Gerard Bentley (Computer Science ’19, Pomona): “Tagging and Understanding Video Game Affordances”
Friday, November 1, 2-3:30 p.m., Research Studio, The Claremont Colleges Library
Video games are created for human players whose common-sense knowledge of real-world objects and interactions and their familiarity with other games prime them for successful play. Action games, in particular, feature recurring formal elements, such as directly controlled avatars, moving enemies, resource pickups, and portals to new map areas; drawing connections between these elements and culturally significant symbols helps players learn to play quickly.
In this session, Gerard Bentley (PO ’19) will present a schema, an annotation tool, and a dataset that make it possible to codify screenshots containing game objects in terms of their affordances. This codification is in turn useful for AI agents and machine learning algorithms for a variety of interesting and significant applications.
Joseph C. Osborn (Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Pomona): Reclaiming Personal Computing: or, Your Life in Plain Text
Friday, November 8, 2-3:30 p.m., Research Studio, The Claremont Colleges Library
After one too many late nights fixing his citation manager’s corrupted database, switching references and headings in a word processing document from character-styles to document-styles, and forcing text to wrap correctly around figures, Joseph C. Osborn made a decision to minimize the “magic” in the computer programs and document formats he used and turned to interchangeable, portable text files. Though the choice was initially born out of frustration, these files quickly opened up new possibilities for revision control, workflow automation, and even new forms of expression by combining different programs and programming languages. This would not have been possible if he had been tied to a single software product.
In this tutorial, Prof. Osborn walks through one path towards reclaiming the “personal” in “personal computing,” focusing on the 43-year-old programmable text editor Emacs and how he has cultivated his work environment around his particular needs and tastes. Participants will take away tools for regaining control over their computers from app stores and web developers.