Finding Damo

The story of a man, his job, two cats and the meaning of success.

Archive for the tag “fun”

Pokemon Go.

me in a PokeballI wanted to look at this issue from two perspectives – me the blogger and me the teacher (who is also a blogger). So I’ll put something up here and then do something similar but slightly different over on the PerryPerrySource.net – and then link the two.

Pokemon Go was an incredible effort by Niantic. A year ago, it exploded into the public consciousness. We took over Lilydale Lake chasing Dratini. We scared the penguins down at the St Kilda pier and got shot at by the owner of the Glen Waverley Golf Club while chasing Charmander.

Finding Damo and his buddyLooking at my buddy stats, with one of my Pokemon buddies, I walked over 300km, and that’s just one of many Pokemon companions I have had over the year.

It has been really exciting to see the evolution of the game from a buggy, crashing mess to a completely different buggy, crashing mess.

I kid. The stability of the game has improved out of sight.

I understand that Niantic completely underestimated the impact that PoGo would have on the world. They couldn’t deal with the influx of customers. And then they couldn’t deal with the tracker they had implemented. And then they couldn’t deal with the spoofers and hackers and cheaters who flooding the game with fake names and hugely inflated Pokemon.

When Niantic decided to do a huge event to celebrate the first year of PoGo, I predicted that it wouldn’t go well. I hoped that it would, but I assumed that it wouldn’t. Sure enough, the phone towers couldn’t handle the traffic, people who had flown in from all over the world were left high and dry and the lawsuits have begun.

I want to say “It’s just a game, get over it.” But it seems like more than that. Niantic wanted to create a phenomenon. They created a phenomenon. And they let it loose on the world without any way to control it.

I’m still playing a year later. I take my family on raiding parties to catch legendary Pokemon. We go on long walks to hatch eggs and incidentally explore and discover new places. It’s like playing a board game or participating in a family activity. We’re spending time together, being active and having fun.

I really want to see what comes next. The Harry Potter AR (PottAR?) game seems to be on the cards. There’s a fantastic-looking horror game that uses your phone, although it seems to have been lost in development hell. And there are a HEAP of other AR games that were already well established before PoGo reared up out of nowhere, including Niantic’s own Ingress. There’s a market for augmented reality. With Trump running a country, we need to insert a bit of fantasy over the top of the weirdness that is real life.

TrumPokemon

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Birthday fun.

the message

When my daughter came home from school today she found this stuck to the front door.

This is Fia:

Fia the Dog.

Looking very smug.

O and her friend had to use all of their detective skills to find the toys and return them to the bed before… well, before Fia got some probably much deserved rest and quiet.

The girls looked at the first clue.

“24. That could be an advent calendar!” they exclaimed after a bit of postulating, and off they went. I sighed in relief. Not too difficult then. Behind the Advent Calendar, the second clue awaited them.

The kitchenThe clue

Some of the pedants out there might notice that this is not actually a Beanie Boo. I had more clues than I had Beanie Boos, so the panda kindly stepped in. The Rainbow Bears were less accommodating. I had to bribe them.

This clue reads:

It’s been a hard day’s night
And I’ve been working like a dog.
So it’s time to unwind with a good back rub

“To the massage table!” O cried.

Time for a massage. The note

This is where I should have thought through the clues. Our next bear was downstairs. Luckily, some verbal clues from helpful parents sent them in the right direction. I need to workshop clues in the future. “Ahem, flowers,” I said. “What do you do with them?”

“Cut them up and put them in a vase?” said O’s friend, who was turning out to be a very competent detective.

“To the vase!” yelled O.

I’d alternated the clues, sending the girls up the stairs and down the stairs, to make it seem like a longer and more involved treasure hunt. This proved very effective.

In the kitchen In the vase.

Easy. There’s only one window looking over next doors’ fence. Back upstairs.

IMG_5082

This really should have referenced a computer somehow, but seeing as neither of the girls had been born for WarGames, I left the clue as a literal thing. “To the games cupboard!”

Scrabble anyone?

Scrabble anyone?

Notice Catan Jr in the background? That’s right. We indoctrinate early in this house! The Apple in the box clue took them awhile. And then O had no idea where she kept the box for the iPad, but we got there in the end. I felt a bit bad stuffing a turtle in a box. It had overtones of pet burials from our childhood (surely a turtle gets a box, not a flushing).

turtle inna box turtle inna box.

This next one was exciting for me as a parent.

“In the wild I hide in the forests. In this house, there’s only one place to hide that’s similar.”

“Hmm,” Miss O said. “What’s similar to a forest?” It’s Christmas. There’s a whopping great Christmas Tree in the front room. I thought it would be obvious. “Wait! To the library!”

“What? Why?”

“Books used to be forests.” Duh. We had just shown her Silence in the Library (Doctor Who).

“Ohhhh. Ok. Try being more literal.”

“The, um, the Christmas Tree?”

IMG_5088 IMG_5090

“They say it’s dangerous to hide inside a fridge. But this is only a very little one. I’m sure it’ll be OK.”

This photo didn’t turn out well. That’s what the note says. I have a little one-can fridge for cooling Coke cans powered by USB. I left the door open a crack (What? You don’t want the raccoon to suffocate, do you?). They still had a look in the real fridge, and O’s friend was sure it was an esky, before I said we didn’t have one.

IMG_5091 Don't try this at home!

Don’t try this at home kids! I thought this next clue would be easy. Magic, wizard, wizard hat, too big for a Beanie Boo. No problems. But sometimes a detective can be too clever for their own good. These two gave me too much credit as a clue-master.

“Gandalf was in the Hobbit. She must be hidden next to the Hobbit book!”

At this point I was in trouble. I’d “hidden” a Rainbow Bear on a bookshelf in plain sight. I really didn’t think this through. “Umm, don’t look at the Bear. That one’s for later. What is Gandalf?”

On the right track again, they found the cutest looking wizard I think I’ve ever seen.

IMG_5113 IMG_5093 Nothing up my sleeve, or this one, or this one...

A quick advertisement. My lovely wife made this hat for me. It’s spectacular. The octo-wizard sent the girls back up stairs, to find the next critter, nice and safe and cosy sleeping where any cat would sleep given a chance…

IMG_5109 IMG_5096

Fia the Dog, meanwhile was enjoying the peace and quiet, not realising that karma was creeping up behind her with a Nerf bat.

zzzzzzz

Finally, the girls were legitimately allowed to find Rainbow Bear (2? 2, I think. I can’t tell them apart).

IMG_5099

And then to find the final Rainbow Bear, somewhere near water.

“The fish pond?”

“Oh. No, that would be mean,” I said.

“The sink? The dog’s water bowl? The washing machine?”

This is the last one and, I thought, the easiest. “Where in the house is there enough water to swim?”

“Ah,” Miss O’s friend said, as the party girl herself kept reeling off answer after answer. “The bath.”

A few more answers later, the bath answer filtered through and they dashed upstairs again. All of the toys had been found and there was to be a party on the bed.

IMG_5102 Party on the bed!

I’m sure (ahem) that Fia was very happy to see all of her friends returning to the bed, and they all piled on to show her how much they missed her while they were away. Did you notice the dog’s expression change at all?

IMG_5134

Sorry, this has been a really weird post. But I had fun, and the kids enjoyed it immensely.

If I don’t get back on here before Christmas, have a good one, and I’ll see you in 2015!

Rupert, Roger and Roderick

Rupert sang Yellow by Coldplay while slitting Roderick’s brassiere. Yesterday Regina saved Rupert when skies were falling on Roderick. Roderick drugged himself to death by show tunes while bleeding profusely on roger fainting. Sunsets faded into nothingness causing death and destruction to Roger. Tomorrow Regina helped herself to death by poison for herself to suicide assisted death for herself. Resurrecting Rebecca proved impossible however vampires drank Rupert’s life force transforming Roger into Captain Corpse. Captain Corpse disintegrated slowly killing Rupert and festooning Roderick with intestines.

– Dromana trip – 2012.

Road Trip

Road Trip

Before the days of smart-phones, this is what we used to do when we were bored. Rupert, Roger and Roderick were names we took from Life of Brian. We were on a long car trip, or sitting around a campfire, or drunk and bored somewhere and needed something to do and decided to play theatre sports. We told a story, with each person saying a word to make a sentence. And then one of the characters died in a most horrible way. And we laughed. And did it again, this time trying to kill the character. And then again, with each person trying to save their own character and kill off the others.

I was hunting through my old files of random nonsense and found the first ever story, the precursor to Roger, Rupert and Roderick. Here it is:

On a bright summer’s morning the hotdog vendor went north to the hotdog vending laboratory where he inspected hotdogs for sale rapidly in succession. Suddenly out from a bun leaped (leapt?) several mottley yeast particles intent on bloating everything? No! Suddenly out of the bun popped the many faces. Each face ate another bit menacingly of the hotdog vendor.
Seriously though folks,  the moral sucks because there is never time on many faces tick-tocking away to bother eating hotdog vendor.

                        The End?

                           No!

        Consequently, stories like Goldilocks stink because the moral never equates correctly with statistics much in practice but only when [insert budgie’s name here] tells the story. Not often does [insert budgie’s name here] tell stories however hotdogs do. Nothing.

        Mary was sheepishly eating sheep relish and using a forklift to eat daintily. Barry thought Mary should watch herself because without cutlery she might injure him less rapidly. Mary is unconcerned mostly because she doesn’t conserve barries in Australia. When Mary spat the sheep bit she targeted Barry but missiles of destruction work wonders with Barry’s defensive corset. Retaliation was not mandatory however Barry did. Death came yesterday with great pecs of bone and nicely scythed through sheep to provide food for beasts like Mary with alien nuclear capabilities. Barry was angry because Death missed his breakfast on toast, so went under Mary for some beast bits to dye. Instead Barry walked right into hours of plastic
sheep work. Unfortunately Mary dyed the group  of Barry’s sheep dips metallic so committing herself.

– First ever game, October, 1998.

By now we had a game, and so we had to come up with some rules. And thus was born the most exciting game of Rupert, Roger and Roderick. At this stage, it was Rupert, Rufus and Roderick:

Rodgering Rupert, Rufus and Roderick

Roderick killed Rufus almost but fortunately Rufus killed Rupert
nearly totally acting badly. Rupert loves Rufus but killed himself. Rupert
decomposed compost but for now. Rupert resurrected 80’s music after tea
reviving Rupert almost. Roderick suicided unsuccessfully but was bruised by
Rufus who revived Roderick lovingly to throw himself nicely, painfully and
safely onto spikes living in memory escaping life.

As you might guess, it was, of necessity, a three-person game. The first time we added a fourth (we named her Regina) the game went as such:

Regina: Regina

Rupert: Died

Roger: Full stop.

(shocked laughter filled the car)

Regina: Well, that didn’t work!

So we added some more rules.

OK. Rules.

Basics:

Rupert

Rupert

Roger

Roger

Roderick

Roderick

Regina

Regina

Each person takes a name. Traditionally those names are Roger, Rupert and Roderick (with Regina if we need a fourth). You need to keep your character alive and kill the others. However, if you die, that’s not necessarily the end of you. Characters have been resurrected in the past. Often at the expense of someone else.

Grammar:

We had high hopes for grammar and sentence structure when we started this game. Now we just say “if we can’t follow the sentence, we’ll challenge you and it’s up to you to make the sentence work out.” The sentence should work as a sentence. But we’re not going to fire a mailbox up your bottom (Death of Rupert at one stage) if you don’t get it perfect.

Punctuation that ends a sentence or that changes the meaning of a sentence counts as a word. The phrase “full stop” has been the knell of death for many a poor R-named hero or heroine. We also allow the addition of ‘s to a word. Hence “Roderick slashed Rupert’s sneakers”. Finally, the person who says the word is not always the person who spells the word. So, almost once a game we get:

Roger: Rupert
Roderick: dies
Rupert: wool. See what I did there? Change the spelling you tosser!

Roderick dyed his Rufus green. Roderick slashed Rupert’s sneakers causing Rufus’ safe death. Roderick prospered almost committing Rupert. However when Roderick fell four stories fatally it happened that he died.

Cause of Death

We really ramped it up when we decided that people should really die of something. So we added the necessity of weapons:

Scissors didn’t bother saving Rupert from washing powder poisson distribution (this was Dave’s save. a bit dodgy but hey!) but caused Roderick massive lifespan loss. Rufus swallowed nothing but lettuce insecticide fatally kissing Rupert unsuccessfully. However rabbits of great happiness and humour napalmed Rupert almost. Rufuses everywhere donated killer bees. Roderick laughed as chainsaws didn’t stop ever killing Rufus lookalikes but Rufus came undone. Grabbing missiles stealthily Rupert suicided unsuccessfully and aimed them at Rufus. Not aware of the impending destruction, Rufus smelled Roderick’s immortality fading as Rupert destroyed Roderick momentarily distracting himself. Let knives fall. They pierced? Yes but missed Rufus mother, murdering Rufus.

I’m getting the feeling that this is how They Might Be Giants write a lot of their songs.

Once we had the “cause of death” clause, it was safe to put in a fourth person. Thus, Regina was born!

End of Game

When everyone but one person is definitively dead, the game ends. They might be able to be saved in the next sentence, but if they’re dead in this sentence, that’s it. And majority rules. If you think you’re still alive, but can’t argue your case strongly enough, tough, you’re pushing up daisies.

rabid weasel

Worst. Death. Ever.

Rupert, Roger and Roderick is not a game for the faint-of-heart. It’s not a game for the overly argumentative or people unwilling to back down. It is best to enjoy the carnage, embrace the death of your character and try your hardest to take revenge on your murderer. And it doesn’t have to be Rupert, Roger and Roderick (as evidenced by the loss of poor Rufus in the great name shuffle of 2002). You can use your own names, or anyone else’s names. But we find that there is more laughter at “Rupert was stripped to the bones by rabid weasels” than at “Damian was stripped to the bones by rabid weasels”. Well, by me, anyway.

I don’t know how you’re all doing, getting checkout servers to laugh. But we’re done with that now. Make ’em laugh in your own time. New challenge: Get two or three friends. Play Rupert, Roger and Roderick. Write down your game and post it in the comments section. Let me know what worked and what didn’t.

Oh. For the sake of fairness: Dave has a rule that he keeps trying to add in, where you can add “ing” or “ed” to the end of the last player’s word as your go. I feel that it takes away from the simplistic purity of an already devilishly complicated game. However, feel free to give it a shot.

I’m pretty sure there’s an App in this somewhere. If only I could program.

One fine morning when Rufus stabbed Rupert non-fatally complications set Roderick crying with joy because he died. Roderick smells vile but not alive even though he lived shortly. Rupert! Dead finally survived not.

“Oh what a tragedy!” said Bob about Rupert. Even though Chucky died in theory and practise, their genius will prevail when medical tricorders revitalise the tomato and then something exploded.
Chucky, decomposing rapidly decided to forsake Bob after Rupert plunged sinks on Rufuses everywhere. Consequently Chucky posessed Rufus! As Rufus stripped, Chucky’s spirit ate bananas in Hell!
The Armageddon soundtrack sucked and so Bob died.
Chucky disintegrated taking everybody or nobody. Everybody wasn’t crying over Bob’s reincarnation myth. ARMAGEDDON! Nobody liked anybody. Rupert lives not.

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