A review of Adam Kotsko's book

Adam Kotsko’s little book Awkwardness is a pleasurable and insightful read, yet another reminder that Zero Books is quickly becoming the trusted source for short, punchy works on philosophy and cultural theory. In the book, Kotsko offers a tiny theory of awkwardness: “The tension of awkwardness indicates that no social order is self-evident and no social order accounts for every… read more

A Slow Year Wins at Indiecade

My Atari VCS game earns Virtuoso, Vanguard awards

Last week and weekend I exhibited A Slow Year, my Atari VCS game poem project, at Indiecade. The show and the conference were fantastic, and it was a pleasure to meet new friends, see old ones, hear great talks, and see great games. I was particularly happy to meet Gaijin Games’s Alex Neuse, to finally get to play Chris Hecker’s… read more

Hitchcock Barbie

"Do you happen to have a pair of birds that are... just friendly?"

There are lots of unusual plush toys and fancy resin dolls these days. Far more than there once were. First they were made for humor’s sake — the Albert Einstein and Shakespeare action figures. Then for education’s sake — the Presidents of the United States action figures. But now merchandising has become a parody of itself. There’s no need for… read more

Videogame Pranks

On using videogames for practical jokes and gags. From my "Persuasive Games" column at Gamasutra

In one of the many memorable moments of Ricky Gervais’s BBC television series The Office, troublemaker Tim encases Gareth’s stapler in Jell-O. Gareth is annoyed, and the viewer is amused, because both comprehend the act immediately: it is a prank. Pranks are a type of dark humor that trace a razor’s edge between amusement and injury. The risks inherent to… read more