Ludiphilia

Re-issue of the Chaim Gingold (Earth Primer, Spore) segment from Ep1

An episode of Ludiphilia

By Richard Moss
About
Everyone plays. Kids and adults. Men and women. Uptight or relaxed. Tall or short, from any place on the Earth and with any skin colour. We play with our hair and our food. We play when we tease our friends and family about their weird habits. We play videogames and boardgames. We roleplay as practice for a big interview or new job, or just for fun. Play is a natural part of being human, and even if we don't realise it we all spend at least some of the time every day playing.
Ludiphilia is a highly-polished, thoroughly-edited collection of stories about how and why we play.
More places to listen
Everyone plays. Kids and adults. Men and women. Uptight or relaxed. Tall or short, from any place on the Earth and with any skin colour. We play with our hair and our food. We play when we tease our friends and family about their weird habits. We play videogames and boardgames. We roleplay as practice for a big interview or new job, or just for fun. Play is a natural part of being human, and even if we don't realise it we all spend at least some of the time every day playing.
Ludiphilia is a highly-polished, thoroughly-edited collection of stories about how and why we play.
ludiphilia.net

More places to listen

Episode 13: The Toys That Made Us
I talk the business of toys and pop culture, and what goes into making a documentary series about their history, with The Toys That Made Us producer/director Brian Volk-Weiss. Brian has lots to say about the hidden world behind toys and popular culture, the critical quality of a successful toy, why failure is interesting, the way your past dreams and passions have a way of shaping your future, and more. You can watch seasons one and two of The Toys That Made Us on Netflix. Season three is due for release sometime in 2019. Discontinued was aired on The CW in the US, and its pilot episode is also available on Amazon Prime. (That's my affiliate link — so if you buy/rent the show or sign up for Prime, I'll get paid a small commission.) Look for the rest of its debut season on Prime early next year. Most of his comedy specials are on Netflix, but his production company has done stuff for all of the big video streaming services. You can learn more about his work in the TV comedy business at his company's website, comedydynamics.com. Ludiphilia is made possible by the support of my Patreon backers. Thanks especially Anuar Lequerica, who's been a patron almost since the beginning, as well as Torbjørn Vik Lunde and Nick — all three have stuck with their $5+ monthly pledge through a very inconsistent spell in my episode output (which will hopefully give way to a steadier release schedule now that I've re-committed to the show!). Related episodes: Singapore at Play Ausretrogamer Support Ludiphilia
41:05
June 29, 2019
Singapore at Play
An experimental piece on a travel experience of mine last year. I went to Singapore for a week with my fiancée in July and was surprised to find lots of playful touches, despite — or maybe because of — the reputation it has for law and order. And I thought it'd be nice to put together a sort of part travelogue, part essay thing about it. You can find an accompanying photo essay/blog thing for this story at ludiphilia.net/singaporephotos.Support Ludiphilia
27:56
April 5, 2019
Bonus/micro ep: The play of professional Minecraft building
I'm back! Well, partly. New episodes are on the way, and in the meantime I thought you might enjoy this excerpt from an interview I conducted a couple of years ago about professional Minecraft building (i.e., people getting paid to build elaborate maps and buildings). Most of what I discuss here with BlockWorks boss James Delaney (who at the time was an architecture student) didn't make the article, so I'm pleased to finally bring it out to the world. You can learn more about BlockWorks and what they do at blockworks.uk, and read the old article that I conducted this interview for at Rolling Stone. I also have a great book James put together called Beautiful Minecraft [Amazon, Official], which I highly recommend — it has lots of incredible Minecraft-made art and virtual architecture, plus several interesting essays.Support LudiphiliaLinks:Meet ‘Minecraft’ Builders Who Craft Impossibly Detailed Virtual Worlds — It’s enthralled an entire generation and sold more than 100 million copies, so perhaps it should come as no surprise that for some hyper-skilled players, the open-ended, Lego-like building game Minecraft has become an actual, money-earning occupation. Just as the most-talented Lego architects earn a living showing off their blocky creations, there’s good money to be made by anyone with the skills to craft Minecraft‘s cube-shaped digital blocks into beautiful sculptures and stunning worlds.[Amazon] Beautiful Minecraft - Hardcover by James Delaney — With a bit of imagination and a heavy dose of artistic talent, Minecraft blocks can be used to build almost anything. But as you’ll see, some artists are taking Minecraft building to a whole new level. Beautiful Minecraft is a compendium of stunning artwork built in Minecraft. Using millions of blocks and spending hundreds of hours, these artists have created floating steampunk cities, alien worlds, detailed classical sculptures, fantastical landscapes, architectural marvels, and more.[No Starch Press] Beautiful Minecraft by James Delaney — “A feast for the eyes, this book contains stunning images that will be an inspiration to players and admirers young and old.” —Forbes “Are video games art? Yes—this is proof.” —IGN's “Up at Noon”
10:23
February 2, 2019
Episode 12: Playful Mapping
Geographer Chris Perkins, co-author of the book Playful Mapping in the Digital Age, shares his love of maps and helps me explore the deep connection between mapping and play. Thanks to my awesome Patreon backers for covering my running costs and keeping the show alive. And special thanks to my $5+ supporters Anuar Lequerica, Nick, Torbjørn Vik Lunde, and Watchsmart. Relevant links: Playful Mapping in the Digital Age Chris Perkins' page at the University of Manchester website Brian Harley's final major project before he died was co-authoring the first chapter (PDF) of The History of Cartography The Atlas of Remote Islands book on Amazon US, UK, AU, Book Depository (these are all affiliate links, so I'll get a bit of money if you buy it through one of them) There's also a pocket-sized version of that book, available at Amazon US, UK, AU, and Book Depository via this (second) set of affiliate links Rhiannon Firth, Critical cartography as anarchist pedagogy? Bill Bunge's Nuclear War Atlas poster The Nuclear War Atlas book is out of print, but I found copies listed on Amazon (affiliate link) and AbeBooks I also found this blog post about the book. Includes a handful of page scans. I make Ludiphilia entirely on my own — I even compose the music now. It's a labour of love, and I have no plans of quitting as long as I can afford to pay the hosting and domain fees, but I would very much like to spend more time on it than I currently do. That requires money, unfortunately. So if you'd like to support the show, you can make a donation via Patreon or PayPal. (Or email me at richard at ludiphilia dot net if you have some other thing you like to use for donations.) For PayPal, use the payment form on paypal.me/mossrc. For Patreon, head to patreon.com/ludiphilia. You can also support the show by leaving a rating and review on iTunes and sharing it with other people. And by buying my first book, The Secret History of Mac Gaming, the profits from which are helping me make my podcasts better (through equipment upgrades, reduced freelance income pressures, and the like).
43:27
August 11, 2018
Re-issue of the Chaim Gingold (Earth Primer, Spore) segment from Ep1
In celebration of the release of a Mac version of the award-winning app Earth Primer — a science book for playful people — I thought it'd be nice to dig out the segment I did with its creator, Chaim Gingold, back in episode 1, and clean it up for re-release (with a brief update on Chaim's current situation and a note about Earth Primer's Mac release thrown in there as well). Chaim was at the time a PhD student at the University of California Santa Cruz and researcher at the Communications Design Group. He was writing his thesis on play design, which he's now finished (and is looking for a job). He's best-known for developing the Creature Creator for Maxis' SimEverything game Spore, and more recently for his Earth Primer iPad (and now also Mac) app. Earth Primer purchase links: Mac App Store iPad App Store For more info, you can also head to earthprimer.com.Support Ludiphilia
16:52
January 9, 2018
Episode 11: The Hide & Seek World Championship
On the Nascondino World Championship, a yearly hide and seek tournament that attracts teams from all around the globe. I talked to Alan Jones, the co-captain of the Australian team, the Nascondingos, and Giorgio Moratti, one of the organisers of the competition, about how it works, what it's like, why it exists, and where it's headed next. This episode also features an excerpt from my new podcast, The Life & Times of Video Games — a documentary-style show about video games and the video game industry, as they were in the past, and how they came to be the way they are today. You can find The Life & Times of Video Games on most podcast platforms. For a direct link to it on iTunes, go to lifeandtimes.games/itunes. Relevant links: https://facebook.com/nascondinoworldchampionship https://facebook.com/nascondingos https://www.nascon-dingo.sexy/ https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/inside-worlds-only-hide-and-go-seek-championship-180964595/ http://www.slate.com/blogs/atlas_obscura/2013/12/04/abandoned_consonno_italy_s_lost_city_of_toys_near_milan.html Music credits: Lee Rosevere - Theme from Penguins on Parade and The Secret to Growing Up Chris Zabriskie - We Always Thought the Future Would be Kind of Fun, Readers do You Read?, There's a Special Place for Some People Kai Engel - Run And various bits of my own stuff Thanks to my awesome Patreon backers for covering my running costs and keeping the show alive. And special thanks to my $5+ supporters Anuar Lequerica, Nick, and James Weiner. If you'd like to support the show, you can make a donation via Patreon or PayPal. (Or email me at richard at ludiphilia dot net if you have some other thing you like to use for donations.) For PayPal, hit the orange Donate button at the bottom of the page at ludiphilia.net. For Patreon, head to patreon.com/ludiphilia. You can also support the show by leaving a rating and review on iTunes and sharing it with other people.Support Ludiphilia
39:01
December 20, 2017
Episode 10: Beyond Monks (If Monks Had Macs part 2)
Life after If Monks Had Macs aka What Brian Thomas did next; ruminations on photography and the politics of art and play. (Based on an interview conducted in early January 2017.) Relevant links: Ludiphilia website Patreon If Monks Had Macs Pile of Prints Ludiphilia twitter and my twitter Thanks to my Patreon backers for all their ongoing support, especially $5+ backers Anuar Lequerica, Nick, and James Weiner. You guys keep me going. Music credits: NirvanaVEVO and The Life and Death of a Certain K Zabriskie Patriarch by Chris Zabriskie Places Unseen and Under Suspicion by [Lee Rosevere](freemusicarchive.org/music/Lee_Rosevere/) Itsumo no y ni by Rolemusic Wandering by [Steve Combs](freemusicarchive.org/music/Steve_Combs/) Epilogue by Visager Anxiety, Behind Your Window, and Sunset by Kai Engel Sacred Motion by staRpauSe various songs from the original If Monks Had Macs jukebox and a few untitled compositions by Richard Moss Support Ludiphilia
39:44
July 16, 2017
Episode 9: If Monks Had Macs
It all started with a Macintosh ad: 'You too can be a knowledge worker.' This is the story of Brian Thomas' 15-year odyssey at the helm of one of the strangest pieces of multimedia software ever created — If Monks Had Macs. You can learn more about Brian, and about Monks, at his website: http://www.rivertext.com/monks.html All music and sound effects from If Monks Had Macs, except: I Am a Man Who Will Fight for Your Honor by Chris Zabriskie Oneiri by Kai Engel Comatose by Kai Engel Thank you, as always, to my Patreon backers — Anuar Lequerica, James Weiner, and Nick — whose amazing support has helped and encouraged me to improve the show episode after episode. You too can support me by making a recurring donation at http://patreon.com/ludiphilia or a one-time donation via PayPal. Got feedback or suggestions about the show? Hit me up via the contact form at ludiphilia.net or tweet me @ludiphilia.Support Ludiphilia
35:45
April 14, 2017
A Brief Note on the Delay
I know I said I'd have a new episode out in February, and now we're in the second half of March. There's a reason for that. The short version is that I'm waiting to publish the new episode until after I sort out a problem with iTunes. Because I don't want to lock out new subscribers with Apple devices (which is most of them) who aren't willing or tech-savvy enough to subscribe manually with the RSS feed. The long version is in the audio.Support Ludiphilia
03:08
March 21, 2017
Episode 8: Locke
We're back! So sorry it took so long. Regular service (new episodes every 4-6 weeks) will now resume. On the eve of the Industrial Revolution and the morn of the English Civil War, one man reinvented educational thought. Special thanks to my Patreon backers Anuar Lequerica, James Weiner, and Nick for sticking with me through this prolonged hiatus. I'm dedicated to making this show as good as possible for you guys, and to maintaining a more consistent stream of new content from here on out. Song Credits: Oneiri and Behind Your Window by Kai Engel Lost Soul by Fleslit Our Mentors' Legacies by Rowan Box Sacred Motion by staRpauSe Scattered Knowledge by Revolution Void And a tiny bit of music by me I also sampled two seconds of audio from the Sesame Street Pinball Count songSupport Ludiphilia
18:54
January 25, 2017
Episode 7: Ausretrogamer
When Alex Boz dug his Commodore 64 out of storage, he was transported instantly back to his childhood, and that set him on the path to rediscover a lost passion and find a community he could call home. Thank you to everyone who's donated via PayPal or Patreon so far — especially Anuar Lequerica and James Weiner, whose very generous monthly pledges are helping me buy new gear to make a better-sounding show. Alex Boz runs the Ausretrogamer website and Twitter handle. Song Credits: Oneiri and Remedy for Melancholy by Kai Engel Under Suspicion and Snakes by Lee Rosevere The Life and Death of a Certain K Zabriskie, Patriarch by Chris Zabriskie Python, Ladybug Castle, and Itsumo no yō ni by Rolemusic Passing Time by BoxCat Games Scattered Knowledge by Revolution Void Cheap for Free by Aglow Hollow C64 Revenge by hkisve Welcome Player, Epilogue, and End Credits by Visager The Adventure by Mikael Norrgard And samples from Super Mario Bros for Nintendo Entertainment System and the Commodore 64 game Decathlon I also used a number of Creative Commons sound effects: old pinball.wav by mapleleaf Arcade Game by RICHERlandTV Fast-paced achievement by ProjectsU012 Coins 1 by ProjectsU012 Laser chirping by ProjectsU012](https://www.freesound.org/people/ProjectsU012/sounds/337250/) Support Ludiphilia
35:54
August 9, 2016
Episode 6: The Manhole
How brothers Rand and Robyn Miller built worlds from a manhole. This is the story of the beginning of Cyan, the company that went on to develop Myst — the all-time top-selling adventure game and one of the most influential videogames ever made. Adapted from interviews for my upcoming book The Secret History of Mac Gaming, which is currently crowdfunding on Unbound. Thank you to everyone who's donated via PayPal or Patreon so far — especially Anuar Lequerica, whose very generous monthly pledge has helped me buy new gear to make a better-sounding show. Song Credits: Oneiri, Sunset, [Behind Your Window](href="http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Kai_Engel/Idea/Kai_Engel_-_Idea_-_04_Behind_Your_Window), Remedy for Melancholy, Nothing, and Anxiety by Kai Engel Under Suspicion, Puzzle Pieces, Evening Glow, and Snakes by Lee Rosevere Wandering by Steve Combs I am a Man Who Will Fight For Your Honor and Nirvana VEVO by Chris Zabriskie Peekdoor Quest by Rolemusic Passing Time by BoxCat Games Music from The Manhole by Robyn Miller Untitled compositions by Richard Moss I also used a cassette tape/deck audio sample by FreeSound user magedu.Support Ludiphilia
33:27
May 27, 2016
Episode 5: 5 - Where the City (Simulation) Stops
I love SimCity. It's a wonderful simulation of the urban machinery around us, and a playground for messing with our cities. But it turns out the original game, at least, doesn't actually work the way it seems. Music by Three Chain Links, Jesse Spillane, Rolemusic, and Lee Rosevere. Thank you to everyone who's donated via PayPal or Patreon so far — especially Anuar Lequerica, whose very generous monthly pledge is helping me buy new gear to make a better-sounding show. Song credits: The City, It Speaks to Me by Three Chain Links Cityscape Backdrop by Jesse Spillane Scape from the City by Rolemusic Puzzle Pieces by Lee Rosevere Support Ludiphilia
14:23
April 13, 2016
Episode 4: Fernando Pessoa
On Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa and the playful freedom of creating as someone else — someone distinct, and unique, but non-existent. (Pessoa wrote under hundreds of names, all of which belonged to people he called "heteronyms," or "non-existent acquaintances." He's an extraordinary example of something actually quite common in literature.) Music by Chris Zabriskie, Lee Rosevere, Kai Engel, The New Valleys, Richard Moss. Songlist: NirvanaVEVO by Chris Zabriskie Scattered Knowledge by Revolution Void I Am a Man Who Will Fight for Your Honor by Chris Zabriskie Sunset by Kai Engel Places Unseen by Lee Rosevere Under Suspicion by Lee Rosevere Puzzle Pieces by Lee Rosevere Reflections by Lee Rosevere Featherlight (remix - vocals by Heather Feather) by Lee Rosevere Carry On by The New Valleys Thanks to my Patreon backers and PayPal donors for supporting the show. Especially Anuar Lequerica, whose very generous monthly pledge will help me buy a professional voice recorder for easier and higher-quality recordings of on-location interviews.Support Ludiphilia
24:10
March 3, 2016
Episode 3: Avatars in Need
Sometimes we don't realise that we need saving. Sometimes it's fun to pretend we do. For one woman, pretending made all the difference. This is the story of how one middle-aged woman relearned to play while residing in Second Life, and of the Search and Rescue operation she was enlisted into to help save fellow avatars (who don't actually need saving). Music by Chris Zabriskie, Kai Engel, Revolution Void, and Richard Moss. Mario Bava Sleeps In a Little Later Than He Expected To by Chris Zabriskie I Am a Man Who Will Fight for Your Honor by Chris Zabriskie Sunset by Kai Engel Scattered Knowledge by Revolution Void Thanks to my Patreon backers for supporting the show. Especially Anuar Lequerica, whose very generous pledge will soon pay for some portable soundproofing so that I can record voiceover without worrying about noise levels outside my office. Here's a link to Elif Ayiter's website, if you'd like to see more of her stuff.Support Ludiphilia
27:55
February 1, 2016
Episode 2: Mercy
[Audio levels should be fixed now. Sorry about that.] A devoted wrestling fan hacks and modifies an old Nintendo 64 game called WWF No Mercy to help deal with the pain of his shattered dream, and gets more out of it than he'd bargained for You can learn more about the No Mercy hacking scene at Old Skool Reunion. As always, you can follow Ludiphilia on Twitter @ludiphilia and subscribe on iTunes and Patreon.Support Ludiphilia
38:11
December 23, 2015
Episode 1: Playful Pedagogical Primers
For the first episode of Ludiphilia I've gathered two stories about learning by playing systems-driven games. One is about the educational value of Minecraft, and the other is about a guy who studies something he calls play design and who developed two of my favourite bits of playful software in recent memory. First I talk to Santeri Koivisto, the CEO and co-founder of TeacherGaming — the small company behind (educational repackaging's of Minecraft and Kerbal Space Program) MinecraftEdu and KerbalEdu — about the company's goals, approach to education, background, and more. Then I move onto Chaim Gingold, a PhD student at the University of California Santa Cruz and researcher at the Communications Design Group. He's writing his thesis on play design. But he's famous for developing the Creature Creator for Maxis' SimEverything game Spore, and more recently he made an iPad app called Earth Primer — a science book for playful people. You can buy Earth Primer from the App Store for AU$12.99/US$9.99/GB£7.99.Support Ludiphilia
34:29
October 1, 2015
Make your own podcast for free with Anchor!