Elijah Meeks, Jason Heppler, and Paul Zenke discuss the new Starbucks College Achievement Plan, and the popular text-based game A Dark Room.
- Over the course of 2013 a new type of super addictive, super dumb (and I mean that in the most affectionate way possible) browser game emerged and rapidly took the internet by storm. The genre is so new that it doesn’t even really have name, but some have taken to called them Idle Games. This is the label I’ll be using.
- Grinding is a term used in video gaming to describe the process of engaging in repetitive tasks during video games. The most common usage is in the context of MMORPGs like Realm of the Mad God, Tibia, or Lineage in which it is often necessary for a character to repeatedly kill AI-controlled monsters, using basically the same strategy over and over again to advance their character level to be able to access newer content. MUDs, generally sharing much of the same gameplay as MMORPGs, often feature grinding as well. Grinding may be required by some games to unlock additional features.
- Twilight is a series of four vampire-themed fantasy romance novels by American author Stephenie Meyer.
- Quest for Glory is a series of hybrid adventure/role-playing video games (and later Action/RPG for game 5) designed by Corey and Lori Ann Cole. The series combined humor, puzzle elements, themes and characters borrowed from various legends, puns, and memorable characters, creating a 5-part series of the Sierra stable.
- Zork is one of the earliest interactive fiction computer games, with roots drawn from the original genre game, Colossal Cave Adventure.
- Drone music is a minimalist musical style that emphasizes the use of sustained or repeated sounds, notes, or tone-clusters – called drones. It is typically characterized by lengthy audio programs with relatively slight harmonic variations throughout each piece compared to other musics. La Monte Young, one of its 1960s originators, defined it in 2000 as “the sustained tone branch of minimalism”.
- French philosophy, here taken to mean philosophy in the French language, has been extremely diverse and has influenced Western philosophy as a whole for centuries, from the medieval scholasticism of Peter Abelard, through the founding of modern philosophy by René Descartes, to 20th century existentialism, phenomenology and structuralism.
- Albert Camus was a French Nobel Prize winning author, journalist, and philosopher. His views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism. He wrote in his essay “The Rebel” that his whole life was devoted to opposing the philosophy of nihilism while still delving deeply into individual and sexual freedom.
- In the essay, Albert Camus introduces his philosophy of the absurd: man’s futile search for meaning, unity, and clarity in the face of an unintelligible world devoid of God and eternal truths or values.
- I write for videogames. Currently working on @TESOnline.
- Having once made the statement above, I have declined all opportunities to enlarge upon it or defend it. That seemed to be a fool’s errand, especially given the volume of messages I receive urging me to play this game or that and recant the error of my ways. Nevertheless, I remain convinced that in principle, video games cannot be art.
- The concept of video games as a form of art is a controversial topic within the entertainment industry. Though video games have been afforded legal protection as creative works by the Supreme Court of the United States, the philosophical concept that video games are works of art remains in question, even when considering the contribution of creative elements such as graphics, storytelling and music. Even art games, games purposely designed to be a work of creative expression, have been challenged as works of art by some critics.
- Frog Fractions is a 2012 browser game developed by Twinbeard Studios, a company composed primarily of founder Jim Crawford. The game, released on October 25, 2012, has been described as a spoof of the edutainment game genre.
- The improbable best-seller is a variation on primordial text adventures like Colossal Cave Adventure and Zork, which helped widen the scope of video games in the nineteen-seventies. Like its forerunners, the game uses words to describe everything that’s happening, transforming language into a landscape that’s only ever visible in isolated pieces that the player must decipher. Townsend says, “I originally wrote A Dark Room to tell its story entirely through environmental cues—no exposition, no dialogue, nothing.”
- Dwarf Fortress is barely a blip on the mainstream radar, but it’s an object of intense cult adoration. Its various versions have been downloaded in the neighborhood of a million times, although the number of players who have persisted past an initial attempt is doubtless much smaller. As with popular simulation games like the Sims series, in which players control households, or the Facebook fad FarmVille, where they tend crops, players in Dwarf Fortress are responsible for the cultivation and management of a virtual ecosystem — in this case, a colony of dwarves trying to build a thriving fortress in a randomly generated world. Unlike those games, though, Dwarf Fortress unfolds as a series of staggeringly elaborate challenges and devastating setbacks that lead, no matter how well one plays, to eventual ruin. The goal, in the game’s main mode, is to build as much and as imaginatively as possible before some calamity — stampeding elephants, famine, vampire dwarves — wipes you out for good.
- Slaves to Armok: God of Blood Chapter II: Dwarf Fortress, usually shortened to Dwarf Fortress, is a video game set in a low fantasy universe with part roguelike and city-building elements. The game has what is commonly referred to as “two-and-a-half” game modes: Fortress mode, in which the player takes control of a group of dwarves and attempts to construct a successful and wealthy subterranean fortress in a mountain; Adventurer mode, which places the player in the shoes of an adventurer as they wander the world and do battle with various creatures; and Legends mode, which allows the player to view every event that occurred in that world’s entire history.
- Once embraced as a collective good, a public higher education is increasingly viewed—and paid for—as a private one.
- Mr. Crow said ASU had decided to pursue the arrangement to prove that this kind of financial model, with a corporation covering some of the costs at the tail end, could improve college completion. While he acknowledged that the contribution from Starbucks was small compared with ASU’s, he said, “They’re putting up the incentive to finish, which is not trivial.”
- Starbucks is teaming up with Arizona State University on an exclusive program that could send thousands of its baristas, store managers, and other employees to ASU Online for their undergraduate degrees, with the coffee company picking up about three-quarters of the tuition tab.
- The gist of it all seems to be that ASU gets a captured student-consumer audience in exchange for tuition discounting at its for-profit online division. Starbucks gets to constrain educational choices of employees that choose to use their benefit to a provider that will never conflict with an employee’s work schedule. It’s prognostication, of course, but it seems that lower income employees who qualify for the most need-based student aid will pay less for the online degree program than will those who qualify for less.
- The coffee chain wants to help its baristas get a college education. But at what price?
- All benefits–eligible partners who are based in the U.S., working in our support centers, plants or at any of our company-operated stores (including Teavana, La Boulange, Evolution Fresh and Seattle’s Best Coffee stores), and do not yet have a bachelor’s degree can apply. Partners admitted as a junior or senior, according to ASU’s admission requirements, will earn full tuition reimbursement for each year of coursework they complete toward a bachelor’s degree. Freshmen and sophomores will receive a partial scholarship and need-based financial aid toward the foundational work of completing their degree. Partners will have no commitment to remain at Starbucks past graduation.
- The First Draft theme song. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Thanks for listening.