Browsed by
Category: Uncategorized

These dreams are made for you

These dreams are made for you

Media Molecule’s latest title Dream is a creation platform that allows users to make virtual worlds/games and then sharing them with others.

It’s first year has seen some great creations – with a lot of content created by some amazing artists and game developers. With such a powerful creative engine/tool available for anyone and everyone to create amazing worlds and share them – you’d expect it to be a panacea for both developers, artists, and players.

In reality, however, it seems like there is a problem. While there is no shortage of amazing creators and amazing art, music, and playable creations, there seems to be a real shortage of players. This actually surprised me.

Are these issues new, part of larger issues, or exposing issues we’ve already had before? There are complaints about getting visibility to your creation above the noise – much like mobile app developers and indie musicians have had for years. Is the continuing lower bar of entry and enabling anyone to create whatever they want leading to oversaturation?

Give the linked article a look – it’s a great discussion on how the whole game industry might be going.

Mad Mex Gobblerito

Mad Mex Gobblerito

Mad Mex in Philadelphia has brought back a traditional favorite: the Gobblerito.

The popular combination of Thanksgiving dinner staples wrapped in a tortilla. The burrito is a Thanksgiving dinner wrapped in a tortilla including turkey, black bean mashed potatoes, stuffing and corn that’s drenched in gravy and served with a side of cranberry sauce.  

The Gobblerito has grown in popularity each year, said Big Burrito Restaurant Group president Bill Fuller.

I made one myself – and with a little Cholula hot sauce – it was AMAZING:

The Art of Code

The Art of Code

Dylan Beattie leads us through a really fun history of the ways programming has evolved and opened new avenues of exploration over the years: Conway’s game of Life, Mandelbrot set, Obfuscated code, and many more.

Would make a great first class for any programming major in school and invigorate students.

Check out more of NDC’s talks, courses, and conferences in the following links:
https://ndcconferences.com/
https://ndc-london.com/

High Altitude Penitentes

High Altitude Penitentes

Snow can get funny at high altitudes and on mountains. It can be powdery soft, squeeky and crunchy, wet and gummy, or even form strange shapes depending on pressure, humidity, temperature, and a host of other conditions. It’s one of the fascinating parts I love about climbing mountains.

In the high Atacama desert, Penitentes, or nieves penitentes (Spanish for “penitent-shaped snows”), are snow formations found at high altitudes. They take the form of elongated, thin blades of hardened snow or ice, closely spaced and pointing towards the general direction of the sun.

The name comes from the resemblance of a field of penitentes to a crowd of kneeling people doing penance. The formation evokes the tall, pointed habits and hoods worn by brothers of religious orders in the Processions of Penance during Spanish Holy Week. In particular the brothers’ hats are tall, narrow, and white, with a pointed top.

These spires of snow and ice grow over all glaciated and snow-covered areas in the dry andes above 4,000 metres (13,000 ft).They range in length from a few centimetres to over 5 metres (16 ft).

Penitentes up to 15 metres (49 ft) high are suggested to be present in the tropics zone on Europa, a satellite of Jupiter. According to a recent study, NASA’s New Horizons has discovered penitentes on Pluto, in a region informally named Tartarus Dorsa

Mother 2 interview with Shigesato Itoi

Mother 2 interview with Shigesato Itoi

GameCenter CX is a Japanese show with comedian Shinya Arino (one half of the comedy duo Yoiko) who plays home console video games from previous decades and usually attempts to get the game’s ending within a single day. The show has been on-air since 2003 and has gone for over 15 seasons and hundreds of episodes. You can watch re-runs on Twitch.

When Arino played through Shigesato Itoi’s game Mother 2 (released in North America as EarthBound), Itoi came to visit Arino Kacho while he made his way through the game. They talked about their memories of the game on the 30th anniversary of the original Mother title.

Read the transcripts of their discussion here:
https://www.1101.com/gccxmother/en/

Virtual Racing

Virtual Racing

What happens when a global pandemic shuts down F1, Nascar, Indycar and other professional auto racing? The pro racers become internet competitors! Real life F1 stars Max Verstappen and Lando Norris, IndyCar drivers Simon Pagenaud and Felix Rosenqvist, and a bevy of popular professional sim racers and YouTube personalities got together and raced online. There were commentators and the virtual event was every bit as good as an actual live one by most accounts.

Before that, Nascar did a similar race earlier and was met with good reviews. Like real life, one race event even lead to its own scandal.

This raises some really fascinating implications for our post-corona world. With computers and simulators becoming ever better – as good as real life – could the likelihood of increasing numbers of pandemics like H1N1 and Covid-19 cause a major shift in real sports?

Could real or interrupted seasons be augmented, or even completely replaced, by online competitions? What would this mean for the millions in advertising and promotion that ride on these events? Will giant, technology ladened stadiums become a thing of the past? And while these online events were friendly, it also brings up the extremely difficult topics of hacking, doping, cheating, and other nefarious activities already plaguing e-Sports.

Experience boring realtime flight as a game

Experience boring realtime flight as a game

A new game called Airplane Mode asks players to enjoy being a passenger on a six hour trans-Atlantic flight that plays out in real time. This strikes me as almost as amazing as Penn+Teller’s Desert Bus.

Check out these amazing set of features to enjoy:

  • Fairly accurate satellite imagery of your flight path.
  • Snacks, premium beverages, and meal service (incl. fish option).
  • Carry-on bag with a book, headphones, pen, and charging cable.
  • Overhead reading light and complimentary aircraft information card.
  • Inflight safety video produced by IFC’s in-house team of expert air hosts.
  • Randomized events on every playthrough, such as turbulence, bad wifi, and delays.
  • Authentic ambient noise—whose baby is that???*
  • Inflight entertainment system featuring a flight tracker and hit movies of the 1930s.
  • Our award-winning magazine, Stratospheres, filled with articles, crosswords, and Sudoku.

https://gizmodo.com/honestly-a-video-game-that-strands-you-on-a-boring-six-1839717598

Stress eating and the voice of justification

Stress eating and the voice of justification

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/never-binge-again/201907/how-stop-emotional-eating-coping-mechanism

Stress eating is a thing – and it’s related to how we mentally handle anxiety. Here’s a summary of what the psychologist did with his patient Johnny who was stress eating hot dogs:

I showed him some breathing techniques to help deactivate the sympathetic nervous system, which plays a strong role in producing the feeling one must urgently act on the impulse to overeat.  I also helped him more specifically label his emotions so he might gain more of a sense of control.  I also explained he might be approaching the entire issue with the wrong mindset. 

It’s only when emotions are allowed to become actual behavior that damage to your health (over-eating) is done, and this only happens when some type of rational justification makes it “OK” to act against your previously best laid plans. It turns out that when you make a very specific rule to accomplish an important health goal, there’s almost always a voice of justification that occurs which rationalizes crossing the line you previously swore not to cross.

Turns out, these were the very specific thoughts and situations which were poking a hole in his resolve, justifying crossing the eating goals, and acting on the emotions in a negative way.  To help arrest this behavior, I helped Johnny to label and very specifically dispute each one:

THOUGHT: “This is intolerable!  I shouldn’t have to put up with people like this (usually his boss).  The only way to cope is with more frankfurters.”   
DISPUTATION:  “Almost everyone has to swallow some difficult treatment from their superiors.  Besides, frankfurters aren’t the only way to cope.  I could work it off in the gym, go for a walk, do some breathing exercises, or just sit with the anger until it passes…which is almost always a lot quicker than I think it will be.”

At first, Johnny felt he couldn’t fight these thoughts even though he could identify them.  So I had him carry around a little card with the specific disputations for each one, and I asked him to keep a little journal each morning where he wrote down any new rationalizations he felt brewing in his head.   After a while, these thoughts lost their power, and Johnny indeed stuck with his three frankfurter rule.