7 ways games reward the brain

This seems to be the tree I’ve been barking up for a long time now. Summary of Tom Chatfield’s 7 ways games reward the brain

1. Experience bars measuring progress.
	- Give people an Avatar and they can take ownership
2. Multiple long & short term aims
	- 5000 targets not interesting. 5-20 interested
3. Reward effort
	- Every little bit!
4. Rapid, frequent clear, feedback.
	- Immediate is best.
5. An element of uncertainty
	- Uncertain rewards
	- When we predict something wrong we get excited about it.
	- Dopamine, neuron transmitter associated with learning.
6. Windows of enhanced attention.
	- Memory - find moments when people are more likely to remember
	- & confidence - reward system make people will to take risks
7. Other people!
	- The most exciting reward

Engagement!

Doug Engelbart & Ted Nelson interviews

I rediscovered this old (1999) interview with Doug Engelbart and consequentially Ted Nelson which both touch on their alternative paradigms to information management. Here are the juice parts extracted. I found the Engelbart to be more lucid that Nelson :)
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Visuals for modern dance augmentation

Alex May just put up a sample of his latest interactive performance instillation which he demos with a dancer.

Shadows of Light from Quadratura on Vimeo.

I saw an Australian dance performance last month here in Berlin called Glow which was a floor dance also with real-time interactive dance visuals.

I like this direction VJing is taking. Slightly above the mundane random images with effects layer on.

Games can alter the structure of your brain

Wired has an article on “playing Tetris actually gives you more brain to work with“:

This, says the doctors who undertook the study, shows that focusing on a “challenging visuospatial task” like a videogame can actually alter the structure of the brain, not just increase brain activity.

I wonder if this has anything to do with learning?

Ideas as Visualised Spaces

This TED talk by Tom Wujec shows ways that visualising ideas helps to solve the problems. The “Visual Strategy Planning” idea, where a team maps out the entire problem on a wall, together, is a bit like a mind-map and is a nice interface to information.

It also has ramifications for learning in that new concepts could be presented to students as a map instead of a linear text.

Th Laptop-orchestra and the nature of live performance

Laptoporchestra Berlin
I just got back from MAGISTRALE Kulturnacht‘s Medialounge in which a good friend of mine has some photos on exhibit. There was a series of laptop audio performances by various artists which climaxed with a live performance of the so called Laptoporchester Berlin. Seven guys on laptops nodding their heads.They opened with a couple of pieces that were lead by a guy on a cool seven string electric guitar which had a body that was just snap on bars in the shape of a traditional guitar (see picture). They then ended with a cover of Terry Riley’s ‘In C’ which I’d only recently discovered being a big fan of Steve Riech.
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A definition of Consciousness

Suppose ‘consciousness’ could be defined as the ability of a ‘being that can learn’ to understand how its self learns. Thus it then has to ‘decide’, a rudimentary idea in our perception of ‘consciousness’.

I think this explains to a degree then our ‘personality’ which we use to direct our experiences in the world and thus our learning. We, in a manner, feed our learning what it likes best: pleasurable experiences.

If this is true, what does it say about the ‘Turing test’ and there for the way forward for AI research.

Flash as a background and the object tag drama

The Mission

Use Flash as a background image.

The Problems

There are a multitude of problems with embedding Flash into valid mark-up. Basically:

  • You can’t use the EMBED tag now days and has been dropped in favour of the OBJECT tag. You actually can use the EMBED tag but its not future compatible and your page won’t validate.
  • This presents problems because IE and Netscape/Firefox based browsers handle the object tag differently. If you manage to get a single object tag to load a flash movie in both browsers then IE seems to not stream the movie anymore.

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