• "One of the most important things I learnt throughout the process was that through ‘performing’ ideas – including getting members of the audience involved – it was evident whether or not the experience/idea/design would be valuable, exciting or intriguing. During the presentations, you could instantly tell if the project was a success. In some ways this combines presentation with a form of fictional user testing, they were performing to know. Here, prototyping is taken to another level, where ideas are exposed to an audience, events are ‘acted out’ and success is evaluated. Performance as a prototyping medium." I like 'performing to know'
  • "So, given this [zero-button, move and look] interface, whence interactivity in Dear Esther? I say: from an understated but deadly-precise sense of attention design through spatial design.

    You walk along the beach; a path goes up the bluff, another along the strand. You go one way or the other. There are no game-mechanics associated with the choice, and a plot-diagram analysis would call them "the same place" — you can try either, back up, and go the other way. But this misses the point. Precisely because the game lacks keys, switches, stars, and 1ups, it has no implicit mandate to explore every inch of territory. Instead, you want to move forward. Backtracking is dull. Worse: given the game's sedate walking pace, it's slightly frustrating. (They left out the run button for a reason, see?) Moving into new territory is always the best-rewarded move, and therefore your choice of path is a choice. You will not (unless you thrash hard against the game's intentions) see everything in your first run-through." Cracking writing about immersive, environmental storytelling in Dear Esther, and why it's clearly a game.

  • "…he still remembers his frustration at encountering "sliced-up ghettos of thought" – sculpture, architecture, fashion, embroidery, metalwork, product and furniture design all in separate departments – "which I don't believe are absolute. It's just the way we categorise things and the way we chose to educate people."" Quite excited to see the Heatherwick show.
  • "Super-simple baseline .mobi templates. Here ya go."
  • It's basically a satellite that's an external Android peripheral, and they're chucking it into space with a phone attached. Impressive.
  • "I am anxious for you and the boy's future — make the boy interested in natural history if you can, it is better than games — they encourage it at some schools — I know you will keep him out in the open air — try and make him believe in a God, it is comforting. Oh my dear my dear what dreams I have had of his future and yet oh my girl I know you will face it stoically…" Whatever his flaws, this is a remarkable piece of writing; Scott's final letters to his wife, as his Anatarctic expedition reached its close. Very sad.
  • "To train the astronauts, he set up a makeshift facility seven miles away from Lusaka, where the trainees, dressed in drab overalls with British army helmets, would then take turns to climb into a 44 gallon oil drum which would be rolled down a hill bouncing over rough ground; this, according to Nkoloso, would train the men in the feeling of weightlessness in both space travel and re-entry." Wow.
  • Dan on Torchlight and Borderlands: "…they both tickle the same fetishistic urge to collect, developing bigger and better attacks to have much the same effect on bigger and better monsters as your last set of attacks had on the last set of monsters. Every single decent-sized beastie in each one drops loot when they die. Throw in a two-car carport and this is a precise map of adult life, except fun." I really need to do my goty.cx write-up quite soon.
  • "Use [ffffl*ckr] to find the photography you like using the simple idea that people whose work you like, probably like stuff you'll like. You start with a set of pictures – if you authenticate, it'll use 20 of your last 100 favorites – otherwise it'll start with somebody's favorites. Click any picture to load more. Don't like what that person likes? Scroll back and click a different picture you like. It's that simple."
  • Fascinating: GPS satellites are both high enough, and travelling fast enough, that you need to correct for relativistic effects in order for them to be effective.
  • "To whomever it may concern, In response to the unfortunate circumstances, some wives of Rockstar San Diego employees have collected themselves to assert their concerns and announce a necessary rejoinder, in the form of an immediate action to ameliorate conditions of employees." Jesus. Once again: the games industry treats its staff appallingly. As the first commenter says: "It's a video game people. Find a way to make one without imposing unethical, illegal, and debilitating working conditions."
  • "One of the world's finest compact fountain pens, the excellent Tasche measures just 98mm closed, but opened up becomes a full-size pen at 145mm long. The secret is the extra-long cap, which almost entirely swallows the rest of the pen when closed, but posts firmly onto the top of the pen to create the full length." Possibly another distraction before I succumb to buying a Vanishing Point