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Category Archives: k-rad

Google released codesearch yesterday, and we’ve been having fun at the office reading people’s source comments when we search for certain terms. As Heidi puts it, “It’s an amazing repository for coder pathos made public.”

My favorite bit, for purely whimsical reasons, comes from the MIDI-perl library. Do a search for “freakout” and you might find this:

} else {
die “BADASS FREAKOUT ERROR 31415!”;
}

It also delights me that so many functions are named freakout() or have “freakout” in their name.

From the internet video invasion, we have Mr. and Mrs. Bender exploring the new field of straightness, and from A Liam Show we have a teenager getting what she wants. Both set to techno and both addicting views.

Using the motion sensor in a Macbook, Erling Ellingsen has worked it so that his desktop manager switches desktops when he taps his laptop screen, like a little shove. So fun!

Silvia Night, a character from an Icelandic comedy television program, entered the Eurovision Song Contest and totally fucked with it. Nice. See videos of her performance and a Greek news segment on her involvement.

CNET gives a write-up to one of my favorite city-ranging games going on now. And they say I took one of the game's tasks "seriously" when they used a photo of my lantern-wallet. Hell yeah, I took it seriously, I was going for bonus points. And it paid off.

To one of the architects behind alternate-reality games, however, "SF0" has some of the same kinds of multimedia elements but provides players with an all-new game mechanic.

"It's more in the category of urban superhero gaming, because they're not really doing a narrative," said Jane McGonigal, a lead designer at 42 Entertainment, which has made several of the best-known alternate-reality games. "I really like the modular missions. You can do them any time and at any place, and that's really different from ARGs, which tell you what to do and where to do it."

Lucky me, lucky Eris! Last weekend we went to the St. Stupid's Day parade and ran into our pal Scott o'Squid, who snapped a picture of us. Turns out that photo was Scott's 10,000th picture uploaded to Flickr. Damn. Given that he's taken that many photos in 13 months, that's really something.

Looks like another MMORPG is in the works, this one based on 13th century African lore and culture. That’s pretty cool; I’ve noticed that, at least in my experience in the US, historical recreationalists and fantasy realms are heavily biased towards/based in European history/myth. We have Renaissance fair(e)s, but I never hear of, say, a Feudal Asia fair(e) you can go hang out in for a weekend. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places. Either way, seeing a game look elsewhere than the generic dragons/wizardly magic/knights/medieval England type of stuff for its atmosphere is sweet. Even if it’s a fantastical realm, such a game could only expand people’s heads in regards to African history, or make room for real facts to be poured in.

From their developer weblog:

The game began as a lunchtime conversation in January 2005. I found myself seated across from John Sarpong, founder of Africast Global Media and grandson of the late King Prempeh I. He’s an extraordinary man with a powerful vision of Africa’s future. We struck up a conversation about the power of video games to tell stories, convey ideas, and entertain. Wouldn’t it be cool, I mused, to lead a caravan across the Sahara, to visit Timbuktu, to stroll through the Roman ruins at Lepis Magna, and to explore the vast jungles and savannahs of Africa?

Update: another article fleshing out some details. I originally wanted to put a “if I were looking to promote positive race relations by using the dominant consumer culture to my advantage” spin on this post, but I wasn’t sure that was part of the original intention, but that article opens with: “The grandson of a Ghana king and a 19-year-old programmer in Atlanta both agree on one thing: The Western world doesn’t understand Africa. Their solution? Make a video game about the continent.” So there you go. Rock on. If there’s a Mac version, I’m right in there.