August 31, 2011

Jacket 2 Interview

from Post Position
by @ 6:42 pm

Steve McLaughlin interviewed me using the medium of audio recording and has posted the result, along with a photo of me in my office, at Jacket2. In this interview for “Into the Field,” I read from and discuss my book of poems Riddle & Bind and some other curious work.

Nick in his office by the Asteroids machine

Last Chance!

from tiltfactor
by @ 10:47 am

Today is the last chance to get POX at the preorder discount! So order today if you want to buy POX for $21.95, because tomorrow it will cost $25!

Tomorrow if you have ‘liked’ our facebook page, then you’ll have a chance to win a free POX game and Tilt T-shirt! So if you haven’t done so yet, ‘like’ Tiltfactor right now!

August 29, 2011

Tiltfactor back to its Tilt Business

from tiltfactor
by @ 8:44 pm

We weathered the storm without mishap — and even had some leftovers! Now, the group is gearing up for a fruitful fall production period. Thanks to everyone who pitched in to make sure Tilt folks stayed safe. Our hearts go out to those whose homes and businesses have been destroyed by the flooding; the team wants you to know that we care and carry thoughts for you. We find ourselves very grateful that the lab, Dartmouth campus, and nearby surrounds went untouched.

First Digital Lit, First Video Game?

Media Archaeology Cover

What was the first work of digital literature, or digital art? What was the first video game — the first computer game played with graphical display? These are the sorts of questions that come up when we start rummaging around in the pasts of fields, thinking about the boundaries, and thinking about trajectories that might have been.

I offer my thoughts on these questions — one answer considered, one initial and speculative — in the new book Media Archaeology: Approaches, Applications, and Implications, edited by Erkki Huhtamo and Jussi Parikka.

August 27, 2011

Brave on, Bravo!

from tiltfactor
by @ 9:51 pm

Tiltfactor at Dartmouth College readies the Lab for Hurricane Irene: Lab Director Mary Flanagan finds the fire-resistant suit and begins lab preparedness…ah… preparation.

Matt Cloyd, Intern, continues to batten down the hatches– and storm windows, and power supplies, and snacks … and…

We suspect lab manager Sukie Punjasthitkul is behind the acquisition of the Flame Retardant Suit, but we cannot confirm this. He is a very prepared person.

Have no fear! Tiltfactor will brave on and make games!  In fact, tonight is a research night, playing Tichu with Mary’s relatives til the wee hours. It is the best meta-game ever! Bridge, meets 500, meets go fish, meets crazy eights, meets poker. Awesome!

August 24, 2011

Another Note from Passo Fundo

from Post Position
by @ 7:56 pm

Here’s another article about my talk today in Passo Fundo. It’s in Brazilian Portuguese, and has a less maniacal photo accompanying it than did the last article I mentioned. The Babelfish provides this translation into English.

Nick Montfort answering questions in Passo Fundo

Winter in Brazil, Southern Edition

from Post Position
by @ 12:26 pm

Like my collaborator Noah Wardrip-Fruin, I have come to Brazil for the winter. But not to a nice warm part of Brazil — I’m in Passo Fundo, in the far South, at the 14th Jornada Nacional de Literatura. Here, it has been cold outside, but there has been great excitement about writing and literary art.

Nick Montfort speaking in Passo Fundo

I have been correctly identified as a space man as I’ve shown and discussed interactive fiction, poetry generation, and other forms of electronic literature.

August 22, 2011

Winter in Brazil: Regions of Narrative, Software Studies

Regions of Narrative Billboard

It’s winter in Rio, but I still spent a serene morning watching the waves, while mist clung to the green hills behind.

So why the picture of a sign? It’s something even more unusual, for a visitor from the US, than a beautiful beach: a mall billboard advertising an event full of professors!

In this case it’s the Regions of Narrative / Regioes Narrativas event that brings me to Rio, running the 24th and 25th at the House of Science / Casa da Ciência. It looks like a great event — with some familiar faces and some people I’m looking forward to meeting. I’ll be talking about the present and future of game narrative, including Prom Week.

August 19, 2011

MIT Seeks Asst Prof in Science Writing

from Post Position
by @ 6:50 pm

MIT’s Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies, in the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, is seeking a tenure-track assistant professor in science writing to start in the Fall of 2012. The Program offers undergraduate courses in science writing and a one-year Master’s degree program in Science Writing. Candidates for the new tenure-track position should have significant publications, productions, or research; and/or advanced degrees combined with demonstrated accomplishment in the public communication of science. The field of specialization may be in science writing for the public, science writing/production in audio, video and or new/digital media, long-form science writing, and/or journalism about science, technology/engineering, environment, health and medicine. Teaching experience is valuable, but not required. Applicants should apply via AcademicJobsOnline, by November 1, 2011. The selection committee will begin reviewing applications in November and schedule interviews in December 2011. MIT is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.

August 17, 2011

POX Giveaway

from tiltfactor
by @ 12:08 pm

We want POX (the game) to spread everywhere, so Tiltfactor is announcing the POX Outbreak Giveaway. Simply ‘like’ our facebook page for a chance to win a free copy of POX!

On 9/1 we will draw 2 names from everyone liking our facebook page. First prize is a copy of POX – 2nd Edition. The runner up will receive a Tiltfactor T-shirt.

What are you waiting for? Start liking!

August 16, 2011

POX Game Shipping Early!

from tiltfactor
by @ 2:39 pm

Thanks to everyone for the tremendous response we received at Gen Con!

Because there was so much interest in POX, we’ve decided to start shipping the second edition early! No need to wait until September. In fact, if you order before September 1st you’ll still get the discounted pre-order price of $21.95 USD!

August 11, 2011

Why Emily Dickinson Would Use GNU/Linux

from Post Position
by @ 1:29 pm

With Blue — uncertain — stumbling Buzz —
Between the light — and me —
And then the Windows failed — and then
I could not see to see —

">— J465/F591

August 10, 2011

Electrifying Literature: The ELO 2012 Conference at WVU

from Post Position
by @ 11:26 pm

Call for Proposals…

ELO 2012

Electrifying Literature
Affordances and Constraints

June 20-23, 2012
Morgantown, WV

Conference Planning Committee

  • Sandy Baldwin, West Virginia University (Chair)
  • Philippe Bootz, University of Paris 8
  • Dene Grigar, Washington State University Vancouver
  • Margie Luesebrink, Irvine Valley College
  • Mark Marino, University of Southern California
  • Stuart Moulthrop, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
  • Joseph Tabbi, University of Illinois, Chicago

Electrifying Literature: The ELO 2012 Conference at WVU

from Post Position
by @ 11:26 pm

Call for Proposals…

ELO 2012

Electrifying Literature
Affordances and Constraints

June 20-23, 2012
Morgantown, WV

Conference Planning Committee

  • Sandy Baldwin, West Virginia University (Chair)
  • Philippe Bootz, University of Paris 8
  • Dene Grigar, Washington State University Vancouver
  • Margie Luesebrink, Irvine Valley College
  • Mark Marino, University of Southern California
  • Stuart Moulthrop, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
  • Joseph Tabbi, University of Illinois, Chicago

ELO on the Move to MIT

from Post Position
by @ 6:22 pm
ELO logo

The Electronic Literature Organization is moving its headquarters to MIT this summer. The organization is an international nonprofit with many partner institutions, but the main office is a particularly important site for the ELO – hence, I want to thank the ELO’s former hosts MITH (at the University of Maryland) and UCLA, which have generously sustained the organization for most of its existence since its founding in 1999. As the current president, I’m very glad that MIT will be the ELO’s host. I’ll be working with others to form a lasting relationship. As we continue to serve our international membership and pursue our mission, we’re going to have many fun events and collaborations based at MIT.

Twilight Struggle on the Tabletop

Twilight Struggle Cover

Pat Harrigan and I have just published an essay on the remarkable game Twilight Struggle in a new book that Greg Costikyan and Drew Davidson edited for ETC Press: Tabletop: Analog Game Design. We find Twilight Struggle fascinating — it is not just a game about the Cold War, in which one recapitulates many key events of that period through play, but a game that requires thinking like a cold warrior.

Tiltfactor Announces New NSF Project

from tiltfactor
by @ 1:32 pm

After reveling in the glow of Gen-Con (check out the photos on FB), our Lab director Mary Flanagan has just announced that starting this September, we are launching into a new project to develop games that explore nuanced aspects of stereotype threat and implicit bias! The  project “Transforming Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) For Women and Girls: Reworking Stereotypes & Bias” has three primary goals: 1) To understand how games could be used to shift the current cultural understandings around STEM fields; 2) challenge these stereotypes by making learning activities into games for girls– and the community–to play, and 3) develop a set a of design principles in order to recommend approaches to activities and games that increase girls’ self esteem and interest in STEM. Resulting games that incorporate the design principles will be tested with the target audience, iterated, and released for distribution on the Tiltfactor.org website and in partnership with Seattle’s EdLab, home of the National Girls Collaborative Project.

August 9, 2011

Skinner’s Gamification vs. CBT, etc.

from tiltfactor
by @ 8:23 pm

A variety of folks have been reacting to Ian Bogost’s “Gamification is Bullshit” post today (with which, for the record, I largely concur.)

This is one of my favorite responses.

The whole essay is fantastic, but I want to take a second to point out something of an aside of Mr. Nelson’s:

“…perhaps we could also read from the large body of research in areas like cognitive behavioral therapy, which includes a lot of thinking on quite relevant questions, such as how to use extrinsic interventions in a way that guides a user towards intrinsic motivation, rather than making them dependent on Skinner-box-like motivational approaches”

August 6, 2011

On Crafting in Games

from tiltfactor
by @ 7:17 am

I have two main thrusts for this post; first, the experience of crafting/creating in real life and how that might possibly inform the process of crafting and creating in a game, and second, the impact of tools (or lack thereof) on same.  And I am starting out with a little bit of an introduction about why this concept of Creativity should be considered to span more games than “just” MMOs, where the word crafting has direct application.

Further, crafting and creation seems the most direct possible application of the concepts behind user-generated content, yet those applications have been ignored or, worse, actively thwarted (as in the case of The Sims.)

1. Creativity

August 2, 2011

GenCon’s A-Comin’!

from tiltfactor
by @ 12:55 pm

And we’re oh-so excited. Gen-Con: Release your inner gamer! August 4-7, in Indianapolis. As someone new to the Tiltfactor team, I feel such enthusiasm in the lab during game-play testing that I swear it’s contagious. Gladly, no vaccine for enthusiasm is necessary. Speaking of things being contagious, Pox’s popularity had us itching to ship in some more copies of the game, and now that they’ve arrived, I get feverish just looking at the sleek, sweet packaging! Okay, okay, no more pox puns.

Come meet us all at our Gen-Con Booth. We will have Grow-a-Game as well as our Giant Pox, Normal POX: Save the People, and a massively cool new SECRET game we’re testing on-site!

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