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  A ‘Second Life’ ARG Under My Nose  
 
 
Posted 2005-06-12 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Someone has used Clickable Culture to communicate a clue for an upcoming Alternate Reality Game involving Second Life, according to Unfiction.com and ARGTalk. The intrepid sleuths at Unfiction have deciphered enough of the clues to make a solid connection between Second Life and the ARG, so it looks like this may be the first virtual-world alternate reality game ever mounted.

I can confirm Unfiction's findings via an article at Clickable Culture posted in April about the lineup for this year's Second Life Game Developer Competition. SL resident Gary Bukowski's game "EVA" promised to "cross" realities. I commented then that "I'm pretty sure we're looking at an ARG-style game that combines virtual and alternate realities," and it looks like I was dead on.

Continue reading: A ‘Second Life’ ARG Under My Nose
 
     
 
   
 
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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
 
     
 
   
 
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  Calling All Zombies  
 
 
Posted 2005-06-09 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Your ugly mug could be featured in the upcoming "City of the Dead" video game, blessed by the father of modern Zombiedom himself, Mr. George A. Romero. Developer Hip Games has opened a general casting call, promising to select three unlucky winners to become zombies in the game. The winners will also receive credit in the game manual and a free copy of the game. Gamespot is hosting the casting contest between June 8th and 20th, 2005.

Related LInks:
 
     
 
   
 
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  Doctor Whoisms  
 
 
Posted 2005-06-02 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
After catching up on the last three Doctor Who episodes, I have noticed that the writers seem to keep aliens that explode and varying forms of zombies at the top of their stack of plot devices. I'm not geek enough to have counted the number of exploding aliens and zombies, but it seems like every other episode has one or the other or both. And what ever happened to those Bad Wolf references?
 
     
 
   
 
  2 comments  
  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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  Down and Out in the Virtual Magic Kingdom  
 
 
Posted 2005-05-25 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Disney's horrendous Virtual Magic Kingdom is now accepting visitors in "Sneak Preview Beta" mode. The web-based online multiuser environment mimics the real theme park, except with more shopping and less human misery.

Because the Disney experience is supposed to be kid friendly, interpersonal communication is limited to a pre-approved vocabulary, so words such as "rebellion," "love," "obey," and "usurp" are just not allowed. In the interest of making the Virtual Magic Kingdom a more believable place, I've compiled a list of handy phrases that get past the sanitization filter:

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  Exploding Toads  
 
 
Posted 2005-04-29 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
"The animals, they came out of the water on to the land and in the time of 10 minutes, they increased to nearly four times their normal size and then exploded. I have seen the toad intestines flying 1 meter." - Wildlife expert Werner Smolnik, quoted at Earthfiles.com.

Earthfiles' Linda Moulton Howe reports that over 1,000 cane toads have exploded to death in Germany and Denmark within a 5-day span, while AP via Yahoo! News identifies clever crows as the likely culprits. A German scientist believes that the hungry birds have learned how to expertly peck out a cane toad's liver: "...the toad puffs itself up as a natural defense mechanism... But, because the liver is missing and there's a hole in the toad's body, the blood vessels and lungs burst and the other organs ooze out..." While unexploded cane toads are normally regarded as a nuisance, I can only imagine how bothersome exploding ones would be.
 
     
 
   
 
  3 comments  
  I Ate Romero’s Brain  
 
 
Posted 2005-04-29 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Last July, I predicted that in George Romero's upcoming post-apocalyptic blood orgy Land of the Dead, we'd see Road Warrior-style cars. It has come to pass. An armoured 18-wheeler oufitted with rocket-launchers stars in the trailer for the film, which comes off looking like Resident Evil: Apocalypse combined with Beyond Thunderdome. At least in 28 Days Later the zombies puked blood. This time all we've got is Dennis Hopper in a business-suit.
 
     
 
   
 
  2 comments  
  Secret Creatures  
 
 
Posted 2005-04-26 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
American genius Daniel Davis is not only the chief creator of the extensive Agyris fantasy world and the animaster behind the online cartoon KLANG, but is also the architect and artist of Secret Creatures. Davis' bold, stylized, and colourful Creatures are documented in detail, revealing such features as the Retrobot's licorice missiles and the Crusty Golem's potential for destroying enemy bicycles.
 
     
 
   
 
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  Jumpin’ Jade Empire Bug  
 
 
Posted 2005-04-18 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
My companions and I arrived at the Imperial City after braving countless close-combat conflicts and airborne adventures. I and my true love Dawn Star had sworn to rescue our Master Li from the sinister grasp of Death's Hand, but what mysteries and obstacles would the Emperor's capital city present us with?

We had spent hours navigating the crowded streets, dutifully performing tasks for city-dwellers in order to reveal the whereabouts of our master. Running across a bridge towards the Imperial Arena, I suddenly found my strides impaired. What manner of unexpected treachery was this?

Continue reading: Jumpin’ Jade Empire Bug
 
     
 
   
 
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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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