Madison is a new Vintage Ad archive from the New York Times. "But the Times is inviting readers to do more than just view the ads. It's also asking readers to help shape the archive by sifting through the ads, identifying them and even transcribing their text." [more inside]
Zero Hours - For a workshop on future London, Arup, Social Life, Re.Work, Commonplace, Tim Maughan and Nesta created 10 Future Londoners for the year 2023. This one describes the working day of 19 year old Nicki, a zero hours retail contractor.
HappyPlayTime seeks to rebrand the entire concept of female masturbation through education and light-hearted games (...) At the heart of all this is HPT’s mascot: the pink, fleshy, and gleeful personification of a vagina.
As the conversation about the state of games criticism continues, there is a site that acts as a platform for some of the best writing in the field by theorists, critics, and independent developers: Nightmare Mode dot net. [more inside]
"You probably don't think of your car as a developer platform, but Mike Rosack did."
What really concerns librarians; what do they discuss when they self-organise and decide for themselves? After the inaugural UK event, the second UK Librarycamp, with around 200 attendees, was recently held; reflections by Frank Norman, Carolin Schneider  , Sarah Wolfenden, Amy Faye Finnegan, Shambrarian Knights, Michelle, Jennifer Yellin, Jenni Hughes, Bookshelf Guardian, Amy Cross-Menzies and Simon Barron, and by one of the organisers. [more inside]
IKEA is already widening their domain, but for some of us, it's still a challenge to deal with the staid institution of the IKEA store. Never fear! [more inside]
Last month Wired published a lengthy profile of game designer and digital media professor Ian Bogost, best known for his anti-game cum Zynga critique, Cow Clicker (previously: 1, 2). Slashdot recently did an insightful Q&A with Bogost covering, amongst other things, his polemic thoughts on gamification, the rhetorical advantage of referring to it as exploitationware and what it's like to play with shit crayons.
Gamification strikes again: Microsoft Visual Studio now has a plugin that allows you to earn achievements while you code. The full list of achievements ranges from ones that reward repeated use of Visual Studio features to ones that reward poor coding techniques. No word on when they'll be incorporated into Xcode and Eclipse, but be patient.
"The online world of Islamic extremists, like all the other worlds of the Internet, operates on a subtly psychological level that does a brilliant job at keeping people like Abumubarak clicking and posting away -- and amassing all the rankings, scores, badges, and levels to prove it. Like virtually every other popular online social space, the social space of online jihadists has become "gamified," a term used to describe game-like attributes applied to non-game activities. It turns out that what drives online jihadists is pretty much exactly what drives Internet trolls, airline ticket consumers, and World of Warcraft players: competition." [more inside]
Are you encourages in your place of work by the use of gamification? Congratulations, comrade, you are treading in the footsteps of Soviet Russia!
It's All Games Now: The Convergence of Games and Social Media (video, 61 minutes), is a talk given by Raph Koster, one of the lead designers of the MMO Ultima Online, at the 2011 Game Developers Conference Online in Austin Texas. In it he looks at how digital games have changed as a social experience from MUDs to World of Warcraft, where they are going in the future, and the bleed between games and the real world. Koster has posted a summary here on his site. [more inside]
Fitocracy is a social game that harnesses the power of feedback loops to promote fitness. [more inside]
"The weapons also have levels, and if you are not at the level needed to wield a weapon, you are unable to use it. This does not make a hell of a lot of sense when the weapon in question is a knife or a pipe or an axe, especially when you have been wielding all of the above quite adroitly for hours. What on earth does a Level 4 Pipe even mean, anyway? Worse yet, the weapons are all subclassed, so you are not just finding a Level 4 Pipe; you are finding a Flimsy Level 4 Pipe or a Homemade Level 4 Pipe, the differences of which are utterly unclear." --Tom Bissell on why a new zombie game sucks due to its reckless "Gamification," and why this means your future will also suck