Random, Video Games

The Classroom Computer: The Best of Apple ][ Edutainment

Apple’s line of Apple II — or apple ][ — computers were the vehicle of choice in America for teaching typing and computer technology to Generations X and Y. From 1980 to the late ’90s — long after the models went out of date, thanks to the embarrassment that is public school funding in the U.S. — these archaic, clacking beasts filled lab after lab of our elementary and middle schools (often with 200-pound Xerox machines providing the ambiance).

We primarily remember the apple ][ in our classrooms for teaching us to type with clever software like MasterType (1981) and Home Row! (1987); or, if we finished our lessons early, edutaining us with games like Rocky’s Boots (1982) and Lewis and Clark Stayed Home (1991).

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Book Reviews, Novels, Video Games

Game Write: Marc Laidlaw’s Kalifornia (1993)

Game Write is a recurring series dedicated to the fiction of game industry veterans. From the best-selling titles of Drew Karpyshyn and Austin Grossman, to the obscure classics of Jane Jensen and Sheldon Pacotti, this series hopes to unearth both the gems and the trash we tend to leave buried in the credits. In this entry, we look at Marc Laidlaw’s 1993 sci-fi novel, Kalifornia — a quirky cyberpunk tale mixing humor and eastern mysticism into a typically-gruff genre.

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Book Reviews, Novels, Video Games

Game Write: Sheldon J. Pacotti’s Demiurge (2000)

Game Write is a recurring series dedicated to the fiction of game industry veterans. From the best-selling titles of Drew Karpyshyn and Austin Grossman, to the obscure classics of Jane Jensen and Sheldon Pacotti, this series hopes to unearth both the gems and the trash we tend to leave buried in the credits. In this entry, we look at Sheldon Pacotti’s 2000 novel, Demiurge, set in a distant future where the creation of the demiurge, a sort of 3D printer of limitless potential, has made anything and everything possible — including immortality.

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Book Reviews, Short Stories, Video Games

Game Write: Sheldon J. Pacotti’s Experiments in Belief (2013)

Game Write is a recurring series dedicated to the fiction of game industry veterans. From the best-selling titles of Drew Karpyshyn and Austin Grossman, to the obscure classics of Jane Jensen and Sheldon Pacotti, this series hopes to unearth both the gems and the trash we tend to leave buried in the credits. In this entry, we look at Sheldon Pacotti’s short story collection, Experiments in Belief — featuring a variety of science fiction stories written throughout the ’90s on the complex interplay of science, ethics, religion, and politics.

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