When games invade real life

(Via Ted.com)

See also: 5 creepy ways video games are trying to get you addicted


Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world

So far, World of Warcraft players have spent 5.93 million years solving problems in the game. . Jane McGonigal

“We’re witnessing what amounts to no less than a mass-exodus to virtual worlds and online game environments” – economist Edward Castronova

Wired: Reality Is Broken. Game Designers Must Fix It

Human computation, a talk by Luis von Ahn

Over 9 billion human hours of solitaire was played in 2003.

Luis von Ahn talks about how to “constructively channel human brainpower using computer games. For example, the ESP Game, described in this talk, is an enjoyable online game — many people play over 40 hours a week — and when people play, they help label images on the Web with descriptive keywords.” Not sure that is very useful or constructive, or fun, but perhaps some other real world game can be made using the same mechanisms.

Toy mashup: Darth Vader says … meow!

Not the most advanced mod but I liked how our “brave” cat reacted when I tested a meowing Darth Vader on him.

Conclusion: Darth Vader still has the power of the dark side! :)

Cat Communication

I later learned that only kittens meow. Adult cats only meow to communicate their needs to humans, they won’t meow when communicating with each other. Instead the rely on body language, purring and growling. So when your cat meows at you, it is basically playing kitten with you.

Toy Mashup

This is a first in a series of Mini-DIYs where I will try mashing up parts from different thrift store toys.

Web meets world

I really enjoyed this talk by Tim O’Reilly at Web 2.0 Expo in New York, it has that great mix of tech and social responsibility that is so important to achieve. I’m currently a bit sick and tired of the myriad of new social media websites that pop up all the time, all doing basicly the same things, trying to connect people that are already connected up to their eyeballs. But connected to what, and to whom?

Take Dopplr. I registered there as I do on almost all new sites, just to check it out, and hooked up with the two other people I could find in my contacts, and after that I haven’t checked in. Why should I? I have no urgent need to know where ANYONE is. As a matter of fact, I would preffer if people STOPPED travelling, and instead stayed home and planted some apple trees. And I know that they added some CO2 calculator thingy to show how much you have killed the planet, but everyone knows that this is just an attempt to be politically correct, while the underlying business idea is to get people to travel more. And perhaps buying a clean conscience while you’re at it.
UPDATE: Dopplr was closed down in 2009, after a buyup by Nokia.

So it is refreshing when Tim O’Reilly talks about focusing on making websites that does “something that matters”, like Witness or Prosper.com and many others, who are trying to use the web to connect people over something important.

I’ve noticed that I have started to be more conservative about what kind of sites I spend time on or join, not because I no longer like procrastinating, but because there is so little there to feed the soul.

I keep ending up on a few favorite sites, like TED and This American Life (or at least downloading their podcasts). TED because it gives me the whole experience of the TED conference without polluting the crap out of the earth flying there, and This American Life just for making me smile and cry and feeling human. And I’m consuming gigabytes of information on gardening!

And I keep wondering what this means. Is it just me, or is there perhaps a more general feeling of “internet fatigue” going on, or “internet flu”?

Code: Gameinfo + Gametrailers + Youtube Mashup

Norsk? Du finner en norsk versjon av denne artikkelen på NrkBeta.no

I recently made a Gameinfo service for spiller.no. It pulls in licenced gameinfo from our partner GameXplore though XML, and combines it with a search for related videoes from Youtube before it is presented on the page.

Example: FIFA STREET 3 Gameinfo – NRK Spiller

Youtube + Google Api
I made the Youtube part as a standalone page, and I include it with iframe. The reason I used Iframe was to make it easily reusable on other projects where it would fit to do something similar. I can for instance include it in my blog like this:

The page takes any search term as a GET, in this example it simply queries the youtube google api with the title of the game, with a few extra parameters (limit on the number of returned movies + a filter to remove “adult content”). I spent some time to create the XSLT to convert the xml from youtube/google to html, which is basically the same format for many of Googles services. I spent hours trying to find out if someone had created this already, but since I couldn’t find anything I had to create it myself. If you want to learn more about the youtube api I suggest starting at the Youtube Api group on Google Groups.

Open source

I have gotten some emails asking for the xslt for the youtube search, so I wanted to share it here:

This is my input, an example Youtube search

This is my example output:

And here is the xslt I used to produce the above result:

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.

Spam? Porn? Nope!
I was of course a little worried about what the youtube search would return, so when testing I went through quite a few games to see if the search returned movies that were unrelated to the gametitle, or contained nudity, but so far it looks really good, the youtube videos are actually the most interesting part of the service, so I’m really happy with it!

Blip.tv gametrailers
Yesterday I also added gametrailers to the mix, check out the gamepage for Assassins Creed for an example (click on the huge image at the top of the page) to make it play. I have bought a lisence for the wonderful Jeroen FLV Media Player which I use to present the gametrailers.

New gametrailers page, based on blip.tv
After that I spent a few minutes to create a new page that lists all the latest gametrailers published through GameXplore. I use the Jeroen Flv Media Player for this page as well. I created this yesterday, so I have to debug it a little bit before we start to promote it, and I also have to consider to increase the video buffer time, it seems like blip.tv har pretty slow servers. Right now there is a five second buffer, which should be more than enough, but even with broadband connection the video stops and buffers every five second. I don’t want people to wait forever for the video to buffer, but it is super irritating when the video stops every 5 seconds to buffer, so I have to decide what to do with it. One (hard) solution could be to download all the .flv to my server and play them from there… I am a big fan of blip.tv, they have the best player around, and their cross posting abilities are great (at least in theory, I still haven’t gotten it to work with this blog or myspace), so I am a little dissapointed to discover that the blip.tv servers (or lines?) are so slow to deliver video. (to Norway at least).

I love the Jquery javascript library, and I love Thickbox, so I decided to use it on the Screenshots on the site, popping them up in their own little box. I modidied the thickbox script and css slightly, replacing the animated loading gif and moved things around a little bit, and I am really happy about the outcome.

Add the spiller.no Gameinfo search to your browser

Spiller.no Gameinfo

Sjekk ut info, screenshots, trailers og anmeldelser på nye og kommende spill:

So there it is, hope you like it :)

To embed the search in your site:

<div class=”placeholder”><h3>Spiller.no Gameinfo</h3>
<span style=”color: #fff; width: 160px; font-size: 0.8em;”>Sjekk ut info, screenshots, trailers og anmeldelser på nye og kommende spill:</span>
<form id=”gamesearchform” name=”gamexploresearch” enctype=”application/x-www-form-urlencoded” method=”get” action=”http://www.nrk.no/spiller/gameinfo/?”>
<input type=”hidden” value=”143″ name=”task”/>
<input style=”padding: 1px 0 2px 0; width:100px; border:1px solid #F7F7F7; border-width: 0pt 1px 1px 0pt;” type=”text” value=”” maxlength=”500″ name=”finn”/>
<button type=”submit”><span>Søk</span></button>

Mina Hadjian på Hovefestivalen

Av og til tar fantomet (meg) på seg kamerabag og drar ut i verden for å lage tv. Her er noen klipp fra Hovefestivalen i 2007, som stod i gjørmebrytingens og skamklippingens tegn. Herlige Mina Hadjian, min store helt, stod foran kamera, og jeg stod bak.

Disse reportasjene ble filmet mens Mina var i harde tak med NRK-ledelsen, og jeg husker jeg var ekstemt imponert over hvor proff hun var. Hun kunne være i en ganske het telefonsamtale, og få sekunder etterpå var det bare SNAP, og hun leverte. Husker også jeg ble litt overrasket over hvor populær hun var blandt Hovepublikumet, som bortimot hev gullkorn etter oss. For eksempel disse jentene som kom bort til oss når vi satt og spiste lunsj, og lurte på om Mina ville klippe en av dem. Som sagt så gjort, vi hentet en saks og satte i gang. Aldri har vel “gjør hva du vil” vært ytret på så feil tidspunkt. Se selv hvordan det gikk!

Flere klipp

Naken Hovegud – Se Minas nakenløp

Mina har vondt i hove

Mina skamklipper jente

Mina arrangerer gjørmebryting

Mina på shopping

Mina og Toffen heiser flagget

Mina er våt

Mina er ikke skitten

Flere Mina-klipp finner du i P3TV