The Secret History of the Robot Car

How self-driving vehicles took off

After attending the 1964 World’s Fair, the science-fiction author Isaac Asimov wrote an essay in The New York Times imagining a visit to the World’s Fair 50 years in the future, in 2014. Among his predictions: “Much effort will be put into the designing of vehicles with ‘robot-brains’—vehicles that can be set for particular destinations and that will then proceed there without interference by… read more

A Brief History of Websites

1989 Any particle physicist can have a website! 1993 Any researcher can have a website! 1995 Anybody at a university can have a website! 1996 Any company can have a website! 1997 Anybody can have a crappy website! 2001 Anybody can have a decent website if it’s a blog! 2003 Tech companies can help anybody have a blog! 2005 Big… read more

Art History of Games on YouTube

Videos of the Art History of Games talks are now available on YouTube. They’re a bit easier to watch this way, not to mention easier to embed. The whole event was so superb, it’s tough for me to pick favorites. But if I had to, I’d probably settle on talks by Frank Lantz and Brenda Brathwaite, which you can find… read more

Art History of Games: Video

Go watch the awesome talks

Back in February, Georgia Tech Digital Media and SCAD Atlanta held the Art History of Games conference, which I organized along with Michael Nitsche and John Sharp. We had an amazing group of speakers as well as an opening for three commissioned games. It was unbelievably amazing in every way (here’s a summary), but until now only the attendees knew… read more

The Art History of Games

Day 2 and Exhibition Opening

We’re already into the third and final day of the Art History of Games symposium, and as an organizer I haven’t even tried to blog the talks. You’re best bet is to check out coverage online (Gamasutra covered part, but not all, of yesterday’s sessions), or to review the Twitter stream on hashtag #AHoG. Last night’s exhibition opening was great;… read more

The Art History of Games

Day One

This evening we began the Art History of Games symposium here in Atlanta, organized by Savannah College of Art and Design – Atlanta and Georgia Tech. After introductions, myself and my co-organizers John Sharp and Michael Nitsche presented a discussion of the concept of an art history of games. Then John Romero presented his keynote “Masters among Us,” about learning… read more

A History of the World in 100 Objects

From the BBC and the British Museum

Yet another high-profile slate of objects to report. The BBC and the British Museum are collaborating on a set of radio programs detailing a history of the world in 100 objects. The objects are drawn from the collection of the British Museum, and the radio program begins tomorrow (18 January). The BBC has also produced a multimedia explorer that allows… read more

The Art History of Games

A Symposium, hosted by Georgia Tech and SCAD

The Art History of Games is a three-day public symposium in which members of the fields of game studies, art history and related areas of cultural studies gather to investigate games as an art form. Speakers include me, Brenda Brathwaite, Jesper Juul, Frank Lantz, Henry Lowood, Christiane Paul, John Romero, and more. Also featured in the conference is the premiere… read more

The Deep History of Video Games

The Atari in the Boston Globe

The Boston Globe today features an interview with Nick Montfort, my Racing the Beam co-author, about the Atari VCS and our new book. My favorite part of the interview is reproduced below: IDEAS: People … are still creating 2600 cartridges? MONTFORT: At this point, it’s sort of more like zines as opposed to commercial book publishing. It’s on a different… read more

A man dressed as Father Christmas and children look at a computer screen at a special Christmas post office in the village of Himmelpfort (Heaven's Gate), north of Berlin November 10, 2011. The post office in the village of Himmelpfort opened on Thursday with a special Christmas service, replying to mails addressed to Santa Claus that were sent by children from all over the world. Some 20,000 letters already arrived at the post office and organisers expect to receive some 280,000 letters and wish lists from children writing in 17 languages.  REUTERS/Thomas Peter (GERMANY - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY) - RTR2TTX2

Stop Rebranding Months as Causes

A “Devember” for coding is the latest and most ridiculous of commemorative months.

In his 1996 book Infinite Jest, the late American writer David Foster Wallace imagined a near future in which corporations could sponsor the calendar. Instead of counting up from the birth of Christ, the Organization of North American Nations (O.N.A.N.) develops a “revenue enhancing subsidized time.” Year of the Whopper. Year of Dairy Products from the American Heartland. Year of the… read more