Archive for the ‘2001’ Category

Inventing for the Internet the Early Years

June 24, 2010

Inventing for the Internet

Over on the Inventor Blog, I have just posted on Inventing for the Internet – the Early Years. Below is a brief synopsis but please see the post for the examples.


Here is a look at inventing for the Internet written in 2005 looking back over the ten year period from 1995 up to 2005. In general, the focus was on making new use of the medium:

  1. People can interact to make content not just view content
  2. People can communicate with each other
  3. A computer mediates to enforce rules of a game or environment
  4. Production and distribution of virtual objects are free

Other inventive focus was the relation between story and game play. Sometimes a story would suggest game play but usually a relevant story was created for a given game play.

Here are the comments about inventing features for the Internet in the early years. Many of these ideas would have relevance being redone in today’s social media aware world – because we were socially aware in the past but perhaps did not quite have the platforms and sharing systems worked out.

Inventions for 2005 – 2010 will be the focus of the next posting.

Enjoy – Dan Zen – Full Post

Spy-mail – Secret Message Service

December 9, 2005

Quite an interesting game, Spy-mail lets you send messages to people and if you do not protect the message or forget to protect the message, then other players can spy on it.

Even before we launched Spy-mail, we sent a Spy-mail message to the president of GameSpy, the very large multi-user gaming site who happened to have the URL We made them a branded site and asked if they would be interested in using it. After a while, we spied on the topic and sure enough, there was a message from another employee back to the president that was unprotected. We got to read the initial message from the president saying “what do you think about this…” then “well, we already have our upcoming gaming network mail…”

Do a spy on Agent Dan Zen and you will find a number of interesting uses of Spy-mail.

Given the right codes, Spy-mail also acts as a full fledged Web-mail account – not bad for a few months of partial programming.

Opartica – Online Op Art Tool and Optical Art Collection

December 9, 2005

Opartica is Dan Zen’s first Flash feature after five years of using Director. Flash 3 was looked at but it did not have a powerful enough programming language. This changed with Flash 4 and ever since, Dan Zen has built games in Flash.

Opartica is an Web application that lets you overlap op art shapes and spin them, move them and change colors. You can save the collages in a portfolio and exchange them with others.
A version of Opartica was built for Austin Powers but it was not used: Austin Powers Golden Ball.

Opartica was well accepted by the VJ community and has been projected on a number of bands and dances. It is hoped that stores wanting to advertise to the dance culture would request their logos to be put in the center of Opartica. If you have interest in this, please contact us.

Opartica still remains one of the strongest examples of using interactive multimedia to let people create content not just navigate through content – a prime directive of the Sheridan Interactive Multimedia Program.

Blimp Race III – Viral Marketing Game

December 9, 2005

One of Dan Zen’s most successful game was Blimp Races. In the first race, people created their own blimps and then e-mailed friends to join their blimps. The blimp with the most people is winning the race. The first race had about 700 people all having fun and cursing other blimps in the forums.

Six degrees of separation were explored as who people invited and where they came from were displayed. In the second race, two years later, it really exploded when invites went into silicon valley and reached out to India, Hawaii, the Netherlands, etc.

The third race two years later was more difficult as distrust in e-mail had grown to a maximum. People were being overwhelmed by spam and just not in the mood to click links in e-mail. This situation may have gotten better with spam filters and it might be worth a try to hold race four.

The race was almost sold and set to run on the large Bell/Sympatico portal but a change in management and a reduction of original content resulted in a no go.

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