A Source of Stimuli

”Freedom to quit is an essential aspect of play’s definition” (Gray, 2008).

”Play” serves us many valuable purposes which develop physical, intellectual, emotional and socially moral capacities (Gray, 2008). It provides a state of mind where your motivation influences mental behavior, which is why games have a long deep running and habitual association; historically a culturally specific to modernity (Malaby, 2007).

In video games or virtual reality environment, ‘Play’ is commonly signified as a form of activity with three special instincts which is separable, safe and pleasure. Separable means against from work or in other words, acts as an escapism of everyday life whereas safe stands for ‘consequence free’ and pleasurable indicates fun and enjoyment (Malaby, 2007). Therefore, it significantly demonstrates the potential of video games which provides players have a certain degree of control over in the game characters.

Phenomenologically, players generally experience video games as a stimulation of acting in imagination, or in other words, an alternative reality where players are able to authorize the game story; the ability to act than a story being told by a narrator (Frasca, 2001). Stimulation is more than just a story where experiencing events as personal experience is the key of video games.

”Stimulation is an act of modeling a system A by a less complex system B, which retains some of A’s original behavior”. (Frasca, 2001).

Stimulation works perfectly as a great tool to teach complex rules because unlike the narrative, it allows the most important thing in virtual reality environment, experimentation. However, the more complex the system gets, the better stimulation which becomes more attractive tool when it allows to model the rules that govern its system. The Sim City 2000 is a good stimulation game example to define a better explanation. for instance, System B (Sim City 2000) stimulates  System A ( a city). In Sim City’s system, there is no graffiti on the walls of Sim’s bulidings, nor the streets which explains that Sim City is a less complex than an actual city, but it still retains some of the characteristics or behaviors such as buildings need electricity and roads that need money to build (Frasca,2001).

One of the other stimulation games which provides a better understanding of video games stimulation is Monster Rancherwhich is known as a life-stimulation role playing game which created by Tecmo Koei and now has adapted to anime.

Monster Rancher is designed to be stimulated as animal breeding. As abovementioned, stimualtion is acting model a system A which in this case, the city acts as System A whereas System B is the Monster Rancher. Nevertheless, as a system, there is no rubbish or broken furniture of Monster Rancher’s city. In addition, it still yet retains some of the reality characteristics or behaviors where it is need money to buy weapons, cure and time to train a monster.

Go & Stop

This game is inspired by an ancient Indian broad game Snake & Ladder. Snake and Ladder is played by two or more people on a game board with gridded squares. The reason why Snake and Ladder inspires me to have this idea for Go & Stop is because of my childhood. Snake and Ladder was my favourite board game while I was child playing with parents and siblings. One of the appreciative things of this game is its simplicity whereas nowadays complexity takes over simplicity in 3D games or video games.

I realized that since last week post where every video requires a complex story or a history to be discovered in order to achieve something or to complete such as Dark Soul. Here is the initial motivation, “every game is like war”. Think about the League of Legends and DOTA 2. In a nutshell, most of the popular video games are about fighting with heroes in order to be leveled up. Nevertheless, Kain 2012 claims that board games are better than the video games in some ways where people can not only get the value of low cost but also it’s the norms where it is not possible to get from video games.

“When you buy a board game, what you take home and play is the original concept precisely as it was in the designer’s head,” writes Smith. ”That’s the mecca for video games. For board games, it’s the norm.” (Kain, 2012).

“You can buy a great board game for under $20, and every time you play it, it’s a new game,” Silver noted. “This is a toy that can be played over and over again, so the consumer sees value in this type of purchase.” (Kain, 2012). 

”Whereas board games require us to think, and pen-and-paper RPGs require us to imagine, video games tap more directly into the actual play.” (Kain, 2012).

However, Go and Stop is created for teens who can afford and yet be able to experience board game rather than video games. Since it is a game which inspired by Snake & Ladder, therefore, the concept is quite the same. It is still like racing game where players go up and down using dice to take steps. Instead of using Snake and Ladder, it replaces with meeples and brain background. The brain background is representing every part of our brain function which is to think and make decision.

Set Up & Rules:
– There will be one dice, 5 meeples, moving cards and the gameboard to play Go & Stop.
– Each player has a chance to dice and move on the gameboard and it should be taken turns.
– Every player has a “meeple” to represent you in the game in order to move on the gridded brain squares.
– Every square of the brain background gameboard is numbered. The bottom left will be the start of the game while the right top is the end.
– Every single player has to number themselves as P1 as the first player, P2 as the second and P3 as the third and so.
– It is strongly recommended and suitable for teens who are 11 and above due to the moving cards and maximum for 5 players.

Moving Cards:
There will be two decks of cards in order to get privilege and punishment. Red cards are Stop Cards and Green cards are Go Cards. Cards will be shown on the game board if you happen to reach the square which requires you to take one card. Moving cards are inspired by the game

Red
The red decks are Stop Cards which is also inspired as “Dare or Not”. This deck of cards is about daring you to do something, for instance, kiss every player on the cheeks and say I love you. If any player responds to scold or be harsh to do cause of doing this, he or she will has to reverse by five steps. This is important to know that the player who takes the card do not allow everyone to see.

Green
The green cards represent as Go Cards which allows chance for you to move forward. This deck of cards are allowed to be seen by every player. This is inspired by “Truth or Lie” which is to guess the one who takes the card is telling the truth or not. Whoever has to take the card has to think of a truth or a lie to tell as the player who is written on the card itself and he or she has to guess whether it is correct. If he or she fails, certain reverse steps have to be taken as it’s written on the card.

Winning the game
Start from the bottom left which is numbered a 1 and the biggest number will be located at the top right as the end point of game. Whoever gets to the biggest number is the winner whereas the lowerest is the loser.

Open World Environment

Perhaps we all know that technology has changed us and the world dramatically in cultures, languages and lifestyle. One of the major influences is game as the most effective vehicle for development, reproduction and public dissemination which are now the representations of archaeological practice in popular culture. Game archaeological practice represents as daily consumed popular media which has to rapidly expanded in developing media such as digital gaming and 3D online environment (Kennedy et. al, 2011).

As technology improves, opportunities for public education increases (Smeltzer, 2011).  However, The Dark Soul is one of the wonder game archaeology which allows a second life experience that does not tell a story rather than is to dig out the story from ruins and learn from it (Kain, 2012).

Dark_Souls_Cover_Art

Image source

The Dark Soul allows an experience of “second life” which provides interactive experiences according to the archaeologists who have used 15 years to discover the World Wide Web as a vehicle for presentation for virtual reality environment ; it inspires the curiosity and exploration of story in games (Smeltzer, 2011). As Kain claims, the most incredible thing about Dark Soul is its lore. Playing Dark Soul is not about the game’s hero but the Dark Lord in making- the Chosen Undead or the game’s villain.

Dark Soul is an archaeology dig when you have to discover the story, the mythology and history of this game. For instance, digging up the buried ruins of Lordran, Oolacile and the figures who gives a meaning of life and places as well as digging up the world in Dark Soul through opening cinematic and brief snatches of dialogue and spell descriptions in items (Kain, 2012). This definitely requires more collaborations than other games when its revelations are constant which helps in revealing clues, temper, enforce and theories. Undeniably, this game is an absolute worth-examining game when Dark Soul II appears.

Is it really worth putting my last meeple there? – Carcassonne Board Game Review #DIGC310

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Ever wanted to build your own castle or city?

If you’re a board game fan looking for a game which can fulfil your desire of building a city where is under your control, you will definitely want to try this out. Carcassonne was published in 2000 which is suitable for 3 years old and above. This is a tile placement game of a piece of southern French landscape which requires strategic- brained to place the tiles that benefit the most in order to get points. the tiles are featured with cities, roads, cloisters and fields.

There are three components which are the tiles and followers and score track. Tiles are square- shaped and differentiated by grey and black colour. Followers are represented by meeples which are ‘my people in order to place them in the place we want to earn points while the score track is to keep track of the points you are earning throughout the game. Importantly, the points are counted by how you are placing your people at where you can be knight, thief, monk and farmer. Knight is a follower where be placed at the city portion of tile whereas thief are placed on the road portion. Scoring is immediate for these both as well as the monk where the meeple is to place on the cloister tile. Lastly, meeple which to be placed on the field portion is farmer but the scoring is not immediate and only occurs in the end of the game. Thus, followers should be returned when the a city, road  and cloister are completed. You are not allowed to place one follower per turn once you have placed on any tile, so place your people wisely.

I personally think this is a time consuming game which not only to kill boredom but also to build up your strategic skill in a way where you have to think and place wisely to win. It was a little bit confusing if you are a first hand player but it goes just fine once you get the basic idea of how. I was quite lucky that most of the times when I picked up the tiles which were easier for me to place them and connect with one from another. What really impresses me is that when you get a tie, all players get the points of just one decision how you place your tile every turn. The challenge part of Carcassonne is that you have to well place your tile in order not to allow anyone to steal your portion of tile to earn points from you.

If you want to know more about how each tile can earn points and how you can place your tile wisely, do not hesitate to check it out with TheGameBoyGreek.

IOT: More than just things

The Internet of Things is a nascent market where organizations can get connected with human among physical objects, setting up cloud-connected devices which allow to send and receive orders or data (Jackson, 2014). It also refers to a dramatic development to the functions of Internet which enables communication through sensored networks (Ferber,2013).

In fact, according to the Ferber’s projections, 75 percent of the world populations will have access to the Internet and more than six billion devices as interconnected global system includes goods, objects, machines, appliances, buildings, vehicles, animals, people, plants and soil (Barrett, 2012). Specifically, they are including computer networks, sensors, actuators and devices which use Internet protocols and also referred to as the next generation of Internet (Ferber, 2013).

What is more importantly influential to us is, the Internet of things has changed our lives of living when ‘things’ are connected with the Internet and become active (Julian Bleecker). There’s a short video clip of how IoT changes our lives without saying a yes to them.

However, due to the Internet of things has a dramatic effect not only on our daily routines but also governance. The United State is now advocating a new data-based way to play a new rule or regulation to their citizens as governance which defined as ‘algorithmic regulation’ (Morozow, 2014). The cases of accidents or cars stolen have gradually increasing, referring to the database from Sperry Rand Corporation. The technology pioneers in the US are considering to build a built-in mechanism in cars markets in order to stop vehicles remotely. Jim Farley,  a senior of Ford executive says that,

“we know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you’re doing it. We have GPS in your car, so we know what you’re doing. By the way, we don’t supply that data to anyone.”

What they are really doing is that, they get ‘smart’ in cars and roads where the authorities can prevent the crime instead of waiting you as drivers to break the rules. The United States works with other organizations such as Ofcom envisions which promises a central control of traffic system which can impose variable speed limits to smooth the flow of driving or to manage the speed of accelerating (Morozov, 2014).

In April, Apple technology deploys a chip or sensor into the smartphones to analyse if the car is moving and if the person is using phone while driving. This functions when two actions are met at the same time, it simply blocks the texting features of smart phone. Furthermore, Intel and Ford are working on the face recognition of the drivers whether to prevent the car being used or in order to send a picture of owners to activate the car engines (Morozov, 2014).

The Act Of Cyber War – Russia and Ukraine

Cyberwarfare is the word used politically to define the most aggressive attacks on the Internet as a form of hacking secret security or important information from the government or countries. On the other words, it can be defined as an activity by national army which uses the Internet as digital battle or an invasion of another country (Paganini, 2013).

It is believed that cyberwarfare is necessary to be defined as model of conflict (Paganini, 2013).  According to Paganini, almost every countries are now investing in cyber capabilities in order to protect and defence for unpredictable future cyberwar. For better explaining the acts of cyber war, the Estonia’s government networks in 2007 was a great example, an offense occurred in a period of intense political contrasts with Russia (Financial Times).

However, there is a recent cyberwarfare from Russian and Ukraine. According to a reporter’s from Texas cyber security firm that a group of Russian hackers exploited Microsoft Windows to keep tracks or spy on Nato and other targets. The hackers also not only attacks a telecommunications firm from French but also an unknown Western European government and an organization in U.S. (iSIGHT, 2014).

“Sandworm Team” is monitored by iSIGHT whose group has been started nearly 5 years ago which impacting all versions of Microsoft Windows (Ward, 2014). Moreover, it is discovered that the hackers prefer to target victims by sending virus as a file which infects the computers once it’s opened which is called “spear-phishing attack”(Jones, 2014).

Furthermore, CNN’s Richard Quest interviews McAfee CEO Michael DeCesare in the face of growing cyber security concerns in Ukraine about whether or not the Russians are really using cyberwar to attack. It discusses that how Russians forces jam phones and block Internet.

According to the report of iSIGHT, a number of attacks have been observed and specific to the Ukrainian conflict with Russia to geopolitical issues. Therefore, Microsoft now released an update to fix security flaw to minimize any future attacks (Jones, 2014).

Why Do We Hack? #opPakistan

Hacktivism is defined as the use of digital tools which to break censorship controls from seeing and knowing certain information (Vamosi, 2011). The hackers- a group of online anonymous attacking one’s website by exposing names, addresses and contact information of officers, releasing data of someone’s else or from national security including names, statistics, passwords and releasing one’s bank records from political departments or politicians (KP&FATA, 2014). In fact, hacktivism has been an increase against the multinational organizations on sites as leaking confidential information and documents.

Thanks to the effort of Edward Snowden’s, the role of hacktivism has been praised worldwide. However, hacktivism has been applied to against on governmental organizations and laws enforcement agencies whose attacks can actually affect millions of people. Nevertheless, online attacks are illegal but the kids do not seem to care while social media has been  great tools for revolutions. For example, Arab Spring is a good example of hacktivism which a group of anonymous created the environment from Wikileaks and a decentralized organization by posting secret information of government online (Vamosi, 2011).

A group of hackers calling themselves “Anonymous Op Pakistan” brought down numerous governmental portals in the wake of protest in Islamabad. The hackers actually attacked more than two dozen of governmental websites overnight and yet they successfully leaked the zip documents of 23,000 bank records (Dawn.com, 2014).

This anti-government protesters said that it was done for political reasons which in reply of :

“We are cataloging the atrocities being committed in Pakistan. We will begin at once assisting the peaceful protesters in Pakistan with every tool and tactic at our disposal. And we will initiate the process of removing every vestige of the Pakistan government from the Internet and shutting down their communications network. And the Pakistani people will then remove this criminal regime from power and lock them in prison where they belong. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif you are hereby dismissed. You will leave power immediately. For the safety and security of your family we suggest that you depart Pakistan at once. This is your only warning.”

Not only the group sent out the message to the Prime Minister but also to the polices whose action is against the protesters as a warning message on YouTube and Twitter.

However, the effort of hacktivists cannot be ignored which can obviously be a threat for the government and this case must be taken serious for public good.