Disentangling Science and Technology

Feb 04, 20 Wise Men Discovere Engineering

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Science is a fairly significant element in strategy games. Some, like Civilization, even feature a “Science Victory” as one means of winning, making science not just a means to an end, but an end in itself. In pretty much any game with a central tech tree mechanic, investing in science is a fairly solid strategy. ...

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Systems of Science: Games Shaping Cultural Perceptions

May 03, 16

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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

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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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Social Construction of Technology in Games

Jun 11, 14

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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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Videogames and Scientific Revolutions

Oct 09, 13

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As I discussed in a previous post, videogames tend to take a very deterministic view of technological development. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the concept of the “Tech Tree.”  While dedicated players and modders are usually quick to point out other flaws or deficiencies in games (often holding them to an almost absurd...

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