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  Girls Advance Games  
 
 
Posted 2004-06-25 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
If any significant change is going to sweep over video games, it'll likely be as a result of greater involvement from women. If more women were recruited by game developers, games might not be so painfully nerdy. But what choices would female game developers make?

According to Ludonauts.com, a camp for grade-school game designers resulted in a fifth-grade all-girl team coming up with "Dr. Evil Stinky and the Poison Cake... a light-hearted game that involved communicating with aliens through barter and compromise to achieve the desired result." Evil and stinky? Count me in! On the flipside, a team of fifth-grade boys come up with the uninspiring Virus Fighters: The Defeat of Juppa, where "...Juppa was a direct threat to the player, a villain who went around defeating people with viruses. There were a few different main characters to choose from, including two females who were both described as 'bad-tempered.' Everyone had a sword..."

Let's hope the first ever Women's Game Conference this fall can inspire the industry and bolster female developers. I'd really like to see Dr. Evil Stinky and the Poison Cake get made some day.
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  Diary:  Ignoring for Jesus  
 
 
Posted 2004-06-05 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Downtown Toronto was invaded by combat-pant-wearing Jesus-enthusiasts today. They walked briskly down the east side of Yonge St., uttering praise for their lord, honking air-horns, and waving red flags. At least one homeless person was passed by this conga-line of holiness, and do you think I saw any of the zealots stopping to give a brother a helping hand? Nope. Not one alm for the poor. Classy!
 
     
 
   
 
  6 comments  
  Books by Bloggers  
 
 
Posted 2004-05-24 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
So, you're an A-list blogger with zillions of daily readers who eagerly slurp up your every word. A captive audience is yours, but will they buy your book? In the next few years we might be seeing printed works from Elizabeth Spiers (Gawker, The Kicker), Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit), and other bloggerati [source].

I guess the real question is this: Will today's loyal readers remember you in two or three years?
 
     
 
   
 
  4 comments  
  Kids Prefer Vids  
 
 
Posted 2004-05-18 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
The NPD Group reports that boys are straying from their toys in favour of video games, and that kids in general are picking up gaming at a young age.

Stats from the NPD study indicate that boys aged 5 to 12 play video games more than with traditional toys. Most are gaming about 4.2 hours weekly on average, with 32% of boys and 10% of girls exceeding 6 hours of play weekly.

Almost half of the children studied began their gaming careers between the ages of 4 and 5. 20% began at age 3 or younger. I guess game consoles are the new babysitter.
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  Shock and AWE  
 
 
Posted 2004-04-22 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
The US Army brings their video-game obsession to a new dimension with their There-based Asymmetric Warfare Environment. Gamespot.com chatted with chief scientist and technology officer of the US Army�s Simulation, Training and Instrumentation program, Dr. Michael Macedonia. Macedonia comments on the recruitment game America's Army and of course, their new AWE-simulation system.

Choice quotes:

"America�s Army is focused on recruiting. It�s really a marketing tool in a lot of ways--marketing and education, I should say." See? It's an educational game. Kids can learn how to unquestionably obey their superiors.

"In none of these games do you shoot. Well, you can role-play and shoot, but it�s not really focused on shooting."

"We built downtown Baghdad in this environment." Cool! I'm sure it's exactly like the real thing except that the concrete isn't painted in blood.

"What�s a soldier�s experience in Iraq or Afghanistan? Who�s the enemy? How do I get these people to not [necessarily] like me, but to relate to me?" How about starting with not shutting down their newspapers or beating them to death for carrying photographs of their leaders?
 
     
 
   
 
  3 comments  
  Teenage Robot Battle  
 
 
Posted 2004-03-30 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Thousands of North American high school students are converging on Toronto this weekend to engage in fierce, deadly robot wars as part of the 2004 FIRST Robotics Competition. Students had six weeks to build a killer mecha that would fit into strict design parameters. The showdown takes place at the not-very-chocolatey Hershey Centre April 2nd and 3rd from 9am until about 4pm. Attend at your own risk.
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  Toronto Comic Frenzy  
 
 
Posted 2004-02-20 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Dave Howard reminds us that "the Toronto Comic Jam is coming up this Tuesday Feb 24th, and that there are only two more Saturdays left in the comic jam art show at www.offthemapgaleery.com (although it is also open during the week, Wed-Fri, 11-5pm). Please come down and check out the show, where there�s paint, pencil crayons, illustration board, all kinds of different media to expand the jam experience. We�ll also be auctioning off the jam pieces created at the show to help raise some money for the jam; pages will start at $20."

The upcoming comic jam will also launch the latest issue of Dave's Don't Touch Me Comics magazine. "Number 10 features cover pieces by John Scott, winner of the Governor General�s Award for Visual Art in 2000 (which is a very interesting cross-over if you know about John�s work); and a great big 44 pages of comics from 16 artists. It�ll go for $7.00, so come down and get them while they�re hot!" More info here.
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
  Open-Format Social Networking  
 
 
Posted 2004-02-16 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
I'm not much of a "joiner"-- unless I can really see the benefit of hooking up with a Web service, I generally won't even touch it. Last year I joined Live Journal after figuring out I could use it to publish my web comic, then discovered its amazing social networking capabilities. Since then I've checked out a few other social systems and communities, most recently the puzzling Flickr. I am expecting an Orkut invite soon.

All this social-networking buzz got me thinking about some of core similarities and differences between systems-- on the one hand, you've got typical public slots like your Bio, and Interests list; on the other, this information is not transportable among systems. This is stupid: Users are copying and pasting the same info into the same types of slots across a variety of networks. If that info changes, users have to then remember all the places they posted and update it all. See? Stupid.

Continue reading: Open-Format Social Networking
 
     
 
   
 
  11 comments  
  Fragging Is Not A Crime  
 
 
Posted 2004-01-07 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
No Media Kings' Jim Munroe chats with veteran game designer Karl Deckard about gaming and skating. Deckard makes some interesting (if not obvious to hardcore gamers) observations about the similarities between skate culture and clan culture. "One thing that both subcultures share is the fact that many outsiders (some parents, religious groups and politicians) view both skating and videogames as deviant. "

As pointed out yesterday, skating is beginning to gain acceptance amongst religious groups. Gaming is also on its way.
 
     
 
   
 
  5 comments  
  Local Cops Victimized?  
 
 
Posted 2003-12-10 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
An Ontario Human Rights Commission report accuses the police (among other groups) of engaging in racial profiling. The Ontario Provincial Police Association claims its members are victims of "Police Profiling," and while it supports the OHRC's recommendation of equipping police cars with video cameras, Toronto Police Chief Julian Fantino is strongly opposed.

A puzzling stance, considering Fantino is a proponent of police cameras turned on the public [1, 2, 3].

Mr. Fantino, have you forgotten that law-abiding citizens have nothing to fear from video surveillance?
 
     
 
   
 
  1 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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