Archive for January 5th, 2012

January 5, 2012

Emergent Gameplay


counter strike

Emergent gameplay refers to complex situations in video games, board games, or role-playing games that emerge from the interaction of relatively simple game mechanics. More recently game designers have attempted to encourage emergent play by providing tools to players such as placing web browsers within the game engine, providing programming languages, and fixing exchange rates.

These cases constitute intentional emergence, where creative uses of the game are intended by the designers. Since the 1970s and 1980s board games and table top role playing games such as ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ have featured intentional emergence as a primary game function by supplying players with relatively simple rules or frameworks for play that intentionally encourage them to explore creative strategies or interactions and exploit them toward victory or goal achievement.

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January 5, 2012

The Landlord’s Game

landlords game 1904

The Landlord’s Game is a board game patented in 1904 by Elizabeth Magie. It is a realty and taxation game, which is considered to be a direct inspiration for the board game ‘Monopoly.’

Though many similar home-made games were played at the beginning of the 20th century, it is the first of its kind to have an attested patent. Magie designed the game to be a ‘practical demonstration of the present system of land grabbing with all its usual outcomes and consequences.’

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January 5, 2012


my date with drew

Wardrobing [wawr-droh-bing] is the practice of purchasing an item, using it, and then returning it to the store for a refund. It is most often done with expensive clothing – hence the name – but the practice is also common with tools, electronics, and even computers.

Perhaps one of the most notorious examples of wardrobing comes from the film ‘My Date With Drew,’ which was filmed entirely on a wardrobed video camera. The filmmaker purchased the camera from Circuit City, used it for 30 days to film his movie, and then returned the camera for a full refund.

January 5, 2012

Betteridge’s Law of Headlines


Betteridge’s Law of Headlines is an adage that states, ‘Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word ‘no.” It is based on a point made by journalist Ian Betteridge about sensational headlines that end in a question mark: ‘The reason why journalists use that style of headline is that they know the story is probably bullshit, and don’t actually have the sources and facts to back it up, but still want to run it.’ The maxim trends towards being universally true because of a simple principle of headline writing: if a story has enough sources to have a high chance of accuracy, a headline will be assertive. If sources are weak, or only a single source is found, headline writers will hedge their bets by posing the headline as a question.

It was among UK journalist Andrew Marr’s suggestions for how to read a newspaper if you really want to know what is going on: ‘If the headline asks a question, try answering ‘no.’ Is This the True Face of Britain’s Young? (Sensible reader: No.) Have We Found the Cure for AIDS? (No; or you wouldn’t have put the question mark in.) Does This Map Provide the Key for Peace? (Probably not.) A headline with a question mark at the end means, in the vast majority of cases, that the story is tendentious or over-sold. It is often a scare story, or an attempt to elevate some run-of-the-mill piece of reporting into a national controversy and, preferably, a national panic. To a busy journalist hunting for real information a question mark means ‘don’t bother reading this bit.”