Urban Trekking — the concept that large cities can be hiked like rural areas. It has become a new thing to seek to walk, say, the perimeters of large cities or to, say, walk every street in spurts over a course of time. This would be looking at neighbourhoods instead of sight-seeing certain points. In this article from The Times (UK), one fellow decides to do Berlin in a day and writes about it . . .:

With that in mind, I chose Berlin, with its reputation for vigorously reinvented and contrasting neighbourhoods, to make my debut urban hike. The challenge of choice was to cross from the gently staid western boroughs into the edgy northeast before swinging down into the latest incarnation of the city, Turkish southern Berlin. A journey of about 19 miles, it would make for the perfect weekend stroll of discovery. Or, if you’re a moron trying to prove he’s as fit as any Manhattanite hiker, you could try doing it all in a single day. Guess which I chose…

The Rituals of Alea

Does that sound like a pulp fantasy title? 😉 Well, it has a bit to do with games, video games and table-top games, card games and RPG games and even the lottery. Have any of you heard the distinction between alea and agon before (games of pure chance vs. games of pure self-determined competition/skill)? :

Games designers have a tendency to overlook or dismiss alea (chance), although in cultural terms it is a highly significant class of games. The global video games industry has around $28,000 million turnover, whereas the global gambling industry is worth a staggering $1,098,000 million, forty times as much. And gambling is merely the most popular type of aleatory games; there are a wide variety of games of alea, and games incorporating aleatory elements.

The man who writes this blog is a professional game designer and writer. He has a Masters degree in Artificial Intelligence/Cognitive Science. Meaning, he isn’t really a computer tech programmers as much as he dreams up storylines for video games and gameplay rules. And he writes wonderfully.