TagGames as work

South Korea also crowd sourcing intelligence – via game

South Korea’s normally clandestine intelligence agency is running an internet game challenging citizens to spot real North Korean spies and uncover communist moles.

South Korea’s National Intelligence Service is running the game on its website, challenging ordinary citizens to keep a close eye on people who praise the communist North.

It also asks people to dob in anyone taking photos of sensitive military bases, those who stick up pro-North Korea propaganda, and even anyone who covers their mouth when they talk.

The spy agency is offering laptops, cameras and game consoles to 200 winners.

ABC: Game challenges Koreans to spot real spies

(Thanks m1k3y)

Games as work

This is “human computation,” the art of using massive groups of networked human minds to solve problems that computers cannot. Ask a machine to point to a picture of a bird or pick out a particular voice in a crowd, and it usually fails. But even the most dim-witted human can do this easily. Von Ahn has realized that our normal view of the human-computer relationship can be inverted. Most of us assume computers make people smarter. He sees people as a way to make computers smarter.

Odds are you’ve already benefited from von Ahn’s work. Like when you type in one of those stretched and skewed words before getting access to a Yahoo email account or the Ticketmaster store. That’s a Captcha, which von Ahn developed in 2000 to thwart spambots. Or there’s von Ahn’s picture-labeling games, which have lured thousands of bored Web surfers into tagging 300,000 photos online — doing it so effectively that Google bought his idea last year to improve its Image Search engine.

Full Story: Wired

(via mathpunk)

Superstruct Review: Unplayable, Unwinnable, Still Awesome – Skilluminati Research

The reason I opened this with the Nick Douglas joke — aside from the fact I thought it was funny — is the fact that all of the best content from the Superstruct project grew outside the original petri dish. Most of the best brainfood wound up growing on the Tumblr platform, which makes sense…I would especially recommend The Gupta Option.

In fact, the Superstruct information works so much better on other platforms, I’m kind of confused why they’d take the time to code up a clunky site in the first place. Check out the Reconstruct Ning page — it handles every aspect of usability and information design better than the actual site. Much like the Obama campaign, the best thing to come out of Superstruct is the community that it created. To me, that’s awesome enough to still give Jane McGonigal, Jamais Cascio and the rest of the folks at IFTF credit for a job well done.

Superstruct Review: Unplayable, Unwinnable, Still Awesome // Skilluminati Research.

Interesting collaborative game

I’m quite interested in the possibility of using games to get work done, and here’s a quite interesting application. Boing Boing explains:

The game throws up an image in a Java applet, then asks you and an anonymous “partner” elsewhere on the net to type in keywords until both of you have a word in common — IOW, until you and a stranger can agree on a good label for the picture. Presumably, this is being added to a metadata database for the purpose of cataloguing all the images on the net. Neat idea.

Idea-blogging: games as musical interface

I’m gonna do some idea-blogging over the next few days, trying to get some ideas out there for some feedback (or at least so I don’t forget them).

I’ve had this “games as musical interface” idea for a couple years. A number of “generative” and “fractal” music programs out there (check out this listing). Mostly the interfaces consist of typing in numbers, moving sliders around, or dragging something around the screen randomly. These don’t seem like engaging interfaces.

The idea of using games for an interface isn’t new: this guy has a 3D fractal music game: however, I’ve never been able to get it to run on my computer, and now I can’t even find the download on his web site. My idea is to use a series of constantly changing classic games clones – Pacman, Space Invaders, Tetris, etc. The position of different game objects act as the random data for a music and graphics generator, making it easy for almost anyone to create music and visual compositions; even if they’re not good with music or at playing games. It also creates a game in which the goal is not to “win” but to create interesting music. This could also work as a multi-player game, with the data being split between the two players.

One important aspect is that the “voices” should be configurable. Output to MIDI, or to a set of samples (a la MOD tracking programs) .

A bit of a head-trip feature I’d like to see in the game: the games constantly morph into each other. One minute you’re playing Tetris, moving a block around, and then suddenly the blocks you’ve stack start to look like a maze and your block is pac-man. Then ghosts show up and eventually the whole game is Pac-Man. You play this for a while, then it starts to turn into Space Invaders. Which then turns into Astroids. The changes are random, Tetris sometimes turns into Astroids or Space Invaders instead of Pac-Man.

Jeremy Winters doesn’t think Max/MSP is powerful enough to create something like this. I would like to see it done in Flash, but I kind of doubt that’s possible either.

See Also

Audience Participation in Music

More audience participation in music

Writing Game

This message is for Brenden Simpson – I don’t have access to ICQ right now, and I’m never sure what your e-mail address is. But, anyone interested is welcome to reply.

While I’m waiting for the perfect Live Journal narrative idea and video graffiti idea to strike me, how about:

1. We write an outline, with say 10 landmarks (more might be necessary).

2. We setup a content managment system.

3. We take turns writing 250 – 500 word chapters.

4. We plan it out so that we alterate hitting landmarks.

5. The idea is, to make it challenging for the other guy to execute his assigned point on the landmark without doing ridiculous things.

6. Also, keeping consistent with characterization will be a challenge.

7. We should probably write the outline ourselves, but it would be fun to invite more people to play.

8. One chapter a week?

Live Journal as an interactive narrative tool

Thoughts on the Live Journal interactive narrative idea:

1. I don’t want to do “the story game” (where each person writes a piece of the story).

2. I don’t want to do a simple novel serialization like Class of 91 or a “writing in public” exercise like Listener by Ellis or Unwirer by Cory Doctorow and Charlie Stross. But, I wouldn’t rule out the idea of doing a project using Movable Type, a wiki, or some other collaboration ware. (Brenden, you game?)

3. I’m thinking of trying to work with non-fiction (to be true to the journaling purpose of the community). But I don’t want to duplicate the Fray or City Stories and the like.

4. I want to find some way to integrate filters, social network features, commenting and so on.

5. Perhaps a sort of non-fiction role-playing game? Or a game with “assignments” to be carried out in real life, and then reported on in the journal?

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