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
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
It’s time for a power upgrade — throw out that tired-out power strip and swap in this family-size USB charger, packed with 6 high-speed ports. With a built-in control chip, Kinkoo optimizes each port to ensure the fastest charging possible for all your devices. The Kinkoo is made from high-grade and durable materials so you […]
Watching Netflix, Hulu or other streaming services can unfortunately be difficult while traveling outside the US. Rather than bypass these restrictions with the help of a complex and slow VPN, choose a faster and simpler solution with Getflix. Instead of rerouting all your Internet traffic through a different server, this handy service only routes the […]
Shake, stir, and muddle your way to delicious homemade cocktails with this must-have bar set. Expect only the finest quality tools from MakersKit — enabling you to unleash your inner mixologist.Top 12 Favorite Things of 2014, Sunset MagazineQuart-size vintage-style Mason jar shakerRetro double jigger for accurate measurementsStrainer & spouts for a mixologist-style smooth pourHardwood muddler […]