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"I was the bravest in battle - I never lost my wits"

In 2008, Outside the Wire, a theater company, began productions of Sophocles' Ajax and Philoctetes to audiences of soldiers and marines returned from Iraq and Afghanistan.
And whither must I go? What end, what purpose Could urge thee to it? I am nothing, lost And dead already. Wherefore- tell me, wherefore?- Am I not still the same detested burthen, Loathsome and lame? Again must Philoctetes Disturb your holy rites? If I am with you How can you make libations? That was once Your vile pretence for inhumanity. Oh! may you perish for the deed! The gods Will grant it sure, if justice be their care And that it is I know. You had not left Your native soil to seek a wretch like me Had not some impulse from the powers above, Spite of yourselves, ordained it. O my country! And you, O gods! who look upon this deed, Punish, in pity to me, punish all The guilty band! Could I behold them perish, My wounds were nothing; that would heal them all.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 21, 2014 - 14 comments

Happy Friday

Elephant plays with blue streamer. (SLYT)
posted by overeducated_alligator on Aug 29, 2014 - 24 comments

Fallout: New Jersey

"When Dystopia Rising went well, there were moments that felt natural, perfect. My first night was filled with gang warfare and hunts for a cult of radiation-worshipping Social Darwinists, but one of the parts I remember best was sitting next to a busker who played me a song from Hedwig and the Angry Inch, gave a mythologized retelling of the musical, and ended up explaining the origins of a group I believe was called the Church of Daft Punk" -- The Verge on playing in the massively complex post-apocalyptic LARP ( Live Action Role Playing) game, Dystopia Rising.
posted by The Whelk on Aug 9, 2014 - 10 comments

"I look like her, and she looks like me."

Disney Junior's Doc McStuffins is an animated children's show about 6-year-old Dottie McStuffins, who wants to be a doctor like her mother, and pretends to be a doctor to her toys. Doc McStuffins has done well as a TV show, but it's as a doll that Doc's success has been stratospheric, with over $500 million in sales last year. “'When little white girls embrace Doc McStuffins, for them Doc McStuffins is a girl, and Doc McStuffins is powerful,' Dr. [Margaret Beale] Spencer said. 'For a little black girl, it may be all of those things, but also that she’s black.'”
posted by ocherdraco on Jul 31, 2014 - 37 comments

"If you give a girl a different toy, she will tell a different story."

Frustrated with the modern toy market's focus on female characters with uncomfortable costumes, uninspiring back stories, and unrealistic body proportions -- "most are created for the adult male collector, decidedly more Hooters than heroine" -- Wellesley alumnae Julie Kerwin and Dawn Nadeau joined forces with the legendary creative team at EleventyPlex to crowdfund a new line of fierce, Joan of Arc-inspired action figures, designed to encourage girls to embrace their inner strengths and imagine themselves as self-made superheroes: I Am Elemental. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Jul 7, 2014 - 73 comments

Play! OR ELSE.

"But in a consumer culture committed to prolonging adolescence at all costs, the boundaries demarcating child and adult experience have blurred to the point that it’s no longer obvious just who is imitating whom. The American state of play is terminally confused. Much of it feels grimly compulsory, and carries with it a whiff of preemptive failure to achieve the target level of revelry." Mandatory fun, the drudgery of child's play, and the American trend toward rejuveniliaztion are among the topics touched on in "Play, Dammit."
posted by MonkeyToes on Mar 19, 2014 - 73 comments

The Yellow King

HBO's controversial new True Detective series has sparked a renewed interest in an unlikely subject: an 1895 book called The King In Yellow. Praised by H. P. Lovecraft, the book is a collection of short stories in which a play called The King In Yellow is somehow involved. A play, which, in an alternate world, "could not be judged by any known standard" but in which it was "acknowledged that the supreme note of art had been struck" leaves its readers changed, and perhaps insane. It's inspired other authors (and the occasional imitator) ever since, and you can read it for yourself in your browser or, still free, on your e-reader. True Detective's bleak world view and story of lives tinged with madness fits right in, whether the mythology eventually pans out in the series or not.
posted by tyllwin on Feb 26, 2014 - 498 comments

Man As "Meaty Robot," A Capitalist Fairy Tale

As an antidote to the "economic calculator" view of behavior, OWS's Graeber offers a counter principle: "The free exercise of an entity’s most complex powers or capacities tends to become an end in itself."
posted by blankdawn on Feb 8, 2014 - 18 comments

let anarchy prevail

Primary school in New Zealand ditches safety rules, loses bullies in the process. But this wasn't a playtime revolution, it was just a return to the days before health and safety policies came to rule. [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Jan 26, 2014 - 62 comments

Origins of Common User Interface Symbols.

Ever wanted to know why the Bluetooth symbol looks like it does, or what the deal is with the logo on the Command button on Apple keyboards? This link, which tells the story behind the design of many common user interface symbols, has got you covered.
posted by Effigy2000 on Dec 20, 2013 - 28 comments

It's a bear. Playing tetherball.

You should watch this bear play tetherball.
posted by The Whelk on Oct 14, 2013 - 42 comments

All schoolwork and no play makes Jack more likely to be depressed

Evolutionary psychologist Peter Gray, writes about why play is an important part of learning, and also key to good mental health. He believes that American kids are over-structured at home and school, with too much focus on adult-directed activities. He also explores the value of play from an evolutionary perspective, in different cultures around the world.
posted by Joh on Sep 19, 2013 - 59 comments

The Whiteman Cometh

A full hour-long musical based on Breaking Bad and inspired by Andrew Lloyd Webber, as performed last month at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater in Los Angeles: Walter White And The Amazing Blue Crytal Meth.
posted by mannequito on Sep 6, 2013 - 137 comments

Current quest: saw a leg off the period table

Godville is a text-based "massively-multiplayer zero-player game" in which you play a god with rather tenuous control over a hero. Changes to the game, including quests and items, are crowd-sourced and voted on by the community The game is playable in browser and via Android and iOS apps. Official game wiki.
posted by NoraReed on May 12, 2013 - 13 comments

Raven in Snow

Happy snow day, superkids! Here's a raven, havin' a time. SLYT, about a minute long. Dig it.
posted by Greg Nog on Feb 8, 2013 - 36 comments

The Board Games Women Make

Ever played Monopoly? Then you've played a board game that was designed by a woman (it was, under its original title, "The Landlord's Game," the creation of Elizabeth Magie). Want to play more board games designed by women? Let's go! [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Dec 16, 2012 - 24 comments

Stress at MIT

The Tech, a newspaper at MIT, has published a report about MIT students' stress. (via) [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Dec 10, 2012 - 70 comments

I Remember Cold Steel Bars & an Inch of Hard Rubber Below As A Kid

MONSTRUM believes that playground design should be a reflection of the world surrounding us. We see the world as a place full of colour. We meet boys that like pink and girls that likes climbing trees. Why only play on a monky frame and a sandbox, when you can play in a moon crater or a submarine or a giant spider or an enormous snail or a Trojans horse or a rocket or an ant or a princess castle. The fantasy is infinite.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Dec 7, 2012 - 38 comments

The Video Games Women Make

"The experiences of women may not be easy to portray in the aggressive world of videogames. If such a game is made - and I hope it is - it will be because its creators demanded to be heard. It will be created because women made it." (Source)
While the vast majority of video game titles are designed primarily by men, women have been a part of video game development since the earliest arcades. Here are some of their games: [more inside]
posted by subject_verb_remainder on Dec 1, 2012 - 40 comments

Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work

The author Samuel Langhorne Clemens, a popular MetaFilter topic, was born 177 years ago today (November 30th 1835) in Missouri. The printer, riverboat pilot, game designer, journalist, lecturer, technology investor, gold miner, publisher and patent holder wrote short stories, essays, novels and non-fiction under the pen name Mark Twain. This included The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (recently adapted into a musical), one of the top five challenged books of the 1990s, published in 1884-85 to a mixed reception and with an ending that still causes debate. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Nov 30, 2012 - 42 comments

27.5 years of gameplay

A study-based analysis of UK gaming magazines in the 1980s and 90s argues that the analysis of computer games, independent of attributes such as the platform or narrative, becomes more evident after March 1985 when the term 'gameplay' begins to be used in this media.
posted by Wordshore on Oct 3, 2012 - 10 comments

Bird Brains

Staying_On-Topic in r/intelligentanimals posts a huge number of links explaining why Corvids (crows, ravens, magpies, etc) are amazing.
posted by The Whelk on Aug 26, 2012 - 33 comments

Live Retro Sci-Fi Radio Comic Book Stage Show

"In a genre of its own—Live-Action Graphic Novel—The Intergalactic Nemesis saga is a hilarious, uplifting adventure of heroes-by-circumstance overcoming impossible odds. But the telling is what makes the experience of The Intergalactic Nemesis so incredibly unique: while three actors, one Foley artist, and one keyboardist perform all the voices, sound effects and music, more than 1,250 hand-drawn, full-color, hi-res, blow-your-mind comic-book images blast from the screen, all performed live." [more inside]
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing on Jul 22, 2012 - 9 comments

Foxes at Play

Across America, people on golf courses have noticed the trend of foxes stealing golf balls. More, more, and more.

The phenomenon has now spread to France, where foxes have been caught snatching boules de pétanque.
posted by gimonca on Apr 28, 2012 - 58 comments

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down, Again

Lessons in the Art of Pillow Fort Construction "Tether your sheets and blankets securely, but try not to get too attached yourself." [more inside]
posted by ColdChef on Apr 24, 2012 - 22 comments

I married adventure

Before Joy Adamson went to Africa, before Margaret Mead sailed to Samoa, before Dian Fossey was even born, a Kansas teenager named Osa Leighty married Martin Johnson. Whether dancing to jazz in Congorilla or meeting headhunters in Borneo, her life with Martin ultimately led to hours of pioneering documentary footage, books, movies and more. Her autobiography inspired a Kate Spade purse, a perfume and her marriage an entire line of clothing while her joie de vivre put her on the cover of a book on trailblazing women of history. Osa Johnson went on to become a character in a play, in a poem while her married life gave birth to a museum (or two). When Osa met Martin, she married adventure.
posted by infini on Apr 19, 2012 - 4 comments

More like Mighty Sciuridae Am I Right?

A squirrel enjoys playing with a ball, to the tune of "The Mighty Mouse Theme". Strangely satisfying.
posted by The Whelk on Mar 13, 2012 - 25 comments

The Winter's Tale [SLYT]

The Winter's Tale [SLYT] A splendid one-person (+dog+sockpuppet) rendition of Shakespeare's play. [more inside]
posted by odinsdream on Feb 7, 2012 - 15 comments

AGAIN!

Some cats just like to be flung
posted by The Whelk on Jan 31, 2012 - 67 comments

Sea bros

Off the coast of Hawaii comes the first scientific evidence of cooperative play between a bottlenose dolphin and a humpback whale. In two separate incidents a dolphin rode on the head of a whale above the surface of the water. It is not, however, the only footage of dolphins and whales playing around and helping each other out. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Jan 23, 2012 - 29 comments

The Star Pit

The Star Pit, a radio play by Samuel R. Delany, based on his short story. Notes on the production.
posted by Artw on Jan 10, 2012 - 8 comments

Let's play a love game

Kieron Gillen on sex and The Sims
posted by Artw on Dec 30, 2011 - 24 comments

Staying Frosty

"Transforming the second chapter of Ellen Ripley's ongoing war with the Xenomorphs into an icecapade is the kind of loony idea that that can only possibly exist after someone has exploded fireworks inside a crowded bar to simulate RoboCop's iconic gas station explosion while the titular cyborg breaks into a musical interlude describing his existential crisis. Anything else would be a step back after that."
The Old Murder House Theater is a comedy troupe in Austin known for doing... shall we say... unusual movie adaptations. Last weekend's show: "Aliens On Ice!" (Scroll down for Youtube footage, or check out a two minute summary of the show, from the troupe.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 23, 2011 - 24 comments

All work and no play makes Jack a neurotic boy.

The decline of play. As a society, we have come to the conclusion that to protect children from danger and to educate them, we must deprive them of the very activity that makes them happiest...
posted by bitmage on Oct 13, 2011 - 115 comments

Death of a Fucking Salesman

Glengarry Glen Ross endures mainly as a spectacular display of verbal warfare and alpha-male gamesmanship. There’s a musical quality to it, with a great composer and a great chorus hitting the complicated runs of broken dialogue and solos that weave into profane poetry and nuggets of philosophical wisdom. Perhaps the greatest sign of the movie’s success, owed equally to Mamet’s script and this cast, is that it does a great sales job in itself, convincing us that there’s nobility to men who lie for a living — a bill of goods we’re all too happy to buy. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Sep 29, 2011 - 67 comments

How come you ain't never liked me?

"How come you ain't never liked me?" (SLYT)
posted by curious nu on Sep 27, 2011 - 55 comments

DAMN THAT DOT

Kiwi The Cockatoo Vs The Laser Pointer [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Aug 27, 2011 - 51 comments

Central Park, adventure playgrounds and Katamari Damacy

"Better a broken bone than a broken spirit". So said the appropriately-named Lady Allen of Hurtwood, pioneer of adventure playgrounds - play spaces which sacrificed a little security in the interests of imagination and creativity. Her work on adventure playgrounds - along with the sight of young Londoners playing in the bombed-out sites of post-Blitz London - inspired a young Richard Dattner, a New York architect now probably best-known for the Bronx Public Library Center. [more inside]
posted by running order squabble fest on Jul 13, 2011 - 65 comments

Psykopaint

Psykopaint is really fun, visually interesting and free. It is a rich internet application in which you can turn your pictures into paintings by grabbing one of the 6 brushes provided and start painting while the colors are selected automatically for you. Created by Mathieu Gosselin.
posted by nickyskye on Feb 21, 2011 - 16 comments

A Quest For Gameplay

GLOBALTIMOTO - one man, on a motorcycle, around the world, in a quest for gameplay.
posted by jtron on Feb 14, 2011 - 1 comment

Linus The Cat Does Cat Things.

OMG CHRISTMAS KITTY. Move over Maru, the internet has a new cat sensation: Linus! He taps things. He licks things. . He apologizes to chairs. And sometimes he wears little costumes (wait for the end).
posted by The Whelk on Dec 24, 2010 - 36 comments

Aaaaaaaaarrrrrrrgggggggggggghhhhhhhh!

Zombigotchi: a wee short for a new iphone game by Finkbom. Directed/Animated by Mikey Please's inner 12 year old and produced by James Botey. In Zombigotchi one can: pet, punish, feed, & play. Make your own.
posted by Fizz on Nov 12, 2010 - 4 comments

For anyone making the plunge, Miller has advice: “Bring water. And wear sweatpants.”

The next day, Sunday, I spent almost nine hours immersed in Robert Lepage’s marathon play, Lipsynch, at the Bluma Appel Theatre, which was part of Luminato. You tell people you’ve just spent nine hours watching a play conducted in four languages (with projected sur-titles) and they think you’ve undergone an endurance test, made a heroic sacrifice for art. On the contrary. There was no suffering(5 minutes of [enthusiastic] standing and clapping). The time flew by. It was like taking your brain on a luxurious cruise. Or spending the day in an art spa, basking in mind massages and sensory wraps. Maybe it was high art but the ascent was effortless: because Lepage did all the work for you, it was experienced as pure entertainment. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Oct 10, 2010 - 6 comments

So please you, something touching the Timelord Hamlet. Captain Picard.

The Royal Shakespeare Company presents Hamlet, starring David Tennant as Hamlet, Sir Patrick Stewart as Claudius and the Ghost, Oliver Ford Davies as Polonius, Mariah Gale as Ophelia, and Edward Bennet as Laertes. Directed by Gregory Doran. [more inside]
posted by Ndwright on Aug 13, 2010 - 102 comments

The Miserable Ones

Opening Night: October 8, 1985 at the Barbican in London. It scored mixed reviews, but word of mouth still took hold. In the 25 years since that first show, 45,000 performances have been produced in 42 countries, 308 cities and 21 languages that have been seen by 56 million people. It is the third-longest running show in Broadway history. 40 cast recordings have been released. And on October 30th, 2010, a special concert production of the play based on the book Les Miserables by Victor Hugo will take place at The 02 Arena in North Greenwich. (YouTube Video) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 7, 2010 - 46 comments

John Paul II Superstar

Pope John Paul II, the musical: Two priests, two dancers and a team of young actors are bringing John Paul II to the stage this month, with a musical version of the pope's life and work. [more inside]
posted by aqsakal on Jun 4, 2010 - 14 comments

Super Sayan Spinning Front Hoof Attack!

My brother found this deer alone and malnourished when it was a tiny baby. My family bottle fed the baby, named Theen, until he was eating grass. Several months later he's very socialized with people, our black lab, and our cats. He is free to wander if he likes and we've seen him with several herds of whitetail and axis deer. Apparently he fits in just fine with them. He frequently comes back to the house to eat some catfood and play with our dog, Buddy. He doesn't care much for deer corn. One dog. One deer. One ball.
posted by lazaruslong on Mar 29, 2010 - 55 comments

A Blog About Plays

Blog: Daily Plays. "Reading a play a day and writing about what I read."
posted by grumblebee on Mar 9, 2010 - 4 comments

Oh Superman! You've Saved My Life Again!

Superman The Musical! A flop on Broadway about the Man Of Steel was made for TV once in 1975 and never again with Leslie Anne Warren, David Wilson, and Loretta Swit (but you can find it on amazon.)
posted by The Whelk on Feb 23, 2010 - 7 comments

If rhythm be the food of love, play on

The ASL Shakespeare Project brings us Twelfth Night, fully translated into American Sign Language (ASL) [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on Nov 5, 2009 - 17 comments

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