How—if at all—do increasing or changing representations of acoustic trauma articulate with changing notions of nation, security, and warfare? Tinnitus is the top disability in American troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and untold numbers of westerners have experienced it after terrorist attacks in New York, Madrid, London, and Boston. It does seem plausible that consequence-free cinematic explosions began to strain credulity (not to mention morality) after such attacks, even for those who have not directly experienced acoustic trauma. Tinnitus offers an economical representation of trauma in films that aspire to some level of realism and empathy—and in fact, researchers view tinnitus and PTSD as related. Could a nation’s trauma be sounding in the ears of its onscreen heroes?

Interesting villain-in-prison cliché to see popping up recently. Practical for shooting movies (nothing blocking your view), but then again, these days you can put a camera anywhere. Pairs nicely with a more paranoid, surveillance-oriented approach to war and policing. Can’t fight what you can’t constantly observe, or so they say.

Intelligent Artifice – The three most common techniques for telling stories in games

Mainstream games, or at least a significant subset that I’m too lazy to define here, make use of three big techniques to tell stories:

  • Cut-scenes.
  • Invisible boxes.
  • Environmental storytelling.

I think both game developers and players understand these techniques by now, and in fact I think players are getting tired of them. I know I am.

Intelligent Artifice – The three most common techniques for telling stories in games

Upping the Antihero – The New Inquiry

The old cop who chafed at institutional limits has undergone a neoliberal transformation: The result is a new kind of series that we might call the consultant procedural. A derivative of the cop and private investigator procedurals, the consultant procedural starts with some sort of institutional disqualification and follows the central character as he or she ports unmatched professional skills from job to job.

The consultant procedural! This is brilliant.

Upping the Antihero – The New Inquiry

Behind the Paywall: How New York Times Articles End | VF Daily | Vanity Fair

“Here is a list of popular endings to New York Times pieces. It’s totally free.” A few of my favorites… (via)

  • The apartment is really that small, and people really do live there, but somehow it just works for them.
  • The old restaurant/bar is unaffected by changes to its neighborhood.
  • Though restaurant’s use of sustainable ingredients attracts a young, creative clientele, buttoned-up, more conservative patrons will also enjoy the food.
  • The neighborhood’s recent gentrification has not always been a smooth cultural and economic transition for longtime residents.
  • The situation in that country you’ve been hearing about is even worse than you thought.
  • It’s not worth it to spend 36 hours in a place to which roundtrip airfare is $2,500.
  • Maureen Dowd disapproves.

Behind the Paywall: How New York Times Articles End | VF Daily | Vanity Fair