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  An Xbox 360 That Blogs  
 
 
Posted 2006-04-10 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Trapper Markelz co-developed an Xbox 360 blogject, turning the dumb game console into a smart object that autonomously reports on itself and related matters. Currently, the console seems to be tracking and reporting the playing habits of eight users. For example, the Xbox 360 tells us that today, "I thought [user] Fatty Chubs just wanted to listen to music or watch a DVD. Turns out he was there to game. With a gamer score of 13694, I should have known that was the case. That is a gain of 30 points over last time! He played Oblivion gaining 3 achievements, as well as basked in the glow of my great blade navigation interface!"

Automated reports are blogged in natural language apparently by slotting raw data into human-crafted sentence-fragments. The end result is that the Xbox 360 develops a designed personality. While the console currently appears to be rather peppy, I'd rather see an enraged, depressed, or paranoid console. Some great opportunities for persona-based marketing and brand sabotage here.
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  RealFrogger Invades Texas  
 
 
Posted 2006-03-16 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
RealFrogger Invades Texas
Poor RealFrogger. I hardly knew ye. Photo credit: Mark Wallace
I was fortunate enough to bear witness to the historical launch of RealFrogger in downtown Austin, Texas, during the early hours of March 15, 2006. The classic arcade game Frogger was re-enacted with a frog-costumed Roomba in live traffic, thanks to the techno-creative powers of Phillip Torrone and Limor Fried. Our beloved green hero dodged cars, trucks, trikes, and bikes, until finally meeting its inevitable, crushing demise.

Possibly the most interesting aspect of this event was that the RealFrogger robot was instantly recognizable to average drunken Austinites, who stood dumbfounded on the curb, pointing to the green Roomba and bellowing "It's frogger! Frogger!"

Detailed coverage of this memorable event can be found on the Second Life Herald, and via Daniel Terdiman at News.com.
 
     
 
   
 
  4 comments  
  SXSW- Looking Back on March 14  
 
 
Posted 2006-03-15 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Yesterday was the first and only day at Austin's SXSW fest where I was functionally impaired due to a champagne-and-tequila-induced hangover. As a result, I managed to liveblog only the panel entitled "How to Be a Virtual World Entrepreneur. My notes were apparently the source of a shitstorm in the Second Life community over casual remarks made by Reuben Steiger of Linden Lab (maker of Second Life. I felt compelled to respond to the situation after learning of the controversy at around 3am local time. I'm torn over the issue: On the one hand, I feel I have every right to publish panel notes publicly, even if the notes are not an accurate verbatim transcription and were never presented that way; on the other hand, part of what has exacerbated the controversy was that I wasn't able to capture some comments from panelist Peter Ludlow that might have softened reaction to Steiger's remarks. The beauty of liveblogging is that a rough sketch of a live event can be published immediately. The downside, I have discovered, is that a sketch leaves too much to the imagination.

Continue reading: SXSW- Looking Back on March 14
 
     
 
   
 
  1 comments  
  ‘Technorati Explore’ Loses Me  
 
 
Posted 2005-12-14 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Technorati's artificial-intelligence officially hates me. Once upon a time, Clickable Culture ranked #1 in search-results for tags "Second Life" and "Other Space" (I checked those tags because they're fairly specific). Because I often combined those two tags, Technorati now believes the two terms are related, along with several others I often use in combination. It likes my contribution to its idea of tag-relationships, but has turned its back on this blog. Please excuse me while I wipe away a tear.

Technorati has now launched a beta version of "Technorati Explore," a way of finding posts from blogs sporting specific tags. However, it has purged this blog completely from its memory. It currently thinks there are only 7 "top" blogs writing about Second Life (there are dozens of blogs coving this topic). I'm cruelly left out of the top 7, despite my 186 entries (to date) on the topic. Hilariously, when I checked out Technorati's "related" tag Other Space (the tag I related to Second Life), no blogs at all were listed. When I first started using that tag, I was one of maybe 2 other blogs using it, and Technorati recognized that accurately. Now, I've dropped right off Explorer's radar, despite using both Second Life and Other Space as tags at least once a week. Clearly Clickable Culture is "about" Second Life, Other Space, Business, Life, Gaming and other tags I use here. But the Technorati-bots hate me. And this makes me cry.

Dear Technorati: Never send a robot to do a human's job.
 
     
 
   
 
  1 comments  
  RFID LARP OK?  
 
 
Posted 2005-12-09 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Live-Action Role-Playing is definitely near the bottom of the nerd-barrel, perhaps floating only slightly higher than Fur-Suits. But swap LARPing's foam swords and fantasy characters for high-tech wristbands and hackers, and suddenly Live-Action Role-Play is for the cool-kids.

Weblog We Make Money Not Art explains how Spain's Differend Games has used RFID technology and a three-story fun-house to raise location-based role-playing gaming to the level of laser-tag. The game, called Négone, involves escaping from a secure facility: "...each player has a wrist console displaying your score, your character's health and tools obtained in the game...the adrenaline pumps hard as you explore the space - shooting down slides, climbing ladders or diving into a pit of small plastic balls. Every time you see a screen, you place your wrist console beneath it. This activates your helper, one of four pre-recorded characters from a hackers' group."

And if plastic balls aren't enough fun for you, by the end of 2007 the game will reportedly include robots. Hopefully one of the robots will malfunction, resulting in a hilarious real-life killing-spree. Only a real LARPer could possibly survive that.
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  ‘Segway’ Tech Spreading  
 
 
Posted 2005-10-14 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Remember the Segway Human Transporter, formerly known as Ginger? If you've forgotten, you're probably not alone. The technology was so grossly overhyped that, once launched, it faded from public conciousness after a patter of quirky news stories. Segway (the company) knows potential extinction when it sees it, and is going the smart route in licensing their "Smart Motion" technology. Toy maker Wow Wee will incorporate Segway's know-how into their next generation of robotic toys, including Robosapien, Roboraptor and Robopet. I assume we'll be seeing something along the lines of Rosie the Robot from The Jetsons: Seemingly-impossible two-wheeled propulsion.
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  Robots of Glass  
 
 
Posted 2005-09-22 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Robots of Glass
Izik Levy makes tiny glass robots, each with a unique unit number and registry card. You can hang Levy's robots around your neck. But they won't do your bidding. Also, don't eat them, even though they look like delicious robot-flavoured candy.
 
     
 
   
 
  3 comments  
  Virtual Agents Set to Evolve  
 
 
Posted 2005-07-14 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
A new virtual world promises to provide Sea-Monkey-style entertainment to science-nerds. The NEW-TIES project, which involves artificially-intelligent agents rather than human-controlled avatars, is based on a peer-to-peer computer platform on a scale "beyond any existing state-of-the-art social simulation," whatever that means. The NEW-TIES project launches September 1, 2005 with the intention of developing an artificial society with its own communication system and methods of cooperation.

The offical site contains few details on the project, but NewScientist.com reports that NEW-TIES will support only 1000 avatars across 50 computers (I assume the system scales infinitely), that agents will need to "eat" to survive, and can reproduce with opposite-sex avatars to produce offspring with inherited traits. Most curious is the ability of agents to communicate by pointing at objects and generating random words to form the basis of a new language. Doesn't sound much different from the average teenager. There's no word yet on whether or not the computerized agents can murder each other. Hey, if they can breed, they should be able to bleed.
 
     
 
   
 
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  Doctor Who Inspires Criminal Roleplay  
 
 
Posted 2005-06-11 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Last Monday, a Dalek was kidnapped by the Guardians of Planet Earth, who are holding the killer robot captive until they receive instructions from Doctor Who, according to the BBC. This mind-blowing mix of fantasy and reality promises to only get weirder, since Doctor Who may actually be called in for negotiations.

Continue reading: Doctor Who Inspires Criminal Roleplay
 
     
 
   
 
  1 comments  
  Wage Slaves Get Collared (Again)  
 
 
Posted 2005-06-07 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Chandrasutra points to a story at The Guardian revealing that some British warehouse workers are being electronically "tagged" in an effort to increase productivity. Small, mobile computers, reportedly in use by retailers such as Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Boots and Marks & Spencer, keep track of workers, inventory, and equipment. According to The Guardian, "The computer can also check on whether workers are taking unauthorised breaks and work out the shortest time a worker needs to complete a job."

Continue reading: Wage Slaves Get Collared (Again)
 
     
 
   
 
  2 comments  
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5224 comments
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Dinozoiks wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... http://www.dino.co.uk/labs/2008/45-tips-when-designing-online-content-for-kids/ Hope it helps someone... Dino...
in Dino Burbidge's '10 Things To Remember When Designing For Kids Online'


yes, many of the free little games are crappy. but as an artist who has recently published free content on the itunes app store,…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


I vote for popup radial menus. Highlight a bit of text, the push and hold, Sims-style radial menu pops up with Copy, Paste, etc....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


Hey Tony! A client of mine is looking to hire an internal Flash game dev team to build at a really cool Flash CCG…
in Dipping Into Toronto's Flash Pool


Yeah, there's a lot of weird common sense things I've noticed they've just omitted from the design. No idea why though....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


It also bears noting there's no mechanism right now for a developer to offer a free trial for the iPhone; the App Store isn't…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


@GeorgeR: It's on my shopping list :) I've heard good things about it as well. And Cro Mag Rally. @andrhia: meh, I don't know…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


...you get what you pay for, you know? I actually bought Trism based on early buzz, and it's truly a novel mechanic. I've been…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


The only one I've heard good things about is Super Monkey Ball. Have you given that a whirl yet?...
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


Advance warning: this frivolent comment is NOT RELATED or even worth your time ... But whenever i hear "Collada", i think of that SCTV…
in Electric Sheep Builds Its Own Flock


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