Gamergate is an unfortunate distraction

I'm going to keep this relatively short. Gamergate is an unfortunate distraction in the face of the real and enduring social, political, and cultural issues that we face.

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Codecademy: A review

I first tried Codecademy shortly after they debuted in January 2012. I had recently finished acquainting myself with the basics of markup via a combination of W3 schools and some help from a couple of web developer friends. I felt pretty good about my growing grasp of HTML and CSS, so I figured maybe it was time to jump into an actual programming language. Codecademy aimed to help me do exactly that in their Code Year program starting with JavaScript, and then eventually progressing into Python.

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An open letter to Intel on the matter of "gamer gate"

To Whom It May Concern:

I'm writing with regard to your recent action of pulling your advertising campaign from Gamasutra in response to pressure from the individuals who associate themselves with the Twitter hashtag #gamergate.

The individuals who have pressured you into taking this action are immoral actors who are  collectively also responsible for forcing two women (Zoe Quinn & Anita Sarkeesian) to leave their homes due to extensive and specific violent threats against them. They in no way represent a majority of people who use your products, and their reprehensible actions are not worthy of the attention you have granted them by pulling your ads from Gamasutra, a site which provides high quality games journalism including the opinion piece written by Leigh Alexander which resulted in the so called "gamer gaters" directing their attention to you.

Corporate responsibility means (among other things) acting in the interest of human rights. In your case you have specifically stated that you seek to "promote honest and ethical conduct, deter wrongdoing, and support compliance with applicable laws and regulations." By supporting a very vocal and actively hurtful minority of individuals, your company is in fact failing to act responsibly. You are promoting unethical conduct and encouraging wrongdoing. You are empowering a truly unethical group of individuals who have engaged in not only threatening law abiding citizens, but also illegally obtaining personal information about them, and promoting harassment. The last thing we need in the video games community is further empowerment of a misogynistic group that seeks to directly hurt people and hinder healthy discourse about games as a medium.

In light of this, I ask that you take stock of this situation and move to rectify your prior actions. While I understand that you have a variety of needs to balance as a corporation, please look to the future in this matter. Help us make that future a positive one where voices of hatred are not supported by organizations like Intel that have expressed a strong commitment to acting responsibly as corporate entities.


Dr. Moses Wolfenstein.

Submitted through Intel's corporate responsibility email page on October 3rd, 2014. Composed on an iPad which was less than optimal.


A Game Where You Are a Cloud

I was out for a run the other day, and I found myself in desperate need of distraction as my mind kept wandering to some rather unpleasant topics (topics that I can't actually discuss here on this public blog). I had read a few post about Mountain, although I hadn't purchased it yet, and as my eyes drifted skyward I thought to myself, "I wonder what it would be like to design a game where you are a cloud?"

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Games vs. Gamification: The GLS 10 Micropresentation

Since folks asked so nicely, here are the slides from my Micropresentation. The full script for the talk is in the notes section.

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