Links for further reading

I’m on holiday for a while and getting last minute stuff done is taking its toll on my time, so here’s some links for stuff that you may or not may not find interesting. I won’t be updating this blog or Knights of the Cardboard Castle while I’m gone.

  • This article has traveled widely around the Internet so I’m guessing that most people will already have seen it. It’s about a tourism campaign organized by the small resort town of Atami in Japan. What’s unusual about this one is that the target demographic are players of a dating-simulation game known as LovePlus+, available on Nintendo’s hand-held DS system. This is a game targeted at males in which the object is to woo a girlfriend from a selection of virtual women. Accordingly, many businesses in the town are playing along with the fiction, checking hotels guests in as couples even though there is just one physical person for example and providing toiletries and towels for two persons. The same thing goes for restaurants who offer special themed sets. One QT3 posted noted that the game actually makes use of the device’s built-in microphone to oblige players to say “I love you” to the virtual girlfriends.
  • Are you tired of television executives’ ever more ridiculous ideas for reality shows? Well, no matter how much you hate them, you probably can’t match the Iraqis’ bile for this new show. The concept is that the producers invite local celebrities to the studio to conduct an interview but they’re actually secretly working with the Iraqi Defense Forces to plant fake car bombs on the celebrities’ vehicles. Then the army stops them at a checkpoint and accuses the celebrities of being terrorists and threatens them with imprisonment in American-operated prisons. All the while, hidden cameras are filming the celebrities’ shock and terror. Needless, this has provoked a withering storm of criticism.
  • Ever thought that garish carpeting and casinos go hand in hand? Well, I did. This article from Gizmodo claims that it’s deliberate and the purpose is to obscure the gambling chips that fall onto the floor so that it’s hard to retrieve them. Apparently, the casinos are supposed to rake in a significant sum of money whenever they sweep their floors, turning the carpets into another source of money. Other readers have written in to pour cold water on that theory however and explain that it’s meant to hide the wear and tear on the carpeting from so many people walking about and constantly moving machines and tables. Yet others claim that the garish designs make it easier to hide vomit stains. Whatever the real reasons are, it still makes for a fascinating line of inquiry.

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