The Shakespearean Tabletop RPG!

Paul Budra, of Simon Fraser University, has created Play Extempore, the Shakespearean tabletop role-playing game — and has put it online free! (more…)

Free MIT Course in Interactive Fiction

MIT OpenCourseWare offers a freely downloadable open course on interactive fiction here. The premium version was taught in 2004: “Interactive and Non-Linear Narrative: Theory and Practice,” with Dr. Kurt Fendt.

The course blurb:

This course explores the properties of non-linear, multi-linear, and interactive forms of narratives as they have evolved from print to digital media. Works covered in this course range from the Talmud, classics of non-linear novels, experimental literature, early sound and film experiments to recent multi-linear and interactive films and games. The study of the structural properties of narratives that experiment with digression, multiple points of view, disruptions of time, space, and of storyline is complemented by theoretical texts about authorship/readership, plot/story, properties of digital media and hypertext. Questions that will be addressed in this course include: How can we define ‘non-linearity/multi-linearity’, ‘interactivity’, ‘narrative’. To what extend are these aspects determined by the text, the reader, the digital format? What kinds of narratives are especially suited for a nonlinear/ interactive format? Are there stories that can only be told in a digital format? What can we learn from early non-digital examples of non-linear and interactive story telling?


There’s another one, here. “Interactive and Non-Linear Narrative: Theory and Practice,” with Prof. Beth Coleman.

This course covers techniques of creating narratives that take advantage of the flexibility of form offered by the computer. The course studies the structural properties of book-based narratives that experiment with digression, multiple points of view, disruptions of time and of storyline. The class analyzes the structure and evaluates the literary qualities of computer-based narratives including hypertexts, adventure games, and classic artificial intelligence programs like Eliza. With this base, students use authoring systems to model a variety of narrative techniques and to create their own fictions. Knowledge of programming is helpful but not necessary.

Published in: on September 15, 2010 at 10:43 am  Comments (1)  
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realization: Why the meek shall inherit the Earth…

I meditate quasi-regularly.  Not nearly as disciplined about it as I ought to be.  I realized today, at the end of my meditation, why it is that the meek shall inherit the Earth.

The reason is: (more…)

Published in: Uncategorized on December 9, 2009 at 5:41 pm  Comments (2)  
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English Class – Problems and Solutions (maybe)

What I’ve done the first week is this —

I started on as a teacher a few days before the end of the month. So I was supposed to give them a monthly test — basically not possible, as I don’t know what they know.

So I got permission to put that off, and I made up a cumulative quiz with questions on each of the five things they’re supposed to know.

Those are, nontechnically: I was printing the paper; I have printed the paper; The paper was printed by me; If you eat the last cookie, I will be angry; tall, taller, tallest, but modest, more modest, most modest.

So, for a week and a half I’ve been hammering away at different variations of these same exercizes. The current educational theory is “immersion,” and the idea is that with enough exposure you “just get” the language.

I’m not doing that; I’m teaching them grammer, and I’m teaching it like math: This is the pattern. Learn the pattern. The test will look a lot like this.

(I’m all for immersion to build fluency, but not to get proper grammer into their heads.)

The slow kids still weren’t getting it. Basically, they’d given up.


Published in: on September 5, 2009 at 11:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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Academic Earth and Open Culture

Okay, this is very cool —

You can now get college lecture videos off the web for free.  The primary disadvantage, in comparison to going to college, is that you don’t get to hassle the teachers.

Links here (to Academic Earth) and here (to Open Culture).

The difference seems to be that Open Culture is organized more like a blog, apparently with links to off-site material, while Academic Earth has all their own videos that they put together in-house.

So expect consistency from Academic Earth, and variety from Open Culture.

Published in: on August 25, 2009 at 3:41 pm  Comments (1)  
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