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eXTReMe Tracker
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
In the early days of computer gaming, the most evocative and atmospheric experiences were conveyed entirely through text. Text adventures, with their terse locations, thrived on the role of objects, which were there to be discovered, smashed, used, examined and combined: you find the lamp, but now you need the oil to fill it and the match to light it. Only then will the dark room become illuminated. See this walkthrough for Level 9's famous 'Return to Eden' to see the object-centric focus of a typical game. See also the Classic Adventures Solution Archive, with evocative maps like this: Adventureland. Also, solutions for the famous series of Infocom adventure games.

As this Wikipedia history of the text adventure shows, the very first text adventures debuted in the mid to late 70s (e.g. Will Crowther and Don Woods' seminal Colossal Caves Adventure - which you can play online. More information at SPAG, the Society for the Preservation of Adventure Games). Our virtual avatars seemed to have over-stuffed but infinitely-deep pockets. Today, our computers remain depositories for imaginary objects. Although the box that sits on the desk is essentially mundane and lacking wonder, inside is a cabinet of curiosities, with each and every machine somehow different, their many functions and properties signified through a myriad of obscure objects, things that must be opened, expanded, collapsed, scrolled, stored, filed, deleted and edited. Of course, we still love to explore the physical world of objects, but this seems to be increasingly about those personal, internal environments.

Elsewhere. Graffiti (I spell this word wrong every single time) artist Banksy undertook a sneaky (but well-publicised) re-hanging of the Tate Gallery last week. Although I’d read about the stunt, I hadn't actually seen the work in question. The title of the painting? 'Crimewatch UK Has Ruined The Countryside For All Of Us.' Another one of Banksy’s ‘vandalised oil paintings’ (via a secret smile, who also links to the work of Adam Neate). More art. Recent painted map works by Anna Oliver, including 'Charge of the Light Brigade', 'Iraq' and [Claude Monet’s] 'Waterlilly Pond, 1899'. Nevergirl is an excellent photolog (via yummywakame).

Signage: Wide Right Turn, via Coudal / Related: type in Stockholm, via City of Sound and Typographica. City of Sound also has a post about the freshly re-opened Hayward Gallery, with excellent photography. One correction, though, it wasn’t Denys Lasdun who designed the building. Lasdun was responsible for the National Theatre (it is next to impossible to find a good site about this building. This is all we could do: National Theatre, with more on Lasdun's other work). The South Bank Arts complex next to the Royal Festival Hall and consisting of the Hayward, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room – was designed by the GLC Department of Architecture, led by Geoffrey Horsefall, with Hubert Bennett the principal designer. South Bank site history. More twentieth century architecture, a great piece on the sound mirrors at Greatstone in Kent, wartime relics of the pre-radar age.

The ancient world mapping centre, via The Map Room / No Sense of Place has redesigned / more time lapse photography, this time focusing on plants (via me-fi) / No Surrender, WWII never ended for these quasi-legendary Japanese soldiers (via consumptive) / breasts in Japanese culture (obviously not safe for work) / Hard Hats for Christ / Esher in Lego, via the cartoonist. Also, all about the legendary Mercedes 300SL / weblogs ordered by weblogger's ages at the ageless project: spanning sixty years.

Building the Chrysler Building, the social construction of a skyscraper / brassiere links at art for housewives / more of those great hand-manipulated polaroids of London / like Bowblog, we note with alarm William Gibson's metaphorical description of blogging's relationship to writing: “The image that comes most readily to mind is that of a kettle failing to boil because the lid’s been left off.”