Systems of Science: Games Shaping Cultural Perceptions

May 03, 16 Systems of Science: Games Shaping Cultural Perceptions

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Science and media have a complicated relationship.  Film and television crews regularly hire science consultants both to improve the realism of their productions and to give themselves an air of authority and respectability.  Scientists also have a vested interest in being involved in such productions.  Since most people invest...

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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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Being Historical: How Strategy Games are Changing Popular History

Sep 24, 14 Being Historical: How Strategy Games are Changing Popular History

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« Those who study history are concerned with the occurrences of passed times; those who conceive time as history are tuned to what will happen in the future. » — George Grant, Time as History   When we play at History, are we playing the past, or the future? As players of history-themed games, we are often called to be...

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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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