Augmented reality and the “Barely Game”

I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of play lately. Nothing linear or even cohesive; just ponderings and lots of what-ifery. Yet I took a couple of my thoughts and sent them off to a developer friend of mine, suggesting that we even consider building an augmented reality game for the iPhone platform.

We quickly realized we had neither the time nor the resources such an effort would require, but it created a good thought exercise for me in terms of play via the iPhone. That is, we touch things and take actions through such games—rolling balls, landing planes, etc.—but as adults, we rarely actively pretend. And pretending is crucial to immersive gameplay in any sort of augmented reality situation.

So then. How can AR be used through devices like the iPhone to create situations that require pretending as an active component of gameplay? How must good narratives and solid storytelling be constructed for such games? I have lots of questions in my mind about these things. Of course I have no answers, but I think Russell Davies has some great ideas—notably that of the Barely Game—from his recent talk at Playful.

posted 11/30/09 at 2:30pm to Uncategorized · 1 reply · permalink

I’m feeling the need for a new Twitter avatar.

I really like how some people have an iconic avatar; one that they’ve always (or almost always) had, and is instantly recognizable. People like @seoulbrother, @texburgher, @awryone, and @remiel are good examples of this. Some others – like @lonelysandwich, @sween, and @warrenellis – use actual likenesses of themselves and have kept them in use for pretty much their entire time on Twitter.

But here’s the thing. The picture above shows all of the avatars I’ve used on Twitter, in roughly the order I’ve used them. They’re all rather bland, and basically just different iterations of Hey-It’s-That-Bald-Guy-With-Glasses. Yet I’m afraid to switch over to something iconic – I tried that once, and people flipped out over it. So, I’ll likely settle for another vanilla headshot. Blah.

I don’t have a solution yet, but I think it’s time to retire the squirrel.

posted 7/9/09 at 3:48pm to Uncategorized · 1 reply · permalink

A short treatise on religion

It doesn’t matter if you’re Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, or athiest.

We need to set aside our differences and come together as one people, right now.

Because the zombies don’t care what religion you are. And we can’t fight the zombies if we’re fighting each other.


posted 7/9/09 at 3:35pm to Uncategorized · 0 replies · permalink

I, for one, welcome our new lifesize robotic Gundam overlords.

(photo via AppuruPai; original link via Gruber)

posted 7/9/09 at 2:56pm to Uncategorized · 0 replies · permalink

Hotel Lenois de Mezieres payeur des rentes 19 Rue Michel le conte (3e)

Hotel Lenois de Mezieres payeur des rentes 19 Rue Michel le conte (3e) – Eugène Atget, 1908

“Purporting to make photographs not as art, but as documentary aids to artists, Eugène Atget left this world with an oeuvre that captured the transformation of Paris at the turn of the last century. Although Atget is now heralded as a canonical figures [sic] in the history of photography, his humble beginnings and methodologies during his photographic career attest to his simple desire to record his city as he knew it.”

-The George Eastman House has just put a huge set of Eugène Atget’s photographs of turn-of-the-century Paris into the Commons on Flickr. Go look at them. Right now.

(via George Eastman House)

posted 7/8/09 at 3:15pm to Uncategorized · 0 replies · permalink