Political theatre and sock-puppet ideologies take centre stage on the dusty red plains of Mars, as Blasphemous Geometries examines the latest instalment in the Red Faction franchise.
Somewhere, out in the mists of possibility that exist between universes and states of being, there is a game that begins in this fashion :
Your character is sitting in a cramped bedroom in front of a computer. Behind him, on the wall, is the green flag of Hamas (provided by someone down at the mosque, it serves both as a political statement and as a way of covering up an old poster of Ronaldinho. Your character clicks the mouse button and the webcam starts recording. He reads a prepared speech about Gaza and the West Bank and concentrates upon keeping any signs of emotion from his voice. Martyrs, he has been told, must be proud. He has to stop and start again when his voice cracks into an embarrassing squeak on the word ‘Jihad’. He rides his bike to a lock up on the other side of town. A van has been packed with explosives and a primitive trigger that appears to be a wiimote. You snort your amusement at the in-joke. Continue reading Red Faction: Guerilla
Fun and games from the Consumer Electronics Show with Mindflex, a toy that uses theta waves to move balls around (see video here):
Focusing on the ball causes a fan in the base of the game — called Mind Flex — to start up and lift the ball on a gentle stream of air. Break your concentration and the ball descends.
Once a player has the ball in the air they need to try to weave it through hoops, towers and other obstacles.
“It’s a mind-eye coordination game,” said Mattel’s Tim Sheridan. “As you relax you’ll find that the ball drops.”
Mind Flex relies on EEG technology to measure brain wave activity through a headset equipped with sensors for the forehead and earlobes.
[via Physorg and The Guardian][image from Physorg]
The latest instalment of Sven Johnson’s Future Imperfect takes a look back at the now-complete the Superstruct project.
Continue reading Design as a Serious Reality Game
Via boingBoing and MindHacks comes a case history and discussion of mind wandering and high fantasy proneness.
The subject of this case report is a professionally accomplished 36-year-old female presenting with a long history of excessive and highly structured daydreaming which she states has contributed to considerable distress during periods of her life. The patient is single, does not smoke, drink or use illegal drugs, and comes from a supportive and healthy family, reporting no abuse or trauma in her history.
…We have tenuously [could they mean tentatively?] viewed her symptoms as indicating possible features of obsessive-compulsive behavior, reflected in the prescription of 50 mg/day of fluvoxamine [Luvox], an antidepressant believed to influence obsessiveness and/or compulsivity. The medication has been continued for 10 years, as the patient affirms this treatment has made her daydreaming much easier to control. She reports that occasionally the amount of time spent daydreaming will rise and she will increase her dosage of fluvoxamine briefly until it subsides…
The paper for Consciousness and Cognition doesn’t get into what the woman actually daydreams about. But with so many of us logging so much time in virtual and imaginary worlds, shouldn’t we be seeing a lot more of this?
Recently, the patient discovered a website containing a surprising number of anonymous postings on the topic of excessive or uncontrolled daydreaming.
(I’m not having much luck finding that site.)
Mark Frauenfelder on bB recalls the case of a physicist who thought he was John Carter of Mars. I’ve had that dream myself.
[Daydreaming gentleman from 1912 German postcard: Wikipedia public domain]
Hey, remember me mentioning a kind of Mundane SF/futurist social media roleplaying game back in July? Well, The Superstruct Game finally kicked off this week, and you can get involved on a number of levels – hundreds of participants (including a number of Futurismic staffers) are already helping to invent the future, so hop in and join them.
What are the requirements? That you can imagine what the world might be like in 2019… so ideal for science fiction fans, I’d have thought. Get involved!