ZenStorming

Where Science Meets Muse

Posts Tagged ‘games’

The Future of Innovation: The World is Your Controller

Posted by Plish on March 30, 2018

 

We interact with the world even when we don’t realize it. 

The act of breathing changes the chemical composition of the air in our immediate vicinity.  Standing in the sun casts a shadow – the area in the darkness gets momentarily deprived of light.  Jump up and down and the floor vibrates.  Walk in a crowd and other people magically move out of the way (hopefully 😉 ).  We tell people we love them (or we don’t) and they respond on an emotional level causing chemical and electrical processes to be initiated in their bodies and in ours.

Go to any Home Depot or Lowes, and there are countless switches, knobs, buttons, sliders and more, that are used to foster interaction with the world around us.

Unfortunately, we’ve gotten so used to these mechanisms of interaction that we think these are the only ways to interact.  We call them switches, knobs, buttons, etc., but we no longer call them what they really are:

Controllers.

Interact with something and it controls something.

To the extent we can measure how the world reacts to our interactions, we can use those measurements to control other things.

Everything has the potential to be a controller.

Some Gamers have taken this truism to an extreme by using objects as diverse as fishing reels to bananas to LED strips to control the games they’re playing.

This video shows the bananas in use.

 

What can we use as controllers in the game we all play: Life?

It’s important that we suspend all judgement of what makes a good controller, at least in the beginning.  It’s important that we play, that we experiment. After all, controllers are used in games.

In our increasingly connected world, the Internet of Things enables controlling systems in unimaginable ways.

The controllers of the future don’t need to have an obvious relationship to the things we want to control (bananas?!).  We only have to design the means for interpreting  our interactions with controllers and sending that information to whatever it is we want to control.

That’s my challenge to you.

Start seeing the everything in the world as a potential controller. Get wild with your ideas.  Think of it as a game, have fun!

Radical innovation may only be a banana away!

 

***If you’d like to learn more and want to structure a class on alternate controllers, take a look at this paper from the folks at the Rochester Institute of Technology who had a class in building alternative game controllers.

 

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Posted in creativity, Design, Disruptive Innovation, games, imagination, innovation, Maker, Maker Movement, problem solving, product design, Service Design, The Future, toys, Workplace Creativity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Make Beautiful Music – Bolster Creativity

Posted by Plish on September 23, 2011

Playing is essential to learning.  Children play constantly, and guess what?  They learn constantly.

Adults could learn if they played, but unfortunately we think play is only for kids.

Enter the Theta Music Trainer.

While children could definitely learn from this, adults are the ones that could really sink their teeth, um, ears, into this.

Music connects with those parts of our brain – those artsy, non-linear areas – that help with creative thinking in general.  Flex your musical brain ‘muscles’ and you flex your creative muscles.

The Theta Music Trainer site  gets that creative workout going, and in a fun, and playful manner.  Oh, and did I say, “Free?”  Yup, it’s free.  However, if you get addicted to the games, and want to learn more than the free levels offer, you have to subscribe.   Regardless, there are plenty of free resources worth checking out. (As an aside, the business model for this site is intriguing, don’t you think?)

So, make some beautiful music tonight –  Your creativity muscles will thank you!

Posted in Authenticity, children, creativity, Creativity Videos, games, Musical Creativity, Nature of Creativity, The Human Person | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Review of Chicago Toy and Game Fair

Posted by Plish on November 23, 2008

Do Not Know When This Pic Was Taken But It Was Not Today In Chicago

Do Not Know When This Pic Was Taken But It Was Not Today In Chicago

Today went to the Chicago Toy and Game Fair-ChiTaG for short.  It took a bout 2 hours to leisurely stroll through the hall, chatting and checking out the various games.  The main take-aways were:

  • Eco/Green games are in.  This was clearly THE main common thread through the majority of the newer games.
  • You don’t have to come up with a whole new type of game to have something that’s pretty cool.  Just by tweaking the rules and adding or subtracting from well known games like Trivial Pursuit can result in totally new and cool games. 
  • Almost no high tech type games were there- only a couple even looked high tech.
  • Very few music related games or toys
  • The overwhelming majority of games were for indoor use.

Personally there were two games that caught my eye and even dented my pocketbook.  The first, called “Not Tonight Josephine” is a Trivial Pursuit type of game that is great for history buffs.  Though originally designed for the UK it comes with a US adaption kit for those of us on this side of the pond that don’t know much about Cockney English.   It even got good reviews.  By the way, this is the one that dented our pocketbook as my wife and I couldn’t pass it up. 

The second game that I really dug was called SiegeStones.  Players take turns placing towers or stones on a wooden game board (that would look totally cool if it was marble!) and try and claim the towers by gaining adjacent circles with their color stones.  A typical game lasts only 15 minutes or so.  I was taken by the simplicity and modern primitivity of it.  Didn’t drop any coin for this one, but maybe I’ll make a marble board for it first.

All in all, I recommend you checking it out if you’re in Chicago.  It’s still going Sunday the 23rd and you can get a $2 off coupon here.

Games are a great way to get thinking in non-traditional ways, so go with an open mind and see how innovation doesn’t have to be earth shattering to be new!

Posted in Design, games, idea generation, problem solving, Reviews, toys, ZenStorming | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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