Category Archives: Games

Becoming A Tree In Virtual Reality

Nest caterpillars in your arms, and watch the days pass.

Sometimes I save articles and then forget about them, which is what happened with this wonderful piece from last year. It’s by Mark Wilson about a VR project from the MIT Media Lab. The title of his article was “Escape From The Horror Of 2017 By Becoming A Tree” but I’m sure you’d agree that’s something we need even more in 2018.  Enjoy.

“Is it possible to experience being another lifeform?”

That’s the foundational question asked by Tree, an unusually immersive VR app developed at MIT Media Lab’s Fluid Interfaces Group. Featured on Prosthetic Knowledge, the short experience places you inside the bark of a tree in the Peruvian rainforest. But you don’t just get a view of the forest around you. You feel it, too.

Because of a suite of technologies, as you rise from the dirt, sprouting from seedling into a full-grown tree, a fan blows wind over your skin, like the passing breeze, as a smell machine pipes in what I can only assume is the fragrant green funk of a forest canopy after the rain. Cont’d at Escape From The Horror Of 2017 By Becoming A Tree | Co.Design

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Pokémon Go’s Real-World Analogue – The New Yorker

If Pokémon Go has a real-world analogue, it might be bird-watching, which also involves curious souls going outdoors in search of elusive critters, arranged in a detailed taxonomy. What is the Pokédex (where captured Pokémon are stored) if not a newfangled “life list”? With that in mind, a novice birder/Pokémon hunter, going by the avatar MonsieurJavert, set out for Central Park’s Hallett Nature Sanctuary, a four-acre preserve that is rarely open to visitors. Read on…

From The New Yorker, July 25, 2016 p16

 

Deer Cam in Grand Theft Auto V – just a few more days to watch

It’s the middle of the night in the San Andreas mountains and a deer is wandering through the undergrowth. The crickets are really loud, sometimes an owl hoots,  and traffic can be heard in the distance beyond the regular clip-clop of hooves. The animal heads downhill towards a cluster of houses, gallops through a courtyard and runs out onto a highway where it’s narrowly missed by a speeding car. For a while it wanders slowly down the middle of the road as vehicles slow to a stop to let it pass until eventually, inevitably, it’s hit by a truck. But count to three and it’s upright again, unharmed, and trotting down the verge once more.

Animal cams

You’re watching a deer cam with a difference. Animal cams are generally popular because they let us watch creatures in the wild and from a safe distance, a reality TV for birds, bears, and numerous other species. But the San Andreas Deer Cam is being live streamed direct not from a forest or a woodland clearing, but from a video game. Artist Brent Watanabe has programmed the animal directly into Grand Theft Auto V, and you can watch it live on Twitch TV. Needless to say, in that kind of environment it frequently gets shot or hit by a car, but since it’s indestructible it just pops up again and keeps on running. It’s not completely immortal, however, because the project is due to end on April 20th 2016.

Watanabe  explains that the San Andreas Deer Cam is a live video stream from a computer running a hacked modded version of Grand Theft Auto V.  The mod creates a deer and follows it as it wanders throughout the 100 square miles of San Andreas, a fictional state in GTA V based on California. The deer has been programmed to control itself and make its own decisions, with no one actually playing the video game. The deer is ‘playing itself’, with all activity unscripted… and unexpected. If you donate money to the Deer Cam, it goes directly to The Humane Society. Find out more at his website and make sure you see it before the closing date.

https://player.twitch.tv/?channel=bwatanabeWatch live video from bwatanabe on www.twitch.tv