Wattpad is a leader in this new storytelling environment, with more than two million writers producing 100,000 pieces of material a day for 20 million readers on an intricate international social network. “Now that everyone’s been given permission to be creative, new ways of telling stories, of being entertained, are being invented,” said Charles Melcher, a publishing consultant who hosts the annual Future of StoryTelling conference. “A lot of people are lamenting the end of the novel, but I think it’s simply evolving.”
Read the full article at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/24/technology/web-fiction-serialized-and-social.html
Thralled is an interactive experience about a runaway slave and her baby child. Set in 18th-century Brazil, Thralled follows the journey of Isaura, a Congolese captive, through a nightmarish representation of the New World. Coming to OUYA on the Fall of 2014.
Read the story of the game developer at: http://killscreendaily.com/articles/interviews/feature/how-upcoming-thralled-could-help-us-better-understand-slavery/
The second issue of the ToDIGRA journal now is out. The special issue has been edited by Raine Koskimaa, Frans Mäyrä, Jaakko Suominen and contains selected articles from the Nordic DIGRA conference in 2012, rewritten and extended for this special issue.
Read it at: http://todigra.org/index.php/todigra/issue/view/2
Breaking Points is an Interactive Digital Narratives for iPad, exploring the daily life of a young woman trying to escape her frustrating routine. An experiment in interactive narration, it attempts at making readers run through different storylines arranged in a circular pattern similar to the movie Groundhog Day. An intriguingly simple story and, possibly, a glimpse into a future for storytelling.
Download the free app at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/breaking-points/id839314877?mt=8
Facebook’s new artificial intelligence team reports that it has developed software that can match faces with 97.25-percent accuracy, compared to human beings’ 97.53-percent accuracy. The DeepFace software is an application of deep learning, in which networks of simulated neurons are used to learn to identify patterns in large amounts of data. DeepFace uses a two-step technique to process face images, and in the first step it corrects the angle of the face so the person in the image faces forward, using a three-dimensional image of an “average” forward-looking face. In the second step, the simulated neural network generates a numerical representation of the reoriented face, and if the software yields sufficiently similar descriptions from two different images, it concludes they must show the same face. Although DeepFace executes facial verification rather than facial recognition, AI team member Yaniv Taigman says some of the former function’s underlying methods can be applied to the latter. University of Washington researcher Neeraj Kumar says Facebook’s results demonstrate that finding enough data to feed into a large neural network can facilitate substantial improvements in machine-learning software.
Read full article: http://www.technologyreview.com/news/525586/facebook-creates-software-that-matches-faces-almost-as-well-as-you-do/
This recent report from Nielsen Norman Group might be most interesting for those currently applying for jobs.
“This 189-page free report analyzes how UX pros educated and trained themselves for their careers. We surveyed 963 people working in the field to find out what they do at work, what is most useful to know, and which kinds of people thrive in UX research, interaction design, and information architecture.”
Download the full report at http://www.nngroup.com/reports/user-experience-careers/
“The Routledge Companion to Video Game Studies”, edited by Mark Wolf and Bernard Perron, has finally been published. It contains 60 chapters, with highlights like “Cheating (Mia Consalvo)”, “Ludology (Espen Aarseth)”, “Adventure (Clara Fernandez-Vara)”, “Culture (Frans Mäyrä)”, “Performance (Michael Nitsche)”, “Cognition (Andreas Gregerson)” and “Narratology (Dominic Arsenault)”.
Its downside: it costs $225 in hardback and $147 in Kindle format.
Read the table of contents: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415533324/
From a talk by Ian Bogost at Critical Proximity: “Does Game Criticism Exist? When I started doing games criticism […] the idea that one could exert the critical muscle on games seemed unlikely and even preposterous. It was its own outcome, the curiosity that replaced example. I saw myself trying out some methods and examples of that process rather than trying to found a field or a discipline, or to become known as a game critic. If the latter things happened—and I’m not sure they did—then they happened by accident.”
Read the whole talk at http://critical-proximity.com/2014/03/16/what-games-need/
Critical Proximity was organized by critical-distance.com – that I didn’t know before and seems a really interesting blog to follow.