Gary Gygax, a pioneer of the imagination who transported a fantasy realm of wizards, goblins and elves onto millions of kitchen tables around the world through the game he helped create, Dungeons & Dragons, died Tuesday at his home in Lake Geneva, Wis. He was 69.
Guitar Wizard: Like Guitar Hero with a Real Instrument - Boing Boing Gadgets
10:08 am EST, Jan 4, 2008
Although the initial press email was slim on details, the "Guitar Wizard" game to be shown off next week at CES aims to be a Guitar Hero that actually teaches you how to play guitar. (Sort of like a Rock Band for drums!) The software will ship with a Washburn electric guitar with a MIDI pickup and will sell for around $180 on the back half of next year. It could be a hell of a tool if they execute properly.
Modified Tetris has calming effect - 19 August 2007 - New Scientist
2:12 pm EDT, Aug 21, 2007
VIDEO games are notorious for raising adrenalin levels but now there's one that calms you down.
Julian Spillane of game studio Frozen North Productions in Toronto, Canada, together with a programmer who goes by the name Ne0nRa1n, have created a version of Tetris called BioBlox. Players put one hand on a device that measures their pulse rate. As their pulse rises, so does the speed of the blocks falling from the top of the screen. That makes the game harder, creating an incentive for the player to calm down and so get a higher score. "I'm a big fan of weird input devices," says Spillane.
In 1999, Nintendo released Tetris 64, which also used pulse rate to control the speed of play, but it ran only on Nintendo's console. BioBlox runs on Windows-based PCs and will be available online soon.
This video game won't make you calm. It will just make you really, really frustrated that you can't calm down!
Bumping this reply out to the blog... Apparently the Free Space Shot people noticed my link and responded:
Dinkin wrote: Does advertiser supported TV and free search and email from Google give you creepy feelings?
No, but the Internet is full of scams, and so one learns to be skeptical after a while, particularly when things seem too good to be true. If my skepticism is unwarranted than I apologize, but I do think your FAQ should address your business model a bit more.
To raise $150 million for a $100 million flight around the Moon will take lots of ads. Our estimate is one million people playing daily for three hours a day for a year.
Gmail is not a $100 million dollar operation, but Google's search engine is bigger than that, and certainly there are television stations that spend way more than that. The question this project faces is whether the prospect of winning a space flight opportunity is exciting enough to sustain that much attention from that many people on a single game involving weather prediction. Three hours a day every day for a year is a lot to ask in exchange for a one in a million chance at winning a space flight. If I spent that same amount of time studying Aerospace Engineering I'll bet I could beat those odds. Of course, I'm not 13.
If I might offer some advice, you should consider adding additional games. You really need an engrossing experience to capture the attention levels you are aiming for, or you need several orders of magnitude more people involved.
If you don't want to give us your email address you don't have to and you can still play.
Thats true. The email addres is optional and I didn't mention that. Its possible to sign up for this without any concern about spam.
Apparently you can win some very, very big prizes playing this game. I have no idea how the economics of this work. Something doesn't feel quite right about a contest that is offering me a 50 million dollar prize and I don't have to pay to play it. You don't make that much money off of internet advertising. If someone can explain this please reply. (And be careful, nothing in the TOS prohibits these guys from selling the data they are collecting.)
The blog linked here has a constant stream of hacks for the wiimote. In other wii news, apparently the Japanese versions comes with silly safety graphics and someone decided to create a few of their own. Furthermore, the inevitable has occured:
Wiibrator is a small Python application that interfaces the Wii’s Wiimote and the PS2’s Trancevibrator. Hours of fun for the kids!
LOL! Alas I do not yet have one and I see no chance to get one in sight. Maybe I should just get one of the controllers and hook it up to my computer...
On Virtual Reality and Next Gen Video Game Systems
2:24 pm EST, Dec 21, 2006
A few weeks ago I got to visit Neoteric and check out the Nintendo Wii that he has been obsessing over... It was immediately obvious to me why Cartman had so much trouble waiting for the Wii to be released that he decided to cryonically freeze himself.
The Wii is simply fun, even in spite of the crude graphics. The act of actually performing the action the game simulates has a huge impact on your emotional reaction to the activity. I bowled almost exactly as poorly as I do in a real bowling alley, and I haven't had more fun playing tennis on a computer since the wheel controllers on the Atari 2600. I immediately decided that I had to have one for Christmas. I told my family. Unfortunately, several million kids across the country had the exact same revelation at the exact same time, and apparently Nintendo only made about 400,000 of them for post release North American sales during the holiday season, so enter the crazy feeding frenzy. I won't be getting a Wii this year.
Its worth pondering whether this is a good thing. One of the reasons that the Wii makes sense is its $250 price point. I'm not enough of a gamer to drop $600 on a next gen system. I've always waited a few years for prices to go down. However, the main advantage of the Wii is the controller, which could be duplicated on one of the more advanced systems. One of my roommates owns an X-Box 360. The graphics are immersive in their own right. Oblivion is possibly worth the price of admission if you are a technologist. You walk around in this world and every leaf on every tree and every blade of grass is individually drawn and independently moving with the wind. The world is so detailed and engrossing its like reading Tolkien.
When I imagine combining the two it strikes me that the fidelity of the Wii controller might not be up to the standards of the more advanced systems. A number of my friends have been scratching their heads about the use of IR as well as two kinds of Accelerometers. This article at Ars explains the situation. The accelerometers simply aren't accurate enough to handle drift, so the IR triangulation is also needed to gain context for pointing activities. They can capture motion, but they can't capture absolute positioning or absolute orientation.
That fact hasn't stopped people from over reacting and playing the games as if they were real. The fact is that none of these gam... [ Read More (0.4k in body) ]