Sunday, November 15, 2009

My understanding of fun

Over the weekend I was attending NCA 95th annual convention, which is one of the largest communication conferences. This year, it was in Chicago, one of my favorite cities. Other than the conference, I got to enjoy the city, the food and the company of my friends and my fiance.

I had a chance to meet one of my best friends and her boy friend to have sushi downtown. We indulged our taste buds at OYSY with a bottle of wine, 7 sushi platters, and ice cream. We TRIED not to talk about our prelims dissertation or theoretical concepts, and we surely did make fun of each other, as always, remembering good old days.

We were on our way to have some more wine, but Marbles, the brain store tempted us to spend about one hour playing with all those mind games at the store. Here are some that I found really entertaining:

MindFlex - I managed to get the ball into one of the pipes and throw it into the other pipe right across with mere thought!!!!

Abalone - I actually bought this one. It is like a Sumo fight where you are pushing your opponent off the game arena.

Cathedral- My friend and her boyfriend played this for a while. An innocent game ended up with a rather funny fight.

Left the store euphoric, with bags of games and a smile on our faces. We no longer needed another bottle of wine...

Any other suggestions on brain games?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Registering for the Zombiekind, Tweeting for the Humankind

Amusing news from Journal and Courier today!

Purdue students played Humans vs. Zombies tag game across campus, using Nerf guns. Zombies were chasing Humans until their victims managed to get to a building or a bus. And then they chased some more... Once the participants were tagged as "killed" or "starved" they were off the game.

1200 participants registered for the game! How so? By hearing about it via Facebook and word of mouth. Then participants registered to their website, signing vaiwers.

How do the moderators make sure that it is organized and save? Well, they use their Website and Twitter updates, to not only monitor who is on and off the game, but also to make sure that the chaotic running around does not end badly, as if one really gets killed.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Blogging Trends

This article from Tecnorati portrays growth and trends in the blogosphere, and lays out how blogs are shaping the agenda for pretty much lie itself.
Blogs are no longer only "for fun" diaries, they are means for political and financial agenda setting.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Can you tell I am being sarcastic, Milo?

I thought a little more about Milo from the Project Natal.

In my previous posting I started thinking about whether it is possible to have a real, bonding relationship with the virtual chracter, Milo, who is nothing more than the graphical representation of Artificial Intelligence.

It would all depend on how detailed and developed the technology could get. The question is, would Milo get intelligent enough to recognize if I were being sarcastic or genuine in my interaction with him?

There are certain coding and de-coding mechanisms at work when humans communicate with each other. I believe the trick is to have the Artificial Intelligence differentiate between sarcasm and genuine interaction, having the sensors read into the cues that are transmitted in words and non-verbals. So far, human brain is the only intelligence that can do this (actually, not all human intelligences). But this technology is indeed promising that the virtual character can engage in a realistic interaction with an individual.

Monday, October 12, 2009

One Blog Away

It has been over a week now that Frank Gruber presented at our Com 435 class. But his words still echo in many of our minds. He must have touched some of our students, at least Erika and DJ already blogged about him.

Not only that, a Purdue student, Bram Wahl interviewed him on social media.

This is the beauty of new media technologies, even though your adventure is over, your legacy continues online, multiplying, connecting and multiplying even more. Frank is not at Purdue, we are not enjoying a Purdue waffle on a friday morning, but he is just one blog away.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Project Natal: Can Milo be a friend?

Project Natal is the source of the upcoming XBox 360 technology.

As Peter Molyneux states, this technology is a dream come true that was not even dreamed of. The virtual character (Milo) recognizes not only face, voice, actions, but also the emotions hidden in the individual's voice. He also responds to the individual with a tone of voice and gestures that reflects emotions.

This is a revolutionary technology, as it allows complete interaction between a real person and a virtual character. It further blurs the distinction between what is real and what is virtual.

Molyneux also explains that the individual feels so connected to the virtual world and the Milo character that they react to the game the same way they would in a real life situation. As the individual interacts with the objects in "Milo's world", it creates a stronger connection with Milo and immersion into a virtuality.

I grew up in a big city, with no playgrounds and no safe opportunities to explore the nature. I did not have video games either. I had a creative imagination instead that made my toys come alive, and my room turn into a magical pond with talking fish.

If I were 8 again and wanted to go fishing in the middle of Istanbul, could Milo be a friend? Would Milo be as real as my next door neighbor, or as fun as my own imagination?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Great expectations from the Project Natal XBox 360

Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3 ) is a massive annual gathering for any and every kind of interactive entertainment.

This would be my pilgrimage.

In the 2009 E3, Microsoft XBox360 announced a new gaming technology that is one step above Nintendo's Wii. Very soon, we will not have to use controllers to play, exercise, connect, shop, watch... The new XBox360 technology has object, voice, face and motion recognition.

This video is a demonstration of what can be done with it. Even watching it is exciting!

I will be discussing details of this technology here for a while...