Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Cool Things To Mention

First, here's something that Dan Spezzano sent me, and it's entirely amazing. Here's his description, because I can't say it any better than this:
This is the project my older brother Matt Victor has been working on, developing a full use video game controller for quadriplegics. He is able to play any PS3 or PC game that's out there with this controller using only his mouth. When someone has their mobility taken away from them, and is extremely limited in what they can do on an everyday basis for fun, video games are an amazing outlet for people like my brother. 

It's not just a game controller, either: it's also a mouse and keyboard.

This is such a remarkable and needed device, and it's very exciting to see this happen. Here's the Kickstarter page: QuadStick: A Game Controller For Quadriplegics.

Next, Owen Faraday of the essential Pocket Tactics wrote today about a game called "Play to Cure", and here's a brief description:
Game developers at the company Guerilla Tea worked with scientists to translate anonymous genetic data gathered from thousands of breast tumours into an adventure in space.

I know--that sounds like Monty Python, but it's not. More:
In Play to Cure: Genes in Space, players navigate their spaceships safely around many obstructions while on a fast-paced mission to collect a precious material known as Element Alpha. As they do so they guide their ships across mountains and valleys, corresponding to areas of the genome hiding the potentially cancer-promoting faults. And as they travel through the landscape they trace a course that shows scientists the high and low bits – the bits where the mutations are likely to be. The map each player plots is then sent back to scientists for interpretation. As more people highlight the peaks and troughs, scientists are alerted to these as areas worth further exploration.

Here's the Pocket Tactics article: Play to Cure processes cancer research data as you play it. Download links: iOS and Android.

Okay, this last item is certainly less important, on the bigger scale, but still very cool. I linked to an amazing "Little Drummer Boy" video during the holidays, and it was done by a fellow named Sean Quigley. He's now putting out an album with his band "Bold As Lions"--the production costs already funded via Kickstarter, although it's still open for another 11 days--and you can see the details (and an interesting video about him and his partner Karli Gerbrandt) here: Winnipeg Drummer Boy's Band "Bold as Lions" Releases Debut Album.

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