Monthly Archives: January 2005

I love the premise of the Waag society’s new mobile learning game "Frequency 1550":

"The Amsterdam UMTS-network is interfering with a different time period:
the Middle Age. The city’s bailiff gets in contact with the 21st
century Amsterdam. He thinks the players are pilgrims coming to 1550
Amsterdam to visit a relic: the Holy Host associated with The Miracle
of Amsterdam. He promises an easy access to citizenship if players can
help him retrieve the holy relic which recently got lost."

Although, surely if people from the future are communicating with you through a crack in spacetime made by their futurephones,  I’m not sure offering them freedom of the city would be your first thought.

  » Frequency 1550 [found via We-make-money-not-art]

From Marko:

"Professor Henry Jenkins, the Director of the Comparative Media Studies Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is visiting Helsinki and has agreed to give a talk on “Serious Play” as part of the Aula klubi series.

Professor Jenkins will speak on Wednesday 19 January at 6:00 PM at Korjaamo, Töölönkatu 51 b in Helsinki. The event will be held in English and is free and open to the public, so once again, please spread the word!"

The announcement is here from Aula themselves.

Not to be missed if you’re a Helsinki player…

Massive Change… after a couple of goes round in the dishwasher
Originally uploaded by blackbeltjones.

I bought some plastic beakers with pretty op-art infographics on them from the Massive Change exhibit in Vancouver back in October.

After only 2 months normal usage and washing in a dishwasher, they have all developed microfissures through the plastic and one has split completely…

Not much of a testament of the power of design, manufacture and technology preached by Mau in the exhibition…


^ A panel from the wonderful, uplifting end sequence of The Filth

Paul from induce/deduce posts a playful idea today:

“In the midst of 2 recently announced games involving cultivating vegetables in Japan or your own garden in France, I want to try to put together the recent ideas I’ve had of a massively multiplayer GPS mobile phone green game.

Goal: A community of players working together to compensate the real pollution and eyesores of a city by planting and taking care of virtual flowers and other plants on a virtual data layer superimposed on the city.”

It’s a wonderful concept, and resonates with a lot of the work I’ve been doing over the last few months on social play, and the human fundamental drive to play.

Paul lists some aspirations for his idea:

  • “ability to play on the move, for as little as a few minutes to as long as you want,
  • makes you actively go out of your routine way to discover the city,
  • dynamically links the real world with its virtual overlayed layer in space and time too (some object are only available in certain regions or during certain times of the day, phase of the moon or season.
  • is not a battle.
  • encourages community building.

Sounds fantastic, and I hope he gets it off the ground – heh.

It would be wonderful to look through one’s phone screen at the city and see it as Greg Feely does at the end of Morrison and Weston’s “The Filth”: teeming with digital flora tended by thousands of familiar strangers.

More ding-dong on the authority of Wikipedia recently, with much of the debate swirling around Many-2-Many.

Clay Shirky posted something that caught my eye there today, which is to side-step the argument with information design.

He proposes a ‘dashboard’ for each entry, allowing the browser to make his or her own mind up to the veracity of the information by making transparent the contributions and changes to that entry over time.

This, to me, was precisely what Martin Wattenburg was exploring with his History Flow project for IBM, but using visualisations to allow one to assess the ‘shape’ of the entry’s evolution quickly.

Teaming this up with Edward Tufte’s Sparklines concept i.e. visualisations of supplementary information inline to the main text led me to mock-up something that gives the user Clay’s “trust profile per item” married with Martin’s visualisation effect to give a quick idea to the user of the entry’s history.: Historyflow sparklines.

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