Michael Cook, a 30-year-old senior research fellow at the University of Falmouth, has built an AI capable of imagining new video games from scratch. Cook calls the machine Angelina, a recursive acronym that stands for “A Novel Game-Evolving Labrat I’ve Named Angelina” (a joke that Cook says got old pretty quickly). Since its earliest form, in 2011, it has created hundreds of experimental video games, received acclaim in an international game-making competition, and had its work featured in a New York gallery exhibit. READ MORE: AI Is Dreaming Up New Kinds of Video Games | MIT Tech Review
Photo Source: engadget + Scott Horowitz
[P]roof that crowdsourced science can solve problems quickly. READ: Gamers beat scientists to making a protein discovery | Engadget
Ever, Jane is an online role-playing game set in the dramatic, romantic worlds of Jane Austen. It invites players to attend sophisticated dinner parties and fancy balls, share gossip, keep secrets, fall in love, get married and climb the ribbon-lined social ladder of Regency-era England. It is definitely not a sex game, though sometimes players get wrapped up in this universe of exquisite gowns and forbidden desire, and they simply can’t help themselves.
“Let’s just say that we had to put in private chat,” Ever, Jane creator Judy Tyrer says with a laugh. READ MORE: Sex and sexuality: The Jane Austen game breaking the MMO rules | engadget
Post Disclosure: I supported the Ever, Jane Kickstarter campaign by giving a small donation. Downloaded the beta version but unable to run software properly yet on my 2010 MacBook Pro Intel OS X Yosemite. Note to self: Buy new computer so I can play Ever, Jane.
Since 2013, the Internet Archive has provided access to old console games, arcade titles and even MS-DOS classics like Oregon Trail. Internet Archive curator Jason Scott explained how and why the non-profit preserves history by making sure games from the past aren’t lost as we move on from old hardware and software platforms.
“The thing about computer software history is that it is both adored and ignored,” he said, comparing how we preserve software to how we preserve old film. “For decades, people would throw out floppies containing classic games without a second thought.” While there are museums where you can see old hardware and software as exhibits (Scott called out the Computer History Museum in Mountain View as a particularly good example), these limit access to those who can actually make it to a physical location, which doesn’t take advantage of the fact that software doesn’t have to remain trapped in a particular computer.
By abstracting games away from their old consoles and PCs, the Internet Archive is ensuring that the experience itself can live on through emulation. READ MORE: How Game Historians Are Keeping Your Favorite Bits From Being Lost Forever | TechCrunch
It’s a bit odd that no one’s thought to fuse the virtual-reality, role-playing game centric anime Sword Art Online into a proper VR experience before now, but that’s the future we live in. No worries though, because IBM is using (Japanese) its Watson Cognitive Computing tech and SoftLayer cloud computing for Sword Art Online: The Beginning. It’s a massively multiplayer VR game, of course, and perhaps other details will clear themselves up come a Tokyo-based event running from March 18th to the 20th…
The Rapael Smart Glove looks a lot like the Nintendo Power Glove, but it’s not exactly a video game controller. It’s a smart rehabilitation glove for recovering stroke patients. Gaming was definitely a huge part of it, however. The glove, created by Korean health tech company Neofect, incorporates motion-based games to help stroke patients relearn how to use their arm and hand.
Neofect founder Ban Ho Young told Tech In Asia that everything they have now was made with collaboration between rehabilitation experts and game designers.
With Rapael, users can play games depending on which movements they want to work on. Want to improve your forearm supination and pronation (facing your palm upward and downward)? Strap on the glove and virtually pretend to pour yourself a glass of wine. Want to improve your finger flexion and extension? Bend and unbend your fingers to decorate cupcakes with icing. READ MORE: This gaming-inspired glove helps stroke patients relearn vital skills | Mashable
Image Credit: Microsoft
The new Minecraft module is part of Code.org’s third annual Hour of Code, a worldwide campaign that tries to demystify code by teaching the basics of computer science in just an hour. The Hour of Code takes place during Computer Science Education Week from December 7 – 13.
If users sign up for the free Hour of Code Minecraft module, they’ll learn how to use blocks of code to make Steve or Alex, the two main character skins from the game, adventure through a Minecraft world. Other modules, including some based on Star Wars, “Frozen” and other popular content, are also available on the Code.org site. READ MORE: Microsoft and Code.org want to teach kids to code with Minecraft | CNET
French startup CodinGame just raised $1.6 million from Isai for its innovative code learning platform. As the name suggests, CodinGame is all about games — not game development, not gamification, just plain games. The logic behind each exercise is tied to an actual game so that you get visual feedback and an actual reward when you solve an exercise.
“This is not just a gimmick as we have metrics to back our vision. If you mix games with learning, you get a very motivating experience,” co-founder and CEO Frédéric Desmoulins told me. “Playing and learning at the same time is a virtuous circle.”
For each exercise, you can pick a programming language among more than 20, such as Python, Ruby, Java, Scala and more. The company targets people who already know the basics when it comes to programming and also has tough challenges for expert developers. In particular, a multiplayer mode is getting quite popular among developers. In this mode, you learn the basics of artificial intelligence and clash with others to see if your code is more efficient.
The Surprising Benefits of Role-Playing Games (and How to Get Started) | LifeHacker
When you hear about role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, you probably picture a dimly-lit basement filled with people in silly robes rolling dice, but there’s much more to it than that. Not only are role-playing games incredibly fun, but they can actually teach you skills you’ll use in the real world.
Top 10 Ways Video Games Can Improve Real Life | LifeHacker
We love video games for their fun and entertaining nature, but even when we put the controllers down, video games or at least thinking like a gamer can positively influence the rest of our lives. Here are ten ways video games do us good.
Researchers in Jaron Lanier’s lab at Microsoft are exploring ways for people to share the experience of mixed reality. READ MORE: Microsoft Researchers Test Multi-Person Mixed Reality | MIT Technology Review