Tag Archives: nintendo

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Guns don’t kill people. Zappers kill people.

My first gun wasn’t a Nintendo Zapper. My first gun was a cap gun with a trigger action too stiff for my childlike hands to squeeze. I soon realised that life was better with the zapper as I plucked ducks out of the air with style. A clever photoshopper has done his bit for getting the zapper back in the eyes of the internet world by putting it in the hands of some of your favourite movie characters.

Via Churchm.ag.

Mario: This is your life

Mario’s creator Shigeru Miyamoto recently gave a tell all (almost) interview about the character Mario. The guys at ChurchCreate put some bits of the interview into nice graphics that you should totally check out.

You’ll learn all sorts of intereting bits and pieces about the mustachioed plumber.

Miyamoto made an interesting point about Mario’s development alongside the Nintendo platform from pre-NES days to the Wii.

“When we create games, the gamer really is the main character. In that regard it may not really matter who the main character is onscreen. But you know, Mario is someone who has become very familiar and I think it is that people are comfortable with becoming Mario.”

Mario really has grown and changed and evolved with the evolution of digital technology. The new technology is fresh and exciting and the next thing you know it becomes familiar and Mario follows that. He’s a familiar character, but he is also fresh because he is always doing new things based on what the technology allows him to do.”

Via ChurchCreate.

The Tetris Effect

My friend Todd is a photographer in Brisbane. He has a photoblog. It’s cool. It features mostly weddings but his regular “Fridays on Foot” posts are crackers.

Here’s one that has had a little bit of clever post production done.

The coolest thing about his post was the link to the Tetris Effect on Wikipedia.

People who play Tetris for a prolonged amount of time may then find themselves thinking about ways different shapes in the real world can fit together, such as the boxes on a supermarket shelf or the buildings on a street.[1] In this sense, the Tetris effect is a form of habit. They might also see images of falling Tetris shapes at the edges of their visual fields or when they close their eyes. In this sense, the Tetris effect is a form of hallucination. They might also dream about falling Tetris shapes when drifting off to sleep. In this sense, the Tetris effect is a form of hypnagogic imagery.

Izaac and I have discussed our Tetris effect problem. I had no idea it was widespread enough to earn its own article.

Stickgold et al. (2000) have proposed that Tetris imagery is a separate form of memory, likely related to procedural memory. This is from their research in which they showed that people with anterograde amnesia, unable to form new declarative memories, reported dreaming of falling shapes after playing Tetris during the day, despite not being able to remember playing the game at all.[2] A recent Oxford study (2009) suggests Tetris-like video games may help prevent the development of traumatic memories. If the video game treatment is played soon after the traumatic event, the preoccupation with Tetris shapes is enough to prevent the mental recitation of traumatic images, thereby decreasing the accuracy, intensity, and frequency of traumatic reminders. “We suggest it specifically interferes with the way sensory memories are laid down in the period after trauma and thus reduces the number of flashbacks that are experienced afterwards.”, summarizes Dr. Emily Holmes, who led the study.

I had read about (and posted) that study about Tetris and trauma. But this has opened up a whole new world of normalness to me.

Do you suffer from the Tetris Effect?

I also used to suffer from the GoldenEye effect – I’d be popping bad guys in my dreams after extended sessions on the Nintendo64.

Snessy USB Hub

Poking fun at things is all well and good – but it’s much better to offer solutions. So here’s a solution to the paucity of classy USB hubs in the world – a DIY USB hub in a SNES cartridge from instructables. I’m sure it would work just as nicely in an N64 or NES cartridge. And I have plenty of those lying around in various stages of disrepair… sounds fun.

Zapper mystery zapped

I’ve always wondered how the Nintendo Zapper worked. I was a big fan of Duck Hunt as a child.

We are living in the era of the wii – remotes with in built motion sensors with signals picked up by special peripherals near the TV. But in 1984 (the actual year – not the Orwellian future) these were the things dreams were made of – the 1984 type of dreams (the Orwellian future – not the actual year). 1984 was the year Duck Hunt was released.

Anyway, the Zapper apparently worked like this:

When you shot at one of the ducks in Duck Hunt, the screen would flash for a split second, and the duck would either plummet to Earth like a fallen angel, or continue flying around, oblivious to your vain attempts to destroy it. I always just assumed that the flash was for dramatic effect, but it turns out that it was the key to the Nintendo Zapper’s closely guarded secrets.

Instead of emitting an infrared blast every time the trigger is pulled, the Zapper housed a small sensor that could pick up the flashing screen. If you watched closely you would see that, every time the screen flashed, the duck(s) would be surrounded by a box that was a different color than the background. If the Zapper was pointed at one of the ducks when the trigger was pulled, it would register that the color was different, and thus score a hit. All of this would take place so quickly that, unless you knew what to look for, you would never notice.

Shirt of the day: Nintendo wheeze

This one comes from a site called NerdyShirts – so I’m not sure what it does for my campaign not to be considered a nerd. Anyone who ever played the original Nintendo Entertainment System will appreciate this. Otherwise you need to know that to get the pesky things to work sometimes you had to blow in the cartridge.

Here are some others that I almost liked as much from the same site.

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Milestones

Interesting fact – while importing my blog into WordPress (I’m still toying with making the move but am thinking it needs to be done properly to a wordpress.org site rather than a wordpress.com blog) I noticed that today I hit 300 posts, and 2000 comments. My comment to post ratio is still reasonably good – but most of them are from posts a while ago. That seems worthy of some sort of celebration. I think I’ll go home and play some Bomberman on the N64 which arrived in the mail today from eBay.