From the Editor…

Games were my entryway into computing, starting early on. Every computer I encountered in grade school seemed to invite two things: playing games, and playing at the command prompt. When I learned that the Apple IIe (which filled my school’s computer lab) when booted without a floppy disk inserted, would let me write BASIC right there, I was enthralled. In middle school, we acquired a Macintosh Classic at home. I spent much of my free time creating games in Hypercard, which could be loose and open-ended, assimilating any graphic or sound file I could find. The next time I encountered a game programming environment that felt similar was many years later, with Twine.

In this issue, our contributors explore the possibilities of games, from education to self-exploration to how we understand who we are. Despite their varied backgrounds, and the different kinds of game systems they work with, I’m struck by how each writer used games or game-creation to challenge the idea of what they could or couldn’t do, and to build new skills and knowledge.

We have technical tutorials for you: Molly Waggett and Cole Sprague teach us how to build an interactive art piece with Processing and the Kinect. Jen Downs shares how she built a 2D arcade-style game in Unity. We talk about games in education, with Kat Sweet’s introduction to Capture the Flag competitions. We share how games give us a different way of exploring programming and creativity, with Lindsey Bieda’s profile of her projects. We explore games in our personal history and sense of identity, with a comic from Terian Kosik and an article by Laura E. Hall. And if those doesn’t give you enough ideas to get started, see Kanane Jones’ resource guide on indie game development.

I have one other announcement to share: we’ve started a podcast! Hosted by Christie Koehler, this series covers technology news and interviews, from a fun and inclusive perspective. I hope you’ll give it a listen:


Stay in touch!

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Published and edited by Audrey Eschright
Edited by Shawna Scott and Cat Poole

Cover photo source: NASA – “A Hubble View of Starburst Galaxy Messier 94” (filtered)

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