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  ‘Teen Second Life’ Features Oversold  
 
 
Posted 2005-08-31 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
I think Linden Lab got tired of me criticizing them. I haven't gotten a press release since last November, so you'll forgive my lateness on the following item. Linden Lab's August 8 announcement of the launch of Teen Second Life is, frankly, full of crap. I don't know what goes on in that company's marketing department that makes them consistently broadcast misleading messages to the public. From the horse's mouth (in bold):

"Teens from around the globe build a world according to their rules."
False. Residents of Second Life (teen or otherwise) are governed by their own rules up until the point where they collide with Linden Lab's Terms of Service. Linden Lab makes the rules (it is their world, after all), and it must be noted that Teen Second Life has more restrictions than the adult version.

Teen Second Life lets teens from around the world create an environment all their own that is restricted only by their imaginations.
Wrong. Environments in Second Life are restricted by more than imagination. They are restricted by the numerous technical limitations that plague the aging game engine. Teens are additionally restricted by their own skill sets--there is no "magic wand" in Second Life will make you a good artist, designer, architect, or pornographer. Lastly, as mentioned earlier, teen creativity is restricted by Linden law. So, no pornography in teen environments. Unlike real life.

Continue reading: ‘Teen Second Life’ Features Oversold
 
     
 
   
 
  15 comments  
  NYC Loses Graffiti Game Battle  
 
 
Posted 2005-08-24 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
In New York City, the art will go on, despite efforts Manhattan Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Council Member Peter F. Vallone Jr to ban legal expressions of graffiti. According to AdRants.com, a district judge has ruled that a graffiti party to promote the upcoming video game Mark Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure may proceed as planned. The event, which was originally slated for today, intended to employ ten replica subway cars as canvas for infamous street artists. Now, not only can the event proceed, but it looks like NYC's fight against the game has been deflated.

The judge's ruling is significant because it asserts that "monkey see" does not equal "monkey do." Destractors of video games often insist otherwise. According to AdRants.com, Judge Jed S. Rakoff said "[The city] claims the right to censor this exercise of free speech expression because, in the words of the Mayor on his radio program last Friday, the exhibition is tantamount to 'encouraging vandalism.' By the same token, presumably, a street performance of Hamlet would be tantamount to encouraging revenge murder. Or, in a different vein, a street performance of 'rap' music might well include the singing of lyrics that could be viewed as encouraging sexual assault. As for a street performance of Oedipus Rex don't even think about it."
 
     
 
   
 
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  Xbox Live Promo You’ll Never See  
 
 
Posted 2005-07-28 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Xbox Live Promo You’ll Never See
That long, awkward silence between today's Xbox Live and the next-gen Xbox Live has just been interrupted by a promotional campaign exclusive to Canadian Xbox Live subscribers. The Gamer Identification Program, inexplicably acronymed "GiD," offers free, customizable stickers.

Customization is as easy as choosing from a provided pool of 4 descriptive words, and entering your own label. Although labels can fit up to 20 characters, participants are warned that "inappropriate language will NOT be reflected in your custom sticker." Using only the GiD system and a little imagination, I've created some appropriate suggestions you may want to consider:

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  Mother of PaRappa Speaks  
 
 
Posted 2005-07-06 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Gamasutra's Matt Hawkins sat down with Rodney Alan Greenblat, the self-described "mother" of PlayStation's rap-dawg, PaRappa to chat about the inception of the top-selling PaRappa the Rapper series. Greenblat: "I think Sony could have made PaRappa into their Mario. Nintendo has a Mario, and Sony didn't have that kind of identity; I was thinking that they needed a face for that company, and PaRappa was the perfect face. He's about music, he's about energy, and he's cool... he's like a happening little guy. He's not like an Italian plumber that you never figure out why that makes sense..."

I've been following Greenblat's whimsical interactive work since his CD-ROM Wonder Window in the early 1990s, and hacked out a story in 2000 about his (then) leap to fleeting pop-stardom. If you're into nerd-music, I highly recommend the dynamic duo of "Let's Audio," starring Greenblat and co-conspirator Abby Denson.
 
     
 
   
 
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  Corpse-Art Coming to Canada  
 
 
Posted 2005-06-24 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
The Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, Canada plays host to Dr. Gunther von Hagens' ghoullish exhibition "Body Worlds 2." Von Hagens uses human corpses in his work, preserving the cadavers through a technique called "plastination," most recently demonstrated in the movie House of Wax, starring Paris Hilton as herself. Ok, I made that last bit up.

Body Worlds 2 will feature over 200 partial and whole dead people, including 25 entire bodies. There's a corpse-factory in China that processes 100 bodies annually for our enjoyment. And by enjoyment, I mean dinner table.
 
     
 
   
 
  3 comments  
  VendaVision’s Pop Art Hits Toronto  
 
 
Posted 2005-06-15 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Torontonians will soon be able to enjoy a cold soda and indie art flick simultaneously through the magic of VendaVision. The vending machines, which will be stationed in several Toronto locations, dispense pop and art for a dollar--25% of which goes directly to the contributing artist. Who says you can't support Canadian film and rot your teeth at the same time? Local yokel Leif Harmsen is responsible for this madness, and is seeking not only film contributions but donations of pop machines, monitors, and DVD players.
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  Corporate Graffiti  
 
 
Posted 2005-06-10 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
I've seen the work of this tagger on the sidewalks of Toronto a few times before:



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  The Strange Case of Alma Rumball  
 
 
Posted 2005-05-31 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
I watched "The Alma Drawings" last night, a documentary about Alma Rumball, a now-deceased native of Huntsville, Ontario, Canada. For a period of almost 25 years, Rumball churned out an amazing quantity of automatic art--created without her full awareness or control (a visual version of "speaking in tongues"). Raised a devout Christian, she experienced a vision of Jesus in 1955, which spurred the generation of artwork involving spiritual themes outside her personal experience, such as Tibetan Buddhist dieties, Atlantean history, Joan of Arc, and the true nature of the Holy Ghost.

Naturally, this is all very difficult for most people to digest. There is plenty of room in Rumball's story for both science (i.e. "she's schizophrenic") and spirituality (i.e. "she's a conduit for the heavens"). After watching the documentary, I was left with questions, and an interest in learning more, since I love a good mystery. There are a number of written "messages" in Rumball's work that beg investigation (again, wiggle-room both for skeptics and paranormalists abound). Although Rumball considered the artwork to be a communique to the world's people, there is a sore lack of it on the internet. Instead, York University's art gallery supposedly houses some of her works, and prints are being sold by Rumball's nephew's wife.
 
     
 
   
 
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  Nemomatic Artbots  
 
 
Posted 2005-04-28 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
California's Nemo Gould crafts kinetic robot sculptures from recycled materials, blending together the sensibilities of 1950s sci-fi, tribal art, the creepy drawings of Tim Burton, the surrealism of Joan Miró and the whimsy of Dr. Seuss. Gould's video page features Quicktime movies of many of the robot sculptures in action. If only they were the size of skyscrapers, then my robot army would be complete.
 
     
 
   
 
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  Canadians Get Spirited Away  
 
 
Posted 2004-12-01 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
The series might be gritty, eerie, and mysterious, but there's nothing flawed about Broken Saints. The 24-chapter epic has beguiled millions of international viewers since its 2001 launch on the internet, scooping a coveted Audience Award at last year's Sundance Online Film Festival. This November, Broken Saints vaulted from a web-exclusive (www.brokensaints.com) to jam-packed four-DVD set � an impressive feat for a small, independent coven of Canadian innovators living on ramen noodles and fan donations.

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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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