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Posts by Thomas Knowlton

NYPLarcade Teen: Local Multiplayer Games

NYPLarcade Teen is an opportunity for teens to play, watch, and discuss independent, experimental, and thought-provoking games in a library setting. Think of it as a book club, but for video games. Our second series at Muhlenberg Library focuses on the rise of local multiplayer games.

As social networks, mobile devices, and always-online consoles have popularized gaming virtually with others, there has recently been a movement towards designing games which rely on face-to-face interaction.

This series will 

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NYPLarcade: International Games Day 2013

This year's International Games Day takes place on Saturday, November 16. All over the world, libraries will be celebrating the annual event by inviting patrons of all ages to come in and play games together.

At Muhlenberg Library, we will be hosting a special Double Fine edition of IGD 2013 with a curated selection of video games for ages 12 and up as well as board games for the whole family throughout the day. The event is FREE and takes place between 12:30 and 4:30 p.m. See the full schedule 

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NYPLarcade Teen: Spooky Action Roguelikes

NYPLarcade Teen is an opportunity for teens to play, watch, and discuss independent, experimental, and thought-provoking games in a library setting. Think of it as a book club, but for video games. Our first series at Muhlenberg Library will focus on the roguelike genre.

The name "roguelike" comes from the 1980 dungeon crawler Rogue, which was developed for Unix, had procedurally-generated levels, and inspired other classics like Hack and Nethack. The general features are: permadeath (the player only has one life), a 

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Reader's Den: The Contract With God Trilogy by Will Eisner - Week 4

Thank you for joining us for this month's Reader's Den! Our discussion of Will Eisner's The Contract With God Trilogy: Life on Dropsie Avenue is part of NYC Summer and we have many more events still to come.

If you'd like to comment on any of the previous posts in the discussion, please visit the following links:

Week 1: Introduction Week 2:

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Reader's Den: The Contract With God Trilogy by Will Eisner - Week 3

This May, we've been reading Will Eisner's The Contract With God Trilogy: Life on Dropsie Avenue. This online book discussion is in conjunction with Reader's Den and NYC Summer.

Here is a schedule of what we have covered so far, but please feel free to revisit and comment on any of these earlier posts as well:

Week 1: Introduction Week 2:

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Reader's Den: The Contract With God Trilogy by Will Eisner - Week 2

Welcome back to our online discussion of Will Eisner's The Contract With God Trilogy: Life on Dropsie Avenue. Throughout May, we'll be discussing the book as part of both Reader's Den and NYC Summer.

Below is our schedule, but please feel free to comment on any post over the course of the month:

Week 1: Introduction Week 2:

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Reader's Den: The Contract With God Trilogy by Will Eisner - Week 1

For this month's Reader's Den, we'll be hosting an online book discussion of Will Eisner's The Contract With God Trilogy: Life on Dropsie Aveue. This is only the second time we have featured a graphic novel (the first was Joe Sacco's Palestine in October 2010).

However, as part of NYC Summer, we have two more graphic novel discussions coming up: Alan Moore's The Watchmen in 

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NYC Summer: Programs at Mid-Manhattan

This summer at Mid-Manhattan Library: revisit the vital, gritty streets of 1970s New York City on Film, discuss great NYC books online with Reader's Den, and relax as librarian Lois Moore reads you short stories from The New Yorker and New York-based authors during Mixed Bag.

All of these events are part of our summer reading program for older teens and adults called NYC Summer. Watch this space for announcements of even more events and book recommendations! You can also quickly access this page at:

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NYPLarcade Spec Ops: The Line

Developed by Yager and published by 2K Games, Spec Ops: The Line (2012) has been one of the most-discussed video games of the past year.

Edge Magazine calls it "one of the most subversive shooters yet made" and notes: “It may not be subtle, but it engages with problems that the bellicose ilk of Modern Warfare and Medal of Honor have yet to acknowledge."

Despite mixed critical response and

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Three Auteurs of World Cinema

Three Auteurs of World Cinema starts with six screenings of films by the highly-stylized Hong Kong director, Wong Kar-wai. In March, we move to the meditative works of Soviet/Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky. And finally, throughout April and May, we'll explore the fantastical world of Italian director Federico Fellini through eight films spanning his entire 

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NYPLarcade 2012 Video Game Showcase

As we come to the close of another year, I always look forward to the "best of" lists and discovering interesting games I may have missed. Over the next several weeks, NYPLarcade will be showcasing six video game titles from 2012, which were not covered in our other game series this year: Jenova Chen, Horror Games, and International Games Day (Music Games).

What is a game series? Think of it as a film series, but for video 

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NYPLarcade: International Games Day 2012

On Saturday, November 3, libraries all over the world will celebrate International Games Day by playing games. This year, at Mid-Manhattan Library, we'll have a variety of board games as well as a special line up of music video games from 2012 in Room 101 from 1-5 p.m.

Dyad (2012)Hand-selected by NYPLarcade, we will be playing a different game each hour. Come play, watch, and talk about these unique music titles. No prior gaming experience necessary!

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NYPLarcade Asks: What Are You Playing?

This week, I'll be delving into FTL: Faster Than Light, which was recently released for the Mac. If you haven't played it, the concept is a roguelike set in space, or "Firefly by way of Spelunky." Each time you play, you can expect permadeath, dangers lurking around every corner, and a new randomized world. So far, it's been a lot of fun successfully fending off space pirates and navigating asteroid fields, only to accidentally sacrifice my last crew member by leaving 

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NYPLarcade Asks: What Are You Playing?

I'm currently working my way through Borderlands 2 as an assassin who almost exclusively uses Maliwan weapons. It's a lot of fun and (as most reviews have indicated) a nice improvement on the first game. The wacky humor, mindblowing variety of guns, and drop-in, drop-out cooperative play are all back again, but with a tighter story and pacing.

I recently downloaded Stacking from XBLA and the art direction is fantastic (particularly in the miniature 

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NYPLarcade Horror Games

Our first NYPLarcade Game Club explored the works of thatgamecompany's Jenova Chen. In this six week series, we will look at a variety of horror-themed video games, from the terrifying Amnesia to the utterly bizarre Deadly Premonition to the experimental Dear 

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Reader's Den: The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton - Week 4

Penguin Books, 2011 (art by Félix Vallotton)Our final discussion will cover Chapters 13 - 15 of The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton. Mystery Summer continues in August with an online discussion of Dashiell Hammett's classic 1930 novel The Maltese Falcon. 

If you are looking for the previous posts, please visit the following links for our earlier discussions of Chesterton's book:

Week 1: Chapters 

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Reader's Den: The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton - Week 3

Ballantine Books, 1971For our penultimate discussion, we will be taking a look at Chapters 9 - 12 of G.K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday, A Nightmare, which is part of both Mystery Summer and the New York Public Library's monthly online book discussion Reader's Den.

For those just joining us this week, please feel free to visit the first and

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Reader's Den: The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton - Week 2

Capricon Books, 1960 (cover by Milton Glaser)This week, we will be discussing Chapters 5-8 of The Man Who Was Thursday, A Nightmare by G.K. Chesterton as part of the New York Public Library's Reader's Den.

If you don't have a copy of the book yet, please visit the first post for links to request a library copy or download the FREE ebook.

In this week's reading, Gabriel Syme is pursued by the seemingly decrepit 

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Reader's Den: The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton - Week 1

Welcome to the New York Public Library's Reader's Den, a monthly online book discussion. For July, we will be reading G.K. Chesterton's 1908 novel The Man Who Was Thursday, A Nightmare as part of Mystery Summer.

Get a free copy of the book from any of the following sources.

Download FREE ebook:  Amazon (Kindle)

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NYPLarcade Asks: What Are You Playing?

This weekend, I'm planning to revisit the strange, haunting world of Dear Esther, which recently added Mac support to its Steam release. So far, the tone reminds me of Amnesia: The Dark Descent.

In Max Payne 3 (for Xbox 360, PC, PS3) I'm making my way through the single player campaign. As with most Rockstar games, the narrative, characters, and setting all seem spot-on, while the controls and camera tend to be a bit of a struggle. Interestingly, I've found that diving 

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