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music, tai chi, and learning

Music A year or so ago, I decided that I’d feel better if I was spending more time with music; so I started practing piano on a decently regular basis. I’d already been occasionally sitting down at the piano, pulling out a book of music, and trying to play through a few pieces (show tunes, […]

elden ring

(Wow, this ended up a little long; my apologies in advance for that! So odd that a post about Elden Ring turned out to be excessively long, quite idiosyncratic, and reader-hostile…)   Back in 2009, there was a fair amount of discussion in video game blogs about Demon’s Souls. More than enough to get me […]

learning something you don’t believe

I’ve been doing Tai Chi for four and a half years now; and I’ve been doing Nei Gong (literally, “internal work”: Qi Gong and the like) over the last year. And it’s been super interesting; but also, especially as I dig more into the Nei Gong work, I keep on having to face concepts that […]

tdd and deliberate practice

A little while back, I wrote some about the pros and cons of deliberate practice, as per the book Range. Deliberate practice works well if you’re working on something with a clear goal, where you have fast and accurate feedback loops; but if you’re not working in a domain like that, then deliberate practice might […]

not so deliberate practice

I’ve read a couple of books on deliberate practice over the years; I was more or less convinced that there’s something important there, but I also have misgivings about it. So it was interesting to read Range, to get a different take. Range acknowledges that deliberate practice does work, but it works best in certain […]

thinking about getting better at netrunner

I play Netrunner at lunch several times a week, I go to a tournament once a month, and neither of those are stopping any time soon; it’s a fun and interesting game. And I like getting better at the game (or at least I would like to get better at it, it’s not clear that […]

rocksmith 2014 second impressions

It’s been a couple of months since my first impressions of Rocksmith 2014, so time for some second impressions. First, my overall feeling about the game: my current feeling is that it’s a great game, and potentially an important one. Not necessarily important as a game so much: what I like about it so much […]


In the past, my habit has been to only write my main post about a game when I stop playing it. That makes sense for the vast majority of games that I play; but for games that I play for month after month, that I would play in perpetuity if a sequel wasn’t released, that […]

games and guitar learning

I’ve been playing Rock Band in whatever its current incarnation is pretty much every weekend since the first iteration of the series came out. At first, I liked playing fake plastic guitars and was curious about drums (and, to a lesser extent, singing), and I enjoyed having people with good musical taste select songs for […]

super hexagon

Miranda’s elementary school was a parent participation program, so I spent a couple of hours there every week for several years. And one of the most peculiar aspects of that experience was watching kids learn how to read. I have been reading fluently and obsessively for most of four decades by now, so I am […]

jo boaler

I was a postdoc in the Stanford math department for five years, from 1998 to 2003. I had a very pleasant time there, and had many pleasant interactions with my fellow department members; I’m glad that I ultimately left academia, but that’s purely because of me being a misfit. Part of that being a misfit […]


Horace Dediu’s blog Asymco is absolutely one of my favorite blogs, with its insightful mix of data and theory, and Critical Path, its associated podcast, is always fascinating as well. So when Horace announced his conference Asymconf, and when the date turned out to be a time when I was already planning to be in […]

motivators, space, and shu-ha-ri

We did end up talking about my teaching games post (among other things) in the February VGHVI Symposium; sadly, I had weird network problems which meant that I missed maybe a third of the conversation entirely and could listen but not speak in another third. Which is especially a pity because I think Roger and […]

teaching games

In the January VGHVI Symposium, we discussed some of Roger’s thoughts on teaching. Which was a very interesting conversation, and I’d like to follow it up more. Unfortunately, I’m hampered for a couple of reasons: I haven’t been in a classroom at all for a couple of years, I haven’t been the primary instructor in […]

finished pro guitar medium songs

As readers of my other blog are aware, I’ve now finished all the Rock Band 3 songs on medium pro guitar. Which has been a fascinating experience, because while I’m not actually playing music yet, I’m getting close enough that I can see the music just a little ways away! On easy, I was playing […]

gls 2010: friday

9:00am: Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology, by Allan Collins. He began by talking about incompatibilities between schooling and technology: uniform learning vs. customization, teacher control vs. learner control, teacher as expert vs. diverse sources, standardized assessment vs. specialization, knowledge in head vs. reliance on resources, coverage vs. knowledge explosion, learning by absorption vs. […]

random links: april 11, 2010

What core gamers should know about social games. Ian Bogost’s GDC 2010 microtalk. Roger Travis’s latest teaching experiment. This is not a spiral. A cool platformer twist. (Via @SimonParkin.) Jane McGonigal’s 2010 TED talk. A useful counterpoint to the discussion that Jesse Schell’s talk led to. The FarmVille diaries. (Via @SimonParkin.) Functional programming, OO programming, […]

random links: february 16, 2010

So many experiments to try in schools. (Via @Brinstar.) The most interesting response I saw to that Clay Shirky piece a month ago. (Via @deirdrakiai.) Why Firefox doesn’t support H.264. (Via @timbray.) Tale of Tales’ Realtime Art Manifesto. (I particularly liked the Ueda quote contained therein, “Reduce the volume, Increase the quality and density”.) (Via […]

random links: november 8, 2009

Michael Feathers on testable Java. Good advice, that is of course relevant far beyond Java. Quite the Venn diagram. (Via @kateri_t.) James Paul Gee on games and teaching. (Via @HackerChick.) Lots to think about here; I hope the VGHVI folks can help me figure it out. A remarkable meandering about games, genres, Japan, and countless […]

random links: september 6, 2009

I mentioned Roger’s Operation KTHMA last time, but it’s actually started now and sounds awesome enough that I’ll mention it again: day 1, day 2, day 3. Our whole household was playing Bunni Game: How We First Met last week. (You should be able to see my world at this link.) Victorian Homes of the […]