Insane Lego Machine

Hello Visitors from Stumbleupon! If you like this post, please give it a Thumbs up! You might also like this post from BlogCampaigning’s Heather Morrison about her new nerd glasses or this post about Parker’s Favourite Science Fiction books! My dad's an engineer. Back when I got Lego for Christmas he was always amazed at some of it's complexity. I wonder what he'd make of this – I don't know if the person who built this is an engineer, but this is simply amazing!

Choose Your Own Streets Adventure

I'm a big fan of both The Streets and interactive YouTube videos so I was pretty excited to see the promo video for The Streets' new album today. The video series is like a choose your own adventure, with the user deciding how The Streets' Mike Skinner goes about his day. The cool part is that some of the story lines lead you to song samples from the album. Finding the first one was neat, but having to go through parts of the story again to find all of them was a little bit annoying.

Check it out!

Subaru WRX - Choose Your Angle

A few weeks ago, I posted about a project I worked on for Subaru Canada called "Pure Performance." Phase II of this project involved strapping four HD cameras to a Subaru WRX Rally Car driven by Canadian Rally champion Pat Richard as he drove through a stage during the Rally of the Tall Pines in Bancroft, Ontario.

We then created a series of interactive YouTube videos using this footage, allowing the viewer to change between the different views in real-time. In creating these videos, we actually maxed out the number of possible annotations that YouTube allows for each video. As far as I know, this has never been done before.

All four videos are below. However, I strongly recommend taking advantage of the interactive feature and clicking through the different views as Pat Richard and his navigator Alan Ockwell navigate the track. I'm not going to say that these videos were inspired by too much time spent playing Gran Turismo, but I'm not going to say they weren't inspired by this either.

Let me know what you think!


PS: If you feel like learning a bit more about the Subaru WRX STI, head over the

Some Thoughts on Youtube, Recession Proof Videogames and the Resident Evil Trailer Controversy

When I went to my colloquium on Thursday a fellow Ph.D. student gave a presentation on his thesis: the use of popular video sharing platforms amongst teenagers and young adults. Something that stuck with me were his remarks about how Americans apparently engaged differently with these platforms compared to Germans and how this is already reflected in the platform's page titles: Youtube's "broadcast yourself" compares to Clipfish's "Funny Videos. Fun Video for Free" or Myvideo's "We have the funny videos, clips and commercials".

In short: Americans seems to engage more actively with these platforms while Germans seem rather content with just consuming. This in turn also implies that Americans regard these sites more as a counter public (by stressing the active part).

Of course the next question would be: Why are there these differences? Is it a fear of being publicly humiliated? Is there something in US culture – Hollywood? The promise of 15 minutes of fame? An excessive star cult? – that makes Americans more comfortable with self-portraying? Does it have to do with a German reluctance of engaging with new media in general (due to socio-historic reasons)? The penetration of Web 2.0 seems comparatively low in Germany – to me at least. Possible socio-historic reasons are something I'm going to look into in the next weeks (months…) in connection with videogames and the resistance they're facing in Germany in terms of censorship; a fate they share with other media (from film to television, radio being an exception), so stay tuned.

On another note (we had this before): Are videogames recession proof? The short answer: Yes. The long answer can be found here but basically boils down to yes. (Told you so. Please transfer 20% of the gains you made on the basis of this information to this blog.)

Instead of fully devoting my day to John Hirst's "Australia's Democracy. A Short History" I spent quite a lot of time following this discussion. I'm really on the fence on this. I won't go into detail (I doubt that I have anything to contribute to this discussion that had not already been said in one of the comments) but can kind of see where N'Gai is coming from. Especially the excuse that this game is not programmed by whites by but a Japanese developer rings hollow in view of Japan's racist history and attitude. Should black zombies be censored on the other hand? Certainly not. And I don't think that this is what N'Gai implies, but he rather hints to the fact that Capcom is stepping into a minefield here when proceeding uninformed (also see one of my old posts here – in which I actually defended the game by hinting to its Japanese creators. I guess you never stop learning).