Link Dumpage: Bang Bang Orangutang

I'm woefully behind on my web reading. You've probably already seen these.

  • Techniques of Written Storytelling Applied to Game Design: "It's been said many times, and that's because it's obvious: game design must strive to become more emotionally involving, and the best way to achieve this is to create resonant characters. It's obvious, but it's only half the story. The characters whom we seek to fill with emotional depth are the non-player characters (NPCs). In games, we have another class of characters: player characters."
  • The Great Failure of Wikipedia: "... the function of this speech is not to criticise Wikipedia but to point out how Wikipedia represents the first wave of a coming information war and something where the Internet, as it becomes more important as a source of information, is going to be headed off by certain forces, by certain techniques, some of which are successful and some of which are not ... because Wikipedia has let itself be open to this we are seeing these techniques in use today, where in ten years they will actually affect lives directly."
  • Unlocking the secret sounds of language: Life without time or numbers: "More than 25 years ago, Professor Everett, then a missionary and now an ethnologist at the University of Manchester, decided to try to teach members of the obscure Pirahã tribe how to count. He would not succeed. Instead, he found a world without numbers, without time, one where people appeared to hum and whistle rather than speak."
  • Inform 7 and Chris Crawford's Storytron: I haven't had much of a chance to look at either of these, but my initial feelings are that Inform 7 loses a lot of glue flexibility by requiring its IDE (I had hopes of a wiki-based Ghyll interactive fiction story, downloaded and compiled daily) and that the Storytron will be too abstract (in an "idea", not programmatic, way) for anyone but the most devoted.
  • Seed: A new sci-fi MMORPG that I've yet to try either (gah, I've not played WoW for like three months either! Curse this lack of time!) but which purports to have "personalized stories, social/political gameplay, believable NPCs, and 3D comic book graphics". Peruse the features for more.