Civ IV wins a Grammy?

…by association at least.

I have been playing Civilization IV for my game this semester. Usually I skip the Intros to games for time’s sake, but I find myself sitting through Civ IV’s entire Intro because I really like the music. Apparently others agree with me because the theme song “Baba Yetu” won a Grammy this year.

Are there any other video game theme songs that you think deserve a Grammy?

A call for 1 or 2 more group members for group project!

Myself and Scott are currently looking for an additional group member or pair.  We had the idea of making a chemistry type based game that had some elements of the classic Pokemon series.  You would collect elements by discovering them in places where they would normally be found (ie you might have to venture into a mine shaft to find gold, it isn’t just random) throughout the game play and try to “evolve” them to be stronger by combining them in a chemically stable fashion.  For instance you find 2 Hydrogen atoms and 1 Oxygen atom and you can take it to the “Mad Scientist” and he will combine them for you, giving you a more powerful fighter.  There may also be some isotopes and radiation mixed in with the game to make it more interesting.  The game would obviously cater to an older crowd, probably late middle school to high school.  If you know anybody that is still looking for a group or are interested in joining our group please email me at

“Gamifying” Grades in Class

Unless you are totally not paying attention, you are aware that we are using a “game-based” grading system in EDUC 222. As I mentioned in the first class meeting, I was inspired to try this out by reading a blog post about a class taught by Lee Sheldon on MMORPGs in the Department of Telecommunications at Indiana University that uses a similar system. There have been a spate of blog posts about this kind of grading system recently, and I thought you might appreciate some “behind-the-scenes” considerations. As always, your feedback and input on our grading system is welcomed!

How to ‘Gamify’ your class Website” by Anastasia Salter in the Chronicle of Higher Education (this is basically the newspaper of higher education.

Gamifying Homework” by Jason Jones, also in the Chronicle.

And an interesting “post-mortem” on the IU class… do you agree with the students’ feedback on the grading system in that course? What would you change about the grading system in our course?


Up next from The Education Arcade

What are Scot Osterweil and our friends at MIT’s Education Arcade going to do next? Vanished: The MIT/Smithsonian Science Mystery! This is going to be a semi-synchronous multiplayer mystery that begins on April 4th. Students work on environmental science mysteries, assisted by real scientists at the Smithsonian. Here’s a USA Today piece on the game.

What do the numbers on the Vanished web site mean? What is the counter counting down to?

Anybody in 222 want to play?

Call of Duty vs. Halo vs. Atlantic Cod

The fish always wins. See the unassailable logic for yourself in this hilarious video from the nation’s premier ninja. Bonus: Notice who the question is from? (Note: you have to watch a short ad before the video.)

Vodpod videos no longer available.


For The Win

I’ve mentioned Cory Doctorow a few times before, but if you are playing World of Warcraft of any of massively multiplayer online role-playing game, you must read Cory’s second ‘teen’ novel, For The Win. Don’t be fooled by the ‘teen’ label, this is a great novel, with complex characters, a fast-moving plot, and a deep exploration of the world behind MMORPGs, the people who play them, and the hidden (and not-so-hidden) economies that they rely upon and create. This is essentially a story of the struggle between have-nots and don’t-cares, and the corporate powers who try to manipulate both for greater profit. And of course, as with all of Cory’s books, you can find them in fine bookstores as well as online in a variety of digital formats which you may download and read for free on Kindles, iPads, or whatever floats your boat.