Friday, December 17, 2004

Wikipedia:Wiki Game

Here's something vaguely akin to the Glass Bead Game:

"The Wiki Game is a hypertextual game designed to work specifically with Wikipedia. It was first conceived by a collection of avid Wikipedia enthusiasts at Amherst College in Massachusetts. The Wiki Game requires no purchase of product, just a web browser and a time-keeping device (optional).

The Rules

To begin, a random page on the Wikipedia database is loaded (Random page link in the left navigation menu). The player is then given twenty seconds to orient him/herself to the subject matter on that first website (called the 'Homing Page'). Once this 'Reading Period' is up, the player is then transported to completely different topic page after a series of hypertextual selections ('clicks'). More specifically, this displacement is caused by first selecting a random link on the Homing Page and then on ten subsequent pages.

ex. The Homing Page is Quentin Tarantino. On this page, a random link would be 1993. From there, the next selection could be Bill Clinton, followed by free trade, etc. One could theoretically end up at collective farming; that's the surreal beauty of it!

After arriving at the final page in the randomized succession, the player must reorient him/herself and begin playing the actual game. It is the object of the game to find one's way back to the Homing Page using as few clicks as possible. The player can use any wiki-link inside the contents of any entry page they come across. These links can appear as either images or words."

Something to try now that the Break has broken.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Monday, December 13, 2004

Ultralab has just published a survey of literature related to the use of computer games (or video games; the report treats both) for learning. According to Stephen Downes ( the survey is a comprehensive look at the field over the last few years.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Hello my name is Kat, and I'm NPR addict...

Okay, so this is my second NPR-related post to this blog. But I just hear these things on NPR, and I can't help but share.

The other day on "These Days" (a locally produced show), the topic was video games. The host talked to Sheldon Brown, a Professor of Visual Arts and director of the Experimental Game Lab at the Center for Research on Computing and the Arts at UCSD; Derek Burrill, Assistant Professor of Media Studies at UC Riverside; and Pete Metzger, Video Game Critic for the Los Angeles Times.

The show starts out with your basic holiday guide to video games, including a description of Grand Theft Auto and Halo 2. Soon after, though, the discussion turns slightly more academic and gets into virtual reality, military applications for games, and video game evaluation.

To check it out, go to the These Days website. Scroll down to Wednesday, December 8, 2004 and then click on "Hour One." The video game discussion starts about 15 minutes into the program.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Have a wiki on the sidebar

Iíve subscribed to wwwtools for education for 3 or 4 or so years now. About a year ago, they adopted a policy of asking politely for donations to support the work, but allowing subscribers who chose not to donate. That policy continues. A donation allows access to a more extensive library of past newsletters. When I have or take time to pursue the links included in the newsletters, they are often fascinating and give an amazing view of the vastness of educational resources only a hyperlink away. But wwwtools isnít the primary reason for this note. The latest issue of wwwtools has a fascinating link to what is described as an extension for the Mozilla Firefox browser ďthat puts a wiki (an editable web page) into the sidebar of the Firefox browser, indexed off the url of the current page...could be described as a wiki-margin for the internet. Possible suggested uses are: See Also references; commentary and discussion; notetaking; a roaming blog.Ē Iíve installed the extension and there it is on my Firefox sidebar though I havenít figured out how Iíll use it yet.
Subscribe to wwwtools.
Check out the wiki extension for Firefox.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Technology Review: Chasing Bees, Without the Hive Mind

From Technology Review: Technology Review: Chasing Bees, Without the Hive Mind
"Alternative reality gaming immerses players in a place somewhere between the real world and cyberspace. What they learn about communication is already translating into collaborate, problem-solving communities."

Interesting stuff. You'll be hearing more about ARGs in the coming years, I think.