development, and research at Tiltfactor
There’s a reason computer science majors are stereotyped as being socially awkward. It’s because we are. That’s why when I started working at Tiltfactor, the one part of the job I was not sure I could handle was the communication with other people. It is also the area of the job that I have learned the most from.
May 10, 2019
Professor Flanagan talks about the future of work and automation on The Exchange. Check out the show!
May 8, 2019
Patrick Matlin Redondo is a senior at Dartmouth College and a game designer and researcher at Tiltfactor
Over the past year or so the Tiltfactor team has been working on a virtual reality puzzle game called “Entangled.” In Entangled, you’re trapped in a room, but you’re able to see a parallel dimension superimposed on yours. You can’t touch things in the other dimension, but you can get things in your dimension to overlap with things in the other dimension, “entangling” them and allowing you to manipulate them across both.
February 13, 2019
Buffalo Facilitator’s Workbook: A Game-Based Guide to Leading Difficult Conversations Debuts on Amazon
New workbook turns fun, fast-paced party game into a workshop that can be used by organizations to facilitate difficult, but much-needed conversations
HANOVER, NH– Tiltfactor, creators of Buffalo: The Name Dropping Game, have announced the debut of Buffalo Facilitator’s Workbook: A Guide to Leading Conversations to Reduce Implicit Bias. The workbook takes Buffalo, a fast-paced party game, and turns gameplay into a workshop that organizations can use to facilitate what can sometimes be difficult workplace conversations.
January 15, 2019
During Synchrony 2019, on the train from New York City to Montreal, two of us (nom de nom and shifty) wrote a 64 byte Commodore 64 program which ended up in the Old School competition. (It could have also gone into the Nano competition for <=256 byte productions.) Our Alphabit edged out the one other fine entry in Old School,a Sega Genesis production by ModeDude also written on the train.
December 26, 2018
The second issue of Taper, a literary magazine featuring small-scale computational work, is now online.
The second issue was edited by Sebastian Bartlett, Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Angela Chang, Judy Heflin, and Rachel Paige Thompson, working collectively. Bad Quarto (my micropress) publishes the journal.
The call for issue #3 is posted. The deadline is February 18 (2019).
Taper #2 features 18 works by six a., Sebastian Bartlett, Kyle Booten, Angela Chang, Augusto Corvalan, Kavi Duvvoori, Esen Espinsa, Leonardo Flores, Judy Heflin, Chris Joseph, Vinicius Marquet, Stuart Moulthrop, Everest Pipkin, Mark Sample, and William Wu. Go take a look!
December 16, 2018
We’re trying to get into the habit of posting about all our publications, so here’s a post about the two things (one poster and one demo) I just got back from presenting at ICIDS 2018 last week!
The poster is called “Sketching a Map of the Storylets Design Space”, and the associated paper can be found here. Abstract:
October 9, 2018
For two weeks only (today through October 23), my limited-edition computer-generated book, Hard West Turn, is available for reading in an installation at Time Farm, underneath the MIT Press Bookstore, 301 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA.
Hard West Turn is a computer-generated novel about gun violence in the United States. The copy exhibited is one of three artist’s proofs; only 13 copies (one for each of the original states) were made for sale. The generating program is free software, but the specific copy-edited text of this book has only been made available in print. Hard West Turn will be regenerated annually for limited-edition publication each July 4.
August 26, 2018
At the recent ELO conference in Montréal Leonardo Flores introduced the concept of “3rd Generation” electronic literature. I was at another session during his influential talk, but I heard about the concept from him beforehand and have read about it on Twitter (a 3rd generation context, I believe) and Flores’s blog (more of a 2nd generation context, I believe). One of the aspects of this concept is that the third generation of e-lit writers makes use of existing platforms (Twitter APIs, for instance) rather than developing their own interfaces. Blogging is a bit different from hand-rolled HTML, but one administers one’s own blog.
August 15, 2018
Thanks to host Joseph Mosconi, I read at the Poetics Research Bureau in Los Angeles from two recent computer-generated books. Sophia Le Fraga and Aaron Winslow read with me on this evening, on July 21.
I read from The Truelist (Counterpath, 2017). The Truelist is available as an offset-printed book from Counterpath, as a short, deterministic, free software program that generates the full text of the book, and as a free audiobook, thanks to the generosity of the University of Pennsylvania’s Kelly Writers House, its Wexler Studio, and PennSound.
July 26, 2018
The Platform Studies series from MIT Press is now about ten years old. The first book in the series, my & Ian Bogost’s Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System, was published in 2009. (We also edit this series.) Before our book on the Atari VCS/Atari 2600 came out, we launched the site and announced the series, back at the end of 2006, and Ian and I were presenting about it at conferences the next year. So, although the exact birthday is uncertain, let’s say a (probably belated) happy 10th.
July 25, 2018
In 1984, a type-in program appeared in the French Hebdogiciel—no surprise there, since this weekly publication was all about type-in BASIC programs! This one, however, was not entirely unlike the games and mathematical recreations that typically appeared; it did, however, have an explicit link to a French 20th Century avant-garde movement, Surrealism. The program, by Philippe Henri, was for the TRS-80 and called “Cadavres Exquis.”
Ariane Savoire and I have translated this program to English (as “Exquisite Corpses”) are very pleased that the Vassar Review has just published the edition we have prepared, which includes:
July 1, 2018
David Byrne’s earworm takes a distant yet close perspective, describing a bullet’s fatal encounter with a human body. Did he know about Kaplan’s similar short, rapid, book-length poem? Byrne’s song sets its sights on an adult man, Kaplan’s poem on a child. The life of the child is hinted by describing what a warm maternal relationship is like, and by mentioning injuries from falling off a bunk bed and being hit by a baseball. We hear about the man’s life because of what the bullet cuts through: “Skin that women had touched,” “Many fine meals he tasted there,” “his heart with thoughts of you.” The general description is very effective. There are striking metaphors — positive associations — for the bullet itself, also. In Poem, it is a triumphant runner (such as Usain Bolt, who bears the name of a crossbow’s projectile) dragging gore from the body as if it were a trophy or banner. In “Bullet,” it is “Like an old grey dog / On a fox’s trail.” Perhaps America’s reliable old dog cannot be taught new tricks.
June 28, 2018
Procedural content generation (PCG) in games is often framed as a way to feed the content furnace, satisfying the voracious appetites of players by generating infinite seas of content for them to consume. Although this dominant framing provides a clear structuring purpose for PCG research, it also unnecessarily limits our vision of alternative purposes that generative methods might serve. Furthermore, generative systems designed with this purpose in mind may tend to reinforce certain problematic dynamics in game design. In this paper, we draw a contrast between two approaches to procedural terrain generation and the dynamics of play they tend to enable, which we term mining and gardening. We then extend this analysis to PCG more broadly and suggest that the latter (gardening) dynamic represents a viable and compelling alternative philosophy of how generative methods can be used in games.
May 22, 2018
Taper is a DIY literary magazine that hosts very short computational literary works — in the first issue, sonic, visual, animated, and generated poetry that is no more than 1KB, excluding comments and the standard header that all pages share. In the second issue, this constraint will be relaxed to 2KB.
The first issue has nine poems by six authors, which were selected by an editorial collective of four. Here is how this work looked when showcased today at our exhibit in the Trope Tank: