2048, an addicting web game

2048 is a super addictive tile matching game.

I apologize if you lose a few hours of your life.

The insanely high score is that of my girlfriend not me.

Snap with the Gruffalo, children's card game

The classic game of snap is made interesting to my 6-year-old daughter with these fantastic Gruffalo-themed cards.

Snap is a simple matching game and you can play with a regular set of cards, but the addition of the Gruffalo and other charters from Julia Donaldson's insanely popular children's story certainly adds a lot for us.

Deck of Gruffalo snap cards
The Gruffalo, a children's story by Julia Donaldson

GeoGuessr: Street View location guessing game

Geoguessss

Anton Wallén created GeoGuessr, a fun game where you have to guess at the location of Google Maps Street View images. Not only am I terrible at geography, I haven't seen nearly enough of the planet.

Westeros (Game of Thrones) built in Minecraft

Here's a Time video about Jacob Granberry's effort to build Westeros, from Game of Thrones, in Minecraft. More at WesterosCraft. (Thanks, Ben Cosgrove!)

Augmented reality game about NYC's Jewish cultural history

I think one of the most fascinating uses of augmented reality is to reveal the "secret histories" of neighborhoods, buildings, and other locations when you are actually in those spaces. Jewish Time Jump: New York is a new mobile AR game meant to teach young people about New York City's rich cultural history of Jewish immigration and the women's and labor movements of the early 20th century. Jewish Time Jump was created by ConverJent, a nonprofit focused on Jewish learning games, with a grant from the Covenant Foundation, a Jewish education group. I haven't played Jewish Time Jump yet but it is a finalist in the 2013 Games for Change Awards for "Most Innovative." From The Jewish Week:

In a 21st-century twist on the scavenger hunt, players find the requisite clues by physically moving to locations inside and across the street from (Washington Square Park), which is adjacent to the building that once housed the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. (Today it, like most of the buildings surrounding the park, is part of New York University.) As players move from location to location, archival photos, events and characters appear on their mobile devices, triggered by GPS technology. Students also view historical documents — such as old Yiddish newspaper pages (with translations) and flyers — on their mobile devices as they play…

Asked why he chose an episode of labor history — the game deals with the New York shirtwaist strike of 1909, also known as the Uprising of the 20,000 — as opposed to another Jewish topic, (ConverJent founder Rabbi Owen Gottlieb) said that immigrant history is “already a part of many schools’ curricula” and that he liked how this topic incorporated women’s history and provided “fascinating conflict.”

Jewish Time Jump: New York

"Touch-Screen Time Travel In The Park" (The Jewish Week)

Don't yell BINGO unless you mean it

Austin Whaley, 18, was arrested last month for yelling "bingo!" in a Covington, Ky bingo hall when he didn't really have bingo. The crowd of mostly elderly people grew angry and when Whaley refused to apologize, he was arrested for disorderly conduct. The judge barred him from the bingo hall and ordered him not to utter the word "bingo" for six months either. Good thing he didn't yell theater in a crowded fire. (TODAY News)

Surgeon Simulator 2013 game

Bossa Studios created the surgery game "Surgeon Simulator 2013" in a weekend. It's somewhere between Operation, advanced medical training simulations, and splatterpunk films. From the description on Steam Greenlight:

You are Nigel Burke... an ordinary guy, with no outstanding skills. Somehow forced to perform an array of vastly complicated procedures, using any tools available. Your goal will be to complete every operation in the quickest time possible, with minimal blood loss!
"Surgeon Simulator 2013"

Death Wish 3, the computer game

In 1985, Charles Bronson went 8-bit in the Death Wish 3 computer game from Gremlin Graphics for the ZX Spectrum, Armstrad CPC, and Commodore 64. It was an intensely violent and gory game. For the time, people, for the time. You can download the TZX tape image here, the Amstrad CPC version here, and likely locate the C64 version via GB64.com. (via @death_waltz_records on Instagram)

Play a forecasting game about the future of civic engagement

My Institute for the Future colleague Jake Dunagan is hosting a 24-hour online forecasting game to imagine the future of government services and civic engagement. It's called Connected Citizens and there are still a few hours left to play!

The near future holds epic opportunities for rapid innovation in government services. New civic technologies will be built with open data, ubiquitous cloud connectivity, and real-time sensing. Connected Citizens is a global conversation about how connectedness will change the relationship between citizens and governments, and how government services will be designed and delivered in the future.
Connected Citizens

History of Foosball

NewImageHow did Foosball spread from parlors in Fin de siècle Europe to rec rooms mainstay and dot-com cliche? In the new issue of Smithsonian, Derek Workman delves into the history of tabletop football and its unclear origin.
NewImageAlexandre de Finesterre has many followers, who claim that he came up with the idea , being bored in a hospital in the Basque region of Spain with injuries sustained from a bombing raid during the Spanish Civil War. He talked a local carpenter, Francisco Javier Altuna, into building the first table, inspired by the concept of table tennis. Alexandre patented his design for fútbolin in 1937, the story goes, but the paperwork was lost during a storm when he had to do a runner to France after the fascist coup d'état of General Franco. (Finesterre would also become a notable footnote in history as one of the first airplane hijackers ever.)
"The Murky History of Foosball"

Future of Hospitals online forecasting game

My Institute for the Future colleague Bradley Kreit and collaborators have launched a new online forecasting game you can play today and tomorrow about the future of hospitals. From a press release:

The Future of the Hospital, created and produced by Institute for the Future (IFTF) with the sponsorship of the California Health Care Foundation and Guidon Performance Solutions, is an online forecasting game designed to inspire a conversation about a new 21st century role for community hospitals, starting from the ground up—drawing on the insights of health and health care experts as well as ordinary people all over the world…

Players watch a brief 2-minute research-based scenario video, then share brief Twitter-length ideas, or cards that inspire chain reactions and linked brainstorms on topics by other players. The outcome will be an aggregation of new ideas, opportunities and solutions for community hospitals...

Sponsors will take the best of the “big ideas” generated from the analysis post event and integrate them into best practices and strategies for community hospitals across the country. Following the game, a post game summary with be available to the pubic highlighting key ideas that will be available to all game players.

Future of Hospitals

Videogame simulates "a slower speed of light"

MIT researchers developed a game that simulates the weird relativistic effects of slowing down the speed of light.

A Slower Speed of Light is a first-person game prototype in which players navigate a 3D space while picking up orbs that reduce the speed of light in increments. Custom-built, open-source relativistic graphics code allows the speed of light in the game to approach the player's own maximum walking speed. Visual effects of special relativity gradually become apparent to the player, increasing the challenge of gameplay. These effects, rendered in realtime to vertex accuracy, include the Doppler effect (red- and blue-shifting of visible light, and the shifting of infrared and ultraviolet light into the visible spectrum); the searchlight effect (increased brightness in the direction of travel); time dilation (differences in the perceived passage of time from the player and the outside world); Lorentz transformation (warping of space at near-light speeds); and the runtime effect (the ability to see objects as they were in the past, due to the travel time of light).
"A Slower Speed of Light"

Blindside, a new "3D audio-only adventure game" for iOS

Last October, I blogged about a Kickstarter to create "a video game with no graphics, played entirely using audio." The game is Blindside, and it's finished! Now available through the App Store for iPhone4/iPad2+. The project was inspired by co-creator Aaron Rasmussen's temporary blindness as a result of an explosion in high school chemistry.

BlindSide is an audio adventure game, set in a fully-immersive 3d world you’ll never see. Put on headphones, hold your iPhone, and face the direction you want to go. Listen as the world rotates around you and explore the darkness.

You play as Case, an assistant professor who wakes up blind, to find his city destroyed and mysterious creatures devouring people. Will you and your girlfriend be able to find your way without sight? How will you escape? Run for your life, save the girl, and uncover the mystery of the apocalypse--all in the dark!

Blindside.

(thanks, Joe Sabia!)

Steampunk Portal cosplay boots


Batman-and-bananas from DeviantArt created a fantastic springheeled set of cosplay boots as part of a steampunk version of Chell from Portal 2.

These started as two pairs of shoes, one cheap pair of black pleather boots and an old pair of canvas shoes. The heel 'spring' is actually plastic tubing as I could screw this straight into the heel to secure it firmly (plus a lot more sensible to walk in).

Steampunk Portal Boots (via Craft)

Let's play a game: Guess what's being patented!

Reader iainmclean works in research and development, which means iainmclean reads a lot of patent-ese. Via the new, awesomer Submitterator, iainmclean sent us an excellent example of how the language used in a patent application can make it very difficult to tell what, exactly, is being patented.

Here's how the game is played. First, read the paragraph below:

An apparatus, comprising: a flexible elongate member that defines at least one lumen and is configured to be inserted within a body passageway of a patient, wherein the flexible elongate member includes a proximal portion, a distal portion, and a medial portion disposed between the proximal portion and the distal portion, and wherein the distal portion is movable between a substantially linear configuration and a curved configuration; and a stiffening member coupled to the flexible elongate member, the stiffening member being movable to a selected location along a length of the flexible elongate member to modify the flexibility of the selected location of the flexible elongate member, and wherein the stiffening member includes a first portion and a second portion, the first portion having a first stiffness and the second portion having a second stiffness different than the first stiffness.

Next, check out the attached image and see if it matches up with what you imagined. Hint: The image is much more safe for work than I guessed it would be.