Applied Design @MoMA: Playing Games in Public Reveals Some Issues…

 

Well, that darned “ringer” Pac-Man machine with the funky joystick was ONE problem and bad enough for an old gaming salt like me to come up against, grrrr. But I’ll have to kick myself harder for being SO supremely lame at vib-ribbon when I have it here and used to play it quite a lot. Granted, it HAS been a few years since I picked up that PSOne import, but still… I think someone messed with the controller, as the card next to the exhibit was off a bit. Well, the good thing was everyone who played it had problems as well. I at least managed to make it to the end of the second area on one attempt… and of course, I wasn’t filming or being films when it happened… bleh.

 

Applied Design @MoMA: fLow (PS3) “Dancing Bacteria?” Well, OK…

Well, I did hear someone say that’s what the game looked like at the event, so I guess that’s how it will seem to a few people who haven’t played it. I was going to title the post “Waiter,There’s a fLow in My Soup!”, but that would mean I’d need to stop writing and go eat something, as food references sometimes make me hungry. Good thing I’m at the library here “stealing” free wi-fi time or I’d be passed out at the pizza place nearby on a cheap (but REALLY good) pie, not getting any work done and feeling not too guilty about it later on.

Applied Design @MoMA: Portal Is Actually Harder If You Start in the Middle.

 

Granted, I haven’t played this in some time, but it’s NOT exactly the toughest game out there. However, if you pick up a controller and try to start playing, expect to get lost fast. This level is actually really simple (I ran through it on the PS3’s The Orange Box collection just to make sure I wasn’t losing my touch), but I just dinked around for a bit so the video could be shot. Anyway, the guy who played after the next guy tried DID remember how to play and it was a good thing, as a video crew caught that fun bit of puzzle/platformer action for whatever site they were filming for… Ah, well. Hey, if they had Cosmic Ark or Thunderground there, I’d STILL be playing today…

Gallery: Applied Design @MoMA (1 of 3)

applied designAnd here you go in case you can’t make it to the very cool Applied Design show here in NYC (or if you’re a total cheapskate but have an eyeball for art): a bit of a walk-through in image and movie form. Some of these pics and vids are shot by me, some by artist Linda Dennis who tagged along for the experience (and got to play Pac-Man again for the first time in a long while and Tetris for the first time ever. Too bad the Pac-Man had a “ringer” joystick (which means no one but someone who can work with that thing like it is will make it to the kill screen, which isn’t a short process, mind you). Enjoy! There may be a test later (but I doubt it). Bonus points if you spot yours truly in any of these pics. Trying to stay semi-anonymous on the Internets these days is a total pain in the neck… but I guess I’ll need to get used to it…

More images and a short video below the jump (and more to come tomorrow)…

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Pac-Man Is Harder Than It Should be @MoMA’s Applied Design Show…

 

Yes, it’s the Namco arcade classic, but the version at the show is a bit lame because the joystick isn’t too responsive. Er, tilt your head or watch this on a mobile phone for best results. Anyway, I kept sucking hard at the game but it wasn’t ALL my fault. Right after I got my paws on this machine with the funky as hell joystick that made for QUICK losing battles against Pinky, Blinky, Inky and Clyde, Local NY1 News Tech Beat reporter Adam Balkin stepped up and… proceeded to be as bad as I was at the game. Well, everyone I saw play this didn’t last long, but I think that’s planned in the exhibit in order to keep that ONE guy or gal really good at the game from being a total jerk and play for hours on those free credits…

 

 

Hmmm… I should have given Adam my business card, but eh, we’ll meet again at some point…

Applied Design @MoMA: You Won’t Find An Earthquake-Proof Table @Ikea, That’s For Sure…

 

EPT_MomaBut you will get a plate full of tasty  beefhorsemeatballs covered in an even tastier sauce and lingonberries on the side (yum-o!)*. Anyway, this VERY useful table (currently at MoMA’s excellent Applied Design exhibit) created by industrial design graduate Arthur Brutter and professor Ido Bruno is made for areas in countries where earthquakes are a problem. A main cause of injury and death among children who happen to be in schools in these areas is being crushed while hiding under a desk, so this table is designed to prevent that and even double as an escape route if lined up properly. I can see this being adopted for home and office use at some point, so kudos to Brutter and Bruno for their applied design that turns a common object into a much better common object (er, well… one that’s MUCH better than the old desks they’ll be replacing).

*Hey, I’ve had those meatballs in the past and they’re not bad. Still, I was wondering why I had a craving for apple, carrot and hay salad afterward…

Cultchah! MoMA’s Applied Design Show Brings Gaming to the Masses (Huddled and Unhuddled)…

 

Hokay, I’m sort of on an extended road trip today (and as the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions), so this will be brief (with much more to come later). The Museum of Modern Art held a press event to show off one of their new exhibits, Applied Design (in case you didn’t see the video above). In addition to some amazingly practical objects formed from the alteration of nature into things such as furniture, tools and a rather innovative mine sweeping device, a number of important video games were on display, many of them playable. I’ll post a bunch of videos later (and some may even have ME in them – oh noes!), but if you’re in the NYC area from March 2 (tomorrow!) to January 31, 2014, it’s worth checking this exhibit out.

Gallery: PopRally Arcade @ MoMA

And here you go: images from the MoMA Event put on by KillScreen Magazine. I'd say the game of the evening was B.U.T.T.O.N., as it had the most people lined of to get in on the mayhem. Seeing a wide range of adults crashing into each other or otherwise rolling around on the floor was absolutely hilarious. I'd say that if the team at CGP had boxed plug 'n play copies of the game for sale with those custom big button controllers for around fifty bucks or so, they'd have sold out before the evening was over. Seriously. I was at the Limbo station starting at 10 and although it was only the demo version, it freaked a few people out while others who figured out how to get the boy to live through the assorted traps wanted to see more (I think I helped sell a few Xbox 360's in promoting the game, so Microsoft owes me a few bucks, I'd say). Many thanks to Gabo and Eddie for the opportunity to help out!
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See You At PopRally!


It’s going to be a SUPER BUSY day today, between a few press meetings (Bethesda and D3Publisher, sorry EA – I had to drop someone today and you lost the coin toss!), then it’s off to
MoMA to help the KillScreen guys out with tonight’s Arcade event at PopRally. I’ll be manning the LIMBO station starting at 10PM until 11:30, so if you’re in the area, drop by and say hi! If I can, I’ll take some photos and post them tomorrow or around the weekend. I still have Call of Juarez: The Cartel and Captain America reviews to complete (among other things…)