May 3, 2009

Video game console made from tree stump

Filed under: Art,Gaming by Branko Collin @ 10:53 am

Artist collective Uitschot came up with this wooden game console called Gameboom (Game tree) in 2005.

Cut and installed for the first Day of the Park in Leiden. Location: Cronesteynpark across the water playground. For: city children who are allergic to nature, get dragged along by their parents but would rather game. Detail: functioning slot.

(Link: BoingBoing.)

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February 26, 2009

Wii arm on the rise

Filed under: Gadgets,Gaming,General,Sports by Branko Collin @ 2:05 pm

Physiotherapists from the province of Groningen have noticed a rise in Wii related sports injuries, reports Telegraaf (Dutch). Children injure their arms by playing with the Wii game console too much.

Physiotherapist Auke Wagenmakers who reported his findings last Wednesday does not wish to deter people from playing the Wii. He believes that playing the Wii can be beneficial to anyone without the opportunity to exercise much. He also thinks that people should warm up before tackling the game computer, and that you should play the Wii with moderation.

Image: Orangemaster’s Wii avatar.

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August 21, 2008

Bright yellow video game machine by Martijn Koch

Filed under: Design,Gadgets,Gaming,Technology by Branko Collin @ 8:05 am

Retrothing draws attention to this 21st century reworking of the very first arcade console by Martijn Koch. Quoting the designer:

“I created Retro Space especially to honour the design of the first ever arcade cabinet (1971’s Computer Space). The perfect machine to mark the end of the marvelous time in gaming history.”

Retro Space is shipped with over a hundred licensed games, and “all the emulators needed to play your old 8 and 16-bit disks and cartridges from the attic”—which is usually a way of saying that it includes MAME. It also doubles as a home entertainment system, and will stream audio to your stereo set, video to your TV, or play either itself. Holy Neiman Marcus, where do I order?!

Via Wired.

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August 16, 2008

Supercomputer wins game of Go

Filed under: Gaming,Science,Technology by Branko Collin @ 12:53 pm

Engadget writes:

You know how Go nerds are always going on about how magical they are since supercomputer AI hasn’t yet cracked the ancient board game, and rarely beats even an average Go player? […] Well, those folks can wipe the smug grins off their faces as they’re faced with the sobering reality of defeat: Dutch supercomputer “Huygens” has defeated a human Go professional in an official match at the 24th Annual Congress of the game Go in Portland [USA].

The newly-minted supercomputer was aided by the recently-developed Monte-Carlo Tree Search algorithm, a whopping 60 teraflops of processing power and a considerable 9 stone handicap. Poor Kim MyungWan — who managed to beat the computer in three “blitz” games leading up to the actual match, and probably won’t be hanging up his Go hat just yet — didn’t stand a chance.

Huygens is the brand-new national supercomputer, named after Christiaan Huygens (mathematician, astronomer and physicist) and his father Constantijn (poet). I imagine it takes the tiniest of quantum computers to make this type of story a thing from the past. (A bit hard to explain, but quantum computers can calculate all the possible solutions to a problem at once.)


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May 23, 2008

Man wins 980,000 euro in casino poker game

Filed under: Gaming,General by Branko Collin @ 6:26 pm

Last Tuesday a man won 980,000 euro in a poker game at the Holland Casino in Rotterdam. The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, played a relatively rare variant of the game called Caribbean Stud Poker in which part of the winnings go into a jackpot. A royal flush managed to help pry loose the contents of this jackpot.

Owner Holland Casino, the state-owned and only legal casino company in the Netherlands, declared that this was the highest jackpot in Rotterdam ever.

(Link: Z24 (Dutch), Photo by Jam Adams, some rights reserved)

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January 12, 2008

Gameboy shaped bricks

Filed under: Design,Gaming by Branko Collin @ 5:12 pm

Web developer / musician / VJ Gijs Gieskes made these Gameboy shaped ceramic bricks that you can buy for the, er, challenging price of 20 euro a piece, according to BoingBoing. A bit steep perhaps if you were planning to do an entire wall with them, but they could still work as the occasional ornament.

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November 29, 2007

My co-pilot is my co-pilot

Filed under: Aviation,Gaming by Orangemaster @ 3:06 pm

I went to pick up a friend at Schiphol airport and noticed they had a new shop called Planes@Plaza. It has all kinds of plane related knick-knacks, but the best reason to visit the shop is that it is physically built around a KLM DC-9 cockpit and cabin interior, with a huge engine on the other side of the shop. To sweeten the deal, you can have a digital picture of you and a friend taken in the cockpit wearing a cap and uniform, albeit a co-pilot’s one (three stripes for co-pilots, four for captains – the photographer knew that as well). And you can keep taking pictures until they get one just right. It costs EUR 5 and comes in a funny paper frame. Even better, while sitting in the cockpit you can have a look around all the buttons, levers and what not of a real cockpit, which does not happen very often. They had to almost drag me away!

The cabin features a film about Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and then there’s also a flight simulator game on one of the Playstations.

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August 14, 2007

Ducthman wins World Championship Stratego

Filed under: Gaming,General by Orangemaster @ 1:15 pm

Last weekend, 25 year-old IT student Vincent de Boer from Delft, South Holland won the World Championship Stratego, which was held in the Belgian town of Edegem. This is his third win, as he also won in 2003 and 2004. A total of 44 people from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, England, the Czech Republic and the United States participated in the event.

According to Wikipedia, the modern version of Stratego was originally published in the Netherlands, which would explain why the Dutch have apparently always won the championship, the Dutch Stratego Association explains.

On a more personal note, I found a completely new game of Stratego on the street in Zandvoort on Queen’s Day, left by children. I’m still very happy about that.

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