Preserving and Demonstrating History

A few weeks ago, I went to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA with a friend of mine. I had gone to its predecessor in Boston in 1990, The Computer Museum (closed in 1999). While the Boston museum focused on how a computer works, the Mountain View museum focuses on the history and the people of computing. Which, as you can see from the titles of both museums, is a conscious difference of focus.

That particular day I visited the History Museum, a demonstration of the PDP-1 was being held twice that day. I admit that while I knew this was an important device, I was murky at the time as to its exact history. Going to the demonstration made me hurt myself for forgetting. The PDP-1 was the first ‘personal’ computer in the sense that one person could operate the machine rather than a team of computer engineers. This paved the way for the MIT Tech Model Railroad Club to make key software in computer history, including Spacewar!

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RIP: Uru: Myst Online

An end of an era:

Myst Online: Uru Live Season 2 Status

Hi Everybody,

I have some news that some of you have probably not been looking forward to. GameTap has decided to discontinue the operation of Myst Online: Uru Live.

< SNIP >

Ricardo Sanchez
VP of Content and Creative Director for GameTap

I’m upset that the eight year journey has come to a close, but I also think that it’s time for the experiment to come to a rest. Uru was a needed and welcomed experiment in a MMO based narrative, not on combat. The goal was not to level up or defeat the baddie with spells and swords, but to progress and the story line. From this, a very strong and tight-nit group believed intensely in the project and the community they built.

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The Corporation for Public Gaming

“Funds for this game were provided by The Corporation for Public Gaming.”

When television and radio started, different countries took different choices in how the airwaves would be regulated. In England, taxes are levied on all radios and television sets to fund programming. Some countries have all media run directly by the state. In the US, a free market economy was formulated to let market take charge of content generation; A commercial system. But with the commercial system, there was a call for providing content that wasn’t commercially sustainable but culturally important. Content of instructional, educational, and cultural significance that it’s commercially viable but very important. The Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 among others did this for television and radio in the United States. I want to have an additional organization for electronic entertainment media.

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Game Innovation?

There’s something that I find funny about a list of ‘game innovations.’ Are we talking technical innovations or creative design innovations? And is there really a difference to begin with? Or should we even care about innovations?

Case in discussion point: Top 10 Game Innovations 2007 by James Portnow on Next Generation. Right point 10, Mr. Portnow seems to describe his own short comings on the topic by not having the language to describe fl0w by thatgamecompany.

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