Metaverse Madness

Late last month Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company was changing its name to Meta Platforms Inc., or simply Meta for short. The timing of the announcement led many commentators to interpret the re-branding as an attempt by Facebook leadership to direct attention away from the leaked documents and whistleblower testimony that were … Continue reading Metaverse Madness

Pokemon Go & post-pandemic mobility expectations

I haven’t played Pokemon Go since the early days of its release. It was nearly impossible to avoid the buzz surrounding the game’s launch. And as I wrote back in July 2016, the hype around the game was infectious and the game itself offered an exciting new way of interacting with public spaces in your … Continue reading Pokemon Go & post-pandemic mobility expectations

The unreal urbanism of Pokémon Go

Earlier this month the mobile-app game Pokémon Go was released in the U.S., and the game has been ubiquitous ever since. Aside from being a sudden pop culture phenomenon, the game's success poses some significant implications. First of all, this is clearly a breakthrough moment for augmented reality. Pokémon Go is not the first augmented reality game, … Continue reading The unreal urbanism of Pokémon Go

Gamification: educational applications and the rise of engagement

This EdTech article by D. Frank Smith showcases an app designed by a UW-Madison professor to teach campus sustainability through gamification: One of the app's games lets students practice waste sorting to reinforce good habits in distinguishing waste from recyclable materials. Different objects scroll down the side of the screen on a conveyer belt, and … Continue reading Gamification: educational applications and the rise of engagement

Bogost on Facebook feudalism, narrative possibilites in games, the gamification of sex

Media theorist and ludologist Ian Bogost recently penned some thoughts on Facebook's development platform (referred to as "Facebook's bleak new feudalism" in the title of Kotaku's repost of the original piece): The short truth is this: Facebook doesn't care if developers can use the platform easily or at all. In fact, it doesn't seem to … Continue reading Bogost on Facebook feudalism, narrative possibilites in games, the gamification of sex

Multiple angles on gamification

This week my fiancée told me about an app she had recently installed on her phone. As she excitedly described it, users of the app can "check in" at a retail store (it sounded like your location is verified through GPS) and you receive points for doing so, presumably to redeem for store purchases but … Continue reading Multiple angles on gamification