packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (quarter-rear)
One Chance.

Short game. No replay. No undo. Controls are the arrow keys and a spacebar.


Jul. 26th, 2010 10:05 am
packbat: Leaning on a chain-link fence, looking to my left (your right) with a neutral expression. (spectator)
I think I've come up with a new game for Omegle.

Stranger: hi
You: Greetings.
You: Would you be interested in playing a game?
Stranger: yeah... what's game?
You: It's called the imitation game, or the Turing test.
You: One participant is the interviewer, and the other is either a human or a computer program. )

Footnote: the imitation game is first described in Computing Machinery and Intelligence, a paper by Alan Turing - an easily-read transcription is available from the Loebner Prize website here.
packbat: Wearing my custom-made hat and a smirk. (hat)
I visited the Tomb of Horrors for the first time today!

I think I may go back sometime, if only to see if I can make it out of the iron box with three levers - so don't tell me anything that happens next! (Or even lie about it, actually - that always makes me uncomfortable when I think I've been "spoiled".)
packbat: Coming into the finish line after a mile race - the announcer can be seen behind me. (running)
(Forgot to mention until today: the heat pump got fixed Friday! Forgot until today, but not to mention: shipped the application for the FE exam that's due Tuesday in Baltimore!)

So, this afternoon I got a call from J.-no-longer-from-school (yay graduation!) suggesting that we have a Game Night at T's house. Being the kind of guy I am, the answer was most definitely "yes", I threw some snacks into a grocery bag, and caught a ride out to College Park ...

... where we discovered that some streets aren't plowed very well after two blizzards back-to-back!

On the bright side, I got to pitch in with the crew pushing a mildly clueless BMW-driver out of the ditch by the road. (I actually contributed one factor which may have helped much: pushing the front wheel out so it could pull the rest.) It was a really good thing that I have those great new waterproof hiking boots, because I was standing in a big snowdrift ... in my sneakers, with my boots in the closet at home.

The gaming was good, though! We started off with "Da Vinci's Challenge", which is this very patterny game where you try to get particular shapes for points - we frustrated L. quite a bit by talking when she wanted to discuss strategy with her teammate, though, which made things very awkward. After that, we played an unusual trivia game I've forgotten the name of - everyone writes up guesses, but then you ''bet'' on the guesses you think are actually probably right. We wrapped up with Puerto Rico.

I actually caught a ride home with L., who lives nearer my house than J. (Funny: three of us in the same area, and we all three go to College Park instead! Next game night might be closer, I imagine.) Fortunately, the street had been plowed while we gamed - although not all the way down to the street.

Ah, well. Fun night, anyway!
packbat: Coming into the finish line after a mile race - the announcer can be seen behind me. (running)
A man in crazy pajamas atop a skyscraper rains laser death down on the streets. He's laughing as he does it.

Below, fires bloom for the news cameras. Reporters duck debris as they yammer on about demands and manifestoes and terror.
Meanwhile, in the background, the screams of scorched innocents melt into the wail of sirens.

It makes me angry. My cheeks burn with it -- or that just might be from the wind.

The madman grows closer and closer, impossibly fast. His eyes widen as he lifts his weapon in my direction. He won't make it in time.

My hands tighten into fists as I brace for impact.

I have a set of crazy pajamas of my own.

Truth & Justice is a superhero RPG Eric Burns-White (nee Burns) recommended ages ago.

I desperately want to play this thing.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

What is your favorite old-school video game?

Submitted By [ profile] 2hated2care

View other answers

Mega Man 9!

Okay, okay, I'll choose a real one: Mega Man 2. Or, if I have to choose something Older Than The NES (warning: TVTropes), Moria.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)
Sorry for not getting around to taking about stuff. Enjoyed The Dark Knight when I saw it Saturday, but consider it overrated - worth walking/running 2.5 miles for, but not nearly the religious experience people treat it as. Also, Two-Face was so much cooler than the Joker. (Yes, I said it. So there!)

In contrast, Test Drive Unlimited on XBox 360 rocks like a hurricane. This is a game where you really can drive at 140 mph (225 km/h) for forty miles without loading, through traffic, and it's a fantastic feeling. Only underwhelming parts are (a) the character customization, which is terrifically complex for not much effect, and (b) the motorcycles, which are a little too carlike to be truly thrilling. Oh, and they clearly didn't optimize for the in-car view. In spite of those, it's awesome - A+.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

Are you the kind of person who prefers to enter a game with strategies and codes, or do you like to go into it without any help?

View other answers

Ooh, thanks for reminding me! I should put hints in my IF!


Anyway, I skip 'em, myself. It feels like I'm cheating myself of doing it myself, to tell the truth. (In fact, even on racing games, if they're simulation-style, I'll switch off all the traction-control &c. and drive with the manual transmission, often enough.)
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (darwin has a posse)
Some good advice, acquired via the Battleship Puzzle-A-Day Desk Calendar: when you have made a list of possibilities and have eliminated all but one, try to eliminate that one too. If you find that you can, you will know you have made an error.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (darwin has a posse)
Another classic game-theory hypothetical for you all:

Yesterday, you and an accomplice pulled off the bank job of the century - a haul large enough for each of you to retire to your favorite island paradise with no extradition to your home country. The money is all untraceably socked away in secret bank accounts, but, unfortunately, the police caught up to you on your way out of town. After a high-speed chase, you both ended up in separate cells in solitary, where you have been stewing away overnight.

This morning, the state attorney visited you in your cell.

"Okay, listen up," he said. "I know you'll just deny it if we ask, but we know you two did it, even if we can't prove it. So I'm going to offer you a deal. Even if both of you say nothing, we can get a year inside for both of you on a reckless endangerment charge for that wild driving last night. I'm willing to drop that charge and let you go if you'll testify against your partner.

"But before you start thinking about altruism and all that, I'm warning you - my partner's right down the hall, offering the exact same deal to your partner. If you clam up and your partner talks, you'll get twenty-five years and your partner will be let off scot free. If you both testify, I'll give you time off for cooperation - fifteen years apiece.

"That's the deal - your choice. Think it over. I'll be back tonight."

Assume that you do not know and have no loyalty to your accomplice - all you want is a minimum sentence for yourself. (You can make up a scenario to explain it if you like - the key part is that you're strangers, only together for one job.)

[Poll #1207554]

(Edit: Anyone interested in further reading may wish to read the Wikipedia Prisoner's Dilemma article.)

(Edit 2: The crosspost to [ profile] thequestionclub may be found here.)


May. 28th, 2008 12:38 pm
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (nomicide)
A number of you are probably aware of the Nomic I am associated with - [ profile] nomicide. It's in that irritating between-games idle stage right now, the one where we should be trying to make new rulesets but we're just off doing our own stuff, but it's been a pretty successful Nomic while it's going, and I'm pretty proud to be involved in it. (Incidentally, if you ever want me to brag, ask me how I won the first game. It was brilliant.)

Anyway, I just opened a poll to vote for the Head of the Constitutional Convention (pretentious, eh?) where all the players could vote for any player to become Head. Being a player, I of course immediately voted myself for the players I thought would be good.

The next day, the second vote had come in (I told you it was idle), and I opened the post to see who was winning. A moment later, noticing I had two votes in the poll, I realized the horrible fact: I had voted for myself!

Level up!

May. 4th, 2008 09:22 pm
packbat: Coming into the finish line after a mile race - the announcer can be seen behind me. (running)
So the AD&D 2.5 campaign has been running along biweekly, and today we finished up the first quest. Or, to be more precise, today we said, "hey, we were supposed to clear the mine, and that was four pages of maps ago..."

Yes, the mine turned out to be the entrance to a gigantic cavern system with weird phosphorescence, extraordinary patterns on the floor, funky traps, huge chasms, and mysterious (and often humorous) traps. It was awesome. In fact, when we went back to the blacksmith/mine owner, we said, "hey, can you put in a door so we can go back?"

He took it out of our reward, but nobody complained. Like I said, awesome.

Anyhow, that was that. Anyway, we netted over 1000 XP for the adventure, which added up to levels for everyone. Plus, mad cash, which added up to long sword for me! (My club was bequeathed to the half-elf thief/cleric - we're a thief-heavy party - to be Shillelagh'd with.) Also, picked up small mirror and silver dagger, for emergencies. So, now we have to rescue the kids who got snatched while we were off adventuring, and then see about the missing supply caravans.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)
Because the question is too pressing to be left unasked.

[Poll #1157201]


Mar. 14th, 2008 11:11 pm
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (one-quarter view)
  • Unfortunately, the turkey pot pi was somewhat underwhelming.
  • I'm thinking an external hard drive might be handy. LaCie is good, right? I should probably shop around a little.
  • I got XTC, Tom Petty, and Alanis Morissette CDs today!
  • Naturally, I am dismayed at Livejournal reaching new, untouched levels of idiocy by deleting the Basic Account option for new users. Like certain wise people (only with more laziness), I am honestly thinking about striking out on my own and just reading/reposting here. For the less lazy pessimistic, though: thanks to [ profile] conuly, a update with the proper RL contact info for complaining.
  • To the guy about the IF thing: it's still rattling around in my head - expect mail soon.
  • Anybody around here play Core War or interested in starting? (Bear in mind I'm still yak shaving - do you believe that OS 10.3.9 didn't come with GCC installed? - so I won't be sending any warriors up any hills yet.)
  • Looking at the stack of lab reports that need grading, it seems my panicking skills are fully intact. Also my procrastination skills.
  • It's quarter to midnight? Okay, I gotta go to bed - ciao!
  • (P.S. Does anyone know how to fix a flaky trackpad on an iBook G4? The button keeps sticking.)
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (chess)
  • The other prof of my class was absent this Tuesday-Wednesday, so I had to cover the whole two hours. Plus, I misread the homework assignment as being due Monday, not Monday a week1, so I thought I had to cover the entire thing, including the bits we haven't got to in class yet.

    Given that we bugged out half an hour early, I suspect I did not completely succeed. Discussion sections are the toughest audiences.

  • Picked up a bug somewhere that kicked in Thursday morning - sore throat, runny nose2, soreness of muscles ... well, no, actually that last is due to overstress on the "Lat Pulldown" machine at the school gym. Yay exercise!

  • Went to chess club last night after the gym, ran into a guy from my FEM class there. He talked me into playing blitz - 10 minutes per player - and then wiped the floor with me as soon as I slipped up and dropped a knight in both games. So it goes.

  • You see Friday's "Little Dee"? Panel four? So my brother.

  • This is the most absurd thing I've ever seen. (Well, today. So far.)

  • I'm seriously short of non-C items.

Well, that's mostly all. Cheers!

1. 2.8%, unless the missing "a" is highly significant3, in which case it might be as high as 11% or more. ^
2. I'd elaborate on the viscosity and color, but no-one wants to read that junk. ^
3. Or unless Irregular Webcomic readers are a nonrepresentative sample. Which, of course, they are. ^
4. Now with x% more meaninglessness, where x doesn't mean anything! ^
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)
In the comments on my artist-QOTD post, [ profile] jfs gave a good definition of art: art occurs whenever a person creates something whilst trying to evoke an emotional reaction. I was just thinking about the specifics of that - why "emotional" reaction, what kinds of reactions can/does art make, what kind of moral value should we ascribe to the methods and contexts of these reactions ... I don't know if this will be coherent, but it might be interesting interest.

I guess I'll start with Dan Brown and Myst. No - I'll start with Agatha Christie and Myst; it's wrong to snipe at works you haven't perused.

Wait - no, the point doesn't really work with Agatha Christie. I'd better just start somewhere, and let the chips fall as they may.

One purported property of Dan Brown's writing is that it makes the reader feel clever. Specifically, The Da Vinci Code is accused of making its readers feel clever by showing them stupid puzzles. Assuming "feeling clever" is an emotional reaction (not much of a stretch, I think), I point out the following:

  • Assuming it was on purpose, The Da Vinci Code is art.

  • In addition, The Da Vinci Code is successful art in the evocative1 sense, not merely in the financial sense.

  • It is being criticized for the way it evokes these feelings - its critics say it should not make the reader feel clever in this way, presumably because the reader does not earn feeling clever.

"Hey," my brain said. "What about Myst? It does take a little cleverness to solve those puzzles - isn't feeling clever justified there?"

I'm not going to divert to the obvious moral, here. (I was tempted, mind - any excuse to plug Indigo Prophecy/Fahrenheit is welcome.) Instead, I think we should consider where this idea of justification of art, in this earned-emotion sense, leads. Is the emotional climax of Terminator 2 justified? What about the excitement and satisfaction of a good game of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City? Or of a good performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C minor? Or, on a more abstract note: are we justified in evaluating these works and the reactions they evoke? Or, higher still: are we justified in rejecting such evaluations as unworthy, or unnecessary, or inappropriate?

Comments are open.

1. "Evocative of emotional reactions". Hey, I wanted something short and snappy. ^


Aug. 17th, 2007 09:17 pm
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (chess)
Man, I hadn't played chess in a long time. That game was darn crazy.

Anyway, around four or so I left work to go down and steal food from the chem. department's "Welcome New Grad Students" BBQ, and met up there with my brother and a friend of his (I want to say Vasily was his name, but I've already forgotten), and my brother sent me up to his office to go get his chess set. After he ate, he played and lost to V. (let's call his friend that), and was about to start another game when I asked if I could play.

I wish I'd written it down. It was pretty nuts. All I can remember is that it started off with 1. e4 d5 2. Nc3 d4, and every turn I was just sweating bullets. I think it continued with 3. Nd5?! e5 (I have no confidence in the ratings of these moves - checking online, 3. Nd5 seems dubious, but it might merely be interesting), but somehow, slowly, I managed to dodge fork, gambit, and trap to end up pinning his knight against his king with my queen and, after threating with my bishop, bringing my knight up to mate:

Honestly, I don't even know whether Black threw the game or whether I had a forced win. I was just glad it ended.

Anyway, I went afterwards to the campus arcade for pool, and around 7:30, took the Metro home with my brother's friend after my brother left for his new digs up north.

And that was my day. Good night!
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Bumper)
Legendary Creature - Philosopher....

Design courtesy of Magic: the Creation.

(Many thanks to [ profile] glitchphil for the link and correcting the text.)
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

From Twenty Sided.

Pure Logic

Feb. 24th, 2007 12:15 pm
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (swing dismount)
Link of the day: Blue Eyes: a logic puzzle. I don't think it's the hardest in the world, but it is kinda tricky.

Actually, the puzzle reminds me of a story I read in a popular mathematics magazine once.

Read more... )
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)
Well, it's official: [ profile] nomicide will be the LJ comm. for my and [ profile] active_apathy's Nomic game. Everyone who wants to play ([ profile] kevinpease, you said you were interested?) should answer here.

In other news, [ profile] crisper has reminded us that January 27, Rabbit Hole Day, approaches. This Saturday. As the man said, take a break from the Every Day and write about your Rabbit Hole Day. Your normal life will be waiting for you when you get back.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (efw O.P.)
One week ago, [ profile] active_apathy asked her readers if any of them were interested in a game of Nomic. (For those of you unfamiliar with it, Nomic is a game designed to allow the players to change any or all of its rules.) I, among others*, responded quite enthusiastically to this idea, to the point where I spent a few rounds bouncing ideas for the initial rules off [ profile] active_apathy.

Well, today I came up with a tentative set.

Edit 01/20: [ profile] active_apathy has a poll for people interested in playing.

Edit 01/23: [ profile] nomicide.

LJ Nomic Initial Set of Rules )


* Namely, [ profile] maggiebloome.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (tired)
Starting to play Second Life on a Wednesday was definitely a bad idea. Especially since I enjoy customizing avatars.


packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

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