Gaming Library Issues Media

Techsource – Alternate Reality Games

Just published a new post over a ALA Techsource about Alternate Reality Games. If you don’t know what they are, or just want to see who I think is doing good stuff with them in LibraryLand, go take a look.

3D Printing Digital Culture Gaming Personal


Check THIS out:


It’s Mii!

A long time ago, I blogged about a company who would take your Second Life avatar, and create a little 3d render of it using a 3d printing process. Then, a bit later, I blogged about getting a Wii.

Unbeknownst to me, the president of the company, Fabjectory, had noticed my blog posting, and had been reading me (or at least skimming my feed) since then. When he saw I got a Wii he emailed me to let me know that Fabjectory was now making mini-statues of Mii’s, and he offered to make me one gratis. After a few emails back and forth to assure me he wasn’t joking, and for me to assure him that I wasn’t guaranteeing that I’d blog about it, etc…I took him up on it.

The process was really simple: for a Mii, you just take a few full-body shots of your Mii right off the TV screen. You can do that from the Mii edit screen…here are the two I sent in:


From that, the Fabjectory guys recreated my Mii, printed it using a Z-corp color 3d printer, and shipped it my way. My only negative about the process was that my initial discussion with them was in March, and while I checked in a few times to make sure the photos came through ok, it’s August now…better than 4 months since my initial order. Still, it’s a freebie, and almost certainly wasn’t given the priority that a paying customer would be given.

I’m really impressed with the detail of the fig…it’s so well done, with the colors being dead-on. Overall, it’s just amazing to see this once virtual piece of me now as a physical item. I would definitely recommend this as a cool gift…Betsy nearly fell over when I gave her the one of Mii, and I think it will be quite cute on her desk at work. My fig is one of the 3 inch figures, and at a retail of $50 is a bit on the steep side to order on a whim. On the other hand, it’s a great little object d’ arte, and if you’ve gotten as many comments on your Mii as I have, it might be a small price to pay.

Here’s some detail shots of the figure:


I’d recommend Fabjectory after seeing the quality of the work, and just the intrinsic coolness of holding your Mii. I’m considering pushing my Dean to pony up for a SketchUp model of the new library, once the plans are finalized…how cool would it be to show off a model to the students?

Gaming Monkeys Personal The Living Dead

At GenCon

GenConSo this weekend is my annual pilgrimage to Indianapolis to GenCon. This may be my last until Eliza gets big enough to want to go with me…but it’ll be great if that happens!

I know that Josh Neff has done the GenCon thing…with all the rage around gaming librarians, any other librarians hitting the largest gaming convention in the world?

Digital Culture

I’ve been Wii’d

wiiWoot! I finally got my hands on a Wii, and I must say, I’m enjoying the heck out of it. Nintendo has completely revolutionized living room gaming with this thing.

I’ve got a lot to say about the interface and the control system (short form: they ROCK) but for now I just need Wii friends. Anyone out there wanna be my Wii buddy? If so, I’m:

4523 9501 6905 5000

Add me as a friend, and leave your number in the comments and I’ll add you.

Digital Culture

The strange continues

So, dear readers, you might remember my post from a few weeks ago that brought into your awareness the existence of the Otherkin.

Well, evidently, they’re lonely.

I give you: OtherKin Dating.

Yes, really.

I shudder at the power of the Interweb, and fear the day it becomes sentient.

Digital Culture

And once more, I’m off


This time to DragonCon, in Atlanta, GA. I’m gonna go get my geek on, play some games, run some tournaments, grab some schwag, sell some cards. More as I’m there and when I return.

Digital Culture

Japanese desk toys

So I spent the last 4 days in Indianapolis, Indiana at GenCon, the largest collection of gamers in the world. As you might imagine, there are a lot of strange things there…and I came home with a few (not the ones in the pictures search, though).

While I’m not the otaku that many, many, many people are in the gaming community, I am fascinated by certain aspects of Japanese culture. I’m hoping maybe someone out there can help me identify the type of toy I’m talking about here, so that I can find more of them. ๐Ÿ™‚

There’s a history in Japan of producing a type of figure/toy/object called karakuri, which means something like “mechanical device to tease, trick, or take a person by surprise”. When you cross that tradition with a culture that’s tied to their desks for insane hours a day, and their nearly inexhaustable ability to produce cute (kawaii)…you get these desk toys I’m just obsessed with. The problem is I don’t know what to call them…if there is even a word for toys of this type. So here’s some examples:


Walkie Bits is the famous toy from Takara — a mini robotic turtle that responds to commands made by tapping its shell! With four different modes, this tiny turtle can walk and run, sing, race, or walk in a rhythm you program by tapping its shell.


Unazukin is the latest interactive toy from Bandai — a small “fairy” that is actually a good listener. The voice activated doll actually reacts to your voice, nodding and shaking her head whenever appropriate. Battery powered (the battery is included — make sure to remove the protective slip first) with an on off switch, the cute two inch high doll has four different movements, shaking head back and forth once or twice; and nodding once or twice, An adorable toy that makes a great gift or a display item.

hidamari no tamihidamari

The Hidamari no Tami (also known as “the Sunshine Buddies” are beloved across Japan for their happy pleasant expression, and their serenely nodding head that seemingly in time with a private tune. Powered entirely by solar power, these display toys are also environmentally friendly and teach the power of sunlight.

So…I bought one of these guys:


…at the con, mainly due to the kawaii. It looks like they are a part of a manga or anime, but I can’t be sure, not being able to read Japanese and such. ๐Ÿ™‚

These toys have some things in common…they are all very kawaii, and all are mechanical in some limited way. My Haro is sitting on my desk now, happily flapping his ears (?) up and down via solar power. I have a small bear made by Tomy that dances in response to sounds. Do these sorts of things have a name? Can anyone in blog-land help? Is anyone else obsessed with these things?

I’ve tried the Google translator for things like this, but it gets me only wonderful advice like:

  • How! Design of fragrance being attached new appearance!
  • Enjoying just your arrangement with the hologram seal which is defeated don’t you think?
  • After opening, there is also the pleasure and a secret.
  • Be able to open and close the ear, it shakes swingingly with the weight which is built in.
  • Putting in place [harokore], the pedestal which it can decorate has been attached.
  • It is the paint end finished product. As for color of the commodity there are times when really it differs somewhat.
Digital Culture

Reservoir Dogs: The Game

I’m pretty certain there’s no way in hell that the actual game can compare to these brilliant commercials:

Reservoir Dogs: The Game

“Then one day she meets a John Holmes motherfucker…”

Digital Culture

Going away

For the next several days, I will be off to Chicago, to enjoy the company of friends, judge the Raw Deal World Championship, and watch grown men roll around half naked.

I’m going to see Wrestlemania while in Chi-town.

I understand that most people think this is silly. Let’s just say that I enjoy the deconstruction of storytelling, while maintaining the tropes present in classical narrative forms. It’s self-referential, and wonderfully postmodern in its technique. Plus, HHH is so going to pwn Cena it’s not even funny.

Digital Culture

Xbox Media Center rocks my face off

So I spent nearly all of today working with my old, non-360 Xbox trying to make it a useful part of our entertainment system. I am A friend is now the successful owner of a system running Xbox Media Center, and connected to my home network.

I already have an Airport connecting our music to our surround sound system, and we use iTunes to stream all over the house. But I’ve got a decent amount of video/photos that I’d love to be able to access on the TV, and now, I my friend can.

Overall, I my friend followed this walkthrough, although because of the DMCA and other laws, they can’t actually link to the software necessary (which means, of course, that finding it is difficult, but not impossible). Part of the software completely eluded me my friend (the bootloader that actually makes linux a possibility on the xbox). However, there was another version, not mentioned in the walkthrough, that allowed me to bootstrap myself into XBMC, and streaming happiness. I My friend has no idea how it manages it, down deep, but it’s played every single video type I’ve thrown at it, perfectly. No stutter, no issues…just played them. I’m incredibly impressed.