August 21, 2014
If I had a Facebook account, it would be tagged as satire.
August 20, 2014
Yesterday first-person-shooter Borges, intimate, infinite, and based on prose; today cut-up Spenser, mutable and poetic.
This dynamic digital poetry piece, by Stephen Pentecost, is quite compelling. The author writes:
The Mutable Stanzas is a digital poetry installation and deformance experiment inspired by Raymond Queneau’s Cent Mille Milliards de Poèmes, by the work by Jerome McGann et al on “Deformance and Interpretation,” and by the work of my collegues in the Humanities Digital Workshop.
The Mutable Stanzas disassembles Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene into its constituent lines, groups lines according to terminal rhyme, then randomly reassembles lines into new stanzas.
August 19, 2014
Robert Yang’s latest is a first-person-shooter version of Jorge Luis Borges’s “The Garden of Forking Paths.” With a lovingly off-kilter translation (befitting its “original”) and with visuals and (quite minimal) interaction that suits the experience, this is an extraordinary set of linked mini-games, well worth the short amount of time it takes to get through them, and worth offering at least a bit for this pay-what-you-will game.
Check out Intimate, Infinite.
August 18, 2014
We are excited to announce Tiltfactor’s newest partnership with the American Antiquarian Society (AAS), which houses the largest and most accessible collection of printed materials from the United States, the West Indies, and parts of Canada pre-1876.
August 11, 2014
Just out: Introduction to Game Analysis, a book that covers many different approaches to understanding games, and particularly (although not exclusively) videogames. (Check the availability of the book online.) It’s by Clara Fernández-Vara, now on the faculty at the Game Center at NYU, who did one of the first digital media PhDs at Georgia Tech and was for many years my colleague here at MIT – I’m glad she was also part my of lab, The Trope Tank, for some of that time. Fernández-Vara is a scholar of games and an award-winning maker of games as well, and in both cases her emphasis has been on adventure games.
Tiltfactor Lab is pioneering an innovative method for data preservation. Metadata Games aims to be a useful and fun means of preserving archival materials as libraries and museums move into an increasingly digitalized world. Metadata Games aims to be a means to draw in larger communities to help libraries, museums, and archives to augment their records of materials. Through crowdsourcing, the games being developed take advantage of the powers of technology and societal efforts in order to “tag” and code material to represent the content and meaning of media items. The most common and standardized format for the generation of metadata is to create tags, in the form of single words or short phrases. In order to make media items, such as photographs, films, and audio clips, more accessible, those archives must be presented with accurate descriptions and connections with similar work or information.
August 7, 2014
I was delighted to see that my latest book, #!, a book of programs & poems, made the July Poetry bestseller list for Small Press Distribution. SPD is the distributor for my press, Counterpath, along with many other fine presses that publish poetry. #! (which is pronounced “Shebang”) came in at lucky number 13 last month.
August 6, 2014
A self-portrait taken by a monkey is at issue in a copyright dispute. Wikimedia claims that it would belong to the monkey, if non-human animals could hold copyrights, and because they can’t, it’s in the public domain. The owner of the camera has another idea. Here’s The Telegraph on the subject. Also, the Wikipedia page where the photo appears, and the full-size photo with Wikimedia’s copyright position available via the media viewer.
August 5, 2014
The call for submission for the Electronic Literature Collection volume 3 has been posted. If you do digital work that has one or more literary aspects (even if it’s more often called art or a game), in any language, please check it out. The collective is an excellent group and the direction for this collection is an exciting one.
August 2, 2014
latest Drawn & Quarterly publication is a formidable follow-up to Big Questions. The accordion book holds the human stories of forgotten (and current) gods, told in text and striking silhouettes.
August 1, 2014
Long ago (well, at the end of 2012) I was asked by .Cent magazine, a free-to-read, nicely designed online multimedia publication out of London, for a few comments about my work and my approach to electronic literature. Amazingly, having recently unearthed my responses, I find that they are still relevant! You can read my answers and the rest of the issue in its full splendor, but, very belatedly, I’ll offer my response here as well:
July 31, 2014
The latest technical report (or “Trope Report”) to issue from the Trope Tank is TROPE-14-01, “New Novel Machines: Nanowatt and World Clock“ by Nick Montfort:
July 29, 2014
(My Philosoraptor question for the day…)
July 24, 2014
Our lab director Mary Flanagan and her long time collaborator Helen Nissenbaum are proud to announce the release of Values at Play in Digital Games, just published by MIT Press! The book starts from the idea that human principles, or values, are already embedded in any game. They then present a practical framework for not only identifying values in games, but guiding designers to design for values in their work.
Inspired by the Value-Sensitive Design community and critical technical practice proponents, the authors started this values-centered game design movement with the Values at Play project, which features a curriculum, video interviews with designers, free design tools, and more.
July 21, 2014
The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) was recently awarded a $449,641 grant by the Institute of Museum and Library Services to research and test new means of using crowdsourcing and gaming to support the enrichment of some 40 million documents from the BHL. We are excited to announce that as part of this grant, Tiltfactor has been selected by BHL consortium member, the Missouri Botanical Garden, as the designer to develop games to aid in the verification of transcribed field notes and other documents in BHL’s vast collection!
July 16, 2014
The games are incredibly popular! Thanks, fans, for making it all happen!! Now, along with our new games (hush hush!) and nifty research, getting our games to the Continent is our next priority. We receive many many requests for games, including Grow a Game, all across Europe, and we know shipping is a real bear. We’re hoping to make this easier soon!
July 14, 2014
If you’ve been looking for my latest book, #!, and are looking to buy it online, check isbn.nu. At the moment of posting, it’s available from three sellers, one on pre-order. Barnes & Noble is the bookseller with the lowest price and fastest delivery; Amazon.com offers to get it to you 3-4 weeks later.
In Cambridge, I have yet to see the book on shelves, but I know copies are at least on order (if not readied for purchase) at the MIT Press Bookstore and the Harvard Bookstore. And, Grolier Poetry Book Shop also had a few copies.
July 13, 2014
Clocks are great machines to design, at least from my perspective as a designer of software machines. My classes have had unusual clock design as an exercise; time-telling systems are not interactive, provide a lot of freedom to the designer, and yet require programmers to develop general functions that work for any time of the day. I know that Michael Mateas and Paolo Pedercini have students program clocks, too. I’ve appreciated software clocks by John Maeda and others, and it’s nice to have a clock as a standard example in Processing.
I can no longer keep myself from commenting on the Facebook “emotional manipulation” study. Alas. Here are several points.
- Do you want your money back?
- Don’t we only know about this study done on 689,003 people because it was written up and reported on in a prestigious journal?
- Could it be that other studies might have been done, or might be going on right now, or might happen in the future, and we might know nothing about them because their results will be kept as proprietary information?
July 11, 2014
…is really excellent. Anyone interested in Harry’s work, or, more broadly, the Oulipo, should read it. Thanks, of course, to Barbara Henning for doing the interview and EOAGH for publishing it.
July 7, 2014
Tiltfactor researcher Geoff recently represented the lab (and the Metadata Games project in particular) at the 2014 Human Computation Roadmap Summit, held at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, from June 18-20. This 2.5 day workshop, which brought together a diverse array of scholars, researchers, and industry representatives from the field of human computation, focused on identifying key success stories and laying out potential future research directions concerning the use of various facets of human computation (including systems such as crowdsourcing platforms, social networks, and online games) for the betterment of society. In addition to utilizing a number of unique and creative approaches to trigger thought and discussion (e.g., an illuminating conversation with scientist and author David Brin centering on the value of science fiction in highlighting future horizons for human computation), the summit gave participants the opportunity to form smaller working groups to devise and iteratively refine a set of detailed research roadmaps for the potential employment of human computation to address a particular social cause or issue.
July 6, 2014
The New York Times has an article (online today, in print tomorrow) entitled “Text Games in a New Era of Stories,” about ye olde interactive fiction and new-fangled manifestations of it, including Ms. Porpentine’s Howling Dogs and Ms. Short’s Blood & Laurels.
(Okay, it must be admitted that even The New York Times didn’t refer to the author of Howling Dogs as “Ms. Porpentine.”)
July 4, 2014
Exciting news for Polish-readers (and, I think, others): The new issue of Techsty, number 9, is out. You might think that a “Techsty” is just a place where infopigs like me live, but it’s actually a long-running site (since 2001) on digital literature, with an esteemed journal that has been published since 2003.