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Thursday, August 08, 2002
Issue #2 of Game Studies is out

The first academic journal on computer game research has just published issue number 2. I will later post in more detail about each article, but right now I encourage you to cancel your plans for the next minutes and read Will Wright's interview - each word is worth your attention.

Wright created a number of wildly innovative and successful games such as SimCity and The Sims. Here's a quote from the interview: "I think when I started doing games I really wanted to carry that to the next step, to the player, so that you give the player a tool so that they can create things [...] If they know that what they’ve done is unique to them, they tend to care for it a lot more." So true.

What do you think? []  links to this post    11:49:13 PM  
The end of SIGGRAPH as we know it

Noah Wardrip-Fruin reports on what could be the end of SIGGRAPH as the diverse, interesting conference that we are used to. Among the changes that may take place for SIGGRAPH's next edition in San Diego are the end of interactive art, art papers and panels. Please do read Noah's report for more details on this situation, and do write to the conference chair ( asking to maintain panels. The same with the art gallery chair ( for maintaining interactive art and art papers. And if you still have some energy left, please spread the world and save SIGGRAPH from becoming another dull conference.

I checked out the SIGGRAPH 2003 website and the word that popped most prominently in my field of view was "marketplace". I think it tells a lot about what has happened to the field of computer graphics over the last ten years or so.

What do you think? []  links to this post    11:20:59 PM  
Talking Past Each Other: Making Sense of the Debate over Electronic Publication by David J. Solomon

This paper discusses the implications of electronic dissemination for the peer-reviewed serial publication system. To make sense of this complex issue, it is helpful to view it from the perspective of the origins of the system and its three core functions, the ranking of scholarship, facilitating interactive communication among scholars, and creating a comprehensive archive of scholarly and scientific knowledge.

A key impediment to evolution that is mentioned in the paper is cultural inertia. Solomon quotes Odlyzko(1999):

"What keeps the publisher's situation from being hopeless is the tremendous inertia of the scholarly community, which impedes the transition to free or inexpensive electronic journals."

What do you think? []  links to this post    11:28:08 AM  
How to get more teachers in the classroom: a proposal

One of the biggest problems in American education today is that there simply aren't enough teachers to teach all our children, especially in the fields of math and science. The following is a proposal on how to get more people to pursue teaching, at least for the shorter term. []

From the story: the best just don't teach anymore. And if they do, it's usually in the upper-crust suburbs, who can afford to pay them at least something resembling what they would make outside teaching.

See also this comment on why teachers quit.

What do you think? []  links to this post    11:06:27 AM  

Mark Twain. "Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform." [Quotes of the Day]
What do you think? []  links to this post    11:04:46 AM  
Academic researcher challenges Digital Millenium Copyright Act

More on the Edelman case....Andrea foster interviews Benjamin Edelman in the August 2 Chronicle of Higher Education. [FOS News]

From the article: Benjamin G. Edelman, a first-year student at Harvard University's law school, is the latest academic researcher to challenge the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

What do you think? []  links to this post    11:03:39 AM  
Matt Pope: How to make net-based collaboration/communication really take off?

What is the requisite laundry list to make The answer isn't obvious to me, but here are a few suggestions (from the end-user perspective; surely there is a separate IT-perspective list)....

  • As simple to use as email or the phone
  • End-user driven
  • Fast and familiar
  • No network boundaries
  • No administrative boundaries
  • The "right" tools (messaging, file sharing, user presence, and more over time)
  • Flexibility to (a) over time, add new tools to meet new modes of usage, (b) interact in public or private context, depending upon the situation, (c) add or drop people from a thread of communication on an as-needed basis
  • Ubiquity of network connectivity, hardware, and software

The list items are unstructured, not mutually exclusive, and far from exhaustive. They sort of look like an unrealistic (near term) panacea; nontheless, it's a start. I hope others out there have an interest in expanding it and/or taking it in different directions...

[Matt Pope's Radio Weblog] via [Ron Lusk's Radio Weblog]

What do you think? []  links to this post    11:00:54 AM  
Edsger Dijkstra has died

A picture named dijkstra.gifA sad note. Professor Edsger Dijkstra has died. [Scripting News]

It could be argued that Dijkstra was a consummate proto-klogger, at a time when broadcasting was nowhere nearly as easy as it is today:

For over four decades, he mailed copies of his consecutively numbered technical notes, trip reports, insightful observations, and pungent commentaries, known collectively as "EWDs", to several dozen recipients in academia and industry. (from In Pursuit of Simplicity: the manuscripts of Edsger W. Dijkstra, where all the scanned manuscripts can be downloaded)

And here's an inspiring quote from him that I found in this recap of Dijkstra's career (emphasis mine):

"For me, the first challenge for Computer Science is to discover how to maintain order in a finite, but very large, discrete universe that is intricately intertwined. And a second, but not less important challenge is how to mould what you have achieved in solving the first problem, into a teachable discipline: it does not suffice to hone your own intellect (that will join you in your grave), you must teach others how to hone theirs. The more you concentrate on those two challenges, the more you will see that they are only two sides of the same coin: teaching yourself is discovering what is teachable". ("My hopes of Computing Science", EWD 709 (pdf)).

What do you think? []  links to this post    10:27:32 AM  
Living with the Intense

This is a compelling piece about the "intense" among us, how they differ from the merely self-absorbed, and how to live with such a person—or as such a person, to live with a non-intense person.
Intensity. From my post-grad-school advice about how to survive grad school: Academia clings strongly to the Romantic ideal of the obsessed, driven achiever. Plenty of academics sneer at "dilettantes," believing that anything worth doing is worth consuming an entire life to... [Caveat Lector] via [Ron Lusk's Radio Weblog]

What do you think? []  links to this post    10:25:08 AM  
Knowledge sharing is a two-way phenomenon

Here is a little of what Jon says:

It's always tempting to post a message that asks: "Does anybody know how HTTP authentication works?" But you owe your intranet colleagues (and yourself) more consideration than that. And in wider contexts, this kind of naive plea will be ignored if not actively ridiculed. Instead, summarize what you know already, cite supporting evidence, frame the issues at stake clearly, and ask specific questions. Here's an example of what I mean:

"I've been researching HTTP authentication in order to solve the following problem: ... Along the way, I've learned some useful things: ... Based on this information, it seems to me that this plan will work: ... Comments and clarifications are welcome and appreciated."

[Gurteen Knowledge-Log] via [McGee's Musings]

What do you think? []  links to this post    9:12:51 AM  
Knowledge sharing and responsibility

Sharing: It's a Good Thing. Joy nails it. [tins ::: Rick Klau's weblog]

Key insight for me:

the sharing of knowledge, and the cooperative application of new technologies are part of the responsibility of belonging to a community of practice.

First time I've seen the notion of knowledge sharing articulated as a responsibility of community membership. [McGee's Musings]

What do you think? []  links to this post    9:05:38 AM  

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