Link Dumpage for 2009-01-29

Notable links enjoyed today:

  • "So instead of players viewing a screen and projecting their identity elsewhere as in other digital learning games, ARGs actually require the player to play themselves, embodying themselves fully in the fantasy scenario, providing fully-situated meaning. If it can be argued that experience of projective identities contributes to deep learning, in that gaming requires players to 'see themselves in terms of a new identity..., the kind of person who can learn, use and value the new semiotic domain', then experiencing a new domain *as yourself* is likely to increase this contribution."
  • "Project Loyola [was] an alternate reality game (ARG) and senior-level project by students in the Game Design program at Savannah College of Art and Design ... The team members worked together over 10 weeks to develop the project under the guidance of Prof. Brenda Brathwaite."
  • "They [managed to create ball-lightning-like fireballs] by putting pieces of silicon or one of a number of other solid materials inside a shoe-box-sized cavity and zapping the material with microwaves from a metal tip. Once the material had melted, the researchers pulled the metal tip away, dragging material from the molten hotspot. That created a column of fire which then detached itself to form a floating, quivering fireball."
  • "[The regenerative powder] is a substance made from pig bladders called extracellular matrix. It is a mix of protein and connective tissue surgeons often use to repair tendons and it holds some of the secrets behind the emerging new science of regenerative medicine. ... Corporate America, meanwhile, already believes regeneration will work. Investment capital has been pouring in to commercialize and mass produce custom-made body parts."
  • "A neckband that translates thought into speech by picking up nerve signals has been used to demonstrate a "voiceless" phone call for the first time. With careful training a person can send nerve signals to their vocal cords without making a sound. These signals are picked up by the neckband and relayed wirelessly to a computer that converts them into words spoken by a computerised voice."
  • "In the warm-glow view of philanthropy, people aren’t giving money merely to save the whales; they’re also giving money to feel the glow that comes with being the kind of person who’s helping to save the whales. ... “Giving is not about a calculation of what you are buying,” Karlan said. “It is about participating in a fight.” It is about you as much as it about the effect of your gift."