Swing Copters: The Randomness of the Universe, Captured in Pixels

The creator of Flappy Bird is back with a game offering the sublime agony that comes with mastering a craft—and still failing.

Many of the highest-performing professional athletes are also the most superstitious. Serena Williams bounces the tennis ball five time before her first serve, twice before the second. Michael Jordan wore his University of North Carolina basketball shorts under his Chicago Bulls uniform. Baseball hall of famer Wade Boggs bore a bounty of superstitions. Among them: He ate chicken before each… read more

My Mooed Ring

Cowstum Skullworks

My friend Matt Maloney makes custom skull rings. Once I saw the bespoke designs he’d done, and given the knowledge of the coming cowpocalypse, I knew I had to have an artifact to document my year-long bovine madness. Matt and I met yesterday and I took delivery of the ring. Behold it, in all its taurine glory below. You can… read more

The Magic Carpet

Notes on Glamour

When I was an undergraduate at the University of Southern California, the Academy Awards were still being held at the Shrine Auditorium, which is located just north of Jefferson, directly across the street from campus. It’s quite a structure, built in the Moorish Revival style and opened in 1926. At that time, the surrounding neighborhood of South Central Los Angeles… read more

Videogames are a Mess

My DiGRA 2009 Keynote, on Videogames and Ontology

What follows is the text of my keynote at the 2009 Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) conference, held in Uxbridge, UK September 1-4, 2009. The text corresponds fairly accurately to the address I gave at the conference. In a few cases, I’ve added some clarifications in square brackets, where additional context or commentary was relevant. (You can also download the… read more

Videogames: Can They Be Important?

My plenary address at the Southern Interactive Entertainment & Game Expo

The following is the plenary address I gave today at the first SIEGE conference here in Atlanta on October 6, 2007. The title of the session was “Games: Can They Be Important?” My fellow plenary speakers were Ernest Adams and Daniel Greenberg.   Today it is possible to work though an entire undergraduate and graduate education in videogames. Whether that’s… read more

On the iPhone: The Anxiety of Openness

The openness of web applications demonstrates the real treachery of the iPhone's closed platform

This is the first in a series of short editorials on the iPhone, which I’ll be writing occasionally. Now that the geekqueues of iDay have come and gone, perhaps we can start talking more seriously about the device without all the fanboy ardor. For some of us who have not (yet) adopted the iPhone, one major disappointment is its status… read more

The Muse of the Videogame

On videogames as art. From the IGDA Ivory Tower Column.

When it comes to industry and academic collaboration, I can say with certainty that both sides are dealing in good faith; all of us are confident that some real benefit will come from cooperation. But so far, most talk about collaboration has focused on foreseeable ends. Games are big business, so both publishers and developers need to keep their eyes… read more