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Squaring the circle, with a side of nostaligia?

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — CIA, Osama, gaming, and I ]

What I have in my collection, somewhere:


and what CIA has in theirs:



In search of our respective lost childhoods? À la recherche du temps perdu?

To be honest, I think the gameplay in mine’s a bit more visceral.

Game on!

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — a computer “plays” Mario Bros while a robot demonstrates “Bushido” ]

Two stunning videos:



Justin Seitz turned me onto the Super Mario World video with this tweet:

I’m one of those obstructionists who wouldn’t say the AI was “playing” — but that’s the hard problem in consciousness for you. I wonder what my friends Mike Sellers and Chris Bateman would have to say..

And no, I wouldn’t call the robotic slicing and dicing “Bushido” either. From the Hagakure:

There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you will still get the same soaking. This understanding extends to everything.

Has the Yaskawa Bushido Project learned from rainstorms?

Indirectly, I suppose. But there you go.


Interesting that John Holland, the “father of genetic algorithms”, described his life’s work as a Glass Bead Game, eh?

Twitter games: chess and war

Friday, June 5th, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — more for the fun and war games file ]

There’s Aaron Zelin‘s piece,


Then there’s this DoubleTweet from Daveed Gartenstein-Ross:

and (brilliantly played!) Phineas Fahrquar:


Both the linked pieces are worth your while:

  • Aaron Zelin, The Islamic State’s Saudi Chess Match
  • Giorgio Bertolin. Why chess is not the right metaphor for human conflict
  • War Games

    Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — not a FIFA joke ]

    via ElMostaque


    I’ve no idea of whether this was photoshopped, staged, screencapped, or simply a brilliant photo, but it’s war fun and games any way you look at it.

    A visual koan.

    The image is several years old, but I just saw it today via @EMostaque.

    Playing at Peace

    Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — in which Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Phillip Smyth get into role ]

    The United States Institute of Peace is holding what it terms a PeaceGame today and tomorrow:

    The current PeaceGame series is tackling one of the timeliest and most challenging of issues confronted by the U.S. government and stakeholders worldwide: the global rise of radical groups and violent extremism. Building on a successful first session in December exploring the political and economic roots of extremism and violence, our June event will focus on the human element: why do today’s extremist movements attract recruits worldwide, and how can the international community more effectively both counter this appeal and manage the reintegration of radicalized individuals.

    That’s an interesting topic all right — but when it comes to role-playing “stakeholders worldwide” there are going to be some interesting participants..


    Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, for instance, is playing the Islamic State:

    Formally naming IS “Daesh” in the game seems to me to be a curious choice, since it’s unlikely to be the term by which IS members self-identify in “real life”. Note that the US isn’t named “Crusaders” although there are some stake-holders who might think of the US that way.


    Daveed gets into role as IS, and Pillip Smyth, playing Shia, responds likewise:

    And thus I learn a new insult — “nasibi” apparently being the derogatory term Shiites use to describe thier opponents — roughly comparable to Sunnis labeling Shiites “rafida”.


    You can watch the event live here:


    Nada Bakos characterized an early response within the game thus:

    Do we ever get farther than analysis paralysis? That’s an open question..

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