First off, this game is the amazing love child of Skyrim and Ocarina of Time. It’s beautiful and peaceful. It allows you to creatively solve puzzles. It rewards off-the-beaten path exploration.

But I have one problem with it. Small spoilers below (although the game’s been out six months, and almost everything below is discernible from the trailers).

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So I finally got around to beating Never Alone!! It was a good game overall, but as I was thinking how to review it, I had a hard time deciding whether to review it as a Native American, as a Linguist, or as a Gamer. So why not all three? (Warning: Spoilers in the “gamer” section) More »

So, you bought and installed a shiny new graphics card on your Linux machine. Congratulations! Now to make use of it by playing some video games! Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of games out there for Linux. Fortunately, there’s a thing called WINE, which is sort of like a Windows emulator, but not really. It’s basically a layer of code that makes (most) .exe (Windows-only) programs work (kinda) on Linux.

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I know I promised to buy Never Alone on release day, but as it turns out, none of the gaming systems or computers I own can play it. Waiting for Black Friday sales to bulk up this thing.

In the meantime, Happy Wugsgiving!


In case you haven’t heard, Never Alone is a video game based on Alaskan Native mythology. So many video games are loosely based on Arthurian legends (don’t try to tell me there’s no resemblance between The Master Sword and Excalibur), Western history (there are several franchises dedicated to games about the World Wars), or modern Western life (GTA, anyone?). So I’m pretty excited that we’re getting some new storylines in video games, and these people have an international platform to share their culture and language! I plan to buy it on release day, and hopefully post a review here shortly thereafter! :)

In the meantime, watch the trailer here:

Boo is boolean, apparently.


The other day, I was teaching my Intro to Linguistics students about vowelless words. Words like word and bird and church in English don’t actually have any vowels. The R in those words acts like a vowel. And syllables at the ends of words like baker, author, little, bottle and apple are just an L or an R: there’s no vowels in those syllables. These Ls and Rs that act like vowels are called syllabic consonants. This means that some words, like turtle don’t have any vowels at all! The first part of turtle (turt) is kinda like bird or church: just a R instead of a vowel. And the second part is like the second syllable in bottle or apple: just an L. By extension, this means that Squirtle has no vowels!

Given my last three posts, apparently all I blog about is linguistics and video games…

In what quite possibly is one of the nerdiest things I have ever done, I made a wug out of light blue wool and obsidian in Minecraft.


As I prepared to teach Intro to Linguistics this summer, my friend was poring over the Dothraki-English Dictionary, trying to find some morphologically interesting words for me to use in a homework assignment, when he discovered something interesting:

pika: [tʃoo] DP na. choo

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