I wrote a feature for Wired News today about a new book due out in August that offers a behind-the-scenes look at the evolution of gamer culture through the eyes of one of its leaders:
Richard Garriott can't speak with you today, the publicist's e-mail read. The man who created Ultima Online, the first commercially successful online role-playing game, was on the way to the hospital -- having just bashed himself in the head with a two-by-four while working on his medieval castle.
The message didn't seem strange, because I'd just finished reading Dungeons and Dreamers: The Rise of Computer Game Culture From Geek to Chic, a forthcoming book on the evolution of gaming culture by CNET's John Borland and Wired News contributor Brad King. Due for release Aug. 19 from Osborne McGraw-Hill, it documents the manically creative lives of gamers by tracing the career of eccentric "Lord British," as Garriott is known to millions of fans, and panning out to explore the social anthropology of computer game culture.
The book profiles people who evolved gaming from paper to pixel, through 1970s Dungeons & Dragons roots, to MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games) like EverQuest, to bloodstained shooter mods like Counter-Strike. But along the way, it weaves those character sketches into a living record of community, exploring the industry's impact on the broader evolution of computer hardware, software and networking technologies.
to WN story, Read
the first chapter online for free, Discuss
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]
Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the Striiv Touch is one of the best gift ideas I’ve landed on. Its simple design works for females and males, and its wide range of features makes it suitable for even the non-fitness enthusiasts in your life.Unlike traditional fitness trackers, the Striiv Touch also acts as a smartwatch. It […]