Category: commentary

  • Wonderful Projects I Did With Microsoft’s Kinect

    RIP the Kinect. Literally changed the direction of my research/career/life/art. Gave it more DEPTH. — Dustin Freeman🚁LAX (@dustinfreeman) October 25, 2017 Microsoft has ceased manufacturing the Kinect. Here’s some projects, art and research, academic and industrial, that I could only have done with the Kinect. The Role of Physical Controllers in Motion Video Gaming, 2011:…

  • Immersive Theatre Roundup: D&D Yoga

    Yesterday, I saw/experienced the show “D&D Yoga”, in the Toronto Fringe Festival. This is a literal combination these two things, which worked in some surprising ways, didn’t work in some surprising ways. It is a yoga class, run by a real-life yoga instructor Christine Desrochers, during which you go on an actual Dungeons and Dragons…

  • State of Virtual Reality Venues in Toronto

    For the last few years, I’ve been a “VR tech professional”, which means I have, on my desk, various pieces of Virtual/Augmented/Mixed Reality equipment. These will get cheaper, but at the moment are dubious buys for the average person. Despite companies’ best efforts, set-up is still a confusing pain. VR still has so many goddamn…

  • Questions to Ask after an Underwhelming Art Experience

    Is this at 90% of being amazing and needs to be pushed/polished just a little or is it actually at 20% and there’s a ton more work? If it’s a long way from being good, is the path to success clear or unclear? If the extra work to make it good could be put in,…

  • NYC Immersive Theatre Review

    I finally set aside time over New Year’s to see all the immersive theatre in New York City that people have been bugging me to see. Here’s a terse listing of them all. NOTE: all of those shows are great and worth seeing. With my comments, I’m not trying to convince people to think about…

  • IRL Deviations from Snow Crash and The Diamond Age

    ADDED POST-US-ELECTION UPDATE AT BOTTOM I first read Neal Stephenson’s duology of future cyber/* punk novels Snow Crash and The Diamond Age a decade ago. As my personal aspirations increasingly resemble some of the elements in the novel, I’ve given them a re-read. I especially want to look how the future in the novels resembles…

  • Game Mechanic Compression Ratio

    After attending a conference on roguelikes over the weekend, I was talking with friend Randy Lubin about how players move from learning rules to playing a game. We discovered/invented this really cool concept: Game Mechanics Compression Ratio: the ratio between the initial instructions for a game once understood cognitively, and the complexity that they create…

  • Bungie’s Destiny and Iain M. Banks’ The Culture

    After a year hiatus, I played through much of Destiny recently. The production design is high-quality good. The writing is maybe good. The presentation is terrible. I’m a fan of the subtle out-of-order storytelling in the Dark Souls series. It seems Destiny tried to do the same, except ignored the subtlety, so every piece of…

  • Studying Narratives in Small Spaces, Part 2: Boats

    At the Augmented & Virtual Reality roundtables at GDC 2015, there was consensus that moving a player through space made them uneasy. While in the future, I’m sure we’ll discover interesting tricks to ease the transition, what if we aren’t worried about that, and instead an entire interactive narrative experience happens in a single space?…

  • Studying Narratives in Small Spaces, Part 1: Mysteries

    At the Augmented & Virtual Reality roundtables at GDC 2015, there was consensus that moving a player through space made them uneasy. While in the future, I’m sure we’ll discover interesting tricks to ease the transition, what if we aren’t worried about that, and instead an entire interactive narrative experience happens in a single space?…