I’m expecting to hit a big milestone for Dreamcast Worlds in the next week or so, so detailed updates and lots of extracts should be on the way soon. But in brief: it’s taken a lot of hard work, but the end is in sight, and I’m expecting to be ready to publish at the end of this month.
CC Paul de los Reyes
When I’m editing prose, my main concern is readability. Normally the entire process is mostly made up of adding subheadings, breaking up long sentences, and removing parentheses.
Language is a very crude way of expressing yourself. As a writer, you can only say one thing at a time. Film directors have full use of a two-dimensional image plane and sound, and can pack in lots of carriers of meaning at the same time. Lighting, music, script, acting, body language, mise en scene, setting… all of these things and more are actively communicating to the viewer all the time. Game designers have all that, plus haptic response and input, range of movement, rules systems, and space design. Multiple things can be communicated at different levels of explicitness at the same time.
Written language has to struggle with putting three-dimensional ideas into one-dimensional form. Readers have to be able to walk in a straight line, looking straight ahead with blinkers on, and still see everything they came to see and understand why they should keep on walking.
This is why I hate the em-dash. Continue reading
When I’m in London, my favourite hobby is to go to cafes and eavesdrop. I particularly enjoy it when a boy speaking in flawless RP is telling someone else his brilliant ideas that will make them all famous and successful. “Facebook is the future,” he declaims over a soy chai latte, “it’s all about advertising.” He takes a sip, nods and pretend to listen while the other person speaks, and then announces, “what we need to do is make a viral video.” Continue reading
For a much better post on this issue, go here.
Remember that theory that the internet is morphing from anarchic communitarianism into restrictive cyber-serfdom?
Valve’s crowd curation platform for video games, Steam Greenlight, has only been around for a week or so, and already it’s managed to annoy almost everyone. Users who want to review games have to wade through piles and piles of crap before finding anything of interest. Erotic content has been summarily taken down out of fear that it might cause offence, regardless of how artful or interesting it might be, putting an early question mark over how far Valve are handing over gatekeeping responsibilities to the crowd. Continue reading
To thank people for supporting Dreamcast Worlds and sharing it on their social networks, I published a story about pirates that I wrote when I was about 7 or 8 years old (I’m not really sure, it could have been later). The Marooning of Thirsty Ann is included here in the photographs below.
It’s so nice when people clear up complicated issues in a single paragraph. Show’s over folks, I don’t need to write a book anymore!
Good idea about release book for the history of Dreamcast.But everybody knows the story,so if you want know the real story what happen to Dreamcast,you should ask Peter Moore,Bern Stollar and another ex supervisors of Sega.First,I will tell you what happen before of downfall of Dreamcast. It was Microsoft plan from the beginning,the Dreamcast it was an experimental console.End.
Video is below the cut, go join the YouTube comments here. Oh, and for the record, I already cite more than one Bernie Stolar interview in the book, and I interviewed design and planning leads for Skies of Arcadia at Sega headquarters last summer. Continue reading
I’m wading through Bruno Latour and finishing my dissertation this month, feeling ever more terrified and hopeless. There is so much to do, and too little time in which to give the material the quality of treatment it deserves. But in the middle of my despair, Latour presented me with an encouraging rant part-way through Reassembling the social. Paragraph breaks have been added, because Latour’s overflowing, impassioned verbiage does not translate well into blog format.
What is an account? It is typically a text, a small ream of paper a few millimetres thick that is darkened by a laser beam. It may contain 10,000 words and be read by very few people, often only a dozen or a few hundred if we are really fortunate. A 50,000 word thesis might be read by half a dozen people (if you are lucky, ever your Ph.D advisor would have read parts of it!) and when I say ‘read’, it does not mean ‘understood’, ‘put to use’, ‘acknowledged’, but rather ‘perused’, ‘glanced at’, alluded to’, ‘quoted’, ‘shelved somewhere in a pile’. At best, we add an account to all those which are simultaneously launched in the domain we have been studying. Continue reading
Note: I don’t literally know how to juggle. This is a metaphor about learning to be a grown-up.
Entre Deux Temps by Matthieu Paborde
- Have faith – you will never keep all those balls in the air if you don’t believe it’s possible in spite of all your doubts.
- Have an audience – you need encouragement, advice, applause and someone has to be there to keep track of how much you’ve achieved.
- Breathe slowly – hyperventilating all day every day doesn’t help.
Martin Zaitz Austwick, writing on sociable physics, has picked up on Alice Roberts’s comments about the geek identity limiting participation in science and preventing scientists from being well-rounded individuals. He concurs, and describes the term ‘geek’ as reductive, escapist and arrogant, and criticises it for being too trendy. I couldn’t disagree more. ‘Geek’ is a very positive identity.
I’ve kept putting off writing this article, because I go on believing that one day people will realise that Wikipedia is both an encyclopedia and a huge bunch of ongoing discussions, and should be treated as both of these things. In fact, only a select number of librarians seem to be aware of this seemingly obvious fact. Instead, I hear endless wailing about how terrible Wikipedia is and how no self-respected academic should even think about using it for research.
No, you shouldn’t cite Wikipedia. You shouldn’t cite encyclopedia Brittanica either. That by no means implies that Wikipedia is useless as a research tool. Not only is it as useful as any other encyclopedia; it teaches you far more, because of its transparency. So, I’m getting it off my chest: five things that Wikipedia is good for, and how to make best use of them. Continue reading