Episode 156 – AI for All

For what may be the final Games At Work recording of 2016, Michael and Michael get ready to welcome our new robotic overlords in all the ways they may arrive.

First off, the co-hosts marvel at how Google Translate has made dramatic improvements through the rewrite completed in a mere nine months, turbocharging the understanding of language, and making the automatic translation of text and full sites even more powerful. Michael R has even set up our own website to use the service to translate Games At Work into a language of your choosing. Unfortunately, Klingon and Pirate are not currently available choices.

Switching gears from language AI to automotive AI, Michael and Michael discuss the new capabilities that Nvidia is unlocking, as well as the recently announced Waymo spinoff from Alphabet approaching the challenges of mobility from an AI perspective.

Going from AI to AL (as in Yankovich), Michael M shares the ALsongs.com website which is oh so handy, to help you find the lyric that’s been floating around in your brain, along with the song being parodied. Bookmarked!

And talking about bookmarking sites, the team concludes with an intriguing article which describes how researchers can capture a person’s interest by reading their EEG brainwaves and in their tests, bookmarking the relevant Wikipedia pages. Amazing.

From the science fiction meets reality, know that you can now buy yourself an authentic original series Star Trek communicator, which will pair with your cellphone and allow you to talk with your friends & colleagues, and prepare for your away team adventure. How cool!

selected links

New York Times article — The great AI awakening — http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/14/magazine/the-great-ai-awakening.html

TechCrunch article — Nvidia is now clear to test self-driving vehicles on California roads — https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/08/nvidia-is-now-clear-to-test-self-driving-vehicles-on-california-roads/

Waymo — https://waymo.com

Spectrum iEEE article — Google’s car graduates to standalone business —
http://spectrum.ieee.org/cars-that-think/transportation/self-driving/googles-car-graduates-to-standalone-business

ALsongs — http://alsongs.com

TechCrunch article — Researchers use machine learning to pull interest signals from readers’ brain waves — https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/14/researchers-use-machine-learning-to-pull-interest-signals-from-readers-brain-waves/

Emotiv headset — https://www.emotiv.com

MacRumors article — Apple AirPods now estimated to ship in 6 weeks — http://www.macrumors.com/2016/12/14/airpods-now-ship-in-6-weeks/

Bluetooth 5.0 — http://www.trustedreviews.com/opinions/what-is-bluetooth-5
Star Trek Communicator with awesome videos via ThinkGeek — https://www.thinkgeek.com/product/iphv/

Games the hosts are doing

Playing Michael M: just starting Walkr — https://walkrgame.com/en/

Reading Michael R. – The Last Firewall (Singularity Series Book 3) by William Hertling — http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18305964-the-last-firewall

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Episode 121 – Coffee and Podcast

Our Crazy Co-Hosts at Bean Traders

Our Crazy Co-Hosts at Bean Traders


The Michael’s spend the morning at BeanTraders Coffee talking about this week’s interesting stories around gaming technology and play…We also throw in a few other stories we found while surfing the interwebs. What do you think about a fitness tracker in your glasses? What about pointed ears? How about short – little cars?

Michael M. then gets us up to speed on the idea of Pop-Up Chorus, and shares his most recent event singing some They Might be Giants. If you are local you can join him at MotorCo in Durham to sing some Cure and ABBA songs. While you are there, if you bring your laptop – don’t forget to bring you Laptop Butler!

We end up having fun talking about watching Let’s Bowl and Strip Mall. So drop us a note, comment, or rating about your favorite show, game or technology, we’d love to hear from you.

Show Links
Insurance Glasses
Solar Powered Glasses
For the Love of Spock
The new Mercedes Smart Car
More Google Car Granny Stories
Pop-Up Chorus
Motor Co Music Hall
Laptop Butler
Let’s Bowl
Downtown Julie Brown

Michael R getting ready to record the show

Michael R getting ready to record the show

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Getting All Emotiv(tional)

Co-Host Michael R here … it seems that things keep conspiring against the cohosts getting together to record a show, so I thought a quick blog post of things going on would be helpful.
Emotiv Insight Box
First – this week both Michaels received their Emotiv Insight headsets. We are both iOS users for our cell phones, so we are in a bit of a quandary. Tan and the team over at Emotiv, had a great Kickstarter that we both supported and this past week the headset arrived. Unfortunately for us both, Apple recently changed their BTLE implementation which broke the iOS app for the headset. At this time they are expecting to be able to ship the iOS app sometime in August.
This got me to thinking… Can I still capture the data on the headset and then upload it to the app in August? I had a very bad set of migraines over the last few days, and it would be amazing if I could see how my brain was behaving during the migraine. To be honest, this is one of the reasons I got the new headset… I want to be able to start quantifying my headaches, and aligning them to the data from the headset.
I was also excited to that a local company had an app for the headset. Neuro+ is a local company that is looking at how ADHD can be addressed in kids. To that end they are using the headset in a new game. I tried to download the game, but was disappointed to learn that I needed to sign up for a monthly service to even try it out. (Yes, they did offer 30 days free trial, but after you put in your credit card, and given the number of security breaches in the news lately, I figured I didn’t want yet another website to have my data).
Have any of our listeners ordered their Emotiv Insight? Do you have the android app? What do you think? We’d love to hear about your experiences.

Episode 99 – Free Beer Tomorrow


We celebrate episode 99 with three co-hosts talking about some really cool serious games. An episode so good it is SCAREY!!! Our games cover the gambit of history, geometry, leadership, and DNA. We begin with a game targeting high school students and let them understand what it was like to be a Czech citizen during some very turbulent times. The art style is very film noir. We spend some time on Chocolate Covered Broccoli, and commit a few Word Crimes. We also go back to the idea of, is it right to secretly teach things? Does it have to be a hidden when you teach kids things? Can you teach fluid dynamics with games?

While not quite a review episode, Phaedra takes us through a series of shot outs to a crop of cool, serious, games which are coming down the pipe!

As we come up on Episode 100 next, we want your feedback and ideas, hints, tips, and thoughts!!

Show Links:
Silent Hill 2
Czechoslovakia 38-89
The Prague Spring
Charles University – Prague
DragonBox Elements
The Secret to Chocolate covered Broccoli
Word Crimes Video by Weird Al
Triad Interactive Media’s – Far-Plane
Nanocrafter
Pee Monkey – Toilet TrainerVideo
Netflix and Chaos Monkey
Emotiv
Episode 29 – Simon Says
Spider Pig Video

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Episode 85 – SoundScapes

This week we welcome the “Jamie and Adam Savage of Audio” – Scott Looney and Steve Horowitz from the Game Audio Institute to the show. We discuss the importance of sound in game design, as well as have a ton of fun talking the technology of sound. Your co-hosts Sandy Kearney, Michael Martine, and Michael Rowe all chime in on how sound influences the experience of games and learning (We miss you Phaedra!). We also discuss some of the games we are playing. Sandy takes us into the CAVE at Villanova to discuss how sound impacts our emotional impact in a virtual space.

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Show Links:
Steve Horowitz
Scott Looney and Metaphysical Media
Game Audio Institute
Learning to do sound design for games
Neuromantic Productions
Interactive Audio Special Interest Group
Sonic Scoop – Review of Scott and Steve’s new book
The Sound Architect – Review
HRTF
Dolby ATMOS
Emotiv
Made Fire
Bit Trip Runner
Fract
Farmville 2 – Country Escape
Star Wars Pinball
King of the Road

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Episode 71 – Grinding at Work

Board Games
Episode 71, Grinding at Work was recorded Friday the 3rd of January 2014 — Happy New Year!

Phaedra, Michael and Michael start the new year off with a bang, sharing the games that they’ve been playing over the holidays, discussing the Virtuix Omni 360 degree treadmill device, and exploring how grinding gaming experiences may lend themselves to improved customer and employee engagement. A very interesting gamification idea emerges for how Kinect-like devices could provide biofeedback to call center employees to help them stay “in the zone” and be as effective as possible. Have a listen!

Selected show links:
Games we’re been playing over the holidays
Clumsy Ninja — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/clumsy-ninja/id561416817?mt=8
Real Racing 3 — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/real-racing-3/id556164008?mt=8

Apples to Apples — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apples_to_Apples
Cranium — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cranium_(game)
Blackjack — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackjack
Texas Hold ‘Em — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_hold_%27em

Lego Hobbit — http://www.lego.com/legogames/en-us/Products/Details/3920.aspx
Tiny Thief — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tiny-thief/id656620224?mt=8
Mega Dead Pixel — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mega-dead-pixel/id667405556?mt=8

Association of Virtual Worlds — http://www.associationofvirtualworlds.com

Omni videos, including Minecraft, Skyrim, and much more — http://www.virtuix.com/videos/

Math before mailing (from 2008!) — http://gmailblog.blogspot.hu/2008/10/new-in-labs-stop-sending-mail-you-later.html

Simpsons Tapped Out — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-simpsons-tapped-out/id497595276?mt=8

Kinect — http://www.xbox.com/en-US/kinect

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Episode 62 – Gamification Carrots & Sticks

Phaedra and Michael M hold down the fort for the podcast, discussing the treatment of video games in the media in the wake of the tragic Navy Yard shootings and drawing some interesting thoughts on the nature of serious games to assist with mental health.

Gamifying Travel
They continue with a discussion on gamifying travel, and explore an idea where the game is to crowdsource the best travel options & prices between city pairs, setting up a competition to find the best solution using humans instead of algorithms.  The suggestion for how to monetize this game brings up the experiment in Sweden with the speed camera lottery, where abiders (those who observe the posted speed limit) are entered into a lottery to win the fines of those that speed.  As is their nature, Phaedra and Michael explore ways to game the game, and come up with some interesting solutions, including having an option in Waze to optimize travel routing to maximize entry into such contests and methods to avoid creating situations such as in Benson NC where people might cruise up and down the road in hopes of getting more entries in the lottery.

Gamifying work processes
Strava is a geolocation-based exercise game for runners and bikers that reward the fastest times on a stretch of road with a crown to be defended and won back, should someone best your time.  Strava is used as a base to consider whether there’s a way to find a process that we want people to comply with, want them to execute as quickly as possible, minimize escapes by reinforcing abiders are put into a lottery to win something of value to them.  The additional randomness of the reward – the carrot – may get more people to opt in and play.  Figuring out what is meaningful to the player is key.  How can gamification and serious games help people to adopt a new process with carrots and sticks?   There is a game in there, we just need to tease it out.  We would love to hear your ideas!

upcoming conferences 
Michael M will be speaking at IBM Business Connect ( http://www-01.ibm.com/software/de/events/businessconnect/agenda.html ) on the theme of Smarter Supply Chain on the 15th of October in Mannheim, Germany.  His other speaking engagements may be found on Lanyrd – http://lanyrd.com/profile/carolinabigblue/

Phaedra will be a panelist on October 28th, at TransOvation (http://www.transovation.org) in San Jose, California, focusing on the theme of “New Technologies and Workplace Practices That Can Help Organizations Become More Innovative”

Selected show links:
Huffington Post article “House Set To Examine Link Between Video Games, Culture Of Violence In Wake Of Navy Yard Shooting”  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/20/video-game-lobby_n_3957441.html
Sweden’s speed camera lottery — http://www.thefuntheory.com/speed-camera-lottery-0
Strava – http://www.strava.com/mobile

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Episode 57 – These Are Not The Hosts You Are Looking For

While our Co-Host Michael Martine is on a bit of a well deserved holiday, Phaedra and Michael R look at wether Carrot is a good example of a social to do app. We also review how social investment may work based on Wired magazine’s work with Kapital, and then we go off on a tangent when Michael R – mis-reads an article. We look forward to our rescheduled interview with Emotiv CEO Tan Le. And, we tee up the idea of ethics and a game’s actual intent – should they be obvious to the player? All this and more – on Games At Work dot Biz!

Show Links:
Emotiv Kick Starter
Stealth Version
Carrot App
The Social Index
When the Title is mis-leading

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Episode 56 – The Shame Game

Do you want to overlay the world or replace it? This is the question that your friendly co-hosts discuss as we learn that Oculus Rift has gotten a new CTO. Do you want to augment your face with constant data and insights? What layer of the world are you watching? Were the Vapors prescient in the their lyrics for “Turning Japanese?

Phaedra then gives us insights in the minds of finding a good sale. Is this the ultimate game for some? How viscerally do you play your savings game? Is it fun to save your business money by playing the compliance game? We have a bit of rant on the value of gaming compliance. What do you think, let us know in the comments below.. Do you play the shame game?

Stay tune for our special guest next week – Emotiv CEO Tan Le! Go support their KickStarter for the Emotiv Insight

Show Links:
twitter has a business model
Halcyon Days – Jason and the Scorchers

John Carmack Joins Oculus as CTO
High Fidelity
Dark Helmet reference
Google Chromecast – that Chrome thingy…

Who’s got time to Play Games

Business Travel is Dying
Gamifying Travel Compliance

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Episode 55 – Do Not Play This Game At Work

Tom Grant, analyst from Forrester Research, joins the show to talk about his new website Serious Games At Work and his love of board games. We look at a listener link on do Games at Work really help productivity. Realizing they are probably asking the wrong question. They should be asking – Should you be playing pirates games at work? If so, who get’s the red stapler?

Seriously, we discuss that the game part has to be more of a periodic entry into the Magic Circle, and not a mandatory daily activity. This allows businesses to achieve effective optimization, while still keeping the game fresh and engaging. Have you thought about refreshing your serious game content to keep your employees or customers engaged?

Show Links:
Serious Games At Work
Twitter
Crusader Kings II
Scourge of War – Gettysburg
Breakaway Games
Avalon Hill
World Boardgame Championships
Homo Ludens
Buy A Feature
Do Games At Work Help Productivity
Microsoft’s Language Quality Game

Obligatory causal reference to Daniel Pink

Monopoly removes jail
The Dinner Party Download
The Rant Episode

Saving Throws:
Emotiv Insight Kickstarter
Jaw Bone Up Team
Hospital Process Game
Serious Games At Work
Endgame Eurasia

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