November 20th, 2004

krazy koati

So it's once around the block and I slide back out the side door

Singapore has ambitions to become a video gaming hub, largely I suspect because they want to be renowned for anything besides banning gum and they'll try anything. Thus we have things like X-box championships. But mix the military and the university into things and we get ``augmented reality.''

According to the news, it's the Human Pac-Man game: players don helmet, goggles, and GPS receivers, and choose to be a Pac-Man or a Ghost. Then it's off to the streets of Singapore, the Pac-Men to gobble up virtual dots -- capture recorded by Bluetooth devices, somehow -- and the Ghosts to, well, you know. Players have to make their own ``woopawoopawoopa'' noises, I suppose unless they have the sounds loaded on their iPods.

The military backs this Live-Action Roleplay Video Game from hopes to make it Doom. But there are vaguely defined socially constructive purposes in mind, like giving construction workers data on three-dimensional blueprints and current status of the construction around them, which does sound pretty cool. I expect it'll be sold to consumers as a shopping helper, allegedly tracing out a route to corned beef hash on aisle 14, but really so that marketers can recommend that anyone who buys anything should also buy everything else (``You're holding a copy of Mac OS X 10.4. You may therefore also like to buy Kangaroo Jack 2 and a jar of Tiger Balm -- just follow the green lines!'').

Trivia: The name of the first Pullman railroad car porter is lost to history; records were destroyed in the Chicago Fire of 1871. Source: The Story of American Railroads, Stewart H. Holbrook.

Currently Reading: Korolev, James Harford.