Miscellaneous writings by me.

Minecraft is one of the most popular games to date. 70 million copies have been sold, untallied hacked and free downloads. But I believe Minecraft’s popularity is more than Numbers. Minecraft has had an amazing critical reception and inspired a unique response by the player community. The number of players and numerous mods that have been created is respectable, combined with its ongoing popularity for a game released over 6 years ago is unprecedented. Even more curious t is how institutions have recognized the value of its gameplay. There have been awards and MIT, the UN, a multitude of public educational organizations, the Smithsonian and the British Museum have all recognized Minecraft as a unique change in the idea of video game play.  They have seen a  benefit to promoting it on some level.  What is it about Minecraft that created this popularity?   Games are composed of two elements, Narrative and Mechanics. While the mechanics of Minecraft are understood I think the narrative points to the real success of the game.

The Grind: a framework for library programs

 

 

Changes are coming to libraries, no matter how much some patrons and librarians may not want them.  Maker spaces, digital skills, games and content creation in libraries are all taking hold even in the most conservative systems. The problem is they are usually wrapped in a package called programs.  Now programing has been a major part of a public libraries role for years.  Traditionally the offerings were a certain type that I would call them show and tell.  What is a show and tell?  Informal teaching situations; an artist displaying their work, children’s story time, an author talking about their book, a talk about travels in other countries or a historical event, usually in reference to a book.  Which is basically a more adult story time.

 

BINGE WATCHED: Farscape – Telenova in space with Muppets!!!

 

            Sci-Fi was really the first network to show a realistic gritty sci-fi piece on tv.  One that caught what a constant war in space would be really be like. One that showed the terrible human toll on a man constantly paranoid that things were not what they seem. No, I am not talking about your Fracking Battlestar Galactica and its’ shaky CSI in space style.  I mean Frelling FarScape.  Better in my opinion and it had Muppets!

The American Astronaut:  Steinbeck in Space with a touch of Captain Beefheart

 

Hard to describe why this movie is so perfect in every way.  The first thing I want to say is it is the Cinematography.  The grainy black and white recalls the feel of old flash Gordon serials, a feeling enhanced by the use of claustrophobic stage sets, and no camera movement. The director managed to capture a feel that make it seem it could have been shot on a republic studio in 1930.

 

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