I went to the craft and video games night in Hackney last night, at the Hackney Attic, which was above a cinema. I cross-stitched a space invader and then attempted to turn it into a badge. The space invader went a litle wrong, as I stitched in the wrong places by mistake, but I think it's still recognisable as a space invader.

It was good to see [livejournal.com profile] nickmurdoch and [livejournal.com profile] atommickbrane there also.

There were games being played (but always looked too busy, so we didn't actually get a chance to play) and people crafting game related things, and as we stitched and sewed, we could hear game music, such as the Tetris theme.

Here's the space invader cross stitch badge:
Space Invader cross stitch badge
NaNoWriMo starts soon, and as I've been reading Twisty Little Passages, I'm vaguely contemplating writing some kind of interactive fiction/text adventure type thing for it.

[Poll #1474777]
The day that Oriental City closed, I took the tube to Colindale and from the window, saw a couple dancing in front of the "Golders Green" sign. Inside the shopping centre, after peering at stray cables for sale, sushi erasers and candied olives, I drank a pineapple milkshake with hundreds and thousands sprinkled over it, and cute bear-shaped wafers. It was also the day of the Camden Green Fair, and there I watched people play croquet through hoops adorned with broccoli and radishes, while the sky was gloomy.

The day after that, I felt like a ghost, wandering through the city where I used to live, noticing little details. I laid awake that night in someone else's bed, listening to the raindrops pound on the skylights, feeling like I was on holiday, in a tent or caravan, where the rain always sounds louder than in normal life. It rained all day, hindering the plans I had made to go to the New Forest, so I bought Southampton Common.

Back in London, I took an MP3 tour of Highgate, and listened to descriptions of postboxes and ponds. I'm not that interested in Dickens though, so perhaps I'd be better off listening to fiction? Kjeldskov, J. and Paay, J. discuss augmenting the city with fiction and that seems somehow more interesting.

I've started playing PMOG and SF0, and am pretending they are work.
A talk at the ICA on the 29th of February: Fun and Games: The Gallery as Adult Play Centre

I've hung upside down on a climbing frame in an art gallery in Amsterdam and I know that many people played on the slides at the Tate Modern in London, so when I heard that the ICA's founding president, Hubert Read, described the ICA at its inception as an "adult play centre", I was inclined to agree that art galleries can be thought of that.

The talk at the ICA included various speakers, including curators from the Tate Modern, and a number of interesting points were discussed, but no conclusions really seemed to be reached. A video of Oh What a Lovely Whore was shown and then Sebastian Boyle spoke about it. Oh What a Lovely Whore was an exhibition, which looked more like a party really, that happened in 1965 and seemed to involve people getting drunk and smashing up pianos to turn them into new forms of instrument. Tino Sehgal's 2007 This Success/This Failure exhibition was also talked about, which simply involved a gallery full of actual children playing.

A few notes:
- "Play is crucial in sublimating aggression" - Read.
- "Man only plays when in the full meaning of the word he is a man, and he is only completely a man when he plays" - Schiller.
- What happens when participation is forced?
- Being subversive by not playing.
- Invigilators at art galleries hinder play.
- You are not allowed to be delirious.
- Playing is not the same as gaming.

Audio Games

Mar. 4th, 2008 10:46 pm
Thursday's Perspectives on Design lecture involved discussion of accessibility of computer games, such as not relying on sound to convey information, so that games are more usable by people who have difficulty hearing, or the opposite - games for people who are blind, which do rely on sound.

Game Accessibility has various information and even an Audio Game Maker to let you make your own audio games. I tried playing a maze game linked from AudioGames.net, which reminded me a little of playing in Jeppe Hein's Invisible Maze at an art gallery in Copenhagen, but was less fun. I'm sure there are more exciting games out there though. AudioGames also has a list of interesting papers and articles, such as Wired's article on The Blind Fragging the Blind, and a paper on Designing Sound for a Pervasive Mobile Game. Second Life is being analysed and blogged about in Second life for the visually impaired, but other games and how sound relates to them are also mentioned. The RNIB lists Party Games for the Blind, which I suppose might have been useful for Saturday's triffid party.
Last week, I went to the Sandpit, "a project of Hide and Seek: London's First Pervasive Games Festival", which took place in Shunt. Inside London Bridge Station, there are a few actual streets, which I didn't even realise were streets, and in one of those streets, was a little doorway which led to an incredible underground club. It was dark in places and the venue seemed gigantic and dotted with random things, like a milk-cart, which people sat upon, and a large treasure chest, which seemed empty when I opened its heavy lid.

I played the Gossip Game and pretended to be a cross-dressing electrician, but failed to gossip enough to reach many conclusions.

Pieces of paper were passed around that may have involved biting and games such as this certainly seemed reminiscent of the playground. I remember a particular playtime when a whole school of children were turned into bats.

[livejournal.com profile] mikej_uk and I got into a discussion about unethical games from the 1980s and tried to think up our own. A whole range of strange games were available for the Atari 2600. such as the infamous Custer's Revenge, where Custer was supposed to have sex with a Native American woman tied to a pole, but also Bachelor Party, and Beat 'Em & Eat 'Em. As a child, I remember playing a quite explicit text adventure, but that seems quite normal in comparison to those games.

[livejournal.com profile] imomus also commented on the Hide and Seek Festival and pervasive games: Pervasive urban gaming: count me out, and in and raises some interesting points. He also links to a book review of Ground-up City. Play as a Design Tool, which links to an article about a playground for the over 60s. My parents seem happy to still play in playgrounds that were designed for the under 60s and I hope I still will be when I am 60.

Hide and Seek then wrote a response: Thinking in (and out) of Pervasive Urban Gaming and also raises some points that have also been mentioned in some of the papers I've been reading about pervasive games.

City of Sound also give a lengthy description of the street of the future: The street as platform.

I've also been reading about card-games such as Gloom: The Game of Inauspicious Incidents and Grave Consequences (via [livejournal.com profile] fridgemagnet) and wearable electronics, such as the Lilypad Arduino and [livejournal.com profile] satin_candy's Catbag. I've also been reading about the Maida Vale sand creature and hope one appears in Highgate.

I went to the Digital Geography in a Web 2.0 World conference and listened to a talk on "Web 2.0, Neogeography and Virtual Worlds" by Andrew Hudson-Smith, which showed a demonstration of MapTube, which allows you to mix up maps, and apparently all maps created on there also appear in Second Life. He also talked about how games can use visualisations of cities and gave out a booklet on "Digital Geography: Geographic Visualisation for Urban Environments", which tells you how to make photographic planets (such as by using Flexify), creating photo-overlays in Google Earth (using PhotoOverlay Creator). I also listened to a talk on "3D Visualisation: From Lab to Field", which showed demonstrations of software that could tell you exactly what mountain you were looking at. I often confuse mountains.

I have also been doing some work and reading papers about pervasive games, immersion and presence in games, and gameflow. I just need to actually write my project proposal now,

Adventures? Well, [livejournal.com profile] robinbloke and I sat on strange stools that had tails and drank smoothies in the Rainforest cafe, amongst the fake vines, and the constant announcements saying, "Your adventure is about to begin", so perhaps it has.
I have been reading Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams on Game Design, which is an enjoyable read and has told me many intriguing facts, such as, 'Have you ever wondered why McDonalds use a predominantly red and yellow color scheme? Psychologists report that the color yellow influences the perceived hunger level of the subject, while red increases anxiety and the need to hurry. The result, according to psychologists, is that you order more food, eat it quickly and leave.'

Anyway, I have concluded that I want to escape from the ordinary world (as opposed to go to McDonalds) and become a hero. For this I obviously need to go on the Hero's Journey.

'The call to adventure is the first inkling the hero gets that she is going to be leaving the security of the ordinary world to enter the special world of the adventure ahead.' - A. Rollings & E. Adams.

'A blunder – apparently the merest chance – reveals an unsuspected world, and the individual is drawn into a relationship with forces that are not rightly understood.' - J. Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

Is anyone else a hero and has any tips for what this call to adventure might be?

Apparently, it could be someone needing me with utmost urgency, someone who needs rescuing, some kind of temptation, a herald, a lack or need that leads me to adventure. Anonymous commenting is on, so if you want to tell me you are a herald, need rescuing or think I am lacking something that will lead me to adventure, or know of any adventures I should go on, let me know. Also, if you would like to give me any super-powers, that might come in handy.


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