Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Two talks: Galloway and McGonigal

Center for Humanities at Temple
Digitial Humanities in Theory
Lecture: "The Unworkable Interface" 
by Alex Galloway
Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University

Tuesday, November 13
4:00–5:30 pm,
CHAT Lounge (10th flr Gladfelter)

Interfaces are back, or perhaps they never left. The familiar Socratic conceit from the “Phaedrus” of communication as the process of writing directly on the soul of the other has, since the 1980s and ‘90s, returned to center stage in the discourse around culture and media. Windows, doors, airport gates and other thresholds are those transparent devices that achieve more the less they do: for every moment of virtuosic immersion and connectivity, for every moment of inopacity, the threshold becomes one notch more invisible, one notch more inoperable. This lecture examines the interface, what Gérard Genette called a “zone of indecision” between the inside and outside of media. What is a computer interface and how does it structure interaction, work, and play?

Swarthmore College
Talk: "Games to Change the World" 
by Jane McGonigal

November 14th, 2012
7:30 PM
LPAC Pearson-Hall Theater
Swarthmore College

Game designer Jane McGonigal is harnessing the power of Internet games in new ways to help solve some of the biggest challenges facing our world. Her public talk is based on her book Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make us Better and How They Can Change the World, as well as recent game designs. She asks her audience to imagine a world in which every great challenge we face is a quest; where the harder a task is, the more people want to do it; where people take pleasure in failing and come back invigorated; and where they communicate spontaneously with their collaborators to pool their knowledge toward shared solutions. It turns out that world already exists-in games.

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