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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Counterfactual History and The Conquest of Paradise

May 27, 14 Counterfactual History and The Conquest of Paradise

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While I’m a pretty big fan of strategy games in general, historical strategy games are particularly interesting, especially from a pedagogical standpoint.  As I and many of the other Play the Past authors have previously discussed, these games allow us to look at the past through a different lens than we typically get through...

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Designing Ideology

Feb 05, 14 Designing Ideology

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Videogames are inextricably bound to ideology.  In most cases, this is not by design, but simply because game developers tend to create virtual worlds that reflect the particular way in which they see the real world.  As Ian Bogost (2006) has noted, these ideological frames are rarely explicit, making it all the more important...

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Capricious Fate: Videogames as Tools for Moral Instruction

Nov 13, 13 Capricious Fate:  Videogames as Tools for Moral Instruction

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We often treat serious games as a relatively recent or unexpected development.  Certainly there is still a fair amount of hype about the potential practical uses of videogames, particularly in the realm of education.  While such discourses of progress and potential are certainly not unfounded, it is important to remember that...

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