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Digital Sextant : Design
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{ Category Archives } Design

On Game Design: Go Play Outside

I wrote a little bit over at Rattlebox Games about playing games outside: This might be a bit of a conundrum.  The old stereotype of nerds huddling inside on nice sunny days isn’t entirely without merit, in part because of all the valuable cardboard bits our games have — we don’t want chlorine from the […]

On Game Design: Yes, and…

I’ve written a bit about the improv rule “Yes, and” over on the Rattlebox Games blog.  Check it out. …Like Improv, RPG storytelling takes real trust between the game master and the characters. And like Improvosational comedians, they need to remember the “yes, and” rule.  (“Yes, and” refers to the philosophy that Improv performers should […]

On Game Design: The Kitchen Sink

I am an unabashed sucker for Kitchen Sink games.  I don’t know where I first heard this idiom applied to game design, but I definitely can’t claim it for myself.  I’m using the term to describe the following kinds of games: They have lots of complex, interconnecting rules They have multiple game mechanics to learn, […]

Game Design: The Rules that used to know

Have you ever had a game whose rules you didn’t know as well as you thought you did?  Discovering that the rules are different than you thought can be a real blow–suddenly that game you thought you had all figured out is something else altogether.  It’s like somebody you used to know. Three stories: Nearly […]

Zombies online

Of course, knee deep in my current academic project, I look ahead to the next ones.  Aside from a couple ideas for books, I’m interested in thinking through ways to experiment with the massively online education course stuff.  I’m pretty sure I could get a grant from my school to develop something about this next […]

Project Book Shelf

During my recharge week (May 21-25), I had lots of academic work to do, but I also wanted to do something that activated a different part of my mind.  At the same time, one of my big tasks was to clean my office, something I try to do two or three times each year, usually […]

Callin my science peeps

This has happened to you.  You have a mug or a glass or something without a pouring spout, and you want to transfer some of your delicious beverage to another glass.  Despite having failed in this task before, you attempt to pour the beverage and end up spilling some down the side of the cup.  […]

Collaboration in the age of the ebook

How might the collaborative possibilities opened up by new technologies offer new ways to construct texts, demand new ways to think about texts, and ultimately change what we think a book might be? My talk will intersect a little bit with Kevin’s (especially as I bounce off the notions of the dynamic text) and a little bit off Teresa’s (especially with regard to the relationship between the book and its place in academic tenure and promotion evaluation). The new possibilities for collaborative scholarship will depend, in many ways, on the changes the digital era brings to how we understand the process of book writing, the distribution of book writing, and the place of text in the ephemeral digital world.

My Breuer

A short essay on Marcel Breuer and the Bauhaus spirit at my alma mater, St. John’s University, appeared recently on the BAUHAUS 9090 site. It’s the 18 August 2009 page. Isn’t that the delight of the Internet? You can retroactively publish something. Anyhow, here’s an excerpt from my essay about SJU’s Bauhaus buildings: …The campus […]

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Asterios Polyp

by David Mazzucchelli Asterios Polyp follows its eponymous architect through two phases of his life, his late-life career change after a fire and his earlier grim romance with his wife.  The comic also asks about the nature of identity, the world of graphic and architectural design, performance, lust, love, arrogance, and more.  It’s a richly […]


The Game

My Writing for New Media class watched The Game this week as part of their preparation for their ARG project (Alternate Reality Game). The idea of the project is to propose an Alternate Reality Game that one might fund if one had lots of money and even more time. Some new things I noticed this […]

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How to post a custom banner image in the Barthelme WordPress theme

I’ve had to look this up a couple times and have to keep re-learning it, so I’m just making a simple step-by-step here to explain the process. The default look for the Barthelme theme includes a gradient banner. If you want to replace the banner, it’s actually not too complicated, but you have to replace […]


What will they think of next?

So I’m working on a website created by someone else and I’m trying to figure out what font they used for the graphic headers at the top of the page (because, of course, they didn’t put the layered photoshop/fireworks files on the website, so I only have the .gifs). I can’t figure it out from […]

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SCMS roundup

I went to the Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference in Philly this last weekend. A good time was had by all, or by me at least. 1. My paper My presentation considered my same ol’ shtick, what happens to the detective as we enter electracy. This time I took a run at the […]

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A better mousetrap. Er, stapler.

I heard about this stapler on, um, boingboing or pharyngula, I think. I finally picked one up when Jenny swiped my desk stapler to use at school.  It’s called a “power ease” stapler; instead of transferring the unsteady, uneven, unreliable power of my hand directly to the staple, it stores that kinetic energy in a […]