Category Archive 'Game'

04 May 2012

Walden: The Game

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Henry David Thoreau’s cabin at Walden Pond

Henry David Thoreau went to jail rather than pay taxes to local government (when he objected to federal policies, including the Mexican War and the Constitutional tolerance of Slavery), so naturally enough the same federal government, through its National Endowment for the Arts, is using tax money to fund creation by a group of academics at the University of Southern California of a Thoreau’s Walden “game.”

Lead game designer, USC Associate Professor Tracy Fullerton explains that they are designing “a rich simulation of the woods, filled with the kind of detail that Thoreau so carefully noted in his writings.”

The simulation will “mimic the meditative outdoor life described in Thoreau’s best-known work, written about his two years spent living in a cabin on the shores of Walden Pond in Concord, Mass. The digital Walden Pond will showcase a first-person point-of-view where you can wander through the lush New England foliage, stop to examine a bush and pick some fruit, cast a fishing rod, return to a spartan cabin modeled after Thoreau’s and just roam around the woods, grappling with life’s unknowable questions.”

It is intended to serve as “an introduction for young people, who might not have read the book yet.”

There you are, $40 Grand of your tax dollars for a visual Cliff Notes experience of walking in the woods, picking berries, catching a perch, &c.

It doesn’t sound to me as if the designers have given any thought to score keeping.

Some suggestions:

Work in family pencil factory for cash — minus 10 points

Pick a quart of huckleberries — plus 10 points

Eat a groundhog — plus 30 points, but you become sick to your stomach and lose half your movement allowance for three turns

Make a campfire — plus 5 points, but you must roll dice. If you roll a pair, you have accidentally started a fire and will burn 300 acres of woods and lose 100 points

Sponge off Emerson — minus 10 points

22 Oct 2010

Beltway Adventure

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Iowahawk reprises the ancient distributed computing, pre-PC era game Adventure in an updated context.

You have to be pretty old to remember the original, but it’s hilarious if you do.

YOU ARE IN AN OVAL OFFICE. THERE IS SNOW OUTSIDE. YOU ARE BEHIND A DESK. ON DESK THERE IS A BUST OF CHURCHILL.

YOU HAVE A CONGRESS.

YOU HAVE A SENATE.

YOU HAVE A MEDIA.

YOU HAVE A TELEPROMPTER.

YOU HAVE A MILITARY.

YOU HAVE A BIG JET.

YOU HAVE $3 TRILLION OF GOLD.

YOU HAVE 82% APPROVAL HEALTH.

THERE IS 7.2% UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE FOREST.

YOU HAVE A RACE CARD.

YOU HAVE INAUGURAL PARTY LEFTOVERS.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO?

>EAT LEFTOVERS

>RETURN BUST

28 Jan 2010

Obama’s State of the Union Speech Analysed

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Cato Institute scholars demolish Obama’s State of the Union message point by point.

9:38 video

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An amusing alternative commentary may be found in HuffPo‘s State of the Union drinking game.

Entire speech 1:09:20 video

Hat tip to Michael Lawler.


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