Yup. Those "colonists" have been cringeworthy since we started playing Puerto Rico almost a decade ago. It's a great game, maybe needs an update to address these concerns. Simple start - stop loading a "colonists ship" with small black tokens... Those aspects in the instructions actually have nothing to do with the game play dynamics - it could easily be "workers" or better "citizens" drawn from a pool that wasn't a "ship"... Maybe that misses the larger point, but it would be a simple start.
I came to the conclusion a few years ago that game designers should have a moral obligation to give players consequences for their actions and teach them something about the world. At the time, I was thinking of story based, role playing games. This article makes me think that should, perhaps, extend to board games too. After all, a game is more than mechanics once you add a story or scenario on top of it, isn't it? Otherwise, one should stick to a game deprived of all narrative, such as Tic-tac-toe or Pong. Then again, it's just a game, right?
This morning I did a Skype interview and demo of PercussaAudioCubes for a big TV news outlet in Europe (more on this later).
In preparation for this I put together a musique concrète set I could use for the interview. Here is an excerpt from an improv I did last night.
It’s a bit hard to believe, but I realize I’ve been AudioCubes for over 10 years now for performance, studio work, and sound design. I’ve also done installations, and custom musical instruments for STEM schools . As I’ve not done a post on them in a while below is an overview of what they’re and how they work.
AudioCubes they are a Wireless Patching Interface with custom high speed infrared sensors that allow for simultaneous optical distance measurement and communication. In other words they detect object proximity and light intensity, as well as detect location, distance, and orientation of other cubes in the network. They also have full color LED’s that can respond to sensor input or be programmed through automation.
All this is info is transmitted via a custom high speed protocol in the 2.4GHz band (separately from other protocols such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi) to a cube configured as a base cube which is connected to your computer.
You configure and route incoming sensor data via the MIDIBridge app so you can map to your DAW or instrument. I’m using Live 11 in this performance.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this brief video and overview of the AudioCubes.
One critical aspect of this idea, often overlooked (imho), is the fact that you could (in theory) set two working parents on Mon-Thurs and Tues-Fri schedules, meaning that you would only need childcare coverage Tues, Wed, Thurs, chopping two daycare days out of the week. You get kids who are now with a primary caretaker all day 4 days a week instead 2, and you vastly reduce childcare costs. It's a win-win, and (for people in that situation) the saving could cover loss of income (to some extent).