Nice cookies

If you want a tasty project, try making these Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies With Mocha Cream Filling. We made them for the game night last Friday. They are: scrumptious.

February 19, 2008. food, games. 1 Comment.

Missed Scrabulous opportunity

scrabulous screenshot

Other prohibited possibilities: LOVEMEAT, MEATPOLE
(Thank you, Ian!)

February 8, 2008. games, words. 2 Comments.

Hey! That’s My Fish!

hey!  that's my fish! stacking penguins

I got a chance to try a new board game last time I was in the Bay Area (thanks, Rachel!), called “Hey! That’s My Fish!”. You should play this game because it’s simple, fast, fun, inexpensive, and can even be played with two people. Or just because it’s called Pingvinas in its original language.

I know some people will throttle me for suggesting this, but this game reminded me of my first (and only) few games of Go, because it involves capturing territory, tracking shapes/areas, and cutting people off. Except you get colorful wooden penguins and can play with eight-year-olds.

July 31, 2007. friends, games. 1 Comment.

Marvin Minsky

minskyLast night, I went to see Marvin Minsky talk in the Media Lab auditorium, specifically about his contributions to Stanley Kubrick‘s 2001: A Space Odyssey, on his new book (The Emotion Machine), and all sorts of other things.

Highlights from the talk (with minimal paraphrasing, hopefully):

If you’re interested in the movie stuff in particular, here’s a pretty good interview with Marvin Minsky, on working briefly with Kubrick.

If you want to get an idea of how Minsky talks about his ideas, here’s a nice transcript of a presentation Minsky made at the Game Developers Conference in 2001.

In school when they teach you about thinking or learning…and what’s school for? It’s not to learn about Inuit culture or Egyptian culture or algebra or geography or whatever? What you’re really in school for is to learn about thinking and learning.

Here is Marvin Minsky’s Wikipedia entry, notable to me at this moment because it has an active notation by Marvin himself in the “Trivia” section.

April 6, 2007. academics, computers/programming, games, media lab, MIT. 1 Comment.


Two great games are coming to the Wii:
Katamari Damacy and Guitar Hero

I’m curious to see if the Guitar Hero one is interesting, or if it will just be the same as all the other Guitar Heroes (sounds like it doesn’t use the Wii controller at all). And I’m really excited to see how Katamari uses the new controller; it would be tons of fun working up a sweat for my katamari!

I learned of both from Digg:
Katamari for Wii Confirmed!
Guitar Hero Confirmed for Wii


March 25, 2007. games. No Comments.

PaRappa the Rapper

Kirthi invited me to play PaRappa the Rapper this afternoon, which is a fun little rhythm game for the PSOne. I played on Easy, which the manual says “is for very young children, or for those who have no sense of rhythm at all.”

February 25, 2007. friends, games, sound. 2 Comments.

Guitar Hero too much

(for Saturday (2/24/07)… it’s just late.)

We have Guitar Hero 2 set up in our lab area (because Alex Rigopulos, of Harmonix, graduated from my group some years ago), and it gets played a LOT. Since there are other groups around us who want to work, we have the game hooked up to two pairs of headphones, so all you can hear when someone is playing is the click-click-clicking of the strumming. Adam says that he plays Guitar Hero so much that he can recognize a piece by the click-click-clicking alone. Amazing, Adam!

This morning, I woke up with a Guitar Hero song stuck in my head. “What song IS that??” I did a search on the web for Guitar Hero, and found a group of guys wrote some software to grab the “tabs” off of Guitar Hero 2. Just by looking at each set of tabs in turn, I was able to find the song (“Less Talk More Rokk”!!), notable for its regular ascending patterns and totally infectious off-beats:

I went on a walk today, across the Mass Ave bridge, up Beacon St, and through the Common to Downtown Crossing. Things I noticed during the walk:

February 25, 2007. Boston/Cambridge, games, sound. No Comments.