Check out Alfa Romeo’s MiToManiacs

Last week we launched a new campaign for Alfa Romeo: MiToManiacs as part of the Alfa MiTo launch. MiToManiacs is a nonstop race that will take you from site to site via banners. The best and fastest banner-racer will actually win a real Alfa MiTo.

And like all good games, there are some shortcuts built in. Depending on the co-driver you chose, you can unlock some shortcuts. I’ll give you one, in the scene above you can actually follow a different way to avoid being annoyed by the octopus.

Game on! I’ll tell you, you will need some practice and find those shortcuts if you want to get into the top 10.

Thanks to the people from Clint.be for the collaboration on this one.

A video trip down to memory lane: the Youtube Time Machine

The YTTM offers an interesting way to watch videos from a specific year in between 1860 and 2010. Pick a year and choose one or more categories (video games, television, commercials, …) and you get a video that fits the selection.

Let’s find out what happened in 1973 – the year I was born in case you were wondering ;)

[Via The Denver Egotist]

Pac-Man: the human stopmotion edition

Some inspiration for my ex-colleagues at Kinepolis? Stop motion video of a Human Pac-Man Performance by Guillaume Reymond, the 5th video of his GAME OVER Project.

“PAC-MAN was played by real human-beings sitting in a cinema: it’s the 5th video performance of the GAME OVER Project from the French-Swiss artist Guillaume Reymond. This stop-motion video was shot and played for the new ProHelvetia’s programme GameCulture at the Trafo cinema (Baden, Switzerland) on August 28th 2010. This giant game was played by 111 human pixels that has moved from seat to seat during more than 4 hours…”

[Via laughingsquid]

Good is the enemy of great

‘Kun det bedste er godt nok’ (‘Only the best is good enough’) is the LEGO company motto.

“Since its first interlocking brick was launched in 1949 it has become more popular than any toy in history. Every second, seven new boxes of Lego are sold; for every person in the world, there are 62 Lego pieces; Lego people – mini-figures, as they’re known – outnumber real people. You’d think it would be impossible to to go wrong with a brand as beloved as that.”

Yet five years ago, they almost went bankrupt.

LEGO

“The problem lay not with the product, but with the company’s attempts in the Nineties to make itself more modern and relevant in the age of video games. It had attempted to broaden its appeal to the young female market; it had tried to become a lifestyle brand with its own lines of clothes and watches; it had built more theme parks. But in doing so it had neglected its core business.”

This is a fascinating story of a company that reinvented itself by going back to the core. With some incredible pictures from the inside, great stuff.

Cereal gaming

Augmented reality is the new black, but only few people seem to be doing something really interesting with the concept of AR. I don’t really want to hold a white paper with a black mark on it in front of my laptop to get a 3D image of a car projected on it… or at least on screen that is. I could already see that same 3D car on my screen in the past without all the AR complications. Catch my drift? Do something different and fun like the example below, or make it useful like what Ray Ban did recently with their Virtual Mirror.

Enjoy.

And if you do want to create some AR with cars, maybe make it some more like this ;)

[Via Helge Tenno]

The Avatar Marketplace

Branded virtual clothes spotted in the Xbox Avatar Marketplace. This means you can now buy Adidas, Quicksilver, … gear for your Xbox avatar, great stuff. Before I go any further you need to understand something though. The Xbox avatar used to be a small square icon just like the avatars you see at whatever internet service of choice. Twitter, Friendfeed, … you name it. With the latest release of the Xbox dashboard last year they changed all that for the Xbox though. Avatars now became virtual 3D characters which you could personalize to your own wish, making them look like you as much as possible (or not at all).

xboxavatar

That’s all fun and games but the real importance of all this is only showing now with the launch (beta still) of games such as ‘1 vs 100’ in which you literally play the well known tv show on your Xbox against another 100 real people. And you might have guessed it, the game is showing a virtual studio full of avatars of the people playing. The new avatar, a better representation of you and not just a little square anymore. Thus the importance of brands being very valuable in this context.

Today Adidas, Quicksilver (and maybe some others) are present with virtual versions of a part of their real collection. Should this be limited to fashion brands only, sure not. And should it be limited to existing clothes only, sure not. Wouldn’t it be cool if someone actually launches a new collection on the Avatar Marketplace first, I think it would. Yep, we’re definitely only just scratching the surface here – to be continued for sure!

Open Game Format

When you read about an Open Game Format in most cases it is about games such as GTA in which you can wonder around freely and play missions in any order you want. Sometimes when Open Game Format it’s referring to game modes such as Free For All in Call Of Duty 4, where everyone plays against everyone – no rules. When I was thinking about what I would call an Open Game Format earlier on in my car I was thinking about something totally different than what I described in the intro. I do think it follows a bit of gaming experience (although probably not much) to follow my thinking but here we go…

rainbowsix

Let’s say you like the COD4 multiplayer gameplay but you got a bit bored of the maps by now. But maybe, just like me, you still prefer it over Rainbow Six: Las Vegas 2 because the controls are easier, feel more natural. What you miss in COD4 though is that when you get shot, you only get a snapshot of how that happened, whereas Halo3 offers this ubercool 3D scene that you can view from all angles giving you a better idea of what happened. But then again, fighting aliens is not your thing so what you do?

Let’s imagine all these game elements where created in layers, all based on industry standards. Let’s imagine there’s a layer for the scenery, characters, weaponry, type of games, effects, … and let’s imagine that you could combine each and every one according to your liking. So let’s take on map from Gears Of War, the controls and weaponry as well as type of games from COD4 and combine that with the 3D scenes from Halo3…. mixing, loading… there’s your game. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

I think it would be. It’s never going to happen of course but a man can dream no? I must admit I was surprised that there wasn’t a conversation about something like an Open Game Format going on already, similar to ODF etc.

Surround video

Although it seems like this is pretty much a creative idea, and nothing quite real today, I like it immediately. Good out-the-box thinking from the researchers at the BBC. Imagine how this could bring a totally immersed movie experience into your living room. Or think about gaming, COD4 to name a one for instance, now that would be absolutely amazing.

surroundtv1.jpg

[Via David Bausola]

Getting ready for MIX08

Within a week we’ll be on our way to Vegas again for the MIX08 conference. I quite enjoyed last year’s MIX conference with the announcements of Silverlight and Expression Studio, but also for presentations such as Lou Carbone’s for instance (who will be back this year by the way).

What I like about this year’s agenda as well is that there will be a bit more presentations and workshops that aren’t all 100% tech, as that was probably my only wish after last year. With people like Steve Ballmer, Lou Carbone, Guy Kawasaki, David Armano and obviously also Hugh MacLeod and Loic Le Meur (and many others) it looks indeed like that is happening. Anyway, a lot of presentations these 3 days so to make sure I don’t miss anything, I’ve fired up the schedule builder on the MIX website to make sure I scheduled everything I wanted to see (and added that to my Outlook which is an option within ‘my schedule’). Small note on the schedule builder, you need to be registered for the event to be able to use it. And unfortunately, if you aren’t registered already, the event is sold out since last week.

MIX08sessions

So if you’re going to MIX as well (and you’re reading this blog) then let me know so we can connect in Vegas (maybe in the Blogzone). I guess that relates immediately to the one big thing I’m missing on the MIX website and that’s the social element. Now I’m not waiting for the next social network, but since I’ve got a login after registration anyway, it would have been nice to be able to use that some more. Who do I know that is going? Which sessions are they going to? It’s like adding a bit of LIFT08 to MIX08 :) That said, it was interesting and fun last year, I’m sure it’ll be so again this year.

PS: Oh yeah, and thanks to David Armano, I now known in Vegas as ‘Two Slice’

Fascinating!

A good friend of mine, Matth, just sent me this video over IM. It’s about a guy who did some cool development for the Wii:

“Using the infrared camera in the Wii remote and a head mounted sensor bar (two IR LEDs), you can accurately track the location of your head and render view dependent images on the screen. This effectively transforms your display into a portal to a virtual environment. The display properly reacts to head and body movement as if it were a real window creating a realistic illusion of depth and space. By Johnny Chung Lee, Carnegie Mellon University. For more information and software visit http://johnnylee.net

But you know what, just watch the video instead ;)

Imagine how this could be used in gaming, I really hope some game developers do answers Johnny Lee’s request and use this. This is the consumer 2.0 – taking the product further…