Robin
16 September 2014 @ 12:00 pm
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Robin
15 September 2014 @ 12:00 pm
  • Sun, 16:32: In Real, I put on Music for Airports and it's like I'm in a Zen temple, not a supermarket.
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Robin
14 September 2014 @ 12:00 pm
  • Sat, 12:45: My touch-typing has a way to go: when I was playing LOTRO and my wife switched the light off, I was still "OHSHITOHSHIT where's the W key?"
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Robin
12 September 2014 @ 12:00 pm
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Robin
05 September 2014 @ 12:00 pm
  • Thu, 17:22: I've realised it's quicker to type with one index finger than two thumbs.
  • Thu, 17:22: RT @QuantumPirate: Freelance Englishman for hire. • Tutting • Unnecessary apologising • Weather chat • Sensible queuing Please RT, but onl…
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Robin
04 September 2014 @ 12:13 pm
  • Wed, 16:46: Assume people will try to do the right thing; don't expect them to try too hard.
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Robin
01 September 2014 @ 12:00 pm
  • Sun, 14:39: Repairing old cassettes is very nostalgic. Wait, no - it just makes me glad I don't normally have to fiddle with the damned things any more.
  • Sun, 15:00: RT @TheQuinnspiracy: If video games have taught me anything, it's that if you encounter enemies then you're going the right way.
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Robin
30 August 2014 @ 12:00 pm
  • Fri, 13:18: The past is a foreign country, with no Internet.
  • Fri, 13:19: RT @qikipedia: The Yuki people used a base 8 system instead of base 10 because they counted not with their fingers, but with the spaces bet…
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Robin
27 August 2014 @ 12:00 pm
  • Tue, 14:13: Fanatics often believe that if they die fighting for their beliefs, they will enter Heaven. Someone could help them test this hypothesis.
  • Tue, 15:06: The phantasmosphere is a necessary buffer between the way the world is and the way we evolved to think about it.
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Robin
25 August 2014 @ 06:42 pm
[Note: This is an assignment for Jay Clayton's MOOC, Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative.]

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.

These lines from Cavafy's "Ithaka" sum up what I am trying to do with this game (though it also has an obvious debt to Joyce's Ulysses). The lusory (in-game) goal is to reach "Penelope" (actually the other player) by finding your way to "Ithaca" (actually the place where she is physically located), but the aim of playing the game itself is to enjoy wandering round a city and seeing it in a different light. I thus decided to make it an alternate reality game rather than a PC game, and to use SMS as the most convenient technology (though if I ever get my hands on Google Glass, I'd love to do a version for that!).

The two players take the roles of Odysseus and Penelope. Penelope sits anywhere in the city she likes; this is Ithaca. Odysseus starts at an arbitrary location and waits for Penelope's text message which tells him where to go (could be an address, coordinates or, for a bit more challenge, an image). When he arrives, he texts her requesting a clue, which will be a place or event in the Odyssey. Odysseus has to relate where he is to the clue. For example, the city walls would be the walls of Troy, a bar called One Eyed Jack would relate to Polyphemus the Cyclops, the opera house might be the rocks of the sirens, and so on. The clues could be straightforward and literal ("How does this place relate to Circe's island?") more riddling ("Where are the Laistrygonians?") or vague ("Where are you in the Odyssey?") depending on how well the player knows the myth. The game ends, of course, when Odysseus arrives in Ithaca.

The game could be played as a way of introducing a guest to your home-town, as a race against time, as a competition between multiple Odysseuses, or as a form of teasing on a first date, and it could, of course, be adapted to other epic quests.

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