Jun 302006

Click Nothing: Understanding Games (by proxy) is Clint Hocking assessing Understanding Comics for game design. But this is the bit that really caught my eye:

Pong was a systemic simplification of the rules of a number of racket-based sports. Thirty-four years later, Rockstar Table Tennis has complexified the rules considerably. Now it cannot represent tennis, squash, 1 vs 1 volleyball, or any other racket-based sport… it represents ping pong. Period.

Imagine if Pong had been called ‘Argument’. And instead of squares for paddles, they were shaped like faces in profile. Imagine if instead of a moving square, the ‘ball’ was a comic-style speech bubble with the word ‘Yes’ written in it when one player returned it, and the word ‘No’ written in it when another player returned it. No rule changes. The words ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ would be bouncing back and forth from the mouths, occasionally slipping by and not being responded to. It’s clear, then, that this simplification of systems represented by Pong could have been about any number of things aside from a racket-based sport. The rules were simple enough that they could in fact represent a huge range of things. If Pong had been called ‘Argument’, what would its successor look like 34 years later?

Jun 302006

Sulka Haro says,

Hi! I wanted to have your 40 ways accessible somewhere but wanted something that looked nicer than a print of the site so I made it a background on my desktop. 🙂 I uploaded it to http://www.kotska.com/sulka/kuvat/gamedesign.jpg in case you want to see it. The damselfly in the picture in Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura Elegans).

It’s very cool. 🙂 Looks like it does require a 1280 x 800 widescreen, though.

Jun 292006

MTV has posted their take on the Games for Change conference, including my talk. The tone of the article is really interesting, and I get the impression that the reporter is one who resented some of the cold water he says I threw on the proceedings. He asks,

The first knock on anyone criticizing games is that they possibly haven’t played them. It wasn’t clear if Koster had attended the Tuesday-night game expo and sampled some of the activism in action. Continue reading »

HotSpot redux

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Jun 292006

Remember a while back when I blogged about how I couldn’t figure out how to log into a T-Mobile HotSpot? Well, I just got a text message from T-Mobile that apparently went out to everyone with the Total Internet Plan, explaining how to do it. (Login: phone number, Password: last 4 digits of your SSN.)

Guess I wasn’t the only one confused.