20 JUL 2017 by ideonexus

 Old CRPGs are Unplayable for Modern Gamers

They had five days to play (Ultima IV), and I asked them to make as much progress as they could in that time. When we gathered to debrief in class, a few students explained how they’d overcome some of their difficulties, but the vast majority was utterly flummoxed by the game. As one of them put it, “I’d say for gamers of our generation, an RPG like Ultima IV is boring and pretty much unplayable.” After removing the arrow from my chest, I asked them to explain why. It mostly came dow...
Folksonomies: history preservation gaming
Folksonomies: history preservation gaming
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03 JAN 2017 by ideonexus

 War Gaming is Better Than War

I COULD go on now and tell of battles, copiously. In the memory of the one skirmish I have given I do but taste blood. I would like to go on, to a large, thick book. It would be an agreeable task. Since I am the chief inventor and practiser (so far) of Little Wars, there has fallen to me a disproportionate share of victories. But let me not boast. For the present, I have done all that I meant to do in this matter. It is for you, dear reader, now to get a floor, a friend, some soldiers and som...
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03 JAN 2017 by ideonexus

 Evolving Rules of a Wargame

We then began to humanise that wild and fearful fowl, the gun. We decided that a gun could not be fired if there were not six—afterwards we reduced the number to four—men within six inches of it. And we ruled that a gun could not both fire and move in the same general move: it could either be fired or moved (or left alone). If there were less than six men within six inches of a gun, then we tried letting it fire as many shots as there were men, and we permitted a single man to move a gun,...
Folksonomies: history gaming
Folksonomies: history gaming
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03 JAN 2017 by ideonexus

 Little Wars

"LITTLE WARS" is the game of kings—for players in an inferior social position. It can be played by boys of every age from twelve to one hundred and fifty—and even later if the limbs remain sufficiently supple—by girls of the better sort, and by a few rare and gifted women. This is to be a full History of Little Wars from its recorded and authenticated beginning until the present time, an account of how to make little warfare, and hints of the most priceless sort for the recumbent strate...
Folksonomies: history gaming
Folksonomies: history gaming
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01 JAN 2017 by ideonexus

 1980 View of Software

Software is a new enough kind of thing in the world that humans are still figuring out how to deal with it. Though it can be bought and sold, you can't see, hear, touch, taste, smell, eat, or burn it. On an unlovely flat artifact called a disk may be hidden the concentrated intelligence of thousands of hours of design, for which you are expected to pay hundreds of dollars, and which you can reproduce on your own computer with perfect fidelity in less than a minute, free. Personal computers ha...
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29 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 Science Fiction Gave Literature New Frontiers

The shift in subject matter from westerns to science fiction was probably already underway when Burroughs began writing. The frontier, which had been such a key feature of American popular fiction, was rapidly disappearing, and writers had begun looking for new frontiers—hence, the increasing number of stories about lost civilizations in unexplored parts of the world. But even the unexplored parts of the world were shrinking rapidly, and as new technologies, such as aircraft and rocketry, b...
Folksonomies: history science fiction
Folksonomies: history science fiction
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Burroughs "Princess of Mars" even has the protagonist go from the Western frontier to a Martian desert. Wastelands are frontiers as well.

29 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 How Science Fiction Got Its Start with Frakenstein

It’s not completely fanciful to say that science fiction began with three things: a dead frog, a volcano, and a teenage bride. The dead frog was one that an Italian physician named Luigi Galvani was experimenting with in the 1780s, when he found that a mild electric shock could cause the frog’s leg to twitch. It was just an induced muscle reflex, but it suggested that there might be a connection between electricity and life. The volcano was Mount Tambora in Indonesia, which exploded in ...
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08 JUL 2016 by ideonexus

 Perspectives of History

The trouble I think is that historians dont actually agree on much about those processes. The post-marxist school of thought sees history as a process of struggles over resources between interest groups. Foucaultians see history as a process born of the "techniques" of power the elites wield over the non elites, Traditional liberalism saw history as a Hegelian (Not to be confused with marxisms very different view) process of gradual movements towards technological, social and cultural perfec...
Folksonomies: history perspective
Folksonomies: history perspective
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09 NOV 2015 by ideonexus

 MySpace Destroyed History

MySpace, in a rush to relaunch and rebrand itself, made inaccessible the blogs of all of its users. There could be no movement to preserve this record of the past, as it happened so suddenly. Millions of contributions, critical records of events of a decade or so ago, lost in the blink of an eye. It’s similar to the destruction of something like Penn station: a website that was run by user-generated content, that was a central hub of Internet traffic, and that meant something to multiple mi...
Folksonomies: history internet history
Folksonomies: history internet history
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30 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Intellectual Leaders Have Fewer Deaths in War

Now that the presidency of George W. Bush is over, the theory that we are better off with unintellectual leaders is just embarrassing, and the reasons for the embarrassment may be quantified. Measuring the psychological traits of public figures, to be sure, has a sketchy history, but the psychologist Dean Simonton has developed several historiometric measures that are reliable and valid (in the psychometrician’s technical sense) and politically nonpartisan.208 He analyzed a dataset of 42 pr...
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