508 #125: Video games at Becker

posted by Mike on August 19th, 2010

508 is a show about Worcester. This week’s panel is David Druin, Melissa Smith, Kyle Moda, Bill Sontag, Tim Lowe, Paul Cotnoir, and Brendan Melican.


Audio: mp3 link, other formats, feed

Video: Downloads and other formats

Contact info.

[0:00] Worcester’s Becker College has the #4 undergrad video game design program in the country, according to Princeton Review. (And WPI is #7!) We talk with faculty, students, and graduates about the industry and hopes for a boom in Worcester.

[11:30] Which games do people love and admire?

[16:35] The T&G put up an online paywall this week. We think the T&G is important and hope it thrives. The competing CentralMassNews claimed a 20% increase in traffic over the first 2 days. Some website I can’t find reported the T&G had thousands of accounts registered the first day. Brendan thinks the # of article comments is way down. (See also Jeff Barnard’s incisive analysis.)

[18:36] We talk about the technical aspects. Brendan wishes their visitor tracking were stricter so the results of the paywall experiment could be conclusive. Mike likes that their paywall is not so strict as to inconvenience legitimate subscribers with configuration issues.

[21:46] Brendan has been e-mailing some of these problems to the T&G.

[23:26] Mike set up isthereanythinggoodintodaystandg.info as an excuse to see if the 10 free monthly articles are enough to keep someone informed about the civic basics.

The T&G’s Victor Infante has been writing about our reactions to the paywall, and having some discussions in the comments with Brendan. (See LiveJournal: 1, 2, 3.)

[26:15] Becker people get free copies of the T&G.

[27:30] College is starting soon.

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3 Comments Leave a comment.

  1. On August 19, 2010 at 21:15 Nicole said:

    Something not mentioned on the podcast but well worth noting is that the New York Times is considering a paywall (though they already kind of had one before) for next year, and that this is (supposedly) an opportunity for NYT to feel for any potential issues with that paywall.

    I am becoming more skeptical of the willingness (not the ability) for average citizens to report on things that aren’t covered in the media. Or, at least, in Worcester. The problem is a combination of consistency and dedication. For myself, personally, it’s a problem of not having any clue what I’m doing.

    But that’s another story…

  2. On August 23, 2010 at 15:27 Rudi said:

    Thanks for the inspiring post! I have been in mobile development on iPhone and Android ( “Graph Lite” ) for a few years now and this sort of program is just the kind of thing we need to keep the faith. I am very glad to hear there is so much interest and course power in Worcester.

  3. On August 23, 2010 at 15:31 Mike said:

    Yeah, I like that these guys are writing for devices (iPhone, iPad) that became a major force while they were in college!

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