game

Programming is like this amazing puzzle game alvin November 7, 2019 - 3:25pm

“Programming is like this amazing puzzle game, where the puzzles are created by your own stupidity.” It feels like that sometimes. (Image from Rich Rogers on Twitter. Quote attributed to BradOFarrell.)

Make a game of active mindfulness meditation alvin October 15, 2019 - 6:35pm

The best advice I’ve gotten for practicing mindfulness meditation while not sitting in meditation – i.e., in active meditation – is to make something of a game of it. When I wash the dishes it’s like, “How deep can I get while I wash these dishes?” Or when talking to another person, you both put down the cellphones and think, “Okay, we’re both here right now, how much can we focus only on each other and be here in this moment while we talk? How deep can we go?”

I was reminded of this when I read this line recently: “Finally, I got it! The menial tasks I had been assigned to around the temple were meant to be an exercise in meditation. Whatever I was doing, my job was to try to stay in samadhi.”

(That quote comes from the book, The Science of Meditation.)

The Soul Game

[This is a chapter from a currently-unpublished book I’m writing on meditation and mindfulness.]

As a spiritual being, one possible way to think of life here on Earth is as a “game” that serves as a training ground for the soul. It’s a game like other games, so it has many levels, and they get harder and harder as you progress. So in this case, the better you become at the game of spirituality — the Soul Game — the harder the levels become.

To help set some rules for the game, let’s say that it has fifty levels. The first time you play the game you’re born here on Earth in Level 1. Hopefully you score some points and move up, so maybe by the time it’s “game over” for your first lifetime, you’ve passed Level 9 and you’re playing on Level 10. Maybe you get a brief break in between lifetimes, but the next time you’re born you start right where you left off, at Level 10.

This brings me to a very important rule: Once you start playing the Soul Game, you’re strapped in for eternity. (That was clearly mentioned on page 52 of the End User License Agreement.) Once you’re in the game there are only two ways out:

Escape rooms (August, 2019) alvin August 11, 2019 - 10:01am

They are called escape rooms. They sell an experience. The experience is escape, both literal and metaphorical. For around $30, you and a handful of friends/colleagues/strangers are “trapped” in some kind of space together and must collaboratively puzzle through a series of challenges to win your freedom.

The clock is ticking: You get 45 minutes, or 60, or 90, to escape, although if you fail, they let you out anyway. Usually, the game offers some kind of story to help explain why you’re solving puzzles in a room with a countdown clock.

Escape is big. There are, by the most recent unofficial count, at least 2,300 escape rooms in the United States.

~ from this vox.com story about escape rooms

Choosing Fonts for Your Game alvin July 14, 2019 - 12:36pm

A good link on where to find good fonts for games, arcade games, etc.

XO Play (Android football game)

XO Play is a “thinking man’s” football game that I created for Android devices. It’s for those of us who enjoy thinking about football strategy, of how to take advantage of our strengths and our opponents’ weaknesses, and how to call plays to win games. If you’ve ever watched a football game and thought, “I can call plays better than this guy,” XO Play is for you.

Version 1.4

Version 1.4 introduces four game levels you can choose from:

One way to meditate without distraction alvin June 20, 2019 - 8:47am

If you’re interested in meditating but can’t quite seem to do it without getting distracted, I recommend making a game of it. One game I use is, “How long can I take to count to five full breaths?”

The game itself is simple: Just before you begin to meditate, start a stopwatch on your phone. Then breathe in, and as you do so, internally say “one.” Then breathe out and internally (or externally) say “two.” Try to take these breaths as slowly as you can, with all of your focus on the current breath and current number. Keep doing this until you breathe out and say “ten,” and when that breath is finished, stop the stopwatch and see how long it took. The game is to make this time as long as possible.

Book/story idea: Life is a game where you have to find your soulmate alvin February 10, 2019 - 11:55am

New book/story idea: Life is a bit of a game, and as a result you’re put in the vicinity of your soulmate. Not right next door per se, but somewhere within your range of life such that you will encounter this person, such as the friend of a friend, someone you work with, a person you run into at a store, etc. So the game is, out of all the people you meet as your life unfolds, can you identify your soulmate? And maybe as a secondary plot, how do you handle it if you get get close but make a mistake ... say you marry a person which creates circumstances that put you in the vicinity of your soulmate, and you later realize your mistake?

How to write Akka Actors: An example video game alvin February 21, 2018 - 10:36am

Way back in 2013 — before my first fake heart attack followed by learning that I had thyroid cancer — I thought I was about to go “back to work”, and I decided to try to write another visual demo of Akka Actors before I went back to work. I gave myself 10 hours to write something, and at first I decided to just create some bubbles that would move about randomly on screen. But I got that working so fast that I decided to do something else.

Eventually I came up with the idea of a little “kill the bubbles” game, which turned into a “kill the characters” game. This video shows how it works:

Beginning Java Game Development with LibGDX (source code) alvin December 28, 2017 - 9:17am

The source code for Beginning Java Game Development with LibGDX is at the URL shown.