MOOCs and the Future of the Humanities (Part Two)

A roundtable at the LA Review of Books

On June 14-15, 2013, the LA Review of Books hosted a two-part roundtable on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS). Participants included me, Cathy N. Davidson, Al Filreis, and Ray Schroeder. Below is my contribution to part two, which included responses to the statements in part one (which you can find here; this response won’t make much sense unless you read… read more

MOOCs and the Future of the Humanities (Part One)

A roundtable at the LA Review of Books

On June 14-15, 2013, the LA Review of Books hosted a two-part roundtable on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS). Participants included me, Cathy N. Davidson, Al Filreis, and Ray Schroeder. Below is my contribution to part one, which included initial statements by each of the participa. Part two will include responses to these statements. Please visit the LARB website to… read more

The Walled Kindergarten

The inevitability of corporate content controls on MOOCs

Last week, the Council of University of California Faculty Associations (CUCFA) president Robert Meister sent an open letter entitled “Can Venture Capital Deliver on the Promise of the Public University?” to MOOC provider Coursera’s CEO, Daphne Koller. The CUCFA has published the letter, which is sly, scathing, and deeply entertaining whether no matter where you locate your opinions on the… read more

Carpentry vs. Art: What’s the Difference?

A preview of an answer that might be forthcoming

Shortly after Alien Phenomenology was publsihed, Darius Kazemi asked: what’s the difference between carpentry and art? Carpentry, for the record, is my name for the philosophical practice of making things, of which articles and books are but one example. I borrowed and expanded the term from the ordinary sense of woodcraft and adapted from Graham Harman and Alphonso Lingis, who… read more

Proteus: A Trio of Artisanal Game Reviews

Three reviews as three lenses through which to approach and appreciate an unusual videogame.

Originally published at Gamasutra One: Nil Person Videogames are narcissistic. They are about you, even when they put you in someone else’s shoes. You are a space marine among hell spawn. You are a mafioso just released from prison. You are a bear with a bird in your backpack. You are a Tebowing Tim Tebow. We may think we play… read more

The Microethics of Informal University-Corporate Partnerships

What are universities giving away when we host hackathons, game jams, and the like?

Everyone knows that creativity and productivity are increasingly given away for free these days, particularly when it comes to technology products and services. For example: we contribute to the business of companies like Google and Facebook by giving them our data to resell, and we contribute to the business of companies like Apple by providing speculative, often free apps to… read more

The Art of Video Games

A review of the catalog that accompanies the Smithsonian American Art Museum exhibition

This review was published in The American Journal of Play 5:1 (Fall 2012). You can also download a PDF of the review provided by the journal.   The Art of Video Games: From Pac-Man to Mass Effectby Chris Melissinos and Patrick O’RourkeNew York: Welcome Books, 2012. Contents, images, credits. 215 pp. $40.00 paper. ISBN: 9781599621098 The Art of Video Games,… read more

Kickstarter: Crowdfunding Platform Or Reality Show?

It's QVC for the web generation, the new Thunderdome, Off Track Betting for ideas addicts. Whatever you call it, Kickstarter's becoming less about funding widgets than pouring gas on creative sparks just to watch them ignite.

You’ve probably heard about the latest Kickstarter darling, OUYA: “a new kind of video game console” that connects to your HDTV like an XBox but allows anyone to publish games like the Android Marketplace. The company behind the device raised their $1 million target in eight hours, and have reached $5 million with more than three weeks left in their… read more

A Portrait of The Artist as a Game Studio

The style of thatgamecompany

While we often see the evolution of artists working in old media, ever-shifting technical terrain tends to obscure videogame makers’ aesthetic trajectories. In Thatgamecompany’s pathbreaking and gorgeous games for the Playstation 3, we get the rare chance to watch these artists at work against a fixed technological backdrop. My review of thatgamecompany’s Journey, in the context of a discussion of… read more

Videogames as Art Medium and Inspiration

or, A Slow Year at the Telfair

This week, the Telfair Museums will open Game Change: Videogames as Art Medium and Inspiration. My game A Slow Year is among the pieces that will be on exhibit from February 27 to April 1, 2012. I’ll be in Savannah Thursday evening for the Game Change panel, from 6-8pm at the Jepson Cetner. Other artists in the show include Kunal… read more