Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category



Reading Fortune’s Formula by William Poundstone, I find this anecdote about Claude Shannon, the towering genius who invented information theory: Claude built things with his hands, almost compulsively, from youth to old age. One project was a telegraph set to tap out messages to a boyhood friend. The friend’s house was half a mile away. […]

The tail end of this interview with Jonathan Blow captures a split in the classroom as well as on the screen. There is the challenge, with bits of story stuck in it. But do the challenge and the story generate each other, or is the challenge just there to space out the story? And is […]



Interesting article from the Boston Globe about how cities make us dumber. I would make many of the same claims about the design of much of the curriculum students have to deal with. Reading noisy pages is hard for adult readers, as many of the studies in this book by Colin Wheildon show. Put words […]

One of the hardest struggles in building a curriculum is the lumbering feeling of the classroom plan. At the level at which the student experiences it, it doesn’t twist or turn or adapt. Consider Raph Koster’s notes from the Game Designers Conference 2008, especially point#10: #10: The best content understands exactly how the player likes […]

Game spaces


Some time ago I watched my son Elliott play on an appliance at a play area at the Point Defiance Zoo. “Appliance” is an odd word, one I use advisedly. Some game theorists use it for non-games like <I>The Sims</I>, things better thought of as toys than real games with rules and a finish line. […]

Young brains


All the skepticism about neuroscience telling us about mind applies, butthis article from the Economist is interesting. If I follow the conclusions correctly, it says that one network of brain functions handles new challenges and another evaluates longer-term plans. In the minds of children, however, these are one network, with the long-term functions wrapped inside […]

NYT reports on the decline in unstructure d play in the lives of U.S. children. I might even say: A collapse. It seems earlier generations of kids were turned out of the house to play. But then there were clusters of children running about playing, inventing things to do in cul-de-sacs and bridges, parks and […]