Sunday, 23 January 2022

hangman

Originally conceived by Josh Wardle as an innocent, non-nosy-parker diversion, Wordle (previously) has spawned several imitations, including expansive clones and parody account for those who can’t wait for a new round to come up, here is a list of some games in the same vein—with mostly the same house rules, curated by Joe Jenett. We especially liked Absurdle and Queerdle—the yassificated version. Give them a try and let us know if you encounter any other good copies. Hier ist Wordle auf Deutsch.

Friday, 21 January 2022

how to start an alternative lifestyle

Via fellow internet caretaker, the always excellence Web Curios, we are directed towards this fun guessing game sourced from the often bizarre illustrations of wikiHow (see previously here and here) and challenged to associate it with the proper instructional article with only this bit of context—albeit the slightly menacing quality to the pictures are the bigger draw than the practical advise dispensed. Give it a try and let us know how many right you can get in a row.

Wednesday, 19 January 2022

sequence of events

Via Waxy, we’re invited to play a fun game sourced from Wikipedia by Tom Watson to order historical occurrences, personages and places in chronological order with some happenings far more distant or contemporary (see also) than one might at first believe. Give it a try and let us know what’s your longest winning-streak.

Saturday, 15 January 2022

9. being crafty occasionally (3)

Vis-a-vis the recent popularity of the game Wordle, we quite appreciated this retrospective from Public Domain Review on the development (see previously) of the modern crossword puzzle, the appeal of diversions and challenges in times of turmoil, cryptic clues and the connection of the contemporary poetry of TS Elliot. Much more to explore at the links above plus with new puzzles daily, give Wordle a try.

Friday, 7 January 2022

poฤรญtaฤovรก hra

Via Things Magazine, we discover an emulator archive of computer and arcade games created by the Slovak programming community in the late 1980s—available for download in their original versions or as English translations. More at the links above including all exhibits at the National Design Centre in Bratislava.

Saturday, 4 December 2021

townscaper

Via Web Curios, we had a lot of full building our own thassolocracy in the lagoon cell-by-cell with this aesthetically intriguing and genuinely calming diversion with animated, embellished utopia-builder, replete with architectural conventions to discover, for instance a tower composed of alternating red and white blocks will turn into a lighthouse. Copying the link and pasting it later will let you continue your civil engineering work in progress. Give it a try and share your creations with us.

Friday, 26 November 2021

7x7

limerent limerick: help in recognising unhealthy obsessions and how to work one’s way out of intrusive think—hopefully through bawdy rhymes 

there and back again: Gene Deitch’s animated short The Hobbit—the first such adaptation  

roll for perception: a collection of resources, a florilegium from a Society for Creative Anachronism member for the LARP community—via Mx van Hoorn’s cabinet of hypertext curiosities  

avenue of the sphinxes: a restored promenade between Luxor and Karnak opened with fanfare  

opiate for the masses: drug use in Antiquity 

mlhavรฝ: Martin Rak’s fog-draped forests in Saxon-Bohemia—see previously 

here’s mud in your eye: a select glossary of beer and imbibing terminology—via Strange Company’s Weekend Link Dump


 

Thursday, 25 November 2021

now i work at the pizza pizza

A brief discussion of the tabletop shuffleboard-like, disk-flicking game that the interlocutors mostly knew from the lyric from the song “King of Spain,” “playing crokinole with the Princess of Monaco” transported me back aeons ago when I was volunteer “security detail” (i.e., checking wrist-bands and stamps of people coming and going between different venues) at a music festival in Vermont with headliner Ani DiFranco and also featuring acts like Moxy Frรผvous (1989 - 2001) with their ballad retelling the Prince and Pauper story. Now I eat humble pie.

Friday, 29 October 2021

speedrun

Via Waxy, we are treated to this blended super-cut of over five-thousand game plays of the original NES Super Mario Bros. compiled and edited in the course of a year. Click through to see more about the making of this mad scramble that illustrates the adage, in one commenter’s words: “The master has failed more times than a beginner has ever tried.”

Sunday, 10 October 2021

7x7

pov: more superlative drone photography 

true facts: Ze Frank (previously) assays the mosquito 

awesome mix, vol 1 & 2: the video game adaption of Guardians of the Galaxy has a stellar soundtrack  

baby, you are so money and you don’t even known it: a quarter of a century on, in defence of Swingers, the Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau vehicle that has more heart than one might have remembered  

social justice kittens: a 2022 calendar from Liartown, USA (previously)—via Web Curios  

the montauk project: spelunking in the mothballed secretive military base, Camp Hero, that inspired Stranger Things 

hop on, hop off: in honour of the Year of the European Rail, photographer Albert Dros documents his ten-day train journey across the continent

Saturday, 18 September 2021

gastaloops

Via Swiss Miss, we quite enjoyed being introduced to the extensive, animated portfolio of graphic designer and motion artist Gasta whose GIFs cover a variety of themes, including a healthy dose of 80s and 90s arcade and adventure nostalgia as well as different projects, commissions and data visualisations. It was of course impossible to pick just one representative piece but we liked this mesmerising volley of Super Breakout! clone Arkanoid.

Friday, 17 September 2021

6x6

pontifices maximi: the denatured bridges of euro notes 

top banana: the fruit label collecting community—via Weird Universe  

toccata and fugue: Bach’s compositions—see previously—from eight perspectives  

trolley problem: pedestrians recruited involuntarily in self-driving car trials—see also 

trivia killed the video star: a look back on how quiz games replaced arcade fascination  

soli cui fas vidisse minervam: polymath Lauri Maria Caterina Bassi Veratti, nacknamed after the goddess of wisdom, first salaried female professor

Monday, 13 September 2021

1up

The anniversary distinct from Mario Day, on this day in 1985, Nintendo first released Super Mario Bros. (ใ‚นใƒผใƒ‘ใƒผใƒžใƒชใ‚ชใƒ–ใƒฉใ‚ถใƒผใ‚บ, Sลซpฤ Mario Burazฤzu) for domestic markets for their home gaming console as the continuation the franchise of characters first appearing in Donkey Kong. Scored by Koji Kondo and designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takasho Tezuka of the Creative Department, the Jump-’n’-Run side scrolling video game debuted in foreign markets two years later and is hailed as one of the most popular and influential games of all time with over fifty million copies sold of this single instalment.

Monday, 6 September 2021

ฤlea iacta est

Via the ever excellent Everlasting Blรถrt, we are directed to this pair of Roman anthropomorphic dice, silver squatting figurines weighted (equitably presumably) to fall in one of six (tesserae, though usually in games in the Empire tossed in threes) positions.

The above phrase attributed to Julius Caesar by the historian Suetonius when the general brought his provincial army into the capital is like other quotations a likely translation from the Greek borrowing from the humorist Menander, «แผˆฮฝฮตฯฯฮฏฯ†ฮธฯ‰ ฮบฯฮฒฮฟฯ‚», let a die be cast in either form the phrase meaning metaphorically reaching a point of no return from whose juncture the decisions are irreversible.

Friday, 27 August 2021

help wanted

Again via Waxy and vis-ร -vis yesterday’s post about ARGs, side-quests and scavenger hunts, we are directed towards this delightful interactive job listing (in the tradition of The Last Starfighter) from multimedia artist and entrepreneur Danielle Baskin to help find an ideal collaborator, also hiding floppy discs around San Francisco like an ad in the classifieds.

Thursday, 26 August 2021

a.i.

Via Waxy, we are treated to another instalment commemorating half a century of text gaming (see previously) with a retrospective look at the first major Alternate Reality play and the community of enthusiast who first embraced it with. The elaborate internet scavenger hunt called the Beast was made to promote the Steven Spielberg production the story of the then recently departed Stanley Kubrick touted as the blockbuster of the summer of 2001 about a sentient machine that wanted to be a real boy.  The curious were encouraged to search for hints by phone, fax and web and engaged with this immersive entertainment experience.

The interactive narrative that used entry points (coined as ‘rabbit holes’ and mirroring the plot of the movie as a sort of preview) embedded in merchandising and movie posters that take one through a network of specially created websites revolves around the investigation into a string of murders of humans and cyborgs after a cryptic message leads a doctor to believe the death in a boating accident of a colleague was more sinister than concluded. Much more at the link above and I believe followers at the time—predominately Yahoo! Groups Cloudmaker (name of the above vessel)—were wrapped up with what they knew to be just for fun, but I would if these leading clues and cues somehow informed today’s bent in favour of conspiratorial thinking and specious arguments bound together by red string.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

7x7

the dance of the proletariat: a cultural revolutionary ballet 

reefer madness: an excerpt from “Cocaine, the Princess of Perdition” (1939)  

beef and dairy network: a 1986 board game called “Grade Up to Elite Cow” 

music to moog by: Melbourne’s Electronic instrument museum  

old growth: an anthology of the most memorable trees in the literary canon  

ambiguate: a notable lacuna, lexical gap for a word that ought to have been formed 

rhythm is a dancer: a comprehensive dance music archive covering the recent past—via Things Magazine

Thursday, 29 July 2021

stamina potion

Directed towards an engrossing economics side-quest to ponder from NRP’s Planet Money, we learn how a cadre of rather ingenious individuals, to stave of the worst effect of a collapsing national currency and exponential inflation which strips money of one of its defining pillars as a store of value, to farming for computer game gold, since collecting and trading those virtual coins for primarily euro or US dollars was at a far better rate of exchange than the bolรญvar soberano and paid a better wage. Choosing the MMORPG (massively multiplayer on-line role-playing game) platform of Old School RuneScape because of its low bar to access, straightforward and relatively easy to play (especially for repetitive, income-generating tasks) and would run on older computers and not be too data intensive, their activity (not allowed according to house rules, selling to third-parties, but can’t really be stopped) has drawn supporters sympathetic to their real world plight and detractors complaining of encroachment and how it skews the in-game economy.

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

7x7

snuck out in the middle of the night: The Onion forecasted the West’s hasty departure from Afghanistan a decade ago 

fjรถgurra daga vinnuviku: a pilot experiment reducing what’s defined as full-time a stupendous success in Iceland  

nine seasons: geniuses from the Hood Internet (see previously) remixed the Seinfeld theme with a hit song from every year it aired 

carriage shift: a LEGO typewriter inspired by the model of the toy’s creator  

subrident: a story told with some edifying vocabulary words  

15-minute cities: natural language map queries 

low-level pokemon, normally easily defeated, stuck guarding locations, perhaps indefinitely: augmented reality sites abandoned at Bagram Airbase

Friday, 2 July 2021

underworld theme

Via Kottke’s Quick Links, we were quite astounded to learn that the iconic theme music composed by Nintendo sound designer Koji Kondo (่ฟ‘่—ค ๆตฉๆฒป) for different stages of play for Super Mario Brothers (caution: auto-play, see previously) is informed by some late seventies and early eighties easy-listening and soft rock songs, inspiring the syncopated rhythms that make one want to persevere. The opening riffs of the group Friendship—by special arrangement with Lee Ritenour on jazz guitar—strike one as quite familiar and makes one want to slide down a warp pipe.