Matt Kirschenbaum has a new blog, Zone of Influence (, in which he talks about games and, specifically, board wargames. In his “Welcome” post, Matt describes these types of games as …

cardboard computers; they are instruments for modeling, prediction, and prognostication, but by their nature they are open source with the algorithms laid bare in numerically expressed outcomes on charts and tables. The only “black box” is the designer’s intentions.

He has several posts available already, so be sure to read them all and, of course, leave comments.


Commenting here has been quirky, so apologies if you’re having trouble with it. For whatever reason, the computer I use seem to allow me to comment just fine, so troubleshooting has be problematic.


Tagged by KF in the midst of holiday madness, I just now had a chance to participate. So with all the caveats KF outlined in her opening foray assumed here as well, on to five things you quite possibly don’t know about me:

Continue reading »


Apparently the calendar turned. A happy new year to all.


Play this, then watch this.

And this.


The Digiplay Initiative has created a dynamic, wiki-style Games Research Bibliography. Worth checking out and contributing to.


Fellow wordherder Chuck is a finalist for a Weblog Award in the (inventively-named) Best of the Top 5001 – 6750 Blogs category. Be sure to congratulate Chuck for being nominated, but better still, help him win — Vote for him now! (and once a day, per computer, until he wins)

Voting ends tomorrow, so be sure to use many computers today to help him catch up. And spread the word!


Scott Eric Kaufman of Acephalous is presenting at MLA and is asking for participation in a meme experiment. Here are the details:

1. Write a post linking to this one in which you explain the experiment. (All blogs count, be they TypePad, Blogger, MySpace, Facebook, &c.)
2. Ask your readers to do the same. Beg them. Relate sob stories about poor graduate students in desperate circumstances. Imply I’m one of them. (Do whatever you have to. If that fails, try whatever it takes.)
3. Ping Technorati.

Help out if you can.

As a side note: I wonder how the nature of the meme changes its growth and distribution. How different would the spread be with this one – rather artificial and requiring little effort – versus one in which you list the third line on the fifteenth page of the fifth book that you open this morning (revealing more about the blog author, and thus functioning as more personal, and requiring more effort).

I would be curious to see Kaufman compare his results with this meme against one that is less self-consciously a call for creating a meme (after MLA of course).


The Federation of American Scientists released their report on last year’s Summit on Educational Games, which I found to an engaging, informative event. Check out the “Fact Sheet” for the short version, and take a look at some of the educational games FAS produced, including Discover Babylon.


The 12th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition is on.


The UIUC Library now has a Video Game and Gaming Collection.


Enjoy the photos of our beautiful little girl and her big sister.

Claire Savannah

Instructions for gallery:

You may click through the images using two methods.

If you hover over the large image on the left or right side of the image, an arrow will appear. Clicking on the left side of the displayed image will take you back one image; clicking on the right side of the displayed image will take you to the next image.

Alternatively, click on each thumbnail to display the picture. The arrows visible on the left side of the screen (beneath the thumbnails) will cycle through each set of 9 thumbnails.

To save an image:

Right-click on the image and choose “Open Image in New Window”. NOTE: If you have a pop-up blocker enabled in your browser, you must allow pop-ups (see notice in top of browser window). The image should open in a new window. Right-click on the image and choose “Save as…”.

The gallery requires Macromedia Flash (a free download). You likely already have it on your computer, so try to view the gallery first before worrying about it.

[cross-posted on The Rhodys]

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.