Desert of My Real Life

Category: Games

Women Playing Poker

I played in a women's Texas Hold 'Em poker event at Foxwoods this weekend. I played well but I often felt as though I was fighting against my upbringing as a woman. Let me explain. A good poker player keeps her opponents guessing as to what hand she might be holding. This means that a…

Unconventional Play

My aunt sent me a link to a Forbes Magazine online article about Words With Friends, Zynga's Scrabble rip-off. (An aside: I got sidetracked by the fact that Zynga's business model seems based on cloning other people's ideas for games and found that it is really difficult to protect against such clones. I'll write about…

Gamification and Education

A trending buzzword in today's digital culture is gamification. According to most sources on the Internet, the term was coined in 2004 by Nick Pelling, a UK-based business consultant who promises to help manufacturers make their electronic devices more fun. Since then, the business world has jumped on the gamification bandwagon with fervor. Most definitions…

Games and Lessons for Life

I am a sucker for stories about the relationship between games and life.  When I was a graduate student, a story in the Tallahassee Democrat about the life of Warrick Dunn, a star football player whose police officer mother was killed in the line of duty while he was in high school, brought me to…

Amazon’s Android App Store

I received this open letter from the International Game Developer's Association. I think it's a very reasoned, educational letter and points to a dominant theme of our times.  Corporations are demanding more and more "rights" in their strive to make higher and higher profits.  Amazon's distribution terms take away all control of developers for their…

We Are STILL Playing a Game

I recently wrote a blog entry in response to Caroline Bender's question about the Scrabble game we were playing online.  Since we have different motivations for playing Scrabble, Ms. Bender asked whether we were actually playing a "game."  My short response: yes.  After reading that response, Scott commented about the difference for him between playing…

We Are Playing a Game

One of my blog buddies, the fabulous Caroline Bender (she of Drawing In fame), wrote an entry yesterday about the "game" she and I have been playing on Facebook.  I put "game" in quotes because one of the questions she asks is whether we are actually playing a game.  So here is my response to…

Game Design Education

I belong to the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) which has a fairly active listserv.  The most recent discussion on the listserv was prompted by Brenda Brathwaite's rant at the most recent Game Developers Conference, which ends today.  Brathwaite is a well-known game designer, educator, IGDA board member, and author.  She wrote one of my favorite game…

Kid Poker

I am huge fan of Texas Hold 'Em poker.  It is an interesting mix of skill and chance with a bit of human unpredictability thrown in and as a result is an extremely difficult game to master.  My favorite player (when I watch the game on TV) is Kid Poker, Daniel Negreanu.  He is ranked…

Social Games

I recently traveled to Oxford University in England to present a paper at a conference called Videogame Cultures and the Future of Interactive Entertainment.  The conference brought together aabout 25 people from all over the world and from a wide variety of disciplines.  It was one of the best conferences I've ever attended and I…