Thursday, July 19, 2012

I've Gone Viral! . . . In China?

This blog really doesn't get much traffic at all. I get anywhere from 2-20 pageviews per day, and that number usually spikes up to around 40-60 views on the days following a new post. The "low season" in between posts isn't completely dead, because plenty of people seem to land here from Google Images. For instance, I got an interesting spike in traffic last month when Extra Credits started a T-Shirt design contest and apparently a lot of users were landing in my History of Extra Credits articles looking for images.

However, these mini-spikes in views usually aren't very significant compared to the traffic I get from subscribers every time I post. So imagine my surprise when I noticed a spike that was slightly bigger than the usual new-post spike. This spike happened just a few days before I posted my most recent post, and that should have been part of a really low season since I haven't posted an update in over a month. After looking into it, I found not one, not two, but three websites with articles linking to me.

Long story short, someone seems to have translated my article on How to Think Like a Designer into Han Chinese. And since then, it's been getting passed around and reposted on multiple Chinese websites.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Why I'm no longer Skeptical about SISTA's new Game Design Workshop

[This article explores some of my fears and predictions about the workshop. To find out how it actually went, click here!]

Starting tomorrow, the University of Arizona's School of Information: Science, Technology, and Arts (SISTA) will be launching its first Game Design Workshop. It's a one-week program designed for kids between 6th and 12th grade, and it's being run for two consecutive sessions. I volunteered to be one of the two teaching assistants helping to run the workshop, and our latest assignment is to write a reflection on how we think the workshop might go. One purpose of this reflection is to produce a more visible representation of the work I've been doing so far, which makes this assignment a perfect fit for a blog post!

Given how busy I've been all summer, I was starting to think that I wouldn't be able to update this blog again until fall, so I'm glad that I was able to use this assignment as an excuse for a new post. Plus this gives me a good chance to practice writing posts with smaller scopes. Most of my posts tend to start out with a vague plan that I'll just talk about everything I want to say on a single topic, and then I'll figure out how to merge them all into a coherent thesis later. It is an absurdly slow process, and it's about time I stopped doing that.

For instance, this post started out as a list of predictions about how the workshop might go, plus some descriptions of the interesting aspects of the workshop's design woven in. Fortunately, I had enough sense to realize that the workshop would probably be over before I could even finish such a post.