Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

  • Hacking Role-playing & Storytelling Games


    Love a good game? Join us for hacking and prototyping apps, games, props, and web resources for role-playing and storytelling games. This session is an open time for prototyping all sorts of physical-computing props and web resources for games you play – or for games you invent on the spot. Bring an idea or be on the lookout for a project that needs your help. While the proposer doesn’t quite know how to pull off everything imagineable, we might…

    • Make 3D campaign maps that use miniatures and MaKey MaKeys to trigger encounters animated in Scratch.
    • Program interactive game-master Twitter bots.
    • Prototype and publish remixable game rules and resources like character sheets using HTML5 and CSS in webauthoring tools like Webmaker Thimble.
    • Write and share random campaign and adventure engines in coding languages like JavaScript.

    Bring your dice, games, ideas, expertise, hot glue, and cardboard – along with your favorite coding languages and any physical computing stuff you want – to hack and remix role-playing and storytelling resources out of ingenuity, circuitry, and the web. Extra experience points for community members who lend their hands to help others realize their wild and wacky game-making dreams.

    I can bring: a couple of MaKey MaKeys, cardboard, hot glue guns and hot glue, some LEDs and batteries, short jumper wires, and basic HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript skills.

    We might also need: Twitter bot overlords, web wranglers, designers of all ages, more stuff with which to build, and you and your imagination!

  • Kids Track takes flight

    Some rights reserved by afromusing

    Some rights reserved by afromusing

    Kids Tracks! 

    With 24 kids attending THATCampVA 2013, (wow!) we thought a few notes would help a smooth Camp for parents and kids.

    We will offer 2 tracks, one geared towards older kids, the other geared towards younger. The tracks, much like the rest of THATCamp, are not strict; siblings, friends, and interested kids can choose whichever track suits best.

    With such a strong showing from the under 20 set, we will need your creativity and participation. Consider taking a break from the adult track and deconstructing an old phone with some kids or participating in the kids aerial photography session. We are seeking 2-3 adults per kids session.

    As a adult volunteer, what are you signing up for? A bit of fun and hacking:

    • Minecraft, Printcraft, and game making
    • GIS Scavenger Hunt
    • MaKey MaKey Kit, Drawdio, Arduinio Hacking for Kids
    • 3D Printer
    • Deconstruction Table (P.S. We are seeking old phones, no longer working mechanical things-clocks, computers, etc. for kids to take apart.)
    • Aerial Photography
    • Outdoor Play
    • Kid Friendly Programming (
    • Monticello-focuses session
    • Art Station
    • Board Games
    • Have a good idea for a kid-focused session? Let us know! 

    9:30 Saturday marks the Adult Planning session and a concurrent “getting to know you” kids session; 10:45 am we will schedule the pre-planned blocks for kids sessions.

    Parents, please note lunch will be provided, but afternoon snacks will be limited. 


  • Bots



    Err, not those though. What I’d love to talk about is Twitter bots, and if someone’s willing to help out, to maybe hack away at one.

    Which is to say: I’d be thrilled to sit and swap favorite bots, and talk over their concepts and uses—diversion, cultural remix, pedagogical tool, pseudorandom art project (hi @horse_ebooks), anything. But I’d also be thrilled to learn from those who have actually implemented the things how to get started on making one, and possibly make one collectively during the session. (For instance, and to my great surprise, there doesn’t yet seem to be a THATCampBot.)

    My thoughts here are inspired by Mark Sample’s proposal for THATCamp Leadership ( as well as bots of his like @DependsUponBot, @JustToSayBot, and others like Zach Whalen’s @pelafina_lievre, and others beside. But anything we talk through or make doesn’t have to be complicated: some don’t even require hacking, just text, as Tully Hansen explains.

    But anyway: bots. I’m informed, by highly-placed and unimpeachable sources, that UVA’s Scholars Lab is “plagued” with them—let’s set to work spreading that plague.

    (photo credit: Crow T. Robot, This Is Your Life)


  • Kid-Friendly THATCamp!


    CC Attribution: Some rights reserved by kylemac


    Creativity is the pulse of the digital humanities. The ‘hmmm, what will we build today?’ ethos,so well nurtured by THATCamps, may arise out of new collaborations, new questions – or new approaches to existing questions, or it is simply the delightful outcome of not quite releasing our inner children. Children, as Sir Ken Robinson reports, ask why can’t a paperclip be 200 FT tall and made of foam rubber, (or at least prototyped at 1/800th scale with a 3D printer).

    Do you, umm, your kids, want to tinker in the sandbox? Lined up so far – and as always, open to your input and suggestions – activities for the 5+ crowd:

    • Electronics disassembly workbench
    • Computer and board games (Minecraft meets 4-Square)
    • Create your own board game materials
    • Play-doh
    • 3D print Minecraft creations
    • Soft Circuit maker materials
    • GPS Scavenger Hunt

     As last year, kids are welcome to accompany parents to Friday workshops and attend all day Saturday. Pack your inner-child and all the kids and head to the kid-friendly THATCampVA 2013! Register here.

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