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
Neglected public payphones in New York City are being turned into “GuyFi” stations: a place where one can rub one out for the sake of “stress relief.” Annalee Newitz reports on the wank booths from a company named “Hot Octopus”… The company reported that at least 100 men used the booth on its opening day […]
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
A leaked Comcast memo discloses that the company’s consumer data caps have nothing to do with network congestion, contrary to its public claims. The internet service provider has often complained (such as when lobbying against net neutrality) that it must impose limits on service to prevent network congestion. The argument suggests that these measures are […]
If you’ve been blessed enough to avoid them yourself, you’ve definitely heard the horror stories. Late night, crushing out a ton of work, writing, coding, anything, then boom – your computer crashes. The battery blows, you spill water or coffee all over the place, or it just shuts down with no explanation, and you’re screwed. […]
You travel around a lot. It might be that jet set life from New York to LA to London to Tokyo, or it might be back and forth from the coffee shop to the office, or from the kitchen to the couch. Any which way, you’re mobile and that’s the way to live. When you […]
It’s 2016 and we like our technology really small. Our phones fit in our pockets, our remotes are lighter than ever, and even our cars seem to be shrinking. So your new drone shouldn’t be an exception. This Axis VIDIUS Drone is 21% off right now and it’s so little, your biggest problem won’t be […]