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.
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
Ok, it’s not just solar powered. It’s also an anti-theft, waterproof marvel that keeps my phone’s power bar from ever getting into the red.Sure the idea seems obvious now – tuck a gigantic solar powered battery pack into an exposed slot and turn the wearer into a walking energy harvester. Simple maybe, but I didn’t […]
Thread count isn’t like one of those deceiving metrics like camera megapixels or Facebook friends—more threads are always better if you can afford them. If price was no object, we would all be snoozing soundly bundled up in 1.8 kilo-thread sheets every single night. Guess what? Price doesn’t have to be an object with this […]
Maybe it’s entirely because of podcast ads, but drag-and-drop tools like Squarespace have gotten immensely popular in recent years. While it’s definitely a great tool for any non-coders who want to get a small website up and running quickly, managing content with a primarily visual interface can become a pain once you have more than […]
When you can’t wait for the world’s longest meeting to end, the mindless leg bouncing makes your boredom obvious and just annoys everybody else. Everyone knows the TPS reports need the damn cover sheet, but some sadistic colleague keeps forgetting, probably on purpose just to eat into your lunch hour. Enough is enough!While serving a […]