Years ago when we were just getting comfortable with the idea of “friending” another person with a computer—that is, storing a value in a database that represents your belief they will also store a value in a database that, when queried, will display for others to see—a strange little site appeared out of nowhere.

It was called Breedster, a play on the name Friendster, and it briefly took over people’s lives only to (as planned) utterly destroy and eat itself.

Every year or so I think about Breedster. Part of why I am writing this is so I can spare Google attaching the terms: “social site, friends, bugs, std, disease, eat poo” to my profile every time I want to tell someone about it.

Yes really. I wasn’t as active on it as most people, but the gist (from memory) was you were a bug hatched from an egg, ate food (or poo in a pinch) for energy, and then had sex with others to create more eggs of your own. The whole point of the game was to consume food to have energy to have sex and then repeat.

A few weeks into the game, when players were inviting as many people as they could to then have sex with them, something strange happened. First it was simply disease found in poo that would sap your energy over time. But then it was a sexually transmitted disease that people had already unwittingly contracted.

Their eggs would no longer hatch. Bugs died due to lack of energy. The whole site became infected and everyone died.

This is from memory. I may have gotten some details wrong (and would appreciate any corrections) but what I loved about Breedster was that they were exploring an idea in real-time with hundreds of other people and had the good sense to see a conclusion. A few people, like me I hope, think about that site every so often and marvel at how cool it was that they did that.

We’re so comfortable now with, as Adam calls it: the “Ad Supported Like Economy”, that it doesn’t even bother us we effortlessly move back and forth from asymmetrical (Twitter) following to symmetrical (Facebook). That we willingly store our relationships in relational databases for ad networks to scan and learn about us so that we can have a pinch of validation of our ideas, photos, taste, and meta-tastes.

I put Jonah Peretti’s tweet at the top of this post because it reminded me of sites like Breedster. They had an opinion about these new social sites and rather than write a blog post or complain bitterly on the nearest PHPBB forum, they created something that burrowed so deep into my brain that 8 years later I still think about it.


Here are some gaming related links for you:

One of the things about having a child is you find yourself returning to things you loved as a kid. We went to Disneyland recently and every single damn ride was AMAZING. I was watching my son’s face light up as we turned corners inside of It’s A Small World when all of a sudden I was grinning at the dancing kids and singing along.

Same with Legos. Painting. Rolling around on the floor. And rockets.

I was a HUGE model rocket collector and launcher. Here’s a family launching one if you’ve never seen one go before:

We built every sort of rocket and dramatized stories around each launch. We pretended to be astronauts and walked slowly around empty fields like we were performing astronaut duties like fixing transponders (whatever those were).

So the other day I saw this:

It’s a Windows/Mac game/simulation that lets you do an incredible amount of planning, building, and launching of rockets into space, and to the moon if you wish. Apparently they plan is to also allow your astronauts to explore other planets as well. So cool!

My son is 3 so not quite ready for this, but I cannot wait until we finally get to the point where this stuff is interesting to him.

I have started tagging games I want to play or games that I want to check-in on later with the tag: playmelater on Pinboard. A while back I registered the domain name to make something like a Svpply for video games, but I doubt I will ever get to it.

It’s something I do want. I hope someone makes it. Every week it feels like there are 10 new games to check out, and these aren’t just big publisher games but small independent games I will surely lose track of unless @brandonnn tweets about them.

Shigeru Miyamoto talks about Zelda, Mario, and…Toad.

I have an important question. Nintendo has also just released Mariokart 7 for the 3DS. In every iteration of Mariokart, I’ve always preferred to play as Toad. Who’s your favorite character?

That’s the most challenging question! I’m sorry that I cannot come up with an interesting answer. Somehow, it’s habit to me, but I play with Mario. He’s a very balanced character.

Who’s your least favorite character?

Toad. [Laughs]

My favorite character is your least favorite character?

I understand that he has some popularity. Somehow.

Our household loves Toad! Somehow.

File Toad

Here’s your yearly reminder that Fez is landing on the XBox soon. If you know what Fez is, you’ve probably already jumped to the next blog post by now. But if you don’t know, the developers have put together a page explaining what Fez is.

There are no enemies in FEZ. No bosses, no combat. In fact, no conflict of any kind. You can die, but there is no penalty for doing so. FEZ aims to create a non-threatening world rich with ambiance, a pleasant place to spend time in.

Fez is also prominently featured in “Indie Game: The Movie”:

Indie Game: The Movie Official Trailer from IndieGame: The Movie on Vimeo.

I started playing this game last night called Swift Stitch and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. I guarantee it is unlike any game you’re playing now. (Unless you’re playing Vib Ribbon or Tron.)

There is a demo for both Mac and PC as well as a web embedded (you can embed Unity games!?) demo so you can try it out.

Her post-mortem on the game is definitely worth reading.

Mapstalgia is a collection of video game maps drawn from memory.

[via MLKSHK]

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a first person hockey game. Someone correct me if I’m wrong but usually it’s third person or top down.

This looks like so much fun.

Made by the Cryptic Sea for Windows or Mac.

I tweeted earlier about Glitch:

But I think having 140 characters didn’t give me enough space to fully explain why I am so excited about it.

So go ahead and read this post and be sure to watch the two videos. The first is a simple iOS app with some physics completely unattached to Glitch. It’s just an iOS app probably written with some stock game engine.

The second video is that same, simple game that has been given permission, via OAuth (not unlike you giving permission to a Twitter app to do something with your Twitter time-line), to pull in the player’s face, body and surrounding Glitch-world imagery.

This is incredible!

Lest you think this is some kind of fun hack, remember these are some of the people behind one of the finest APIs ever written. While there have been games that have exposed services and player statuses, I can‘t remember any being this accessible and web friendly. The rest of their developer post goes on to point out how this is just the beginning of what they’re going to add.

This is a big deal!