Elsewhere: E-Readers, Ponycorns, Infinity Blade, Christian Film, etc.

Elsewhere: E-Readers, Ponycorns, Infinity Blade, Christian Film, etc. May 27, 2011
In the future, prisoners will be forced to mine for gold 12 hours a day in a virtual world. Oh wait, that’s now, in China. The future is here, and it’s terrible.

The usability of e-readers is questioned in this post which cites a year-long study of how college students use them.

Google’s philosopher? According to Venture Beat, Google has hired a philosopher to help them think through the ethics of their business. Damon Horowitz, the philosopher, is quoted as saying, ““Ethics is hard. . . .Ethics requires thinking.”

A little girl’s dad helped her make a game. The result is Sissy’s Magical Ponycorn Adventure and it is the best thing. Sarah Elmaleh wrote up a nice explanation of why it’s such a breath of fresh air.

I wrote this review of Casey’s Contraptions, a kind of unofficial reboot of The Incredible Machine for the iPad. I liked it. I talk about why, and also a little about my early adolescence.

Three more must-reads from Kill Screen this week:
Jon Irwin brings a childhood pet back to life on his 3DS.

Ryan Kuo on one of the most profoundly affecting little iPhone games to come out in quite a while.

And then there’s this absolutely essential little work about the iPad game, Infinity Blade. That last one you should read even if you have never heard of the game. Make sure you follow the bloodlines…

Filmwell has re-launched with a new home and a new look.

Do you think the Internet makes us stupid, lonely, and/or morally and spiritually compromised? If you do, don’t tell Cathy Davidson.

One of my new favorite film blogs is Catecinem, and this article on “the cheesy, family-film aesthetic cultivated by the current crop” of Christian cinema is a perfect example of why.

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  • RE the e-reader article:
    Any time an article uses “newfangled” unironically, you can pretty much immediately dismiss it. It won’t have anything valuable to say. It’s already staked itself as traditionalist for traditionalism’s sake. And unsurprisingly, this is the case here.

    The article is useless in that its data comes from two years ago. As soon as I saw that there was a study regarding e-readers in universities, I wondered if it would be referring to that one from light years ago (in tech years). It was. This article cites research concurrent with the very first release of the Kindle DX. Now Kindle DX is a pretty cool device, but I don’t think anyone ever expected it to replace large colourful textbooks. I mean, Kindles in that era didn’t even offer pagination.

    A much better device for Textbook replacement would be something like an iPad. I haven’t tried iBook or whatever they call it but that’s more software than hardware. It should be simple enough for a company to produce a program that answers almost all of the issues that would cause students to prefer woodpulp to 1s and 0s.

    On Filmwell:
    This is good. I’ve always enjoyed M. Leary.

    On Catecinem:
    Oh Tetsuo Iron Man, how close I was to forgetting that you ever existed.

  • p.s. Ponycorns are the radness.

  • I thought “gold-farming” was something Cory Doctorow made up for his book For the WIn! It’s a good book if you want to understand the implications of this economic activity. See my review here: http://www.semicolonblog.com/?p=10427

  • Nah, gold farming has been around (in both practice and terminology) since the late ’90s at least. It came into parlance with the advent of MMOs like Ultima Online and later games like Everquest and World of Warcraft.