Dog-walk­ing video (by Jhoosier42)

Thanks to Tri­cia for point­ing me to this one. A dog-walk­ing game which employs both a tread­mill and an instru­ment­ed leash. From the look of it, dog walk­ing has nev­er been this hard or tir­ing. I can imag­ine a game like this ful­fill­ing a real need in the large cities of Japan (there’s cat cafes too, after all). Some more thoughts on the coevo­lu­tion of man and domes­ti­cat­ed ani­mals such as cats and dogs can be found in this arti­cle from which the video was tak­en. 

Nobody Beats the Drum — Nat­ur­al Thing (by nobody­beat­s­the­drum)

Been neglect­ing the ani­mal theme a bit. Was remind­ed to keep pay­ing atten­tion by Iskan­der (thanks!) This clip is like an alter­nate take on Pig Chase. I par­tic­u­lar­ly like how the ani­mals escape from their box at the end of the video.

I should men­tion these guys have a rep­u­ta­tion for going a bit crazy on their videos. Have a look at this mak­ing of, for exam­ple.

If you can cut through the chest-beat­ing and infight­ing, the Forge forums con­tain a lot of inter­est­ing ideas on the work­ings of table­top RPGs. For exam­ple, here’s Ron Edwards (a con­tro­ver­sial but high­ly influ­en­tial fig­ure in the indie RPG scene) talk­ing about the var­i­ous kinds of con­trol play­ers and game mas­ters can have over a game’s sto­ry­world:

  • Con­tent author­i­ty — over what we’re call­ing back-sto­ry, e.g. whether Sam is a KGB mole, or which NPC is boink­ing whom 
  • Plot author­i­ty — over crux-points in the knowl­edge base at the table — now is the time for a rev­e­la­tion! — typ­i­cal­ly, reveal­ing con­tent, although notice it can apply to play­er-char­ac­ters’ mate­r­i­al as well as GM mate­r­i­al — and look out, because with­in this author­i­ty lies the remark­able pit­fall of want­i­ng (for instances) rev­e­la­tions and reac­tions to apply pre­cise­ly to play­ers as they do to char­ac­ters 
  • Sit­u­a­tion­al author­i­ty — over who’s there, what’s going on — scene fram­ing would be the most rel­e­vant and obvi­ous tech­nique-exam­ple, or phras­es like “That’s when I show up!” from a play­er 
  • Nar­ra­tional author­i­ty — how it hap­pens, what hap­pens — I’m sug­gest­ing here that this is best under­stood as a fea­ture of res­o­lu­tion (includ­ing the entire­ty of IIEE), and not to mis­take it for describ­ing what the cas­tle looks like, for instance; I also sug­gest it’s far more shared in appli­ca­tion than most role-play­ers real­ize

A clever web-based tool for mak­ing inter­ac­tive sto­ries. That is to say: sto­ries with branch­ing paths. Although there are some options for rudi­men­ta­ry log­ic, which I imag­ine might enable exper­i­ments that diverge from the typ­i­cal Choose-Your-Own-Adven­ture mold.

A col­lab­o­ra­tive sto­ry­telling site that encour­ages users to write short bits of fic­tion. Oth­ers can react to those sto­ries with sequels or (the neat­est part I think) pre­quels. There is also the pos­si­bil­i­ty of post­ing chal­lenges, which are just that — chal­lenges to users to write some­thing accord­ing to some kind of theme or oth­er con­straints.

An inter­est­ing exam­ple of a play-by-post (aka forum) RPG that is heav­i­ly slant­ed towards sto­ry­telling. This means: no expe­ri­ence points, skill checks and that sort of thing. In stead, it fea­tures mechan­ics (some quite clever) that con­trol who gets to say what about the sto­ry­world. Points are award­ed for par­tic­i­pa­tion in sto­ries, which in turn can be spent on describ­ing new cre­ations. It is, how­ev­er, heav­i­ly reliant on game mas­ter over­sight, as not all rules are ful­ly described.

A quan­ti­fied cof­fee sys­tem by Per­cep­tor. Most­ly tracks amount of con­sump­tion. Would be inter­est­ing if they also tracked taste.

A research agenda of sorts

Let’s make an attempt to focus this blog a bit more. Maybe make it a bit more use­ful as a research and design tool. So here’s a list of things I am cur­rent­ly inter­est­ed in learn­ing more about. They all tie into projects at Hub­bub, so I’ll list them by project code­name.

  • For BUTA: ani­mals, ani­mal ethics, ani­mal cog­ni­tion, art and design inspired by or aimed at ani­mals, etc.
  • For SAKE: sto­ry­telling, col­lab­o­ra­tive sto­ry­telling, multi­user author­ing envi­ron­ments, role­play­ing games (table­top, live, com­put­er), etc.
  • For KOHI: cof­fee, culi­nary apps, gas­tron­o­my, tools for improv­ing your skill at smelling and tast­ing things, etc.

And if these cross over and min­gle and lead to new things all togeth­er: so much the bet­ter.

… in the hyper­so­cial atmos­phere of Face­book, it is enough to just make noise to fake a per­sona. No actu­al inter­ac­tion is required. And there is so much noise that the loss of one voice means noth­ing — there are a bil­lion oth­ers ready to step up to join the cho­rus of social cacoph­o­nia. … I don’t think it’s real­ly con­tact … just reflec­tions from ran­dom angled sur­faces.

But­tUg­ly: Main_blogentry_050712_1

I’ve made sim­i­lar attempts at ditch­ing Face­book in the past and had sim­i­lar expe­ri­ences.