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    MOVIES! TRAILERS!

    >My new video "A HARD DAY'S KNIGHT," in which I don chain mail to find glory, donuts and spare change for my quest. BIGGER SCREEN ON YOU TUBE

    CLASSIC BOOK trailer! [bigger screen on YouTube]

    more videos here

    Tuesday
    Dec292015

    Star Wars Jabber on WGBH

    Friday
    Dec182015

    My Failure Is Complete: I Fell for Star Wars Hype. Now, Can We Just Watch the Damned Movie?

    The hype-train has hit hyperdrive. The entertainment-industrial complex has devoured us all like that sarlacc from “Return of the Jedi” lurking in the Great Pit of Carkoon. This “Star Wars” fan is worn out: The nonstop marketing machine has turned fandom into a grind. Dear Lucasfilm and shareholders of the Walt Disney Co.: I just want to watch your damned movie. I wrote this rant for Salon.com. Enjoy!

    Friday
    Dec182015

    ‘Star Wars,’ And The Force It Awakened In Me

    “Star Wars” and its sequels were touchstones, mind-bending fantasy movie experiences into which I poured my longings for escape, creativity and adventure. Read the rest of the essay here.

    Friday
    Dec182015

    Apparently this is what I look like when I'm talking about Star Wars

    I was on WGBH's Greater Boston to talk about The Force Awakens. Apparently this is what I look like when I'm talking about Star Wars. Watch the full video here.

    Sunday
    Dec132015

    Star Wars Means Different Things to Different Generation

    In four decades and over six movies, “Star Wars” has infused our culture like a Force unto itself. Devotees view George Lucas’s universe of lightsaber duels, spaceship dogfights, and father-son conflicts as holy writ. Even casual fans are counting down to the release of the long-awaited Episode VII, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” on Friday.

    But what “Star Wars” means to its admirers, and the expectations they bring to the new installment, depends not just on personal taste but on how old they were when they initially encountered the epic science-fiction saga — and on where, for them, the story began. 

    Read the rest of my story over at the Boston Globe.

     

    Monday
    Oct192015

    Computer games can save your life

     

    How was your 1980s childhood affected by early computer games like The Bard’s Tale, Ultima III: Exodus, Beyond Castle Wolfenstein and Elite? In my review of the new memoir "Gamelife" by Michael W. Clune in the New York Times Book Review, I discuss how Clune's story shows that games can offer a way to navigate the perils of a baffling preadolescence.

    All part of the NYTBR's coverage of nerdy/comics/gaming books. 

    Wednesday
    Oct142015

    See the Sketches J.R.R. Tolkien Used to Build Middle-Earth

    Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings but he also drew it:

    The many maps and sketches he made while drafting The Lord of the Rings informed his storytelling, allowing him to test narrative ideas and illustrate scenes he needed to capture in words. For Tolkien, the art of writing and the art of drawing were inextricably intertwined.

    In the book The Art of The Lord of the Rings, we see how, and why.

    My sneak peek of his sketches for Wired.com


     

    Wednesday
    Oct142015

    A Conversation about Conversation with Sherry Turkle

    An interview I did with Sherry Turkle for the Boston Globe, about the demise of conversation in the digital age:

    Turkle, 67, professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a prolific author, wants to have a conversation. About conversation — and why so few people seem interested in having, or are able to have, that face-to-face anymore.

    The crisis of conversation is at the heart of Turkle’s new book, “Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age.” With it, she hopes to spark a discussion about what we lose when we settle for fleeting texts, sound bites, and status updates, instead of pursuing meaningful, nuanced human connection.

    “I had a question. All these people were saying, I’d rather text than talk,” says Turkle. “What happens if in business, in education, in romance, and child-rearing, you text rather than talk?”

    Read the rest of the story here.

    Wednesday
    Oct142015

    With Boda Borg, Reality Gaming Comes to Boston

    Is Boston ready for the "Maze of Craziness"? I explore the reality-gaming center Boda Borg Boston for The Boston Globe.

    Boda Borg Boston is a place where completing “quests” isn’t the only challenge.

    One is explaining what goes on there. Recently, a reporter was given a sneak peek of the new facility, which opens its doors Saturday in the building that once housed Sparks department store, a downtown Malden landmark. To bring this “reality gaming” center to the Boston area, Ellis spent close to $4 million renovating the 30,000-square-foot space. Inside, there’s a sleek reception area, a taco restaurant that seats 150, and space upstairs for corporate retreats and birthday parties. But downstairs is the heart of Boda Borg, what Ellis calls “the maze of craziness”: a warren of black-painted hallways leading to 16 real-time,live-action puzzles, or what the company calls “quests.” They await teams of three to five players, who must figure each one out.

    Boda Borg is no Dungeons & Dragons fantasy game, nor is it a haunted house with ghouls. Still, guests should bring a sense of adventure and be prepared for befuddlement. Being stumped by any quest on the first attempt — or 21st — is expected.

    Read the rest of the story here.

    Wednesday
    Sep232015

    Why Facebook's Proposed "Dislike" Button Is a Bad Idea

    Facebook may finally be getting a button that lets you quickly express something beyond a “like.” In this commentary for WBUR's Cognoscneti, I say "Thumbs Down On Facebook’s ‘Dislike’ Button," and propose something else entirely.

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