Classic videogames

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Illustration courtesy of Gizmodo.com

BEHOLD – A universe where videogames come to life thanks to amazing microorganisms.

Scientists at Stanford University Bioengineering department, lead by professor Ingmar Riedel-Kruse, created a real world Pac-Man using microorganisms called paramecium to gobble up little balls. The game is aptly called, PAC-mecium.

The controls are simple. You control a paramecium via a joystick that will change the polarity of a mild electrical field applied to a chamber containing the “PAC-mecium”, which influences the direction the animal will move. Everything is viewed on a a computer screen which also keeps your score.
I wonder, what is the highest score on the game, and what three letter initials would they use?

According to an article from The Register, Prof. Riedel-Kruse hopes that this game, among with others created by his lab, will show students and the general public how amazing microorganisms can be. And trust me, they are truly incredible animals.

Riedel-Kruse and his Stanford colleagues set up the tiny, living Pac-Man game by placing paramecia in a small fluid chamber, which is viewed through a microscope by a camera – which then relays images to the video game screen. The player controls the paramecium using a normal game controller which is hooked up to equipment that “controls the polarity of a mild electrical field applied across the fluid chamber, which influences the direction the paramecia move”. Score is kept by a computer tracking the paramecia on the video.

The game-fancying boffins have also set up live versions of other games, dubbed “POND PONG”, “Ciliaball” and “Biotic Pinball”. In Biotic Pinball, the paramecia play the part of rolling balls and the paddles are supplied by squirting “occasional whiffs of a chemical into the fluid, causing the paramecia to swim in one direction or another”.

Am I the only one who rather badly wants to play those game? Do you have any ingenious ways to re-invent old school arcade games?

Let me know what you think in the comments!

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First off, yes there is technically a spelling mistake in the above image. But it is corrected in a sort of half-hearted way, but that’s why we love it, right?.

Secondly, and this is what you’re really here for – A video which discusses the history of video games to the tune of Billy Joel‘s classic song, “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”

YouTube user, and impressive song-smith Jonathan Mann, has created a song which explores the videogame craze from it’s humble beginnings to the Nintendo revolution. It’s actually very smartly done, and serves up a nice bit of nostalgia for those who of us who lived through it.

Check out the impressive video below the jump.

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The Secret Behind Mario’s Overalls

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Mario is one of the most recognizable characters from a videogame ever. And his signature style – red hat, red shirt, and blue overalls with yellow buttons has not changed in the last 20 years.

But, if you look back at his original design from the first ever Super Mario Brothers videogame (1985 in the picture above), you will see that the color palette is switched. Instead of having blue overalls and a red undershirt, it is reversed. So, where did that original design idea come from?

Are you ready for the secret behind Mario‘s overalls?

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BOOM – Consider your mind blown.

In actuality though, the creator of Mario, Shigeru Miyamoto has said that he clothed the character in bright red overalls and a blue shirt to contrast against each other and the background. The hat was added to avoid drawing the character’s hairstyle, as animating his hair as he jumped. But still, it can’t just be a coincidence, can it?