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playful technologies can help students understand how history is created

Pastplay: Teaching and Learning History with Technology. The fourth book from the digitalculturebooks imprint of the University of Michigan Press, Pastplay includes a wide range of essays, all available online for free. T. Mills Kelly reflects on his historical methods course which resulted in a historical hoax, “the last American pirate,” declared one of the 10 biggest hoaxes in Wikipedia’s first ten years. Matthew Kirschenbaum discusses if board games work better than computer games for teaching history. The book's chapters cover successful combinations of play, technology, and history. Yet, many are wary, as a "playful approach to teaching and learning with technology can seem like the worst of all possible worlds: the coupling of strategies developed for entertainment with tools created for commerce." [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi on May 4, 2014 - 17 comments

Monte Carlo

The year was 1945. Two earthshaking events took place: the successful test at Alamogordo and the building of the first electronic computer. Their combined impact was to modify qualitatively the nature of global interactions between Russia and the West. No less perturbative were the changes wrought in all of academic research and in applied science. On a less grand scale these events brought about a [renaissance] of a mathematical technique known to the old guard as statistical sampling; in its new surroundings and owing to its nature, there was no denying its new name of the Monte Carlo method (PDF). -N. Metropolis
Conceptually talked about on MeFi previously, some basic Monte Carlo methods include the Inverse Transform Method (PDF) mentioned in the quoted paper, Acceptance-Rejection Sampling (PDFs 1,2), and integration with and without importance sampling (PDF).
posted by JoeXIII007 on Dec 17, 2011 - 13 comments

The Flow

Let Yourself Feel and Nokta and Reincarnation: just a few samples from hundreds you'll find on the vfxstuff channel at Vimeo.
posted by netbros on Jul 24, 2010 - 8 comments

But what about Monkey Polar Express?

The uncanny valley effect (too many previous posts to list) has been blamed for poor acceptance of human-analogue robots (YT) and computer simulations (not to mention the box office results for The Polar Express, Beowulf, and other computer-animated movies). But did you know that humans are not the only primate species to experience this "too close for comfort" effect? A recent behavioral study in macaque monkeys suggests (pdf) that the uncanny valley may be hardwired into our brains at a deeper level (i.e., earlier-evolved) than previously thought.
posted by supercres on Nov 2, 2009 - 40 comments

Portraits of a Universe in Motion

Galaxy Dynamics GRAVITAS is an ongoing project to visualize and animate the dynamics of galaxies using supercomputer simulations.
posted by ZippityBuddha on Feb 2, 2006 - 21 comments

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee damn it crashed.

CoasterSims.com. Just because nature is full of icy death outside doesn't mean you can't sit in your computer chair and scream like a damn fool on a roller coaster.
posted by qDot on Jan 11, 2005 - 3 comments

Cosmic rays

Cosmic ray air shower simulations (do not miss the movies)
posted by MzB on Nov 3, 2004 - 1 comment

From the I'm a sucker for these things series

The good-looking textured light-sourced bouncy fun smart and stretchy page
By one of the guys who did this, so you can do this while you spend the day away here.
posted by magullo on Oct 29, 2003 - 6 comments

Budget game

National Budget Simulation Think Washington is doing a poor job of allocating funds? See if you can eliminate the deficit with this little game.
posted by synecdoche on Feb 28, 2003 - 25 comments

A Beautiful Post

The Ultimate Game. Game theory was applied extensively by US foreign policy-makers during the Cold War, and many would credit those "moves" with the triumph of the West. But can it work now? Are rogue states and terrorists "rational actors?" Are we seeing a classic two-player game playing out with the US and Iraq? What does it even mean to "win" in the post-Soviet era? If these theories interest you, try these online simulations.
posted by _sirmissalot_ on Feb 28, 2003 - 20 comments

Gulf War 2

Not really a game, but is scary/funny: This is a projection of the most likely outcome of a new war in the Gulf. I used sophisticated temporal algorithms and historical semiotic analysis to achieve an accuracy rating of 99.999%. It's the mother of all Flash games.
posted by samelborp on Jan 27, 2003 - 31 comments

Make and run your own country...

NationStates.net allows you to create your own country, decide how it starts out by answering a short questionary, and then it gives you issues to solve (one per day, though you can set it to two per day). How you answer those issues determines how your country fares, the type of country it is, and many other things. You can join the UN and elect a regional representative, create your own region that you and your friends can migrate to (all new nations start out in The Pacific, which is consequentially the largest region in NationStates, but you can move wherever you want).
posted by sailoreagle on Jan 3, 2003 - 51 comments

What if you could live your life over again?

Alter Ego What if you could live your life over again? This straightforward virtual life simulator is fun and involving, and I almost wonder if I didn't learn a thing or two in the process. Wonderful implementation of the concept.
posted by oissubke on Nov 25, 2002 - 19 comments

After an extensive search of my personal archives (box of stuff stored at my parent's), I stumbled upon the true inspiration for the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Seven years prior, video game manufactuer Koei Games released Aerobiz, an airline management simulator. Its boxart features this chilling image of the New York City skyline. I am not a New Yorker so please, correct me if I am wrong, but the positioning of the Empire State building and the Chrysler building would seem to place the office inside one of the World Trade Center towers.
posted by nathan_teske on Mar 28, 2002 - 22 comments

MyPhysicsLab – Physics Simulations

MyPhysicsLab – Physics Simulations could have saved my bacon in high school. I'm hypnotized by colliding blocks.
posted by heather on Jul 30, 2001 - 11 comments

I'm a little flabbergasted that this never made it onto mefi.

I'm a little flabbergasted that this never made it onto mefi. although graphics intensive, it is some brilliant work(delicate sensibilities beware: sexual situations and profanity abound). unfortunately, it has not been updated for quite some time. i only bring it up because it is another neglected web depot that i regularly enjoyed(like my boot).
posted by donkeysuck on Apr 23, 2001 - 15 comments

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