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11:14am on Sunday, 31st July, 2005:

Phobile Moan


I have to supervise 9 projects for third-year undergraduates this year (this is a lot), and had to propose several project ideas for them. So far, no-one has picked up any of the projects I suggested, they've all gone with their own ideas. Great.

Here's one of the ideas, for a mobile phone game. Send me some royalties if you ever commercialise this...

Name: Autographic
Demographic: Teenager and young singles
Log line: Collect celebrity autographs from people who don't know they're celebrities.
Every bluetooth device has its own unique ID. This can be read by other bluetooth devices within range. Unique IDs can be translated into integers. Integers can be translated into different integers using a bell curve distribution across a range. These new integers can be translated into table indexes. Table indexes can be translated into text saying anything you want. In this game, the text is the name of a celebrity (living if the celebrity agrees, dead otherwise). Players get within range of strangers and read the bluetooth code on their phone. This converts into a celebrity, which is added to the player's collection. Players can swap celebrities with other players, but these are swaps, not copies: if you swap Marilyn Monroe for James Dean, you get James but lose Marilyn. Of course, if you know you pass Marilyn at the bus stop every morning, you know you can replace her fairly easily. Overall there would be something like 1,000 celebrities to collect, split into sets of 100 (so you can collect the sports personalities if you're not interested in the pop stars or whatever).
Variant 1:
Have a general system of unique IDs and get real celebrities to join it. Next time you're at a film premier, you can pick up their real digital autograph merely from being within range of them. Or you could just kidnap them instead.
Variant 2:
Use the bluetooth ID for something else. Remember Barcode Battler?

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Copyright © 2005 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).