Vespasian Rocks. For 2000 Years.

I’ve always been fond of the Emperor Vespasian (honestly, who isn’t?) So I’m glad to see Rome is throwing a party for his birthday. From the Independent: His name is immortalised in modern Italian as the word for a public urinal, but tomorrow that humiliation will be forgotten as Rome sets about throwing a massive party for the Emperor Vespasian’s 2,000th birthday. Naturally enough, the celebratory bash – which takes the form of a 10-month exhibition – is focused on the building for which he is most famous, the Colosseum. By far the largest amphitheatre the ancient Romans built, it … Continue reading Vespasian Rocks. For 2000 Years.

10th VAST International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archeology and Cultural Heritage

First call for papers: 10th VAST International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archeology and Cultural Heritage 7th Eurographics Workshop on Graphics and Cultural Heritage (VAST’09) September 22-25, 2009, Valletta, Malta ====================================================================================== ——————– Call for Papers ——————– -Towards a “digital agenda” for the integration of technologies into Archeology and Cultural Heritage- Nearly every organization whose mission includes promoting access to cultural information, is well aware of the value of digital applications, and digital technologies are finding their way into cultural organizations. Nevertheless, a clear-cut division still exists between humanities researchers, computer science researchers, information scientists, librarians, and campus technologists, which prevents … Continue reading 10th VAST International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archeology and Cultural Heritage

Report on the Greek and Roman Games in the Computer Age Conference, Trondeheim, Norway

From Andrew Reinhard, a report on the recent short conference detailing the nascent Classicists-discover-computer-games movement: A revolution is happening now and the flashpoint is Scandinavia. Both Sweden and Norway have fought and won to keep Classics as a vital and viable subject of study at the secondary school and university level. Activist bloggers like Moa Ekbom in Sweden (see her Latinblogg), and activist students like Magnus Eriksson in Norway have been responsible for rescuing canceled Classics programs while at the same time finding ways to resuscitate Classics, promoting and publicizing both Latin and Greek as important for contemporary audiences, not … Continue reading Report on the Greek and Roman Games in the Computer Age Conference, Trondeheim, Norway

Google Earth, Politics, and Replacement Geography

A disturbing  indication of how important Google is for shaping everything…. including the recent past: From O’Reilly: On June 26 Andre Oboler of the Jerusalem Center For Public Affaris published a report titled Google Earth: A New Platform for Anti-Israel Propaganda and Replacement Geography. In the report Dr. Oboler states, in part: “…sites known to be ruins in 1946 are claimed to be villages destroyed in 1948. Arab villages which still exist today are listed as sites of destruction. The Google Earth initiative is not only creating a virtual Palestine, it is creating a falsification of history.[…] The inclusion of … Continue reading Google Earth, Politics, and Replacement Geography

Just Leap In: Light Embeddable MUVE?

Another day, another MUVE, this one browser based (when the larger predators can’t exploit a niche, smaller, more nimble creatures move in to fill the void). From SLENZ Canadian-based Leap In Entertainment ( ) thinks it can do what Google couldn’t, and has launched (Mid-January) a brand new virtual world that might actually stand a chance, according to Jason Kincaid at TechCrunch ( So, geek wannabe that I am, I downloaded the wee application to open JLI spaces, and set to work. This is still in beta (is anything ever NOT in beta anymore?).  Because each space is self-contained, the … Continue reading Just Leap In: Light Embeddable MUVE?

Interactive Fiction – bibliography and other directions

Denis Jerz writes of IF,  “Interactive fiction requires the text-analysis skills of a literary scholar and the relentless puzzle-solving drive of a computer hacker. People tend to love it or hate it. Those who hate it sometimes say it makes them think too much” I like IF. I’m crap at solving puzzles, but I like it all the same. For the bibliophiles amongst us, some bibliography from the academic literature on Interactive Fiction – you’ll note that most of the academic interest in IF waxed and waned in the late 80s, early 90s. But, there has been a resurgence in … Continue reading Interactive Fiction – bibliography and other directions

PMOG is now the Nethernet

Pm0g – the passive multiplayer online game – has gone in for some rebranding, calling itself ‘The Nethernet’. I rather like the term, ‘nethernet’, as it implies a game played in some sort of metaspace outside (above/below/beside) the regular ol’ internet. However, in the transition, Nethernet has lost some of the old steampunk aesthetic and charm that Pmog had – whereas before there were scrolls popping up inside your browser, and neo-victorian characters assaulting/assisting you, now there is the same-old same-old web2.0-ish vibe. No doubt the game runs better and is more secure this way, but I rather liked the … Continue reading PMOG is now the Nethernet

Digital Zaraka

My first experience of field archaeology was in ’94, at the site of the Cistercian Monastery of Zaraka, in Greece (next door to Lake Stymphalos, of Herculian fame). Shelia Campbell of the Pontifical Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto was the director. I am pleased to see that new architectural survey work is taking place there, along with a 3d  reconstruction. Zaraka was an amazing site, not least for the skeletons we found (I was a teenager: skeletons were always the most cool thing, ever). Hector Williams, directing the nearby work on the ancient city of Stymphalia, casually noted, … Continue reading Digital Zaraka