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NYU Professor Frank Lantz on Video Game Optimism

NYU Professor Frank Lantz on Video Game Optimism (photo)

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The part where Frank Lantz hooked me during his talk at IndieCade 2010 was actually during a technical difficulty. The slides of his presentation weren’t loading and he got out from behind the desk and talked about how football is digital. Lantz describes how the playtime on the gridiron gets broken up into discrete packets of information, which are connected through a flow of action.

It’s another, fascinating way of looking at the world, one that rises to prevalence as video games do. Lantz does more than just lecture, though. He’s a developer himself and heads up Areacode, the Manhattan-based dev studio that made Drop7, one of the best iOS games ever.

Indiecade 2010 - Frank Lantz slide.jpg

Lantz’s time on stage is a brainy, inspiring 60 minutes or so but he manages to keep the ideas accessible. He’s a great explainer and is at turns funny and emotionally evocative. Another of the great ideas Lantz offers is that, for developers and gamers, “interactivity is our steam.” Like steam power during the Industrial Revolution, interactivity is both the thing that powers and defines games, in a way that has far-reaching consequences. Taking in the whole talk is a big time investment, but anyone who cares about games should watch it.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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