Sim­u­la­tion titles that fol­low Bogost’s line of under­stand­ing of what con­sti­tutes a videogame tend to have this prob­lem: they believe in a utopia where sys­tems and rules and mechan­ics can be full of mean­ing, for­get­ting that as humans, we are not Carte­sian machines, for we also think with our sens­es and emo­tions and under­stand the world by touch­ing, see­ing and hear­ing it.

Videogame Utopia: Pas­sage Denied, a “Papers Please” review | MetaGame

I am not entire­ly con­vinced sys­tems are sep­a­rate from emo­tions. But this is an inter­est­ing cri­tique of Papers Please, regardless.

But if wear­able is going to get any­where it’ll need to embrace the point­less. It’s the domain of the point­less, the ter­rain of the triv­ial. If we were all being prac­ti­cal, we’d wear iden­ti­cal nylon boil­er suits and £4 watch­es — but that’s not the species we’re in. We’re the species that evolved a fash­ion indus­try and Glob­al Hyper­col­or T‑shirts. Effi­cien­cy is not a pri­or­i­ty for wear­ables. What are the cheap fash­ion appli­ca­tions? What acces­sories can Claire’s sell? What can you buy at the gar­den cen­tre and down the market?

Awk­ward moments from the future of com­put­ing (Wired UK)

Recent­ly I read some dis­ap­point­ing pieces in var­i­ous pop­u­lar tech out­lets breath­less­ly herald­ing the arrival of wear­ables, espous­ing the virtues of ‘invis­i­ble’ and ‘nat­ur­al’ inter­faces, all the while lim­it­ing tech­nol­o­gy to only the cur­rent wave of com­pu­ta­tion. So I was relieved to see this coun­ter­point by Rus­sell. Peo­ple might be put off by his insis­tence on the insa­tiable human pas­sion for the use­less and gar­ish, but it rings more true to me than most accounts of tech dis­solv­ing in the environment.

Although this scene hap­pens in silence, I did actu­al­ly write dia­logue for it. The actors are actu­al­ly speak­ing it and it might stand as an expla­na­tion for some. In any case, that dia­logue will nev­er be writ­ten in the pub­lished screen­play for the film and I told the actors nev­er to reveal it to any­one. They are bound to silence for­ev­er and I hope they will have for­got­ten it by now, because they didn’t know when they were shoot­ing it what the sig­nif­i­cance of the scene might be.

Michael Haneke: The direc­tor on his film Hid­den | Film | The Observer

Watched Caché last night and was total­ly cap­ti­vat­ed by it. It’s about hid­den infor­ma­tion on so many lev­els, it’s amaz­ing. From this quote it seems Haneke went even fur­ther and start­ed hid­ing info beyond the film itself. Devious.

Forums and instant mes­sages were the key medi­ums for speed run­ning the­o­ry to spread through the mid-2000s, but it remained a niche hob­by. Live video stream­ing, which took off at the begin­ning of this decade, has since made it a medi­um for mass consumption.

Mak­ing mon­ey as a Zel­da speed run­ner | Polygon

It’s real­ly inter­est­ing what stream­ing is doing to games… I love speed run­ning because it turns prod­ucts ini­tial­ly meant for con­sump­tion into instru­ments with which to perform.

What would a game look like if it were designed to encour­age a process of read­er engage­ment that con­sists of com­ing up with a nar­ra­tive hypoth­e­sis and then test­ing it? If the dis­cov­ery of lay­ers of mean­ing and per­son­hood were achieved through play?

Read­ing and Hypoth­e­sis | Emi­ly Short’s Inter­ac­tive Storytelling

I real­ly like the idea of hypo­thet­i­cal read­ing as basis for inter­ac­tive sto­ry­telling. It should mat­ter what the­o­ries play­ers come up with about the back­sto­ry that is grad­u­al­ly revealed. They should be able to act on it.

The guide­lines would have strict­ly lim­it­ed which foods could be mar­ket­ed towards youth — exclud­ing even peanut but­ter — but would also have been, yet again, entire­ly vol­un­tary. Lob­by­ists for the food indus­try pushed back, argu­ing that the rules would “vir­tu­al­ly end all adver­tis­ing” towards those younger than 18. The reg­u­la­tions stalled in Con­gress, and were just last week “killed for good,” Har­ris says, with a sin­gle sen­tence in the 2014 omnibus spend­ing bill.

How Gatorade turned water into ‘the ene­my of per­for­mance’ | The Verge

It’s depress­ing to think that the end of adver­tis­ing for junk food would be an argu­ment against reg­u­la­tion. Isn’t that the whole point? (I know what the neolib­er­al argu­ment would be, but I real­ly don’t care.)

The essen­tial point is that a par­tic­u­lar con­fig­u­ra­tion of build­ings is nei­ther “good” nor “bad” in absence of a seri­ous exam­i­na­tion of the social rela­tions respon­si­ble for the con­struc­tion of those build­ings and the greater social process­es that con­tin­ue to shape the greater com­mu­ni­ty in which those build­ings exist. In oth­er words, urban­ism is not about an object, but about a set of over­lap­ping, con­sti­tu­tive process­es that pro­duce a wide range of phys­i­cal forms. The phys­i­cal form is large­ly a reflec­tion of these greater process­es and forces.

The Inad­e­qua­cy of “Good” Urbanism

Not much to add here—it’s always good to remem­ber good urban­ism can’t be reduced to rec­om­men­da­tions that are “design-based or cen­tered on mod­i­fy­ing the urban form”.

Man’s first attempts at mak­ing his own deci­sions are called div­ina­tion. Exam­ples are the study­ing of omens, watch­ing the stars, throw­ing and study­ing sticks and bones (sor­ti­lege), ‘read­ing’ ani­mals’ intestines, etcetera. These are all meth­ods that project the will of the gods, who were still thought to exist, into the exter­nal world. So deci­sion mak­ing was in this phase a process that took place in the world, not in the mind.

Artike­len van Erik Wei­jers — Summary

I love this. Deci­sion mak­ing in the world, not in the mind. And although as it is described here, this tran­si­tion­al phase in man’s cog­ni­tion is behind us, in many oth­er ways it of course isn’t.

The ori­gin of con­scious­ness described here also jibes in many ways with what I’ve been read­ing in Metaphors We Live By.