Computer Games

An article in the London Review by John Lanchester, discusses the place of games in our culture, as they assume more and more economic weight. His economic terms are imprecise, but I think he is saying that this year, for the first time, video game turnover (£4.64bn) in the UK exceeded books (£4.1bn) and music/videos…

Brand management a la Affinova

Bizarre piece in Business Week about a company called Affinova. Affinova uses geeky software for industrial packaging and brand design. The software, “a “genetic algorithm” called IDDEA, essentially simulates evolution, creating generation after generation of possible products or packaging until the strongest possible design emerges.” At each stage the designs are scored by a panel…

Discontinuum

Squidsoup have used their light box to produce a beautifully eloquent image of space and time. They say: “A camera feed is passed through physical space over time, creating imagery that contains fragments from a range of times simultaneously. Unlike a 2D image taken over a long duration – which would essentially be a blur…

False memory syndrome.

Several thoughts about false memories, which are apparently quite easy to create. What are the wider social implications of sneaking ideas and affects into our heads via the back door? Elizabeth Loftuss article in SciAm records an experiment in which subjects were told of a supposed childhood incident (being lost in a shopping mall at…

Internet backbones

A BBC story about a severed cable carrying the internet has links to maps of the network. Interroutes network is here and the Reliance network here A statement by France Telecom says: “A first appraisal at 7:44 am UTC gave an estimate of the following impact on the voice traffic (in percentage of out of…

Milgram re-visited

A paper by Slater et al reports a version of the Milgram experiment in which the victim being given electric shocks was virtual (and known to the experimental subjects to be so.) The authors say: “Our objective has not been the study of obedience in itself, but of the extent to which participants would respond…

Whither second life?

Eric Krangel has a post on the future of Second Life. He used to run the virtual Reuters bureau in SL, which has just closed. Krangel argues that SL has a loyal core of followers: “Theres an incredible depth, passion, and camaraderie to the Second Life community that more popular online experiences like MySpace or…