CIA World Factbook — the video game

Is it just me, or does the new design of the CIA World Factbook look eerily similar to the aesthetic of a video game? Check it out. That gun-metal, rivetted steel girders along the top … the grey and blue color palette … it looks just totally like the information screens in something like Rogue Spear. Yeeeee.

Of course, as gaming pundit Carl Goodman of the American Museum of the Moving Image would argue — all software looks like a video game these days. Video games were, and remain, on the cutting edge of interface design. Remember where the first place you saw scrolling text, nested lists, WYSIWYG, icons, and the very idea of a physical tool you hold in your hand that manipulates stuff onscreen? That’s right. Asteroids and Robotron 2084.

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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