Things that make you go hmmmm

Budapest Starbucks Finder

Since there will be a delay in producing the audio podcast for this past Friday’s recording with Michael M and Phaedra, I thought I’d share a couple interesting things. This morning, on our way to Visegrád for the annual Palace Games, we stopped at the Deák Ter Starbucks for some caffeinated encouragement. I noticed the chalk sign in the coffee shop and shared it with Foursquare, and remembered the Lewis Black comedy routine where Lewis said that there are places, such as in Houston, where you could walk out of one Starbucks, and see another right across the road. Good news for those visiting Budapest, that there is a map right in the Starbucks to find another Starbucks.

A listener shared a link with us this morning that had me practically spilling my coffee — the “worst video game ever” from the New Yorker.

The fact that this video game would grant one, (yes, you got that right) one point to the player who successfully completed one full, real time equivalent eight hour trip from Tuscon, Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada is only the start of the fun. There is nothing to see or do in this game, except to pilot your bus from Arizona to Nevada. No pausing, no breaks, and driving the bus requires constant correction. I’m laughing again just thinking about what this gameplay must be like… A challenge to our listeners for the next show… Give the article a read, and mail/tweet/post to Facebook, G+, Tumblr your suggestions for what kind of business games could be launched given a similar setup.

With some good luck, my hard drive replacement and data restoration will be complete, and the show will be posted by Wednesday. This post was written from my iPad after formatting the newly installed hard drive and kicking off the restore. Maybe there’s a game in this, where I would have to stay up for hours, clicking on ‘ok’ buttons that would time out and require me to restart the whole operation again if I didn’t respond within 30 seconds. While I’m laughing a bit, I’m also concerned, since I do need this hard drive restore to work!

Episode 52 – Swapping your Battery in 90 Seconds

While many people are taking the day off in the U.S. to recover from all the sounds of the fireworks, the Michael’s take the time to check out some new glasses which you can wear via your iPad.

We then look at how a blog post by Ramin Shokrizade over at Gamasutra, where he discusses the tips and tricks that Free to Play game designers use to get money from players. We decide it would be put to much better use if we can take these techniques and use them to help business and employees improve their skills and efficiencies. Can you identify who will use a game for the best outcome verses those who may just be using it to pass time? What about how some games or businesses use progress gates to help self select players. When do you decide not to play any more? We answer all of these questions.

We then look at how Tesla is changing the rules in how long it takes to tank up your electric car! Will this help change the buying behaviors of car shoppers?

Finally, we want to hear about how you think gaming can be used to help more young women and girls become engaged in Engineering and Science. We’ll be talking about it next week on Games At Work dot Biz!

Show Links:
Glasses iPad App
Michael M’s Glasses
Michael R’s Glasses
IBM Virtual Universe Community
Ian Smith on Twitter
The Top F2P Monetization Tricks by – Ramin Shokrizade
Simpsons Tapped Out
Star Wars the Old Republic
Dungeons and Dragons Online
Dan ArielyPredictably Irrational
Under ArmourMichael’s favorite shirt
Lego iOS super heroes!
Southpark – Make Love not Warcraft
Swapping out your Battery in no time!

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Episode 51 – Tea. Bojangles. Hot.

Dan Brown's Inferno

Dan Brown’s Inferno

Phaedra and Michael M riff on a number of topics, ranging from Dan Brown’s most recent book to embeddable computing games.  The premise of Dan Brown’s Inferno, which focuses on the rapidly expanding human population on Earth provides a launchpad for thinking about how games have helped people work through very difficult situations.  Phaedra mentions that the recently discovered 3 super earths could be a solution.

Mobile isn’t just something you can do with your thumb.  While today’s mobile devices are ones that you hold in your hand, as in a smartphone or tablet, it is easy to imagine that the interface and interaction will be via voice, gesture or thought in the near future.  With this in mind, Michael and Phaedra imagine what games might be like in 5 years, when games may take advantage of embeddable and wearable computing.  Phaedra postulates that MMO-style mobile games will be the rage, with people within a certain radius will be flagged as a “level 25 mage” coming up the escalator next to you.  Michael adds that a subdermal computing device may vibrate to alert you to the presence of that character in the game, and Phaedra adds that Google Glass may show that person as the character.  Gazoom!  Laser tag where you use your body to shoot, and you would feel it based on the devices that you are wearing.  Holographic gameboards to play chess in thin air.  People acting out stories, movies, books together in the same space, or in specially designed rooms hundreds of miles away from one another.  The future’s so bright, we gotta wear shades!

We are just delighted to have had you dialed our way.  You can find us on G+, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter and much more.  Please friend, tweet, comment or even email us topics you would like to hear us discuss.

Selected show links

Dan Brown’s Inferno — http://www.danbrown.com
Super Earths — http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/06/packed-star-system-may-have-three-habitable-super-earths/
Bojangles — http://www.bojangles.com
In-n-Out Burger — http://www.in-n-out.com
Contact lenses as human augmented computing from DogearNation e119 — http://dogearnation.com/2009/09/06/dogear-nation-episode-119-heebie-jeebies/
Games for Change Conference — http://www.gamesforchange.org
Ian Bogost — http://bogost.com
Interview with Ian on e17 — http://gamesatwork.biz/2012/08/26/episode-17-things-are-weirder-than-expected/

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Podcasts and patents

A few weeks ago, both Michael M and Michael R came across the same content about a challenge to podcasts which could change the way many of us provide and receive our content. In the US there has been a claim that a specific patent from the mid 1990’s is underlying how most podcasts are created and distributed.

The podcast community has been asked to help find prior art to invalidate the patent in question. For more information please check out the following link. Also, if you are a Podcaster, please link to this article and ask your community to help out too.

Episode 50 – Sexy Time

We begin our family show with a bit of risky fun including Oculus Rift going adult with an upcoming VR Adult Game called Wicked Paradise. We reminisce a bit about old school games Leather Goddesses of Phobos and Leisure Suit Larry, and are surprised to learn that an updated to Leisure Suit Larry is just around the corner. After a bit of fun discussion we get serious discuss the latest security test on Wall Street where they are playing War Games on their infrastructure. Can they benefit from something like Chaos Monkey? What if these threats could leverage Adaptive Learning? Can you? Of course you can, check out our discussion of Knewton – the adaptive learning platform. Also, check out our post on Google+ about game based learning.

Links:
Wicked Paradise
Oculus Rift Co-Founder Dies in Police Chase Incident
Leather Goddesses of Phobos
Infocom
Leisure Suit Larry
Wall Street plays Cyber Warfare!
Chaos Monkey
Gamers really do see reality differently!
Adaptive Learning
Behind the scenes of the worst parking ever!
Desert Island Jukebox
Phaedra – Guild Wars 2
Michael R – Mine Craft
Michael M – Guantlet
Breakout!
Punch Out

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Episode 49 – Crowdsourcing & Crowdfunding

Episode 49, Crowdsourcing & Crowdfunding was recorded Friday the 14th of June 2013.

While Michael R is recovering or enjoying (or perhaps even both!) from his 6-shot espresso drinks, Michael M and Phaedra discuss adaptable games, crowdsourcing, crowdfunding and much more in this episode of the podcast.  Concepts such as gaming as a service and simulations as a service are explored, as Phaedra and Michael consider how micropayments, donations and volunteerism can speed the delivery of key functionality in games for the education and defense spaces while leveraging marketplaces such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo.  Waze and Dragon Box surface as some key examples, alongside some tried and true games such as Fold.it, Civilization, Ingress and oh, so much more.

Selected show links
From fantasy to reality: The story of Vugar Huseynzade — http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/bootroom/id/330?cc=5901
Football Manager — http://www.footballmanager.com
The Screen Savers — http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0240295/combined
Soda, Pop or Coke — http://web.ncsu.edu/abstract/science/you-say-tomato-i-say-soda-or-is-it-pop/
Civilization — http://civilization6.com
Railroad Tycoon — http://www.2kgames.com/railroads/railroads.html
Eterna — http://eterna.cmu.edu/web/
Fold.it — http://fold.it/portal/
Ingress — http://www.ingress.com
Waze — http://www.waze.com
Noah Falstein — http://www.linkedin.com/in/gamedesignexpert
Internet Response League — http://internet-response-league.com/
Crowdsourced searching for Jim Gray — http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/15-08/ff_jimgray?currentPage=1
Kickstarter — http://www.kickstarter.com
Indiegogo — http://www.indiegogo.com/
Dragon Box Algebra game — http://dragonboxapp.com
Microprose — http://microprose.com
Bean Traders — http://www.beantraderscoffee.com

We are just delighted to have had you dialed our way.  You can find us on G+, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter and more.  Please comment, friend, tweet and favorite us with topics you would like to hear more about!

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A slight delay

Due to unforeseen events Episode 49 will be slightly delayed. Our hope is to post it by Tuesday late night, instead of our normal Sunday time. We apologize to our listeners.

Episode 48 – Live at the Bean

A miracle occurs and our three co-hosts (Phaedra, Michael M. and Michael R.) all end up at the same location, at the same time, on the same day to record a Live show at our favorite coffee shop, BeanTraders. We begin by looking at how storytelling has changed over the years, and wonder if games like Haunting Melissa are the future, or just an expensive look into the past. We look into how incentives can back fire and what kind of cool games you could play for improved boarding of airplanes, and end the show looking at the latest startup festival in Durham, NC. So sit back, brew yourself a nice cup of BeanTraders Coffee (yes they do ship their beans!) and enjoy Games At Work dot Biz!!

Photographic Evidence:

Live from the Bean!

Live from the Bean!


The Michael’s

Links:
Haunting Melissa
JRR Tolkien – Biography
Thumb Wrestling
Lucha Libre
Rock’em Sock’em Robots
Paradoxo
Palinka
Cherry Coke
World of Coca-Cola
Bean Traders

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Episode 47 – Reward Substitution

At full strength the team discusses how reward substitution can be used for improved results. We also go on a bit of a rant about reward substitution in negotiations, and how it may be killing all the creativity in the Serious Games community. But before we start are Rant, Michael shares his experience watching the live stream of graduation from the School of Science and Math. Why he shares, you may ask, because it’s all about Star Wars, Jedi’s and reward Substitution. In honor of that we present you with two great Star Wars related pictures:
starwardmail
(for you Darth Vadar Mail Box fans!)

And – IMG_8472
(for fencing fans).
Michael R. then mis-remembers how you make a light saber sound- what he actually remembered was the sound of the blaster.

Michael M. gets us back on track with how Reward Substitution was used in getting people to inject themselves with interferon in early liver disease research. After this we decided that we need to get a bit more healthy by eating some bugs. Which left a bad taste in our mouth, and we ended up going on a bit of rant. And both Michael R. and Phaedra try to get Michael M. to jump on the rant with us! So we all get out our buggy whips and start beating on the car manufactures! What do you think of some of the ridiculous constraints that people are putting on serious games development? Comment below!

Show Links:
Dan Ariely
Screen Shot
LiveStream from Graduation
Cicada based Sushi
The Lost Colony and Cannibalism
Eating Bugs on Fear Factor
Call back to I game alone
Google IO
Unity 3D
Cocos2D/A>
Fold It
Flip Teaching
Diablo III
Microsoft One Announcement
Star Craft 2 – Heart of the Swarm
Zombie Level – Black Ops
Wasted Time App
Dots
Star Command
Dead Ahead

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Episode 46 – Cards Against Humanity

The Michael’s decide to take a break from Electronic games and end up talking about some cool, fun, and mind expanding card games; while our co-host, Phadera, is unfortunately unable to join us. We check out both a highly irreverent game (Cards Against Humanity) and a much more serious game of One Hat At A Time. We quickly go back and forth between old school (physical cards) to new school (with applications like “unstuck”).

So next time you have a problem take a look at a deck of cards and perhaps you will get a few new ideas. If not, how about a drink with our favorite new Raspberry Pi kickstarter – Bartnendo!

Show Links:
Cards Against Humanity
UnStuck and Site
One Hat At A Time
Creative Whack Pack
Bartendo – Kickstarter
The Robot that wants you to drink
Bender
Michael’s new Bag

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