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Opinion | You Don’t Want a Child Prodigy - The New York Times
"One Thursday in January, I hit “send” on the last round of edits for a new book about how society undervalues generalists — people who cultivate broad interests, zigzag in their careers and delay picking an area of expertise. Later that night, my wife started having intermittent contractions. By Sunday, I was wheeling my son’s bassinet down a hospital hallway toward a volunteer harpist, fantasizing about a music career launched in the maternity ward.

A friend had been teasing me for months about whether, as a parent, I would be able to listen to my own advice, or whether I would be a “do as I write, not as I do” dad, telling everyone else to slow down while I hustle to mold a baby genius. That’s right, I told him, sharing all of this research is part of my plan to sabotage the competition while secretly raising the Tiger Woods of blockchain (or perhaps the harp).

I do find the Tiger Woods story incredibly compelling; there is a reason it may be the most famous tale of development ever. Even if you don’t know the details, you’ve probably absorbed the gist.

Woods was 7 months old when his father gave him a putter, which he dragged around in his circular baby-walker. At 2, he showed off his drive on national television. By 21, he was the best golfer in the world. There were, to be sure, personal and professional bumps along the way, but in April he became the second-oldest player ever to win the Masters. Woods’s tale spawned an early-specialization industry.

And yet, I knew that his path was not the only way to the top.

Consider Roger Federer. Just a year before Woods won this most recent Masters, Federer, at 36, became the oldest tennis player ever to be ranked No. 1 in the world. But as a child, Federer was not solely focused on tennis. He dabbled in skiing, wrestling, swimming, skateboarding and squash. He played basketball, handball, tennis, table tennis and soccer (and badminton over his neighbor’s fence). Federer later credited the variety of sports with developing his athleticism and coordination.

While Tiger’s story is much better known, when sports scientists study top athletes, they find that the Roger pattern is the standard. Athletes who go on to become elite usually have a “sampling period.” They try a variety of sports, gain a breadth of general skills, learn about their own abilities and proclivities, and delay specializing until later than their peers who plateau at lower levels. The way to develop the best 20-year-old athlete, it turns out, is not the same as the way to make the best 10-year-old athlete.

The same general pattern tends to hold true for music, another domain where the annals of young prodigies are filled with tales of eight hours of violin, and only violin, a day. In online forums, well-meaning parents agonize over what instrument to pick for a child, because she is too young to pick for herself and will fall irredeemably behind if she waits. But studies on the development of musicians have found that, like athletes, the most promising often have a period of sampling and lightly structured play before finding the instrument and genre that suits them.

In fact, a cast of little-known generalists helped create some of the most famous music in history. The 18th-century orchestra that powered Vivaldi’s groundbreaking use of virtuoso soloists was composed largely of the orphaned daughters of Venice’s sex industry. The “figlie del coro,” as the musicians were known, became some of the best performers in the world. The most striking aspect of their development was that they learned an extraordinary number of different instruments.

This pattern extends beyond music and sports. Students who have to specialize earlier in their education — picking a pre-med or law track while still in high school — have higher earnings than their generalist peers at first, according to one economist’s research in several countries. But the later-specializing peers soon caught up. In sowing their wild intellectual oats, they got a better idea of what they could do and what they wanted to do. The early specializers, meanwhile, more often quit their career tracks.

I found the Roger pattern — not the Tiger (or Tiger Mother) pattern — in most domains I examined. Professional breadth paid off, from the creation of comic books (a creator’s years of experience did not predict performance, but the number of different genres the creator had worked in did) to technological innovation (the most successful inventors were those who had worked in a large number of the federal Patent and Trademark Office’s different technological classifications).

A study of scientists found that those who were nationally recognized were more likely to have avocations — playing music, woodworking, writing — than typical scientists, and that Nobel laureates were more likely still.

My favorite example of a generalist inventor is Gunpei Yokoi, who designed the Game Boy. Yokoi didn’t do as well on electronics exams as his friends, so he joined Nintendo as a machine maintenance worker when it was still a playing card company before going on to lead the creation of a toy and game operation. His philosophy, “lateral thinking with withered technology,” was predicated on dabbling in many different types of older, well-understood (or “withered”) technology, and combining them in new ways, hence the Game Boy’s thoroughly dated tech specs.

Roger stories abound. And yet, we (and I include myself) have a collective complex about sampling, zigzagging and swerving from (or simply not having) ironclad long-term plans. We are obsessed with narrow focus, head starts and precocity.

A few years ago, I was invited to speak to a small group of military veterans who had been given scholarships by the Pat Tillman Foundation to aid with new careers. I talked a bit about research on late specializers and was struck by the reception, as if the session had been cathartic.

One attendee emailed me afterward: “We are all transitioning from one career to another. Several of us got together after you had left and discussed how relieved we were to have heard you speak.” He was a former member of the Navy SEALs with an undergrad degree in history and geophysics and was pursuing grad degrees in business and public administration from Dartmouth and Harvard. I couldn’t help but chuckle that he had been made to feel behind.

Oliver Smithies would have made that veteran feel better too, I think. Smithies was a Nobel laureate scientist whom I interviewed in 2016, shortly before he died at 91. Smithies could not resist “picking up anything” to experiment with, a habit his colleagues noticed. Rather than throw out old or damaged equipment, they would leave it for him, with the label “Nbgbokfo”: “No bloody good but O.K. for Oliver.”

He veered across scientific disciplines — in his 50s, he took a sabbatical two floors away from his lab to learn a new discipline, in which he then did his Nobel work; he told me he published his most important paper when he was 60. His breakthroughs, he said, always came during what he called “Saturday morning experiments.” Nobody was around, and he could just play. “On Saturday,” he said, “you don’t have to be completely rational.”

I did have fleeting thoughts of a 1-day-old harp prodigy. I’ll admit it. But I know that what I really want to do is give my son a “Saturday experiment” kind of childhood: opportunities to try many things and help figuring out what he actually likes and is good at. For now, I’m content to help him learn that neither musical instruments nor sports equipment are for eating.

That said, just as I don’t plan to push specialization on him, I also don’t mean to suggest that parents should flip to the other extreme and start force-feeding diversification.

If of his own accord our son chooses to specialize early, fine. Both Mozart and Woods’s fathers began coaching their sons in response to the child’s display of interest and prowess, not the reverse. As Tiger Woods noted in 2000: “To this day, my dad has never asked me to go play golf. I ask him. It’s the child’s desire to play that matters, not the parent’s desire to have the child play.”

On the strength of what I’ve learned, I think I’ll find it easy to stick to my guns as a Roger father."
davidepstein  children  parenting  ports  talent  2019  burnout  generalists  specialization  specialists  prodigies  rogerfederer  tigerwoods  music  performance  gunpeiyokoi  gameboy  nintendo  oliversmithies  genius  science  learning  mozart  sampling  quitting  precocity  headstarts  education  focus 
june 2019 by robertogreco
Inside the EarthBound strategy guide, one of the rarest Nintendo collectibles - Polygon
"We’ve already linked you to a lovely collection of Super Nintendo game manuals that Nintendo uploaded in honor of the SNES Classic Edition’s launch. But it’s important to highlight that EarthBound’s strategy guide is included in the mix — as it’s long been coveted by fans of the role-playing game, still fetching high prices because of its extreme rarity.

Here’s the story behind this cool collectible: When EarthBound came West in 1995, it carried a higher price tag than most other games on the console. For $70, buyers received not just the cartridge, but a full-sized player’s guide — a book that ran 135 pages-long. Even cooler was that this guidebook included some scratch-and-sniff stickers in the back, another special piece of memorabilia for Nintendo fans.

But as those same fans know well, EarthBound failed to make waves with buyers who hadn’t quite warmed to the RPG genre, or who were ready to move on from the late-in-life SNES. Nintendo reportedly sold less than 150,000 copies, which isn’t a huge hit, considering the added manufacturing costs from the guidebook.

This has led to the wildly in-depth strategy guide becoming the EarthBound diehards’ holy grail of artwork, strategies and, above all else, nostalgia. Not only does it have tips and tricks, but it has a “travel guide,” which is a funny and totally engrossing take on the classic walkthrough. Instead of drily charting where to go and when, the book introduces players to the game’s various locations through newspaper clippings, shopping tips and some beautiful character art.

Used copies of the physical edition of the guide routinely go for more than $100 on eBay even now, 22 years later. It’s especially wild that this remains the case, as Nintendo actually uploaded an optimized digital version of the guidebook back in 2013, when EarthBound launched on Wii U virtual console.

But the file that’s available through the Super Nintendo Classic Edition portal is a much more legible recreation of that classic manual. There aren’t any stickers included, sure, but printing out this file is a lot cheaper than buying the book from eBay. If nothing else, it’s a spectacular glimpse into a time when Nintendo actually took a chance on the Mother series. And what a chance it took!"

[PDF of guide is here: https://www.nintendo.co.jp/clvs/manuals/common/pdf/CLV-P-SAAJE.pdf ]
earthbound  mother2  videogames  games  gaming  nintendo  2017 
november 2018 by robertogreco
Why did Nintendo quash a book about EarthBound's development? - Polygon
"When Marcus Lindblom decided to write a book about his old memories of translating a much-loved game from Nintendo, he figured it would be something that the fans would appreciate.

After all, few gaming communities are as passionate and active as those who follow EarthBound, the game that Lindblom translated from Shigesato Itoi's Japanese original, produced by current Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata, almost 20 years ago.

In recent years, Lindblom has been welcomed by the still-active EarthBound fan-base, as he has come forward to share stories about his time working on the game. This interest has intensified with the re-release of EarthBound on Wii U, which has sold well in the console's download store.

Lindblom planned to return the favor by writing a book and launching a Kickstarter that might just about cover production costs. He sent a note to an old pal at Nintendo, "as a professional courtesy" just to let the company know about his plans, just to check in and make sure there would be no problem.

There was a problem. Nintendo did not want this book published.

Although no reason was given for Nintendo's lack of enthusiasm for the project, Lindblom was gently reminded that, as a former employee of the company, he had signed an NDA. Legally, a book about his time at the company might be unwelcome. Reluctantly, he acceded to Nintendo's request.

In agreeing to talk to Polygon, Lindblom is keen to stress that, even though he is disappointed, he doesn't want to come off as someone who is angry with Nintendo.

"I owe a lot to Nintendo," he told Polygon. "They gave me my start in the game business. I don't want to do anything that makes them seem bad. I wanted to just write about the fun bits in the game that I think the fans would enjoy. But I have no desire to rock the boat with Nintendo at all."

Not everyone is quite so understanding of the company's desire to squash a piece of warm nostalgia.

Reid Young runs a company called Fangamer that sells game-related geek-chic clothing and memorabilia. The firm grew out of a dedicated community of EarthBound fans.

"Marcus is a great guy and I am sure they [Nintendo] appreciate his cooperation, but from the perspective of an Earthbound fan it's really disappointing," he said. "A lot of this comes from the culture of an old corporation. They have their own way of doing things. It's like that story about how no-one is allowed to die at Disneyland. They don't want anyone to see behind the curtain."

When it comes to reputation, Nintendo is one of the most ferociously diligent organizations in the entertainment business. Press access is always strictly controlled. Interviews with key executives are notoriously scripted and bland. Case in point; the company declined to comment for this article.

It's interesting though, that even warm and fuzzy memories of such an old game should trigger the firm's ultra-defensive reflexes.

Lindblom (above) joined Nintendo in 1990 and began working on the EarthBound translation in late 1994. He had lived in Japan for four years and was trusted as a solid producer who understood Nintendo games.

Playing EarthBound (Mother 2: Gyiyg Strikes Back in Japan) he admired the game's originality and its wit. Both he and Nintendo understood that it required a detailed translation. The RPG is set in small-town USA but is written from the perspective of an outsider. Many of Itoi's jokes would seem idiosyncratic to an American audience.

Lindblom was given the freedom to rewrite as required. In those days, localization was handled by one person working with a contact at HQ, instead of the departments and hierarchies that are the norm today.

"When I did the localization I went in and gave it some American flavor and humor because that is what the developers wanted," he said. "They didn't just want a straight translation. There were a lot of things that were not easy to translate and so I had freedom to put in weird American humor to flavor things and it worked out pretty well. All these years later people still find it charming which is nice."

Lindblom left Nintendo in 1996 and has spent the intervening years working as a producer for various companies, including Midway, EA and THQ. Five years ago he and some friends set up Partly Cloudy Games, which has mostly been involved in contract work for the likes of Microsoft and is currently working on an RTS for Facebook, called The Robot Apocalypse.

Over the years, he thought occasionally about the work he had done on EarthBound. He'd visit the fan sites and he'd watch as they sent yet another petition to Nintendo for a sequel or for a re-release on a new console.

"I realized there was a large and vocal fan community," he said. "About a year and a half ago I went to PAX and I kind of walked up to the Fangamer booth and said that I had worked on the game. They were really surprised. They wanted to hear about my work on the game."

With Nintendo finally deciding to re-release EarthBound for Wii U (a Wii version had been mooted for years, but never appeared) interest in his work increased, and he was interviewed by reporters and invited to appear on podcasts and at an EarthBound fan convention. "A number of people asked me if I would ever consider writing a book about the game and the process I had gone through," he said. "A lot of EarthBound fans are huge localization fans as well."

Lindblom said that he felt like the fans deserved to hear the full story. EarthBound, the way it was brought to the U.S, its commercial failure and the ongoing devotion of its fanbase, is an interesting story, at least to a particular subset of the gaming audience.

"I was never going to make money from the book. I just wanted to pay for the cost of publication," he explained. "It was just something for the fan community. They seemed so dedicated after all these years. I thought that, in a way, I owed them something."

It is not often that a game translator can command an audience, most particularly for a cultish game from the mid-1990s. "There were a lot of little things I thought they might appreciate hearing about like why a certain character might say something in the game or why something was named the way it was or whatever," he said. "That was my original intention. Just to give the fans some insight into the way the game was localized."

He rejects the idea that Nintendo has something to hide in the story of the translation. While it is true that some games from that period contained dialog or graphics that might seem questionable today, he does not believe EarthBound features anything controversial. The most likely explanation, is that Nintendo is just being Nintendo, which means no-one gets to see how the sausages are made.

"It isn't anything that I can speculate on," he said. "All I will say is I was the one who went and talked to Nintendo because I thought I might as well see if I can get their blessing. I asked them and they came back and said we'd rather you didn't."

He plans to continue talking to fans, for as long as they seem interested, but the book is shelved for good. "My goal was always to honor the game and the fans and Itoi's writing," he said. "I am going to honor Nintendo's wishes that I don't put something down into a book, but I know that the fan community is owed some tidbits of information and I will continue to do that and to talk about it.""
earthbound  mother2  videogames  games  gaming  nintendo  2014  marcuslindblom 
november 2018 by robertogreco
Cooperatives: EarthBound - Polygon
"Is EarthBound the best game, my favorite game or both?

For the past few years, I've had an ongoing argument with my friend, the film critic and reporter Matt Patches. When he isn't evangelizing The Legend of Korra, Patches enjoys rapping about why and how we become so passionate about our favorite media. He believes that when we say a movie (or video game or television show or subway line) is our favorite, we are also saying it is the best.

In his words:
We're taught to think that there are objective standards for art. A movie earns points for its technical, dramatic and critical achievements. But in the end, the movie we love the most works to that effect because it's running on all the cylinders a great piece of art should. Best is an objective term that has no place in the subjective conversation of art, and if we're going to use it, it should be a substitute for favorite.

I'd long believed the opposite — that I can claim one game is my favorite and that another game is "the best." I wasn't sure why I believed this, besides the obvious pleasure of making Patches' face scrunch with frustration, like a constipated bullfrog.

After playing EarthBound this week, I crafted an answer. It's selfish, really.

Within minutes of booting EarthBound on Frushtick's Wii U, I was agitated by the middling fighting mechanics and slow pace. It's a fantastic, weird, bold and fascinating game. It's just not the best. Not for me, at least. But I think EarthBound's my favorite game, because I cherish the entirety of the experience. Sitting in my boxers on the linoleum floor of my family's kitchen, losing weekends to an adventure that, for the first time, felt familiar and believable to me. EarthBound also introduced me to the internet and forums and other people who loved video games. Looking over my shoulder, I can see the game was the starter pistol for my entire career.

So, by bending already warped definitions of favorite and best, I have two games I absolutely love. I can namedrop them in conversation and hold them up as examples of what I appreciate the most about this hobby. My favorite game is EarthBound.

Now the best game, that's a tough one."
earthbound  mother2  videogames  games  gaming  nintendo  2013 
november 2018 by robertogreco
EarthBound by Ken Baumann: New Boss Fight Book on the SNES RPG Classic – Boss Fight Books
"An RPG for the Super NES that flopped when it first arrived in the U.S., EarthBound grew in fan support and critical acclaim over the years, eventually becoming the All-Time Favorite Game of thousands, among them author Ken Baumann.

Featuring a heartfelt foreword from the game's North American localization director, Marcus Lindblom, Baumann's EarthBound is a joyful tornado of history, criticism, and memoir.

Baumann explores the game’s unlikely origins, its brilliant creator, its madcap plot, its marketing failure, its cult rise from the ashes, and its intersections with Japanese and American culture, all the while reflecting back on the author's own journey into the terrifying and hilarious world of adults."
earthbound  videogames  games  gaming  srg  edg  2014  marcuslindblom  mother2  nintendo 
november 2018 by robertogreco
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games  gaming  videogames  retro  mother  mother3  mother2  mother1  earthbound  srg  edg  nintendo 
november 2018 by robertogreco
Why the return of Animal Crossing feels so good - Polygon
"THE POWER OF NICE

A seemingly-unrelated selection of shows and movies in the past few years have each gained their fair share of critical acclaim, popularity and financial success, all linked by one common trait: They’re unrelentingly nice.

The Paddington movies have both found massive critical and box office success, all while essentially being feature-length commercials about the virtues of being polite and kind. Paddington 2 is currently the highest-rated Rotten Tomatoes movie of all time, usurping Toy Story 2’s record of the most consecutive certified Fresh ratings from reviewers. The total number of tracked positive reviews for Paddington 2 is 205, compared to zero negative reviews, for those counting at home.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, a heartfelt and straightforward documentary about the life and work of Mister Rogers, is now the highest-grossing biographical documentary of all time.

[embed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhwktRDG_aQ ]

But this trend (can I call it “nicecore?”) isn’t just limited to theatres.

On the small screen, NBC’s Making It, which may be the first craft-based reality competition show I’ve ever seen, pulled in millions of viewers over its six-week summer run and was just greenlit for a second season. And on Netflix, there is the runaway success story of the Queer Eye reboot, which, on top of effortlessly conveying a message of positivity, kindness and betterment through self-care, also won three Emmys this year. It was nominated for four.

The trend of Nice Media seems to be the sun-filled, hopeful answer to the negativity and division offered nearly everywhere else. No single video game series encapsulates that sense of safe, intentional and welcoming niceness like Animal Crossing, and it has been doing it for almost 20 years.

BELLS AND WHISTLES

There is no game quite like Animal Crossing, which makes it hard to properly explain and even harder to recommend. Most people won’t share your enthusiasm when you sit them down and tell them that the minute-to-minute gameplay mostly involves harvesting fruit, paying off personal debt to an enterprising raccoon, and delaying your Saturday night plans to make sure you can watch a dog play guitar.

But at its core, Animal Crossing is about living in a small town composed entirely of anthropomorphic animals. Sometimes you’re a villager, and sometimes you’re the mayor. What you do from there is up to you.

It shares the general God’s-eye-view life simulator vibe of The Sims, but it’s way less interested in letting you micromanage a neighborhood of people. Instead, it gives you direct (but decidedly less omnipotent) control over a single villager’s life.

[embed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJ6eGtsgbfM ]

While it can be just as surprisingly addictive and compelling as farming games like Harvest Moon, Story of Seasons and Stardew Valley, the looming threat of bankruptcy is the driving force of those games, compelling every player in the same direction of a more profitable farm. Meanwhile, Animal Crossing is happy to let your debt remain unpaid forever, and your villager has no discernible job or occupation. At least until New Leaf shoved you into the world of municipal governance.

The only real goal in these games is to pass the time in the best way you see fit; the endgame is to be happy. Along the way, like most fans of the series, you’ll likely find yourself having your own moments of emotional connection with the game. Everyone ends up with their own personal Animal Crossing moments, and those personal stories are a huge reason why people love the games as much as they do.

Feel free to share your own stories in the comments. I’m going to start with some of my own.

SMALL TOWN STORIES

My time with Animal Crossing goes all the way back to the GameCube original, a game that announced its humble intention to take over my life right on the front cover. The game’s save files were so large that they required an entire 59-block memory card’s worth of space, so that initial release came bundled with its own memory card as a gesture of practical kindness.

That memory card would soon hold a world that I relied on in a very direct way.

I went through a months-long depressive episode near the tail end of my sophomore year of high school, thanks to a mixture of hormones and early-era cyberbullying. I did all my schoolwork remotely, and spent my days either visiting a child psychologist or playing the GameCube. I would send letters to my villagers (specifically Rasher, Pierce and Goldie) about how sad, lonely and suicidal I was feeling.

They would send me carpets and shirts in return; that’s just what Animal Crossing villagers do. And it helped, especially since they would remember if I didn’t visit them for a few days. The game would tell me, specifically, how many days it had been since I had last interacted with it. It kept me accountable, made me feel needed and got me through a difficult (but all-too-common) part of my teenage years.

While reminders to come back to games are now common in the age of mobile gaming, Animal Crossing never felt like a nag. It was a relationship that gave as much as it asked me to give, and it held me accountable when even playing a game felt like it would be too much.

This trend would continue throughout my life, with major emotional moments supported and enhanced by my time in a virtual village. Animal Crossing: Wild World was there when I was dealing with constant insomnia-inducing stress nightmares during my time in university, with soothing music and absolutely no judgment about my sleep patterns.

[embed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ITM1vFiV6U ]

My New Leaf town was a monument to the people I loved at the time: fruit trees from a visiting friend, rare Nintendo-specific items from my brother, and clothing and letters from my partner at the time. The town was also essentially abandoned during our breakup, left for Isabelle (the player’s Deputy Mayor and the newest addition to the Smash Bros. Ultimate roster) to run during my years-long absence.

I logged back in when the game updated two years ago. And although Isabelle remembered the exact number of days I had been gone, the damage wasn’t beyond repair. My house was filled with roaches, but they could be cleared out within a few minutes. The once-pristine fields of Fürville had become overgrown with weeds, but a helpful sloth would cheer you on as you removed them or, for a small fee, get rid of them all for you overnight. Friends would move away, but they’d always send a goodbye letter, and new villagers would be eager to greet you and start virtual relationships.

There is no way to win in Animal Crossing, but that also means there’s no way to lose. Life in your village goes on without you, but it always welcomes you back.

A PLACE TO CALL YOUR OWN

The most valuable currency in Animal Crossing is time. An hour in the game is the same as an hour outside of it, so the game marches to the beat of your own life. At the same time, there is no real way to grind out progress in these titles, because they’re about patience; in fact, they seem to actively punish players who try to rush.

You cannot make a tree grow faster, but you’re liable to destroy your flower gardens or wear grass down into dirt paths by running through your town instead of walking.

You can have all the bells in the world, but you’re limited by the rotating daily stock at each of of the shops. You can catch bugs, go fishing and dig for fossils for hours each day, but you’ll still have to live through four real-world seasons to see them all. The game has its own pace, and you have to give into it if you want to get everything it has to offer. Few games are as capable of slowing us down, a trait that is sorely needed when everything else seems to be speeding up.

All of this — the emphasis on patience, the freeform approach to player agency, the overwhelming sense of forgiveness and kindness that stretches from the game’s systems to its text — combines to make a game that is, above all else, nice. And this commitment to niceness makes it an oasis of positivity in an increasingly reactionary and fragmented media landscape.

[embed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEJXS0MiKOA ]

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? transports you to a reality of kind actions and good deeds — for 93 minutes. The entire run of Queer Eye currently consists of 16 episodes and one special; you could charitably watch the whole thing in a weekend (if not an afternoon). Making It is only six episodes long, and won’t return for another year. This gathering wave of nicecore media is truly a gift, but it’s finite and fleeting — a few welcome drops of clear, cool water in an overwhelmingly murky bucket.

But the most powerful thing Animal Crossing offers us is an experience that doesn’t end after an hour or a season, but stays with us for as long as we need it. Because what we remember about these games are how they made us feel, and the stories they left us with long after we left our villages behind. They made us part of a community, and that community felt welcoming and generous.

Most games are power fantasies, and the easiest kind of power to convey is violence. They’re all about enforcing your will on the world through straightforward, goal-oriented action. And that’s enjoyable, without a doubt. But Animal Crossing offers a different sort of power fantasy: a world where you have unlimited kindness to spare, and you’re never punished for it. That doesn’t happen in real life; even Mr. Rogers’ funeral was picketed.

If nicecore is the natural artistic reaction to the state of the world, then it’s all too fitting that Animal Crossing should return and claim its throne (or, more likely, its comfortably weathered armchair) as the nicest franchise in gaming history.

It has been sorely missed."
2018  animalcrossing  nintendo  games  gaming  videogames  nicecore  niceness  fredrogers  mrrogers  mikescholars  paddington  paddingtonbear  small  slow  time  care  caring  power  violence  patience  agency  kindness  forgiveness  pace  play  presence  friendship 
september 2018 by robertogreco
Opinion | The Magic of a Cardboard Box - The New York Times
"On April 20, Nintendo released a new line of accessories for its best-selling Switch game console. Rather than being digital add-ons, they were physical ones: punch-and-fold parts engineered to turn the Switch console into a piano, a fishing rod or a robot. All are made of cardboard.

On March 4, Walmart ads shown during the Oscars centered on shipping boxes. The writer and director Dee Rees, nominated for “Mudbound,” created a 60-second ad in which the threat of bedtime gets incorporated into a sci-fi wonderland a little girl has imagined inside a blue cardboard box.

In June 2014, Google handed out kits for a low-cost virtual reality headset to be used with a smartphone. The headset was named Cardboard, for what it was mostly made of, and users assembled the units themselves.

In April 2012, “Caine’s Arcade,” an 11-minute short featuring a boy named Caine Monroy, was widely shared on the internet. Caine had spent his 2011 summer vacation building an arcade in the front of his father’s East Los Angeles auto-parts store out of the boxes the parts came in. He had the freedom to create an environment because cardboard comes cheap, and his father gave him space.

These 21st-century storytellers turned to cardboard for the same reasons that children have long preferred the box to the toy that came in it: cardboard is light and strong, easy to put up, quick to come down and, perhaps most important, inexpensive enough for experiment. Cardboard constructions can be crushed, painted, recycled and stuck back together. Cardboard furniture can be adjusted as children grow, and cardboard creations become more sophisticated as children gain skills: It is as malleable as the body and the mind.

Technology companies’ embrace of cardboard’s cool suggests something parents and teachers never forgot: The box is an avatar of inspiration, no charging required. Cardboard is the ideal material for creativity, and has been since the big purchase, and the big box, became a fixture of American postwar homes.

Corrugated cardboard boxes were introduced in the 1880s, and slowly replaced wooden crates as the shipping method of choice. Robert Gair, a paper bag manufacturer in Brooklyn, realized that he could slice and crease paper on his machines in a single step. A box could quickly be cut out and scored, creating a flat blank ready to be assembled as needed, the same construction method exploited by Google and Nintendo. Because flattened boxes were easier to ship and distribute, manufacturers could buy them in bulk, assemble, and then ship their own product to consumers.

As household objects grew larger, the play potential of those boxes increased. The purchase of a new washing machine was a cause for celebration in my neighborhood as a child, as it meant access to a new playhouse in somebody’s yard. Dr. Benjamin Spock praised the cardboard box as an inexpensive alternative to a ride-on car or a readymade cottage. In 1951, Charles and Ray Eames mocked up a version of the packing boxes for their Herman Miller storage furniture with pre-printed lines for doors, windows and awnings: When the adults bought a bookshelf, their kids would get a free toy.

Cardboard was considered such a wonder material during this era that Manhattan’s Museum of Contemporary Craft (now the Museum of Arts and Design) devoted a 1967-1968 exhibition, “Made with Paper,” to the medium. With funding from the Container Corporation of America, the curator Paul J. Smith turned the museum galleries into a three-dimensional paper wonderland. The CCA also funded a cardboard playground created by students at the Parsons School of Design that included pleated trees, an enveloping sombrero and a movable maze for children to explore.

James Hennessey and Victor Papanek’s “Nomadic Furniture,” published in 1973, was part of a renaissance in DIY instruction, one that emphasized the cardboard’s open-source bona fides, as online instructions for making your own Google Cardboard did. The “Nomadic” authors demonstrated how to create an entire cardboard lifestyle, one that could be tailored to different sizes, ages and abilities.

Cardboard sets you free from the average, as Alex Truesdell discovered when she began to design furniture with children with disabilities. Truesdell, inspired by another 1970s cardboard carpentry book, developed play trays, booster seats, high chairs and other assistive devices made of corrugated cardboard that could help children with disabilities participate fully in society. As founder of the Adaptive Design Association, Ms. Truesdell was named a 2015 MacArthur Fellow for her work. Her organization offers classes and consultation in design and methods at no and low cost, and expects participants to pass on their knowledge. Cardboard, as a material, wants to be free.

Cardboard’s central role in childhood has not gone unnoticed: in 2005, the cardboard box was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. “We were particularly motivated by the exceptional qualities that cardboard boxes hold for inspiring creative, open-ended play,” says Christopher Bensch, vice president for collections and chief curator at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester. Nirvan Mullick, the filmmaker who made “Caine’s Arcade,” went on to found a nonprofit group, Imagination.org, that organizes an annual “global cardboard challenge” — one taken up by over a million kids in 80 countries.

At a time when toys have become ever more complex and expensive, it is worth returning to the box, seeing it not as trash but as a renewable resource for play.

For my daughter’s seventh birthday, she requested a cardboard-themed party. (I swear, I had nothing to do with it.) “Cardboard creations” is a highlight of “choice time” at her school, where kindergartners and first-graders have an end-of-day craft session with shoeboxes and paper towel rolls.

We gave up recycling for several weeks before the party and accumulated an embarrassingly large pile in the center of the living room. When the kids arrived, I waved them toward the boxes and bins of glue sticks, washi tape, paint, wrapping paper scraps and stickers.

“Make whatever you want,” I said, and they did."
alexandralange  cv  cardboard  2018  victorpapanek  nintendo  caine'sarcade  hermanmiller  benjaminspock  jameshennessey  diy  making  makers  alextruesdell  design  disabilities  disability  choicetime  recycling  eames  charleseames  rayeames  robertgair  technology  boxes  creativity  imagination  cainmonroy 
june 2018 by robertogreco
Old memories, accidentally trapped in amber by our digital devices
"Part of what humans use technology for is to better remember the past. We scroll back through photos on our phones and on Instagram & Flickr — “that was Fourth of July 5 years ago, so fun!” — and apps like Swarm, Timehop, and Facebook surface old locations, photos, and tweets for us on the regular. But sometimes, we run into the good old days in unexpected places on our digital devices.

Designer and typographer Marcin Wichary started a thread on Twitter yesterday about “UIs that accidentally amass memories” with the initial example of the “Preferred Networks” listing of all the wifi networks his computer had ever joined, “unexpected reminders of business trips, vacations, accidental detours, once frequented and now closed cafés”.

[image: screeshot of macOS wi-fi panel]

Several other people chimed in with their own examples…the Bluetooth pairings list, the Reminders app, the list of alarms, saved places in mapping apps, AIM/iChat status message log, chat apps not used for years, the Gmail drafts folder, etc.

John Bull noted that his list of former addresses on Amazon is “a massive walk down memory line of my old jobs and places of residence”. I just looked at mine and I’ve got addresses in there from almost 20 years ago.

Steven Richie suggested the Weather app on iOS:
I usually like to add the city I will be travelling to ahead of time to get a sense of what it will be like when we get there.

I do this too but am pretty good about culling my cities list. Still, there are a couple places I keep around even though I haven’t been to them in awhile…a self-nudge for future travel desires perhaps.

Kotori switched back to an old OS via a years-old backup and found “a post-breakup message that came on the day i switched phones”:
thought i moved on but so many whatifs flashed in my head when i read it. what if i never got a new phone. what if they messaged me a few minutes earlier. what if we used a chat that did backups differently

Similarly, Richard fired up Google Maps on an old phone and was briefly transported through time and space:
On a similar note to both of these, a while ago I switched back to my old Nokia N95 after my iPhone died. Fired up Google Maps, and for a brief moment, it marked my location as at a remote crossroads in NZ where I’d last had it open, lost on a road trip at least a decade before.

Matt Sephton runs into old friends when he plays Nintendo:
Every time my friends and I play Nintendo WiiU/Wii/3DS games we see a lot of our old Mii avatars. Some are 10 years old and of a time. Amongst them is a friend who passed away a few years back. It’s always so good to see him. It’s as if he’s still playing the games with us.

For better or worse, machines never forget those who aren’t with us anymore. Dan Noyes’ Gmail holds a reminder of his late wife:
Whenever I open Gmail I see the last message that my late wife sent me via Google chat in 2014. It’s her standard “pssst” greeting for me: “aye aye”. I leave it unread lest it disappears.

It’s a wonderful thread…read the whole thing. [https://twitter.com/mwichary/status/996056615928266752 ]

I encounter these nostalgia bombs every once in awhile too. I closed dozens of tabs the other day on Chrome for iOS; I don’t use it very often, so some of them dated back to more than a year ago. I have bookmarks on browsers I no longer use on my iMac that are more than 10 years old. A MacOS folder I dump temporary images & files into has stuff going back years. Everyone I know stopped using apps like Path and Peach, so when I open them, I see messages from years ago right at the top like they were just posted, trapped in amber.

My personal go-to cache of unexpected memories is Messages on iOS. Scrolling all the way down to the bottom of the list, I can find messages from numbers I haven’t communicated with since a month or two after I got my first iPhone in 2007.

[image: screenshot of Messages in iOS]

There and elsewhere in the listing are friends I’m no longer in touch with, business lunches that went nowhere, old flames, messages from people I don’t even remember, arriving Lyfts in unknown cities, old landlords, completely contextless messages from old numbers (“I am so drunk!!!!” from a friend’s wife I didn’t know that well?!), old babysitters, a bunch of messages from friends texting to be let into our building for a holiday party, playdate arrangements w/ the parents of my kids’ long-forgotten friends (which Ella was that?!), and old group texts with current friends left to languish for years. From one of these group texts, I was just reminded that my 3-year-old daughter liked to make cocktails:

[screenshot]

Just like Sally Draper! Speaking of Mad Men, Don’s correct: nostalgia is a potent thing, so I’ve got to stop poking around my phone and get back to work.

Update: I had forgotten this great example about a ghost driver in an old Xbox racing game.
Well, when i was 4, my dad bought a trusty XBox. you know, the first, ruggedy, blocky one from 2001. we had tons and tons and tons of fun playing all kinds of games together — until he died, when i was just 6.

i couldnt touch that console for 10 years.

but once i did, i noticed something.

we used to play a racing game, Rally Sports Challenge. actually pretty awesome for the time it came.

and once i started meddling around… i found a GHOST.

See also this story about Animal Crossing. (via @ironicsans/status/996445080943808512)"
digital  memory  memories  2018  jasonkottke  kottke  traces  animalcrossing  videogames  games  gaming  flickr  wifi  marcinwichary  death  relationships  obsolescence  gmail  googlhangouts  googlechat  iphone  ios  nostalgia  xbox  nintendo  messages  communication  googlemaps  place  time  chrome  mac  osx 
may 2018 by robertogreco
Allen Tan on Twitter: "whaaat this is awesome https://t.co/CGyXfFlqAs"
"whaaat this is awesome
["Nintendo is making a bunch of weird DIY cardboard toys for the Switch and they’re awesome" https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/17/16900496/nintendo-switch-labo-cardboard-diy-accessories-announced-price-release-date , see also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3Bd3HUMkyU ]

so exciting to see the switch be the culmination of weird things that nintendo has been trying to push all its life

like they have been trying to do one-off controllers for F O R E V E R

all right, y’all need to know about some amazing historical examples of cardboard toys

STRAP IN

first of all, @LangeAlexandra wrote a book about some of this stuff

["All the people in my tl going nuts for the Nintendo cardboard kids. Buy them, then go buy “Cardboard Carpentry” or “Nomadic Furniture” or other literature from the 1970s heyday of cardboard creativity.…"
https://twitter.com/LangeAlexandra/status/953759330893025281 ]

1/ ‘Big Jim was Mattel’s non-military version of GI Joe, a handsome guy with a partner named “Josh.” (made of vinyl and cardboard)’ https://www.motor1.com/news/71930/in-the-1970s-we-wanted-these-car-toys-for-christmas/

2/ In the early 70s Milton Bradley made 4 cardboard playsets ranging from SPACE to PLANET OF THE APES to a…HOUSE and, finally, MARVEL WORLD (feat all the characters you know, and more) https://flashbak.com/cardboard-universe-remembering-amsco-playsets-1970s-34930/

3/ and then when Star Wars came out they made the same thing but for the death star etc etc http://www.starwars.com/news/from-cardboard-space-stations-to-creature-cantinas-kenner-vintage-playsets-part-1

(even more photos: https://hiveminer.com/Tags/cardboard,playset/Interesting … )

4/ BEFORE THAT THOUGH, the 60s featured this cardboard fireplace set feat. a “realistic fireglow effect”

(it’s a fan)

5/ lastly, for the design nerds, Roger Limbrick, under the POLYPOPS brand, made 5 large-scale constructions that were meant for kids to crawl around in and move http://www.rogerlimbrick.info/119-polypops-cardboard-toys

“Roger was particularly interested in developing designs which produced movement and active play
in children […]

The design was made from one pre-punched and creased cardboard shape - 18 pieces
for self assembly by folding and interlocking. No glue”

uh, what else

oh, well, since you asked

6/ the 50s features this (life-sized, I think?) golf cart made of cardboard

(courtesy of this listings site: http://www.timewarptoys.com/products.php?cat=Toys1 )

7/ this cardboard whistle? accordion? idk
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Japan-Paper-Cardboard-Accordion-Toy-Works-Whistle-Sound-Clown-Porky-Pig/332523854554?hash=item4d6bf75ada:g:KG0AAOSw-RhaX5Ho

anyway, there’s lots more to find, if you’re willing to dig around ebay"
allentan  cardboard  toys  history  classideas  nintendo  2018  nintendoswitch  nintendolabo  rogerlimbrick  polypops  children  play  1960s  1970s  miltonbradley  starwars 
january 2018 by robertogreco
Supper Mario Broth
"A Super Mario variety blog. Screenshots, photos, sprites, gifs, scans and more from all around the world of Super Mario Bros."
tumblrs  games  gaming  videogames  nintendo  supermario 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Etrian Odyssey - Wikipedia
"Etrian Odyssey, released in Japan as Sekaiju no Meikyuu (世界樹の迷宮 Sekaiju no Meikyū?, literally "Labyrinth of the World Tree"), is a 3D dungeon crawler role-playing video game by Atlus for the Nintendo DS.

Gameplay

Drawing comparisons to titles such as Wizardry and The Bard's Tale,[1] Etrian Odyssey challenges players with exploring and mapping a vast dungeon. Players navigate through the dungeon in fixed increments. Time passes only when an action is taken, causing movement, random encounters, and combat to all be entirely turn-based. The game uses a first-person view to present the dungeon using a combination of relatively simple 3D computer graphics for environments and single-frame 2D sprites for enemies.

Etrian Odyssey requires that players maintain their own map by annotating (with the stylus) a small map displayed on the DS's touchscreen. The player is free to map accurately or haphazardly. However, the player cannot draw their own symbols, and must instead use the game's limited set of pre-designed symbols. The game also limits the number of symbols that can be used for each level map.

In addition to normal random encounters, the player must overcome "FOEs" (Field On Enemies), which are exceptionally powerful monsters which wander around the dungeon in much the same way as the player's party, advancing whenever the player does. The AI of FOEs varies, but most will wander the dungeon in a set circular path until they sense the player's party, after which they will move directly towards the party. If the player encounters an FOE in an area with multiple FOEs, it is possible for a second or even third FOE to join the battle if it reaches the party before they defeat the first one.

Like most early RPGs, Etrian Odyssey uses custom characters from a number of different character classes. While only five characters can be in the party at a single time, a much larger number can be created and kept in waiting back at the "guild hall". Characters can be switched in and out of the party when in town, so if a given specialty is needed for a specific obstacle, the party can be tailored appropriately. The player allocates skill points to specific skills during level advancement."
via:tealtan  games  gaming  videogames  nintendo  nintendods  maps  mapping  rpgs  cartography  srg  edg 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Make Games - This is an excerpt from the Spelunky book, which...
[via: "Thinking about this but for learning:"
https://twitter.com/tealtan/status/754162176345210880
along with
http://tevisthompson.com/saving-zelda/
https://medium.com/@helvetica/full-thoughts-on-pokemon-go-from-my-interview-on-the-verge-178b97b1112b ]

"Indifference

I played games everywhere as a kid—on my parents’ PC and their Atari 2600, at the arcades, in the car with my Game Boy, and at friends’ houses where I was introduced to Chinese pirate multicarts and exotic game systems like the Neo Geo and TurboGrafx-16. But for me, that era still belongs to Nintendo. My uncle was the first in my family to get a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), and I spent entire visits playing Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt. When I wasn’t playing, I’d read my new issue of Nintendo Power compulsively until the next month’s issue. No one in the 80s built worlds as magical and well-crafted as Nintendo did. And although many talented men and women deserve credit for that, the one who stands out among them all is the developer who I was most excited to see in the crowd at IGF 2007: Shigeru Miyamoto.

Miyamoto once said that his childhood exploration of the Kyoto countryside was the inspiration for creating The Legend of Zelda, a top-down action-adventure game set in the fictional land of Hyrule. Recalling the time he discovered a lake while hiking, he explained, “It was quite a surprise for me to stumble upon it. When I traveled around the country without a map, trying to find my way, stumbling on amazing things as I went, I realized how it felt to go on an adventure like this.“ It’s the perfect way to describe my experience with The Legend of Zelda as a child, when my dad and I spent many hours meticulously exploring and mapping Hyrule. As I moved from screen to screen, slaying monsters and prodding the environment for hidden secrets, he would mark them down on our map with colored pencils.

It felt like we were Lewis and Clark trekking across the American West. I’ll never forget the first time I entered a dungeon and watched the bright greens, browns, and yellows of the overworld give way to ominous blues and reds—the sound of Link’s footsteps on stairs heralding the eerie dungeon music that still echoes in every Nintendo kid’s ears. It seems strange now, but in The Legend of Zelda no one tells you where the first dungeon is located. It’s possible to wander into the farthest reaches of Hyrule before locating it, and when you find the entrance—a gaping black “mouth” beckoning you into a giant tree—you may not necessarily know what you have found.

In a 2003 interview with SuperPlay magazine, Miyamoto recalled the day the game was released: “I remember that we were very nervous since The Legend of Zelda was our first game that forced the players to think what they should do next.” This bold and risky design, based on the joy of discovery, had a huge impact on me as a game designer. In Spelunky, as in all of my games, I wanted to capture the same emotions I had on that first adventure.

Unfortunately, that feeling about Hyrule waned with each successive game. Even as the worlds grew more beautiful and vibrant, a feeling of disappointment clouded my initial wondrous experience. Part of it is that I grew up. Zelda is 30 years old now, and in that time I’ve played 30 years’ worth of games and released some of my own. But while it’s harder to surprise me now, it also doesn’t appear that the series is as interested in trying. If the original Zelda game was made only for children, I might chalk it up to my age, but revisiting it as a “Classic Series” Game Boy Advance reissue, I was amazed at how strange and wild it still felt compared to the later games, and to modern games in general. It was like returning to the wilderness after a long hiatus, trying to get back in touch with senses that had been steadily dulled.

In Tevis Thompson’s brilliant 2012 essay “Saving Zelda,” Thompson likened modern installments of the game to theme parks, saying, “Skyward Sword, with its segregated, recycled areas and puzzly overworld dungeons, is not an outlier; it is the culmination of years of reducing the world to a series of bottlenecks, to a kiddie theme park (this is not an exaggeration: Lanayru Desert has a roller-coaster).” Gone is the wild frontier that I explored with my dad and the Kyoto countryside that inspired the series, replaced by something that feels too linear, too elegant, too smooth, too… designed? Quests have been turned into fun house games with obvious goals and rewards. “Secrets” are outlined with bright, flashing signposts. A theme park is exactly what it feels like.

Is a theme park necessarily a bad thing, though? I also have great memories of going to Disneyland, Magic Mountain, and other amusement parks. But leaving the park after a full day of riding rides and eating cotton candy, I’m not eager to go back the next day or even the next week or month. The thrills are garish and over-the-top, but also obvious and safe. Compare a theme park to that Kyoto countryside—Miyamoto purportedly came across a cave during his explorations and hesitated for days before eventually going inside. Why did that cave feel so dangerous to him, even though there was likely nothing inside? Why did my wife and I feel the same trepidation as adults in Hawaii, when we ducked into a little path carved into a bamboo field off the side of the road?

Thompson continues:
Hyrule must become more indifferent to the player. It must aspire to ignore Link. Zelda has so far resisted the urge to lavish choice on the player and respond to his every whim, but it follows a similar spirit of indulgence in its loving details, its carefully crafted adventure that reeks of quality and just-for-you-ness. But a world is not for you. A world needs a substance, an independence, a sense that it doesn’t just disappear when you turn around (even if it kinda does). It needs architecture, not level design with themed wallpaper, and environments with their own ecosystems (which were doing just fine before you showed up). Every location can’t be plagued with false crises only you can solve, grist for the storymill.

It’s easy to mistake Thompson’s assertion that “Hyrule must become more indifferent to the player” for an assertion that game developers shouldn’t care about the player or shouldn’t guide the player toward their ultimate vision. What it means is that the guides must be a natural part of the world, and the world, like Miyamoto’s cave, must simply exist. If a world is independent and self-sufficient, so are its inhabitants. If every part of a world exists only for the player, both the world and the hero will feel artificial.

Nintendo wasn’t the only developer to lose sight of that cave in Kyoto. All game creators must control the player’s experience to a degree, and it’s easy to take it too far—this is particularly true of large studios with bigger budgets that they have to recoup from audiences that include many casual players. Designers often mistake intentionality for good game design: We think that a cave must have a treasure chest in it, and if there’s a treasure chest it must be guarded by a monster, and if there’s treasure in the cave, then the player must find it, and if the player must find it, then there has to be a map that leads the player to the cave. That feels like good design because we took the time to plan it out and in the end the player did what we expected. But it doesn’t guarantee that the player will feel like they’re on a true adventure, making genuine discoveries.

Creating Spelunky was the perfect project to help me think about what a true adventure meant to me. Working by myself on a small freeware game made it easier to focus on my personal vision instead of what other people wanted. Using Game Maker allowed me to focus on game design rather than technology. And then there was the randomization of the levels, which made it impossible to fully control the player’s experience. All I could do was create the building blocks of the world and set them in motion—what came out could be as surprising and indifferent to me as it was to the players."
derekyu  games  gaming  videogames  spelunky  zelda  edg  srg  learning  howwelearn  shigerumiyamoto  exploration  worlds  kyoto  caves  hyrule  zpd  design  gamedesign  maps  mapping  techgnology  autonomy  experience  amusementparks  themeparks  legendofzelda  nintendo 
july 2016 by robertogreco
kat chastain - The Cave of the Past and Mother 2 and Mother 3
"Mother 2 feels like the team took a look back at Mother, kept the structure, looked for more than the skeleton of a plot that game had to run through the journey. It sticks around because it’s a kind of personal growth ritual or, rather, a ritual themed around personal growth. This is why it’s about reassembling forgotten memories. It maps onto my own experiences of probing back into childhood and adolescence, especially periods I had repressed to some degree, and seeing there the links of causality that, from my perspective as a child, I could not fully understand. Giygas is something you don’t want to remember, don’t know how to deal with. From around him, the color has been drained. Bodily sensations disappeared. Clanking robot bodies. Faceless bodies without identity. Giygas isn’t Ness’ fight, he’s yours. Only you can beat him. When you do, the TV shuts itself off. You’re done.

Then it fucking turns itself back on. Then, as a prize, it says: good job completing this journey with us, now stay in your fake bullshit pop art nostalgia theme park forever. I have spent a lot of time in fake nostalgia theme parks. I spent a lot of years trying to be Absolutely Safe because it felt like I couldn’t become an adult and that it would kill me to try. Sometimes I’ve gone back to old nostalgia bubbles because I could deal with them better than grappling with memories of what my life was actually like during those times. This was a coping strategy.

In real life, reassembling memories to understand them and fix your shit is hard. You don’t powerlevel through it. It’s untying knots in razorwire with the hope that you’ll come out the other end changed for the better and it’s slow and there aren’t carefully paced, escalating rewards throughout. You don’t know if there’ll be a reward at all. You do it because you can’t do anything else. Video Games were what I always did, compulsively, when I knew I had untying to do but I just couldn’t, so I needed someplace else to live for about twenty years.

Mother 3’s ending feels like a sigh. The whole game feels like a sigh. The whole game feels like an expression of puzzlement at making or playing these things. It says what it has to say about its predecessors and it turns itself off. Unlike last time, it stays off—it recreates Mother 2’s decadent ending in the form of a black screen where characters talk to you but you can’t see yourself or them or anything and it’s anticlimactic and then it’s over and you turn off the emulator and you’re alone in your room again and you might think: “that’s about the most lovingly crafted ‘fuck you’ to someone’s own creation I’ve ever seen.”"
art  politics  life  games  memory  feminism  transgender  childhood  gaming  videogames  mother2  mother3  mother  experience  memories  understanding  rewards  via:tealtan  earthbound  nintendo 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Farewell to the Wii, A Great Gaming System After All
"Perhaps the best Wii idea of all, and one too little copied in other consumer electronics, was that the device itself lit up when something important had happened to it. If a friend sent you a message or if a game needed an update, the system would start emitting a blue glow from its disc drive. You didn't have to turn the Wii on to know something was ready for your attention; the device's light pattern showed it. Most inert consumer electronics do nothing like this, which is a pity. What a disappointing failure that we don't have more electronics that make themselves useful even while they are more or less turned off."
stephentolito  2012  messaging  signaling  ambientsignaling  ambient  ambien  nintendo  wii 
september 2012 by robertogreco
The End of Nintendo Power Magazine : The New Yorker
"In hindsight, reading so extensively about video games without owning is like poring over Rolling Stone without owning a record player. But there was a practical purpose: one of Nintendo Power’s great draws were its walk-throughs: step-by-step guides to beating especially difficult sections of games. I read the walk-throughs so that I would not embarrass myself when invited to play Nintendo by friends with cooler parents, or when a babysitter snuck a Nintendo console into the house under my parents’ noses, swearing my brother and I to secrecy, in the (correct) belief that the presence of the games would make her job much easier. My parents were not pleased when my grandmother purchased a Nintendo 64 in the hopes of luring us to her house more frequently. Suddenly we spent a lot more time with her, and by the time I reached high school, my parents gave in and let me and my brother buy our first Nintendo."
reeveswiedeman  youth  kids  boys  reading  2012  nintendopower  gaming  games  magazines  nintendo 
september 2012 by robertogreco
tevis thompson: Saving Zelda
"A world is more than a space, more than a place; it is something to inhabit & be inhabited by. What you infuse a space w/ to make it habitable, to make it memorable (since memory is profoundly spatial), gives the place its character, its soul…

Zelda would be better if it had no story…no plot to structure the adventure…first Zs barely had any plot…were better for it. With plot, sequence matters too much…early Zs had situations, worlds & scenarios that framed action, gaps to be filled in by player, sequences to be broken. Optimal paths & shortcuts weren’t a given; they had to be earned. Items were the most prominent plot devices, & even they were not unduly strict about order. You could be slow & steady or blast straight through with a little know-how…basic rules of the gameworld were what bound you, not some artificial necessity imposed for the sake of plot."

…a world is not for you. A world needs a substance, independence, sense that it doesn’t just disappear when you turn around."

[Update [17 June 2016]:

Revisited thanks to:
"(And Thompson's essay, excerpted in the previous: http://tevisthompson.com/saving-zelda/ )"
https://twitter.com/tealtan/status/754162412484452352

See also:
"Thinking about this but for learning: http://makegames.tumblr.com/post/147367627844/this-is-an-excerpt-from-the-spelunky-book-which "
https://twitter.com/tealtan/status/754162176345210880

"And the ideas of "intentional obtuseness" in Pokemon Go (and Snapchat): https://medium.com/@helvetica/full-thoughts-on-pokemon-go-from-my-interview-on-the-verge-178b97b1112b "
https://twitter.com/tealtan/status/754162625802534912
2012  space  play  openendedness  open-ended  autonomy  exploration  memory  spatialmemory  worlds  worldbuilding  nintendo  videogames  gaming  zelda  games  gamecriticism  gamedesign  via:tealtan  tevisthompson  howwelearn  hyrule  legendofzelda  independence  zpd  howweplay  openended 
february 2012 by robertogreco
Nintendo's Miyamoto Stepping Down, Working on Smaller Games | Game|Life | Wired.com
"What I really want to do is be in the forefront of game development once again myself," Miyamoto said. "Probably working on a smaller project with even younger developers. Or I might be interested in making something that I can make myself, by myself. Something really small."

[via: http://kottke.org/11/12/shigeru-miyamoto-to-step-down-at-nintendo ]
nintendo  shigerumiyamoto  small  scale  humanscale  organizations  2011  cv  howwework  howwelearn  meaningmaking  gaming  videogames  edg  srg  glvo  tcsnmy  unschooling  deschooling  audiencesofone  teams  groupsize  slow  simplicity  simple 
december 2011 by robertogreco
The seedy underside of Vimeo « Icrontic Tech
"But wait… That wasn’t all they did. They disabled embedding of all content on our site, even the things we had made ourselves. Sure, the videos were still available by going directly to Vimeo.com and going into our account, but embedding was gone, so every occurrence of a video on our site was replaced with a block that said “embedding has been disabled for this site.”"
vimeo  videogames  gaming  games  2009  video  brianambrozy  viddler  videohosting  videosharing  indiegames  nintendo  e3 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo’s man behind Mario : The New Yorker
"Miyamoto has told variations on the cave story a few times over the years, in order to emphasize the extent to which he was surrounded by nature, as a child, and also to claim his youthful explorations as a source of his aptitude and enthusiasm for inventing and designing video games."

"The Dutch cultural historian Johan Huizinga, in his classic 1938 study “Homo Ludens” (“Man the Player”), argued that play was one of the essential components of culture—that it in fact predates culture, because even animals play. His definition of play is instructive. One, play is free—it must be voluntary. Prisoners of war forced to play Russian roulette are not at play. Two, it is separate; it takes place outside the realm of ordinary life and is unserious, in terms of its consequences. A game of chess has no bearing on your survival (unless the opponent is Death). Three, it is unproductive; nothing comes of it—nothing of material value, anyway. Plastic trophies, plush stuffed animals, and bragging rights cannot be monetized. Four, it follows an established set of parameters and rules, and requires some artificial boundary of time and space. Tennis requires lines and a net and the agreement of its participants to abide by the conceit that those boundaries matter. Five, it is uncertain; the outcome is unknown, and uncertainty can create opportunities for discretion and improvisation. In Hyrule, you may or may not get past the Deku Babas, and you can slay them with your own particular panache.

The French intellectual Roger Caillois, in a 1958 response to Huizinga entitled “Man, Play and Games,” called play “an occasion of pure waste: waste of time, energy, ingenuity, skill, and often of money.” Therein lies its utility, as a simulation that exists outside regular life. Caillois divides play into four categories: agon (competition), alea (chance), mimicry (simulation), and ilinx (vertigo). Super Mario has all four. You are competing against the game, trying to predict the seemingly random flurry of impediments it sets in your way, and pretending to be a bouncy Italian plumber in a realm of mushrooms and bricks. As for vertigo, what Caillois has in mind is the surrender of stability and the embrace of panic, such as you might experience while skiing. Mario’s dizzying rate of passage through whatever world he’s in—the onslaught of enemies and options—confers a kind of vertigo on the gaming experience. Like skiing, it requires a certain degree of mastery, a countervailing ability to contend with the panic and reassert a measure of stability. In short, the game requires participation, and so you can call it play.

Caillois also introduces the idea that games range along a continuum between two modes: ludus, “the taste for gratuitous difficulty,” and paidia, “the power of improvisation and joy.” A crossword puzzle is ludus. Kill the Carrier is paidia (unless you’re the carrier). Super Mario and Zelda seem to be perched right between the two."
games  nintendo  miyamoto  shigerumiyamoto  design  art  inspiration  videogames  childhood  exploration  nature  naturedeficitdisorder  wonder  children  play  unstructuredtime  gaming  mario  japan  history  edg  srg  glvo  unschooling  deschooling  topost  toshare  classideas  narratology  ludology  adventure  rogercaillois  johanhuizinga  work  gamification  asobi  funware  music  guitar  self-improvement  kyokan  empathy  collaboration  japanese  jesperjuul  janemcgonigal  animals  focusgroups  gamedesign  experience 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Koopa, It’s What’s For Supper « Jude Buffum
"For the upcoming show Pixel Pushers, sponsored by SCION and curated by Giant Robot, I decided to explore the carnivorous side of the world of video games. Though I myself eat meat, enough of my friends and loved ones are now vegetarians or vegans, so it’s something I’ve been experimenting with. I suppose these pieces are a by-product of that exploration. That, and my long-time obsession with meat diagrams."
edg  nintendo  supermario  judebuffum  giantrobot  meat  humaor  illustration  glvo  videogames 
november 2010 by robertogreco
This Studio Ghibli Game Continues To Dazzle - Studio Ghibli - Kotaku
"Studio Ghibli, the animation studio behind classic anime like My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service, is making a Nintendo DS game title Ni no Kuni with Fukuoka-based developer Level-5. It is Studio Ghibli's first venture into video games.
miyazaki  sudioghibli  games  gaming  nintendods  ds  nintendo  edg  srg  ninokuni 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Tale of Tales» A bad year for dreams
Provocative post with many comments. "2009 Was another triumphant year for the Wii & DS. Nintendo has successfully introduced the general public to playing games on computer hardware... far from a triumph for the medium of videogames. ..Nintendo didn’t do much. ... Rather than trying to start a revolution with a brand new medium, they had a good look at the way people play today & made digital versions of those activities. They basically made it possible for people to play the kinds of games they were already enjoying, on their television sets. Some may celebrate this as the breakthrough of videogames into the mainstream. I don’t. I hope this is just a temporary setback in the evolution of the medium. I’m not a big fan of huge corporations, but I do share, to some extent, the dreams that Sony & Microsoft have about the interactive medium. With them, I see videogames as the great new art form of the new century. Videogames as the cinema, television & pop music of the young millennium."
games  gaming  videogames  art  sony  microsoft  nintendo  play  lifestyle  2009  genre 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Mass: We Pray - The Video Game
"A family shouldn’t have to wait until Sunday to worship the Lord. Now you can go to church every day without leaving your home. Participate in more..."
wii  religion  catholicism  humor  gaming  culture  games  nintendo  parody  via:crystaltips 
november 2009 by robertogreco
chewing pixels » There Was a Young Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
"play the game with an imaginative child, and wide-angle concerns over mission structure melt away, as the true and dizzying wonder of the game’s conceit is unlocked. … free of the dry, efficient logic of adulthood, a child’s imagination also opens the game up in ways beyond most adults’ reach. Most games demand expertise for success, their richest rewards reserved for those who invest time into developing skills and technique. By contrast, Scribblenauts reserves its richest rewards for those who can devolve their expertise, unravelling the tightly wound habit of always seeking out the quickest, most efficient solution to a problem. It asks that we all rediscover a sense of childlike inquisitiveness rewarding those who play with the game, rather than merely try to solve it. Through that lens, the normality of tasks heightens the thrill of discovering leftfield solutions, rather than diminishing it."
via:preoccupations  wisdom  children  creativity  videogames  scribblenauts  play  imagination  freedom  gaming  games  ds  nintendods  nintendo 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Gamasutra - Interview: Aspyr's Treasure Troves To Use DS As 'Real-Life Treasure Hunt'
""We're creating a real-life treasure hunt, and the DS and this software is acting as your treasure map, your trophy case, and your audiovisual canvas," ... For example, each item emits a distinct sound, which include musical notes and phonetic noises; the items can then be replicated and arranged on a Mario Paint-like musical grid. Like items and other custom creations, these resultant compositions can be traded with other players. But Leingang may be most excited about the subtle real-world activities his game might inspire. "We're using the DS' capabilities as a portable device above and beyond just the fact that I can put it in my pocket or sit on the couch or sit in the bathroom and play it. We're taking this thing and really flexing its muscles as being something that can travel anywhere across this globe," he said. He went on to explain some of the surprising effects the game has had on his own everyday routine in an effort to uncover fresh hotspots."
nintendo  ning  ds  games  gaming  location  location-based  wifi  videogames  hyperlocal 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Mother 3 fan translation available this week - DS Fanboy
"After almost two years of hard slog, Starmen.net's Mother 3 fan translation patch has finally been completed, and will be released at the end of this week ... a whole month ahead of schedule! That's according to the latest blog entry on the project's site, in which team member Mato records that, "Testing's pretty much over now. Some bugs did turn up over the last few days, but they were all minor and quickly remedied. Some really hard-to-spot typos were also found and fixed."

[see also: http://www.flickr.com/photos/klara/2953342671/ ]
nintendo  nintendods  ds  games  mother3  homebrew  translation  hacks  earthbound 
october 2008 by robertogreco
More Nintendo DS Numeracy | Andy Pulman Edublog
"Make 10: A journey of numbers (released 26/09/08) is a mathematics game where players must complete numbers puzzles centered around the number 10. The overall aim of the game is to find and challenge the so-called “Make 10 Masters” as you improve your maths and puzzle-solving skills. Players use the Nintendo DS Touch Screen to complete the maths puzzles, and a gradual increase in difficulty and storybook style presentation mean the game is accessible for players of all ages."
nintendo  nintendods  games  math  gaming  learning  ds 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Hands-On: Rhythm Heaven Coming to America, Awesome | Game | Life from Wired.com
"The idea behind Rhythm Heaven is that it's a series of mini-games that are all based around music and rhythm, developed by (and bearing a strong resemblance to the other work of) the Wario Ware team at Nintendo."
videogames  gaming  games  nintendo  nintendods  ds 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Born for Wii: Pikmin - Nintendo Wii Fanboy
"Pikmin came straight from mind of Shigeru Miyamoto...offered gamers something new. A delightful mix of strategy & discovery...defied real-time strategy conventions & put gamers in charge of smallest, most innocent army of creatures in gaming history"
game  gamecube  nintendo  shigerumiyamoto  wii  videogames  pikmin 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Download Anime, Manga to Your DS | Game | Life from Wired.com
"A new digital delivery service in Japan is giving Nintendo DS owners on-the-go access to manga, novels, and animated shows and films."
nintendo  nintendods  ds  manga  reading  ebooks  animation  film  anime  literature 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Game Version of Neil Gaiman's Coraline Coming | Game | Life from Wired.com
"It may not be based on his groundbreaking Sandman comic series, but a Neil Gaiman property is finally getting turned into a game."
neilgaiman  books  children  film  games  gaming  videogames  coraline  nintendo  nintendods  ds 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Born for Wii: Katamari Damacy - Nintendo Wii Fanboy
"A port of the original Katamari Damacy with a reworked control scheme would be right at home on the Wii, especially at a competitive budget price point."
games  gaming  videogames  nintendo  wii  katamaridamacy  keitatakahashi 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Bangai-o Spirits: Bangai-O Spirits Circumvents DS Codes, Blows Minds
"You can save the levels you make as sound files, just like the way old data cassettes used to do...Anyone who downloads the sound file simply plays it into their DS microphone, and voilà - your friend now has the level you made."
nintendo  nintendods  games  gaming  sound  audio  sharing  transfer  japan  hacks  ds  via:migurski 
june 2008 by robertogreco
LIFT Conference || Robin Hunicke (2008)
"researcher (studying artificial intelligence) now working for Electonic Arts. She is designing games for the Nintendo Wii - she worked on My Sims - and tells us about user-generated content and the importance of social software in gaming"
games  education  research  gamedesign  gaming  robinhunicke  creativity  video  happiness  arg  socialnetworks  facebook  play  socialnetworking  socialsoftware  flickr  storytelling  nintendo  nintendods  ds  difficulty  linear  reward  identity  linearity 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Hack a Nintendo DS to Make an Awesome Digital Sketchbook - Wired How-To Wiki
"It's simple and compact, pressure-sensitive, easier to view in daylight than a laptop and inconspicuous. And, when coupled with the paint application Colors, it's a powerful little device that's fun and practical for all skill levels. All you need is a N
ds  nintendo  nintendods  hacks  homebrew  painting  drawing  howto  videogames 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Music and life intersect for GlitchDS - DS Fanboy
"The strange, seemingly cacophonous stream of sounds coming out your speakers is GlitchDS, a homebrew cellular automaton music sequencer inspired by Conway's Game of Life."
conwaysgameoflife  nintendo  nintendods  homebrew  music  sound  ds 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Homo Ludens Ludens - Desire - we make money not art
"Names of actual urban WIFI zones (my favourite was called Familia Alvarez) are mapped and tagged like street-names in the exhibition space while aether waves with the same subjective names are also superimposed on the arts space, as playground."
games  play  maps  mapping  arg  gaming  nintendo  nintendods  wmmna  location-based  art 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Tale of Tales» Blog Archive » Audio Games for DS Homebrew
"Using unique qualities of hardware has created system for playing of “Audio Games” which can be played only w/ sound (reading of text via voice synthesis) & one button for interaction. Though if you keep the screen up you can also read the text and v
nintendo  nintendods  ds  homebrew  games  gaming  videogames  play  audio  interface 
march 2008 by robertogreco
stevenberlinjohnson.com: Games and the iPhone
"knew SDK was coming...some kind of enterprise support...But you watched those games -- particularly with accelerometer support -- and it was suddenly clear that iPhone platform is potentially serious competitor to DS & PSP."
games  videogames  wii  iphone  via:cityofsound  nintendo  nintendods  psp 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Locus Online Features: Cory Doctorow: Put Not Your Faith In Ebook Readers
"When Nintendo can't get line-time for the Wii, what hope does a niche item like an e-book reader have?...[until we're all desktop fabberrs] put not your faith in hardware readers — take the easy way out and hack bits, not atoms."
kindle  ebooks  technology  manufacturing  nintendo  wii  literature  reading  corydoctorow  books 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Time merge media (kottke.org)
"Some of my favorite art and media deals with the display of multiple time periods at once. Here are some other examples, many of which I've featured on kottke.org in the past."

[Update 26 Nov 2012: At least one of the links within is dead, so I'm adding a link to "Trackmania: The 1K Project" here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UcQmJwTnBg ]

[Also related: http://www.slideshare.net/blackbeltjones/designing-for-spacetime-ixda08/ ]
art  media  video  kottke  time  mario  nintendo  videogames  quantummechanics  photography  animation  layers  visualization  timelapse  timelines  games  gaming  graphics  physics  interface  timemergemedia  marioworld  2008  runlolarun  callandresponse  cursor*10  nicholasnixon  diegogoldberg  johnstone  jkkeller  noahkalina  change  movement  paralleluniverses  branching  jameseo  whiteglovetracking  averaging  timemerge 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » Blog Archive » Nintendo DS and ebooks
"Some random facts about how ebooks might be relevant for the Nintendo DS"
ds  interface  nintendo  nintendods  ebooks  comics 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Inside the Strange Design Process of Nintendo Genius Miyamoto | Game | Life from Wired.com
"None of Miyamoto's sentences have subjects," Koizumi says as an example. "So you have to rely on context. It gets to the point where Miyamoto will give us feedback, and the only person who has any idea what it means is me."
gamedesign  games  nintendo  videogames  shigerumiyamoto  mario  design  creativity  howwework  leadership 
december 2007 by robertogreco
'Super Mario Galaxy' Soars With Out-of-This World Camera Work
"If game designers are still struggling with getting their cameras right, it's because they're inventing a new visual language."
cameras  film  videogames  gaming  gamedesign  wii  nintendo  mario  games 
december 2007 by robertogreco
DreamHost Blog » A Strike on One Laptop Per Child
"So please, Mr. Negroponte, hear my plea! Give up on the laptop, and just make a Nintendo DS cartridge with your educational software on it!"
olpc  nintendo  innovation  electronics  ds  nintendods  teaching  learning  money  business  hardware 
december 2007 by robertogreco
mario soup
"This piece examines the unpacking of a Nintendo game cartridge, decoding the program as a four-color image, revealing a beautiful soup of the thousands of individual elements that make up the game screen."
gaming  games  graphics  information  nintendo  videogames  processing  programming  design  code  color 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Digital Tools - Pikilipita VJ - Become a Nintendo VJ - Homebrew, Portables, Tools, Theory and Game Design.
"Pikilipita VJ is a homebrew software, that took in total three years in the making. It's a VJ software for doing visuals at night clubs. You can select different levels and "play" the visuals, selecting colors etc. It is available for Game Boy Advanced,
nintendo  vj  nintendods  ds  gameboy  homebrew 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Animal Crossing story makes us sob like little babies [update 1] - DS Fanboy
"Then I came to my mailbox, it was full of letters with presents- all from my mom. Every letter was pretty much the same. "Thinking of you. Thought you'd like this present. Love, Mom" Even though I'd stopped playing, she continued to send me presents."

[Now at: http://www.joystiq.com/2007/11/19/animal-crossing-story-makes-us-sob-like-little-babies-update-1/ ]
animalcrossing  nintendo  nintendods  parenting  videogames  social  children  comics  glvo  death 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Woopsi makes homebrewing easier - DS Fanboy
"brings a windowing system to the DS, specifically tailored to homebrew programmers. It won't suffice as a proper desktop environment for the handheld, but that's not the purpose of the application. Rather, it's meant to help users create their own applic
nintendo  nintendods  ds  homebrew 
november 2007 by robertogreco
HullBreach - The MMO RPG for the Nintendo Wii
"Welcome to the official website for HullBreach, the browser-based space MMORPG for the Nintendo Wii. Game development is well underway with a public beta available for immediate play."
mmorpg  wii  gaming  games  videogames  nintendo 
october 2007 by robertogreco
gorgull - Protein [ DScratch ]
"the first module made using Protein engine - it's a little audio manipulation software running on DS which ables you to play with an existing .wav file or recorded audio sample; you can pitch it, scratch it, rewind, mute and apply effects on it. Moreover
ds  nintendo  nintendods  gaming  homebrew  hardware  interface  music  sound  software  videogames  audio  effects 
october 2007 by robertogreco
DS demo downloads coming to the Wii - Engadget
"Dubbed "Everyone's Nintendo Channel" (at least in Japan), the service effectively turns your Wii into your very own DS Download Station, with both game demos and videos available to be transferred to your DS."
nintendo  nintendods  ds  wii  games  play  downloads  videogames 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Riverfold Software - Wii Transfer
"Wii Transfer can share your movies, music, and pictures directly to your Nintendo Wii using the Internet Channel. Browse iTunes playlists and iPhoto albums on your television. Convert your movies to formats the Wii understands, either streaming directly
nintendo  wii  mac  osx  software  converter  audio  media  movies  networking  diy  streaming  applications 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Pascal ends it all… on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
"Another fatality in my village. Bones and Dotty waited downstream to haul out the body. "
animalcrossing  nintendods  nintendo  ds  humor 
august 2007 by robertogreco
Promotional Consideration: Communion Day - DS Fanboy
"an Italian ad for the handheld that won Epica's silver award for Press last year"
nintendo  nintendods  ds  advertising  religion  catholicism  italy 
july 2007 by robertogreco
Tale of Tales» Joy of DS
"here is a short list of hand made, home grown, DS apps that I’ve found worthwhile thus far"
nintendo  nintendods  homebrew  games  play  ds 
july 2007 by robertogreco
Dimension-Bending Games Stretch Fabric of Space and Time
"Games are a superb environment for experimenting with new perceptual takes on geometry and physics. Designers craft these worlds from scratch, after all; they don't have to obey normal laws of reality."
education  environment  games  geometry  math  nintendo  perception  physics  reality  space  time  visualization  wii  learning  videogames 
july 2007 by robertogreco
Wiiiiiiiii!: Nintendo Opens Wii to Indie Developers - Gizmodo
"Just as some traditionally open companies close the door to third-party developers, the traditionally closed Nintendo will open WiiWare in early 2008."
nintendo  wii  developers  videogames  games  play  programming  independent 
june 2007 by robertogreco
Game | Life - Wired Blogs: Scholastic Taps Kid-Pleasing Power of DS With I-Spy, Animal Genius
"Animal Genius will test their animal knowledge by competing in five different games: Creature Collector, Scratch 'n' See, Matchomatic, Maze Munch, and Animal Expert. The game will test what players know about animal habitats and behaviors, teaching them
games  learning  animals  biology  children  play  videogames  nintendo  nintendods  ds 
june 2007 by robertogreco
area/code - plundr
Plundr is the world's first location-based PC game. Using state-of-the-art Wi-Fi Positioning System technologies (WPS), the game locates the user's computer in physical space and uses their location as part of the game.
games  wifi  videogames  play  nintendo  nintendods  ds  location-based  location 
june 2007 by robertogreco
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