Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Dazzle Camoflague for the Future

Back in WW1 artist and Naval Reservist Norman Wilkinson came up with the idea of covering ships in bizarre geometric paint schemes to make it harder enemy submarines to target them.

HMS Kildwick in Dazzle Camoflauge
Fast forward a hundred years and we are fast approaching a minority report scenario where we are all subjected to face recognition scanning to some degree as we pass through public spaces.  We even carry these devices with us every day (it's in the software of most digital cameras in our smartphones). 

Thankfully we're not at the stage where you are scanned by GAP as you walk past their billboard at the tube station, but I'm sure that I'm not alone in thinking that things like facebook's face recognition software are a bit creepy, So here's a free app idea for some enterprising mobile developer.
Muppet face recognition

Enter the guys at CV Dazzle who are developing simple makeup and hair techniques to fool facial recognition software.  The only downside is that it makes you look like some uber futuristic cyberpunk cosplayer or Lady Gaga fan depending on your perspective (and age).

CV Dazzle Makeup and Hair Techniques

Which brings us back to Sci-Fi and RPGs in particular.  The most common party concept for Sci-Fi games is the band of misfits sticking it to the empire/corporation/man and engaging in lots of covert ops where your ability to hide your identity is crucial.  Unless there's been some sort of utopian revolution there is likely to be some form of mass surveillance at work. 

R Talsorian's Cyberpunk 2020 had a plethora of fashionware items such as light emitting tattoos, colour changing hair and contact lenses squarely pitched as mere character affectations.  The 2006 adaptation of Philip K Dick's "A Scanner Darkly" had undercover cop Keanu Reeves in his hi tech "Scramble Suit" to prevent his identity from being revealed.  Even Milla Jovovich got her identity fooling fashion camo together in the visually entertaining "Ultraviolet".

Put these all together and you've got a really sweet combo which should keep those algorithms busy.

Monday, 7 April 2014

International Tabletop Day 2014

Last Saturday was the second International Tabletop Day and unfortunately it wasn't possible for my regular Friday night group The Hobbits Hole to host an event this year.  So a bunch of us did the next best thing... we went to someone else's event.

The Role Play Haven RPG Club are based inside Lewisham Hospital at The Lewis Club and they were a very friendly bunch.  They meet on Wednesday nights for RPGs and Monday nights for Boardgames.  

Game of Thrones - House Stark on the move
I got to play a couple of games, namely:

The Quiet Year

A free form drawing game based around a year in the life of a post apocalyptic community.  Players draw cards to determine what random events affect the community and then choose to either discover something new or plan a project.

Of course the temptation with this sort of game is for it to go totally gonzo and we ended up having Ninja Rabbits attacking a Nazi Zeppelin whilst a party of explorers went to the mysterious pyramid and discovered the ark of the covenant.

A Game of Thrones

With season 4 of the TV series just around the corner I couldn't resist playing Fantasy Flight's epic game of royal houses fighting for control of the Iron Throne.  I was playing House Tyrell and although the lack of any court influence at the beginning was a bit of a pain, I had a fantastic tussle with House Martell.  Sadly I couldn't stay to find out how it all turned out, but I will definitely play this again.

Thanks guys it was a lot of fun and roll on 2015 when we can "Play more Games!!"