March 13th, 2006

krazy koati

Hey mom, I won't be home this year

So what's been going on in Funan? Glad you asked. This week is the first Interschool E-Gaming Challenge, a chance for schools across the nation to send teams who'll dress in similar orange shirts and sit with headphones on in front of a computer playing ... something or other. Today was preliminary rounds, featuring primary schools, with the game VR-10, about which I know mostly that it involves a cute alien. The other game appears to be named Dota All-Stars, and it features Samurai Giant Pandas. I mean giant in the sense of black-and-white pandas, not giant in the sense of ``only Godzilla can save us from the pandas!''

VR-10 appears to be a game about driving, since the cute alien was travelling -- either in a car, on a bicycle, or on foot -- through the streets of Polygon Singapore, which is like real Singapore but without the traffic or most pedestrians. The objective is unclear to me, since nobody seemed to be trying to go to any particular spot, and while there were a few people, contestants who stopped by any of them got a stern warning pop-up that they promptly clicked past. The simulator seems to include paying of tolls for the Electronic Road Pricing regions. If Samurai Giant Pandas were roaming the streets I missed them.

The contest is sponsored in part by EZ-Link, makers of the tap cards used for MRT and bus access. And a signup poster includes a message from the cute alien: Thank you for participating in the VR-10 eLand Transport Competition. I have prepared some tokens, all enclosed in the LTA [ Land Transport Authority ] Envelope, for you. They are: My certificate of participation; my bookmark of stickers; my friend Ronald McDonald's vouchers. I hope you have a great time & have a better understanding of Singapore's land transport system. Continue to be the good boys & girls that you are! I'm pretty sure I wrote that down right, but ``bookmark of stickers'' sounds odd to me. But really isn't an improved understanding of the Singapore land transport system the true prize?

Trivia: The Apollo 9 Command Module (Gumdrop) splashed down at longitude 22.63 degrees north, longitude 67.98 degrees west, approximately 2.7 nautical miles from the target point and three nautical miles from the recovery ship USS Guadalcanal. Source: Apollo By The Numbers, Richard W Orloff. NASA SP-2000-4029.

Currently Reading: Alexander Hamilton: A Biography, Forrest McDonald.