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10:01am on Wednesday, 21st August, 2013:



Last week at university, a mother and her son (who looked about 7 years old) stopped me at the university and asked if I knew where the giraffe was. I told her I did: follow this path until you get to the big square, which is square 3; square 2 is to the left; square 4 is to the right; the giraffe is in square 5.

Colchester has one of those large, painted animals things going on over the summer, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Colchester Zoo. There's one of the giraffes at the university, which the son wanted to claim as having seen using an app on his mobile phone. It turns out that no-one has photographed all the QR codes and put them online so would-be collectors can scan them from the comfort of their own home.

The giraffes are OK, but not as good as the Grommit trail they have going on in Bristol. Some are quite nice, though, such as this one in Sainsbury's:

Last night, I got the last piece of lore I needed in The Secret World to complete the lore accomplishment. That's right, they give an achiever reward for exploring the game. It comes with an outfit that you can wear to show off what you did. This would be more impressive if it weren't the case that the only people who know about the outfit are the ones who either have or almost have it. Here's my character modelling it:

If the real world worked like virtual worlds, then in order to claim those giraffes with your mobile phone, you'd have to scale the roof of the town hall, or beat up a vicar leading a service, or run an assault course with four other people whose help you need but who don't want to go the way you do, or break into someone's house, or jump onto a spiked iron fence so you can jump onto a cloth awning outside a shop to get something any reasonable person would pull out a chair to reach, or open a safe, or perform gymnastic jumps up a series of 14 one-metre-diameter circles 3 metres apart from each other spiralling rocks before each disappeared; or you'd open your front door and there would be a giraffe right there that you had to scan with your app to make go away.

Sorry, it's still rankling...

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Copyright © 2013 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).