Inspired by the Russian game Tetris, Ruijssenaars thought up a row house made of blocks placed in such a way that every room has a different view of outside instead of just being able to see out the front or out the back. His idea was based on a building contest in Peru in 2009 which was about increasing density. By having more people use the same space, he was able to increase the density as well as the quality of the residences.
It remains to be seen who will be the first to build these houses. And although different, they do remind me of Habitat 67 in Montreal by Moshe Safdie.
Ruzzle is a simple word game in which you have to tap a series of connected letters on a randomized grid to form as many words as you can in two minutes.
Here is a video by a guy called Flupkees who can guess 136 Dutch words in a single session (of the 302 possible words). He is going so fast I cannot even follow what is going on: pot, poter, poten, po, pon, ???, pik, pikt, pikte, prik, prikt, prikte and so on.
Richard Garsthagen made this ingenious gift box for his 15-year-old niece for Saint Nicholas’ Eve.
On Saint Nicholas’ Eve many grown ups and teenagers in the Netherlands give each other gifts. To keep things affordable a spending limit is determined and the name of each recipient is drawn from a hat. The gift is hidden somewhere in the house or wrapped in a difficult to unwrap package called the ‘surprise’, and the person giving it writes a poem on behalf of Saint Nicholas in which the good saint mockingly reviews the recipients’ past year.
Garsthagen’s niece did not seem to understand the concept of a spending limit and asked for gifts that were much more expensive than that, so he hid her gift in a The Price is Right game. In the video he explains how it works, and at Instructables he explains how you can create a game like this yourself.
(Photo: crop from a screenshot of the video by Richard Garsthagen)
Owner Elles Hetebrij of the Hete Brij pub in Zwolle has had it with anti-social behaviour from mobile gamers, and has banned the Scrabble like word game Wordfeud from her establishment, De Stentor reports.
Sometimes the bar is filled with people playing Wordfeud. Nobody is talking to each other or to the bartender any more, much to his chagrin. [...] We talk to our patrons about their behaviour. If you want to be on an ‘island’, you might as well play at home. This is a brown café where the atmosphere needs to be lively.
Manager Patrick Hugen added:
People even interrupt their game of darts to enter a word. This has to stop.
Wordfeud is a game that’s played on a mobile phone against Internet opponents. Is it really that addictive? I find that hard to believe. What do you think?
Man voice-off (JP): I know what it is, but I don’t think I can tell you what this means at 7:03 pm on television…
Man voice-off (JP): It’s a…
Lucille: Hey wait, we have to be careful, there’s always very nice children watching Lingo, eh!
Man voice-off (JP): Exactly. Put it this way, it’s a certain important moment in the scene of a film that you only see very late.
Look at that, it is possible to deal with nasty words and still not have to censure everything like other countries do. And so ‘cumshot’ is apparently a Dutch word now as well. You don’t need a dictionary for that either.
A couple of weeks ago I recommended you play Zwarte Piet, one of the few video games (that I know of) where you play a black hero. But is he a true hero, or just a white caricature of one? Your enjoyment of the game can hinge on your answer. And games are there to be enjoyed, right?
Philosophy student Victor Gijsbers doesn’t seem to think that is the whole truth. About the inspiration for his role playing game Vampires he once wrote: “It was breathtakingly cruel, a condition with an inexplicable charm of its own; it was dark; it was uncompromising—what a shame that, as [the author] himself claimed, the mechanics didn’t work.”
I first noticed Gijsbers’ work when he published The Baron (and simultaneously a Dutch version, De Baron), a text adventure for adults that on the surface deals with how moral decisions can become easy when all those you meet are monsters. Need I say there is a twist?
The Baron begins as an experiment in futility—a fascinating exploration of someone’s inability to change the inevitable repeating pattern of their life. As you set off on a quest to rescue your kidnapped young daughter from the evil Baron—made all the more sinister by a note left saying he has to be with her as he loves her—you have a righteous task in place. Which makes the implications of your inevitable failure so very interesting. And then it changes.
I was so deeply affected by this game that after finishing it the rest of my day was pretty much a write-off. I was emotionally ruined. I say this because I want to put up a massive neon warning sign before people play it. But I really think people should play it.
(Not everybody agrees with him, but you will have to play the game yourself to find out where you stand.)
Tonight’s pakjesavond, when Saint Nick visits the homes of many a European child to deliver presents.
I realise many of you won’t be sharing in the fun because you have fallen for the trickery of the Arctic imposter. Fret not, though. With Wiering Software’s video game Zwarte Piet you can experience the gift delivery process as if you were here in person.
Guide Black Peter across rooftops, collect the delicious pepernoten (lit. ‘pepper nuts’) and shove them together with gifts down chimneys. Mike Wiering has been producing new versions of this game every year, so if you don’t like this particular version, try another. Tip: “Klaar! Zoek de uitgang” means “Claire! Find the exit”.
In his spare time, hidden away in his tool shed, 66-year-old trucker Ad Bruynzeel has been coming up with board games for ages. And finally, after decades, he invented a game called Wobble, which now is an international hit and means that work is soon to be his hobby.
Dutch gamemaker Identity Games signed him up just like that, and although already in Europe, you’ll be seeing Wobble in North America soon as well.
I like the catchy ‘Roll to the Hole’ as a slogan. This game looks like a grandpa with grandchildren kind of hit. “The goal of the game is to get the ball in the right hole by moving or replacing the discs on the edge of the board.”
A thief stealing an iPhone got caught after logging into the online game Merchant, Bright reports.
The phone belonged to Merchant developer Richard Osinga who kept an eye out for his phone’s IP number, and sure enough the dumb thief decided to try out the game and inadvertently handed himself in that way.
Osinga’s blog does not mention what data he collected to be able to find the thief. It took the police half a year to catch the criminal, but last Thursday they finally could report to the victim that they had got his iPhone back.
Out of four countries represented — the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and England — the Dutch won this year’s Stratego World Championships, held in Maastricht. With six victories and four draws Pim Niemeijer of The Netherlands became the new individual Stratego World Champion. Last year, Steffen Annies of Germany won the Stratego World Champion of 2009, the year before, Pim Niemeijer had won it.
And then we also wrote about a women’s championship, also won by a Dutch woman in Kiev back in 2008.
There are also Computer Stratego World Championships held around the world and there’s also my co-blogger’s time-old classic of placing all five of his bombs around his flag.
Stratego is a Dutch game published by Jumbo that was distributed internationally by Milton Bradley, giving the impression that the Americans came up with it, if you read Wikipedia. Read more about Stratego history with pics galore on Ed’s Stratego Site.