I admit no small amount of surprise when I first saw an image of an Xbox controller featured in the latest Humanities magazine, a bi-monthly publication from the National Endowment for the Humanities. While the images are (unfortunately) only in the print version, you can read online the Chairman’s interview with Steven Johnson, author of Everything Bad is Good for you.

I find the whole dance around whether or not video games can be “good” morally, or “good” aesthetically (“great art”), versus just good for stimulating problem-solving skills, quite fascinating (both in the interview and in Johnson’s book). But overall, it’s great to see games talked about in federal grant-making agencies, at least. The recent interviews with folks like Johnson and Vinton Cerf reflect NEH’s continued interest in humanities computing (having provided funding for many of the largest projects in past years), an emphasis that has been recently reinvigorated by the Digital Humanities Initiative.


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