Posts tagged “adventure”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] Camp Half-Blood, a real camp based on the Percy Jackson books – Fans ask me, “Wouldn’t it be cool to go to Camp Half-Blood for real?” We hope you’ll become a part of our demigod family. We’ll do anything to keep kids interested in reading. Since your kids are such huge Percy Jackson fans and have basically memorized the books I felt that it was more important to create an environment, with engaging backstories, that run parallel to the books without copying. This allows your kids to become their own demigod characters within the world of Percy Jackson. Your demigod will get to have adventures and go on quests as their own story unfolds over the course of their camp session. They’ll learn and utilize critical lateral problem solving skills and use creative play and teamwork to win the day. We try to make meaningful connections between history, mythology, literature, art, science, sports, current events, language and rampant creativity. Oh yeah, sword training, chariot racing, archery, lava wall climbing, and phalanx training are pretty fun too.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Interview with hamster hotel proprietor – Short audio is worth a listen as the interview veers necessarily into "What *is* normal?" territory
  • French hamster hotel lets guests live like rodents – Visitors to the hotel in Nantes can feast on hamster grain, get a workout by running in a giant wheel and sleep in hay stacks in the suite called the "Hamster Villa".

    It is the latest venture from owners Frederic Tabary and Yann Falquerho, who run a company which rents out unusual venues to adventure-seekers. Both architects, the men designed the room in an 18th century building to resemble the inside of a hamster's cage.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Robert Fabricant of frogdesign considers whether understanding users means that design is or isn't persuasive/manipulative – How do we decide what the user really 'wants to achieve'? The fact is that there are a host of different influences that come to bear in any experience. And a host of different needs that drive user behavior. Designers are constantly making judgment calls about which 'needs' we choose to privilege in our designs. In fact, you could argue that this is the central function of design: to sort through the mess of user needs and prioritize the 'right' ones, the most valuable, meaningful…and profitable.

    But according to what criteria? These decisions, necessarily, value judgments, no matter how much design research you do. And few designers want to be accountable for these decisions. From that perspective, UCD, starts to seem a bit naive, possibly even a way to avoid accountability for these value judgments.

    [Obviously no easy answers here; even defining the terms for the discussion is challenging, but the dialog between Robert and others is provocative]

  • Dave Blum, treasure hunt designer, offers 100 treasure hunts around the world – I was always a puzzle and a game kid. I had a friend when I was growing up in Millbrae, Mike Savasta, and he and I were just board game and card game fanatics. Monopoly, Life, Sorry, Stratego.

    In college, I played thousands of games of cribbage. I like the intellectual challenge, the analytical challenge. I'm very much a "play-it-by-ear" kind of guy, so I like a game where you have to think on your feet.

    After college, I lived in Japan for 3 1/2 years and taught English. Then I spent 11 months traveling through Asia and Europe, and when I came back to San Francisco, I worked in tourism for a while. I said, "I need to find a career that I really love." I thought if I could combine group work, travel, games and puzzles – that would be the ultimate job. I started Dr. Clue in 1995.

Wild West Theme Parks – in Europe

NYT story about European theme parks based on the American Wild West.

They all form part of a multifaceted Wild West subculture in Europe that includes everything from country music festivals and cowboy saloons to an established rodeo circuit. Tens of thousands of Europeans study (or even live like) trappers, American Indians or other frontier archetypes as a hobby. They join clubs, dress up in elaborate costumes and often take to the woods on weekends to live in tepees or sleep ‘cowboy style’ under the stars. ‘People dream of a free, beautiful country, of romantic campfires and heroes in the saddle,’ said Detlef Jeschke, a Nuremberg-born former champion European rodeo cowboy who is Pullman City’s program manager.


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