Chess and Melrose

Welcome to the junk room. I'm one can of cider down, and have just closed the web browser in order to remove distractions. It's just me, Scrivener, and the light from an angle-poise lamp standing guard on the corner of the desk. I played chess today. I haven't played chess in a very long time.… Continue reading Chess and Melrose

Interactive Fiction

You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door. There is a small mailbox here.So begins the text adventure game "Zork", written by Tim Anderson, Marc Blank, Bruce Daniels, and Dave Lebling between 1977 and 1979. Although not the first computer game (Spacewar almost certainly claims that… Continue reading Interactive Fiction

The Beginning, or the End ?

This week Deep Mind - the Google team behind the "Alpha Zero" artificial intelligence project - tried out the game of chess on the system.Alpha Zero spent four hours learning to play chess from scratch - essentially playing against itself - before being pitted against the result of perhaps forty years of chess software research… Continue reading The Beginning, or the End ?

Washington Square Park

While skimming updates posted to the social internet by far flung friends earlier this evening, I got sucked into reading a post recalling somebody's formative years - and how many of their favourite memories were attached to Washington Square Park. I stopped in my tracks, opened a chat window, and asked the author directly:"Is that… Continue reading Washington Square Park

Birthdays, Friends, Beer and Video Games

I'm amazed I don't have a hangover this morning. I visited a friend last night to help celebrate his birthday - he had organised a "boy's night", complete with beer, pizza, a number of current and past co-workers, and video games. I say "games", but it really just came down to taking turns playing a… Continue reading Birthdays, Friends, Beer and Video Games

Boots of Infinite Striding

I have a confession to make. I never played "Dungeons and Dragons" when I was younger. Meeting me as an adult, you might suspect otherwise - I own or have owned nearly every video game system back to about 1984, own a growing collection of comic books and graphic novels, and have always found complicated… Continue reading Boots of Infinite Striding

Anyone for Weiqi ?

Our eldest daughter is being taught Japanese at the school she visits twice a week, I think mainly because an insightful teacher realised it would be an “in” with her, after a conversation about Manga and Anime.At dinner she mentioned a board game the teacher had started to show her called “Go”. I will freely… Continue reading Anyone for Weiqi ?