Medieval Ethics: Designing Historical Systems

Apr 15, 15 Medieval Ethics: Designing Historical Systems

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We live our lives immersed in numerous complex systems – systems of meaning, economic systems, information networks, large socio-technical systems, and so forth.  One of the things that make videogames interesting is that they allow us to momentarily step into a different set of systems and play with them.  We often refer to...

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Beyond Trees: Tech Webs, ANTs, and Black Boxes

Nov 26, 14 Beyond Trees:  Tech Webs, ANTs, and Black Boxes

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Videogames have an amazing potential for modeling societal processes.  At the same time, videogames also embody the worldview of their creators on a procedural level.  As such, it is a rare thing when a game is able to move beyond popular understandings of the world and approach it from a new and interesting direction.  As...

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Excavating Code: An Archaeological Record of Software Development

Oct 22, 14 Excavating Code: An Archaeological Record of Software Development

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Over the last few weeks, I’ve been in the process of relearning C++.  Of course, saying that I am “relearning” is perhaps giving me too much credit, as it has been almost fifteen years since my first attempt at mastering the language.  While it shares a good deal of syntax with other languages I’m more...

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Dwarf NORAD: A Glimpse of Counterfactual Computing History

Aug 06, 14 Dwarf NORAD:  A Glimpse of Counterfactual Computing History

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When most people think about the kind of super-high-performance games people build custom PCs for, they probably imagine some first-person shooter with fast action, huge explosions, and millions of polygons being rendered to the screen at real time.  Few people would think of Dwarf Fortress, a game that is rendered with simple...

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Social Construction of Technology in Games

Jun 11, 14 Social Construction of Technology in Games

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Technological development influences the way we live and interact with the world on a deep level.  Technological artifacts like computers and cars dictate how our society functions and how we relate to one another.  These influences are so pervasive throughout our everyday lives that it’s sometimes difficult to imagine...

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