PD(Q) – first edition

I went over to the PD(Q) edublogs page this morning to see how submissions were coming along for the first edition. The range is quite interesting! Offerings include- my own discussion of putting together the Electric Archaeology Blook ‘Best of the Blog’ a review by Alun of Rundkvist, M. 2007. Scholarly Journals between the Past and the Future: The Fornvännen Centenary Round-Table Seminar, Stockholmm 21 April 2006. Konferenser 65. Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien. three related postings by Kylie Sturgess on writing ‘skeptical’ books for children and a piece by Tim Jones on the ‘Looting of the Iraqi Museum … Continue reading PD(Q) – first edition

YoYo Games Ancient Civilisations Game Making Competition

You like antiquity. You like games. You fancy yourself as a bit of a decent game-maker. Maybe you made a scenario for Civ IV or Caesar IV. Here, then, is a competition for you: And so here it is: the briefly awaited, second ever, YoYo Games competition! Riding hot on the heels of our very successful Winter Competition, we’re hoping to see a crop of games to match the exceptional standard set in that contest. The Theme Ancient Civilization! Not just the Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians, but also the Mayans, Aztecs, Vikings, and Celts (to name but a few). So … Continue reading YoYo Games Ancient Civilisations Game Making Competition

Omeka Live!

The Omeka platform has now gone live! And what is Omeka, you may ask? It is a platform for the publication of collections and exhibitions online. Eventually, the makers of Omeka, the Centre for History and New Media, intend to make it available online a la WordPress, but if you’ve got the right system requirements on your server: Linux operating system Apache server (with mod_rewrite enabled) Mysql 5.0 or greater PHP 5.2.x or greater ImageMagick … you can download and install it right away. I’m in the process of setting it up on a server that I have access to … Continue reading Omeka Live!


A milestone! Today, this blog broke 9000 views, as recorded by the WordPress stats thingy. That’s roughly 55 unique views for each of my 163 posts. The majority of people who view this blog arrive here via a feed in Google Reader, Pageflakes, or Bloglines. The top referring blogs are Stoa.org, Bill Caraher’s The Archaeology of the Mediterranean World, Troels Myrup’s Iconoclasm, The Ancient World Bloggers meta-blog, Emily Short’s Interactive Fiction and Tom Elliott’s Horothesia. The top search terms that get referred here are ‘Roman battle games’, ‘Civilization IV world builder’ (and variations), and ‘electric archaeology’  (and variations). Continue reading 9000 views

Forum Novum: a market in the Sabine Hills – scenario for Caesar IV

This is my first attempt at a scenario for Caesar IV. It is based, loosely, on the site of Forum Novum in the Sabine Hills north of Rome. What I have always found fascinating about this site is the way it didn’t develop into what we would recognise as a ‘town’, per se. A student playing this scenario as part of a class on Roman urbanism would try to reach the ‘winning conditions’, but would be encouraged to look at the underlying assumptions the game makes about social, civil, economic, and religious life. Specifically, by using the game as a … Continue reading Forum Novum: a market in the Sabine Hills – scenario for Caesar IV

FYI – Caesar IV tutorial

A tutorial covering just about everything related to scenario building in Caesar IV may be found here. My ambition is to create a Forum Novum scenario, with as close as an approximation to real Roman economic realities built in as possible… postscript: A small program for checking your scenario for errors is available from this thread (scroll down). It checks for the following: “When you load a scenario, it will check for these things: – factories that are missing raw materials – missing natural resources such as clay pits and iron mines – resources that are available but can never … Continue reading FYI – Caesar IV tutorial

Web 2.0 is not a democracy (and some disparate thoughts on Wikipedia & authority)

Web 2.0 is not a democracy…. but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I tell my university students to be leery of the Wikipedia: since anyone can write/edit an article, how can you be certain of its authority? Apparently though, only a small hand-full of people are responsible for the majority of its articles and edits. So there is editorial control, and other user-content sites are similarly not democratic. From Slate, ‘Digg, Wikipedia, and the myth of Web 2.0 Democracy’: It’s getting harder to be a Wikipedia-hater. The user-generated and -edited online encyclopedia—which doesn’t even require contributors to register—somehow holds … Continue reading Web 2.0 is not a democracy (and some disparate thoughts on Wikipedia & authority)

Responding to “Is PDQ a good idea?”

Over on Ancient World Bloggers, Michael Smith has commented on the PDQ project. He raises some important points that I felt warranted a response (cross-posted over at AWBG); I also must admit that I objected to the phrase ‘pseudo-journal’: “I don’t understand the need for a pseudo-journal whose rationale is “providing a citeable format for people uncomfortable with citing weblogs.” ‘Pseudo-journal’ is not really the appropriate word for what PDQ is trying to accomplish, and I think unnecessarily pejorative. The rationale regarding citation is only one purpose behind PDQ. Certainly, MLA-style citations for blogs exist; but what happens when the … Continue reading Responding to “Is PDQ a good idea?”