The Tomorrow Children

The Tomorrow Children would fail a history exam

The Cold War refuses to separate itself from the West’s understanding of the Soviet Union. Decades of apocalyptic rivalry have painted its immensely diverse citizenry as, by turns, dispassionate murderers or buffoonish caricatures. On one hand is Stalin, casually signing the paperwork that ordered the mass killings and deportations of the Great Purge; on the other are the workers and soldiers of the Union, imagined as simple-minded enough to follow the suicidal directives of their leaders. One of the most staggeringly unusual empires in human history has, in popular consciousness, been watered down to a collection of non-thinking laborers, power-hungry…


Against child protagonists

Videogames don’t like people. Of that, the overwhelming amount of fantasy, war and sci-fi games, the ones set around goblins, androids and super-soldiers—the ones patently uninterested in real human beings—are proof enough. But even when games profess an interest in personhood and human experience they avoid substantive fiction. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture seems to focus on a village in England, and the relationships between the people that live there, but the people are all dead and instead of seeing them and how they interact with one another you find, merely, their ghosts and some recordings of their voices. Gone…


The NSA Playset is trying to democratize surveillance using the aesthetic of child’s play

Would that surveillance practices were reversible: we’d have a solution to the past decade’s revelations on our hands. But they aren’t and we don’t. Surveillance is more than a series of practices; it is a force with a momentum of its own and the turning radius of a cruise ship. Consequently, the democratization of surveillance takes on some funny forms, one of which is Michael Ossman’s NSA Playset project. Inspired by the NSA’s ANT Catalog, which was published by Der Spiegel in 2013 and described a variety of surveillance tools, Ossman invited security researchers to make their own versions of…


You can now experience the pure joy of Metamorphabet in your browser

Today’s kids are digital natives; they have been engaging with technology since they were very young. Many studies have been published about the benefits of interactive learning through technology in early childhood. As a result, educators have adjusted their pedagogy to include digital and interactive learning models. Developer Vector Park’s animated alphabet game Metamorphabet is one such tool for interactive learning. We reviewed it upon its iOS release in March, but now it’s available to play in your browser and to purchase for PC and Mac. “an alphabet for all ages”  Metamorphabet describes itself as “an alphabet for all ages.”…