This week on Spark's regular, over-the-air radio broadcast, you'll hear Spark 133: News Games, Super Angels, and The Master Switch which first aired back in January. But you won't hear Spark 133 this week on the podcast, because we've promised no more podcast repeats. We'll be back with a brand-new episode of Spark next week, on June 12.In the meantime, you can listen to the original broadcast of the whole show below (runs 54:00).
You can also listen to individual stories below.
Is this the Internet's Golden Age? If history repeats itself, it may not be for long. Tim Wu (the guy who coined the term "net neutrality" dontcha know) has a new book out called The Master Switch. It's all about the rise and fall of information empires, from radio in the 20s, to the glory days of Hollywood, to the Web today. (Runs 13:51)
There are a lot of glossy stories about the hot tech start-up world and the way young people with the next big idea are suddenly millionaires. But to even get that idea off the ground, you need help, and that's usually in the form of venture capital. So what's the situation like in Canada? We spoke to Vancouver "super angel" investor Boris Wertz to find out what it takes to get an investor interested in...investing! (Runs 9:18)
A few months back on Spark, we dedicated an entire show to gaming. We looked at how games games affect our culture, our time, and our lives. Earlier this year, game developer Kellee Santiago found herself in the middle of a heated "Can games be art debate?" with Roger Ebert. But the art debate is only part of the larger idea that video games have developed to the point where they can deliver meaningful, enriching experiences. Kellee is co-founder and president of thatgamecompany. She talked to Nora about the power of video games as a medium of communication. (Runs 8:35)
There is a new genre of journalism called the newsgame. It is exactly what it sounds like - games that are based on the news. Right now you could play a game where you're a flu virus, or an oil baron, or one of two young shooters at Columbine. Nora talked to author, video game researcher and designer, Ian Bogost about this emerging form. (Runs 9:53)
As the streams of data that surround us increase, a challenge has emerged for media organizations. How do we show the information in ways that people will both understand and enjoy? That's exactly Amanda Cox's job at the New York Times. She's a graphics editor there and she and her colleagues have turned the new practice of interactive data visualization into something of an art. Nora spoke with Amanda on the challenges and rewards of data visualization. (Runs 8:12)