Tag Archives: vigigame

Swimming with the 8-bit fishes

30 May

Some days I swear my blog should be changed to “Geek events in DC and all things Super Mario Bros”.  Take, for example, my need to show you all this epic Mario Fish Tank.

I happen to love fish.  Add Mario to an aquarium, and this is pretty win.  I’d want a ton of algae eaters in this tank so they could chill on the ? blocks.  And the bubbles from the warp tube is also super epic.  Only thing I’d change is to make the background higher than world 1-1.  This thing is totally higher up than just the first stage!

[via Geekologie]


8-bit Portal

25 Apr
Mario and Portal. Awesome game, awesome puzzles. Kind of messed up, kind of creepy. Together… is it epic? 

I saw this post on Geekologie announcing the Mario Portal mashup game, and I’m tempted to try it out.  The final game has all kinds of extras thrown in including 4-player co-op, level editing, and hat options. 

Too bad I want to finish Skyrim first. And then Diablo III will be out… so many games! So little time 😦  Then again, I don’t have any friends, so 4 player would be pretty hard to do…

Mari0 Official Site (download at the bottom)

Have you played this game? What do you think about it?

Cactuar sighting!

10 Jan
It’s Tusday.  Have a toothpick cactus.

Give him eyes and call him Cactuar.

Being Social: the Weekend of 11.11.11

10 Nov

Nu! The final Binary Day is upon us!  It is a sad affair, but there’s still a lot to do even after the 0’s and 1’s stop showing up in our datebooks:



The DC Gam.es festival runs this weekend, which will run games designed locally.  Our lovely Artisphere will again play host to this exciting event, which coincides with the conclusion of Digital Capital Week.  Games include:

  • Live Action Spy Party, designed by Pete Vigeant (ESI Design)
  • A Web of Hope, designed by Pete Vigeant (ESI Design), presented by Natron Baxter
  • 3 1/2 Ring Circus, designed by Charles Amis, Ala Diab and Nathan Maton (Gameful)
  • The Mini Gauntlet, designed by Matt Fleming
  • The Escort Quest, designed by Rob Meyer and Grant Reid (NYU Game Center)
  • Grow a Game, designed by Tiltfactor (and run by Nathan Maton)
  • Before/After, designed by Molly Abin and Todd Ogin

Also all day, varied times

There will be a ton of Veterans Day events for Friday, including a parade in Manassas, ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the World War II Memorial, and the Navy Memorial. The Mount Vernon Estate will have a wreath-laying ceremony followed by performances by the Harmony Heritage Singers (an all-veteran barbershop chorus) and the U.S. Air Force Strings.  (via WTOP)



The Accessibility Hackathon, another point in the Digital Capital Week, will be bringing developers together  at tche DC public library to ‘help create tools to meet the needs of the user community’.  I’m no coder, so check out their Hackathon website for more details. (via Eventbrite)

If the DC Games Festival wasn’t enough, Saturday is apparently National Gaming Day!  Participating public libraries will also be hosting tons of dice rolling, button punching, card slamming fun! (via WaPo)


We, the Pizza and DC Brau will be hosting a night of all things tasty.  DC Brau  will feature the Citizen and Public brews, and will be paired with Chef Spike Mendelsohn’s  special pizzas.  Sounds tasty, but tickets are $40.

Yeah, tweed.



Once again, the Dandies & Quaintrelles  will host their third annual Tweed Ride.  This will combine a fashion show and a hipster reunion on wheels. It is free, but you have to register to learn the starting location.  There will also be an after party at Smith Commons($15 ticket required). (via Metromix)


Yeah, back in the day 3 Doors Down were kind of popular. I guess they’re still playing, and will be performing at DAR constitution hall

How Bitcoins are related to AIDS Research

27 Sep
This is yet another reason why geeks will rule the world.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, gamers have solved the structure of an enzyme of an AIDS-like retrovirus that had thwarted scientists for a decade.   With this solution, researchers can develop drugs that target areas of these enzymes (i.e. ‘finding a cure’ for AIDS).   Said scientists’ computers were unable to determine the structures of the amino acids that made up this disease’s enzymes, as computers’ spatial reasoning skills are not yet as advanced as humans’.    (via the Daily What)
In this case, people were asked to help solve the retrovirus enzyme’s structure through playing a  game called Foldit, where gamers competed to determine the amino acid structures in a puzzle-like approach. “To the astonishment of the scientists, the gamers produced an accurate model of the enzyme in just three weeks,” SMH reported.  The gamers won this game so quickly that they were given actual scientific citation credit in the research paper.   This may have been ‘the first time’ that gamers have solved a ‘long-standing scientific problem’. It makes me proud to be a geek, and I’m sure we’ll see more research like this in the future.
Harnessing the power of geeks reminds me of the old screen-saver program, SETI@Home.  Have any of you used it?  The goal was to find alien life by using distributed computing to analyze of packages of radio noise collected from space.  This program was an early attempt by the University of California at Berkley, and was renowned for being able to utilize downtime on computers.  I don’t think it ever worked, and it sounds like the program might be shut down this year.  However, I do remember that I got a digital certificate for my work, and I was able to ‘donate’ my computer’s computation hours toward my High School’s total.  I don’t know if it got my school any prizes or recognition for the effort, but it was worth a try.
District Geek

But I got a shiny certificate!

I believe there are screen-savers that still work on solving problems like finding a cure for cancer and calculating prime numbers to the bazillionth digit.  I’m not sure how much effort is going toward such work nowadays, as it seems computation power can yield profit, as shown through Bitcoin mining.  Called the future ‘digital currency’ by some, Bitcoins are a new form of digital cash that can be used to purchase goods or services.  They can also exchanged with other real and virtual currencies, such as the US dollar and the Linden Dollar.  Bitcoins can -only- be generated through winning a race to process blocks of ‘Bitcoin transaction logs’ which verify Bitcoin purchase, ultimately rewarding the processor with 50 of their own Bitcoins for the effort.  Unlike Seti@Home, these packages are so complex that it would take years for a home PC to solve one block.  Instead, massive computer farms are dedicated to ‘mining’ Bitcoins.
Ok, it’s an 8-bit coin

I italicized -only- above because this process for ‘minting’ Bitcoins is under scrutiny; there is no centralized authority for this currency.  Instead, Bitcoin is underwritten by a peer-to-peer network akin to file-sharing services like BitTorrent, with certificates and public-key encryptions that are signed during transactions ‘to prevent duplication’.  Those blocks of transaction logs that are used to generate more Bitcoins are the only way to verify if the Bitcoins themselves are forged. (Thanks to the Economist.) However, Bitcoin currency exchange systems can be hacked, and many are unsure whether it is worth investing in.  Do any of you mine or trade Bitcoins?  If so, how has the experience been?

UPDATE 9/29: Thank you to all those that commented on this post.  My research on Bitcoins security had holes, and I hope that the edits to the above section correctly address these issues.  Also, now you can buy ‘real Bitcoins‘!

 Tangential economic musing aside, the progress made by gamers and tech geeks alike is impressive.   We’re kicking ass and solving the world’s problems, one win at a time.  Game on.


A walk in Mario’s shoes

30 Aug

Mario World by Alexey Mikhaylov

Looks pretty awesome, eh?  This art by Alexey Mikhaylov sums up the next few weeks for me.  A ton to do, with lots of adventures, but maybe not much time to blog.  I’ll keep trying, but if you don’t hear from me either don’t worry, or pester me to post more!

Video Game Courtroom Win?

27 Jun

If you haven’t heard yet, the ban that California tried to put on the sale of violent/offensive video games to minors has been rejected.  In Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, the court stated that this ban broke both the 1st and 14th amendments.  In summary, they announced that such a ban is an unconstitutional violation of free-speech rights (Yahoo).  As such, “government doesn’t have the authority to restrict the ideas to which children may be exposed” (WTOP).

The full ruling in PDF format can be found on The Supreme Court website.

Instead, the court ruling implies that parents should decide what games a child can play.  Now, that of course brings up the question of whether or not parents are actually “good parents” and watch for, or even care about what their children play.  From experience, all my friends and I got titles if we asked for them as gifts or had saved up the money for them, whether it was Mortal Kombat or Pokemon Snap.  Conversely, there are parents that take offense at a single line of dialogue out of context, so I understand that some parents care, but I am under the impression that the majority of parents would’t be playing Grand Theft Auto before giving it their seal of approval.

Still, wouldn't you feer a bit uneasy if they trapped you in a dark alley?

Then, of course,  people argue that it’s the multi-billion dollar video game companies who truly win, and that this isn’t about the right to decide if a game is okay for a certain kid to play or not.

I for one am glad that video games aren’t going to be strictly regulated.  I think a child’s exposure to violent games doesn’t have as much of an effect on children as their upbringing, their social interaction, and their education.  And even barring those factors, I would hope that children would be smart enough to know that video games are not the same as reality.

What do you think of the decision? Is it good for kids? Will it promote good parenting? Are ratings enough, or should there at least be more explicit labeling of why a game is rated the way it is?  Let me know!