08 DEC 2021 by ideonexus

 Pinball Algorithms

In 1986, Williams High Speed changed the economics of pinball forever. Pinball developers began to see how they could take advantage of programmable software to monitor, incentivize, and ultimately exploit the players. They had two instruments at their disposal: the score required for a free game, and the match probability. All pinball machines offer a replay to a player who beats some specified score. Pre-1986, the replay score was hard wired into the game unless the operator manually r...
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14 MAR 2017 by ideonexus

 Patenting Video Games as an Analytic Exercise

My initial reaction to discovering the Tapper patent was that it seemed like a hilarious parody. There are many silly patents, but this patent isn't silly in only the usual way, that it proposes an invention where I'm skeptical patent protection is really in order. It reads parodically because it seems to be describing the wrong thing entirely: It takes the formal structure of a patent, which is most at home when describing machines and other devices, and uses it to write a strange kind of g...
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10 MAR 2017 by ideonexus

 Arcade Games in Game-Based Education

Arcade games such as Pac-Man, Asteroids, Tempest, Gauntlet, and the like are not useless to the gamifying teacher. Rather, their use is limited . . . and their usefulness makes them more akin to board games than contemporary video games. What is Pac-Man but a game of pattern management? Gauntlet is as much about resource management as anything else. These are notions that were discussed in the previous level. So, don’t exclude the value of the old-school video game . . . but don’t equate ...
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