STEM and STEAM: education by acronymisation

I think I bang on quite a bit in lectures about the differences between academic disciplines or fields of study, because I think if you “get” this, it puts everything else you do within a useful context. People don’t like to be told: “That’s interesting and original, but you only get a 50% because it doesn’t really address the question.” or “Your references are from good sources but not really relevant to the field.” The different disciplines, taken to an extreme, represent quite fundamentally different philosophical or ideological ways of seeing and experiencing the world. Perhaps it is no great surprise that there is ongoing and noisy debate about which disciplines should receive the most attention at varying levels of education. Artists are gonna want more arts, scientists are going to want more science.

Continue reading

The end of the Walking Dead, aka: one of the best gaming moments ever

…and why it’s a perfect example of an experience only possible through gaming. What do you mean “It came out two years ago, have you been living in a cave?”

The point and click adventure genre was always more character and dialogue focused than action-oriented games, and in retrospect it’s unsurprising that as gaming continues to mature this genre has seen a fair bit of a resurgence. Not to poo-poo the sheer action-blasty-kill-splat-death joy of a ‘mindless’ shooter but you get the point. There’s probably a whole thing to be written about games writing in general, even in the action-shooty genres gamers are expecting to see fully-voiced dialogue (even when this costs a huge amount to implement in sprawling RPGs and MMOs), mainstream audiences get annoyed about things like facial animations and romance options. Technical ability and good writing are bringing more options to developers, whether you’re going for stylistic ultra-violence (say, Bulletstorm) or seemingly humdrum existence (say, The Stanley Parable)

Continue reading