Friday Afternoon’s All Right for Simulating

A random assortment of links including fascinating simulations of path-traveling algorithms.

I pretty much always think Sebastian Lague’s “Coding Adventure” videos are fascinating, and this one about ant and slime simulations doesn’t disappoint. His videos aren’t tutorials or how-tos, really, but more a diary of his train of thought and a high-level description of his algorithm while exploring a particular topic. It helps that he’s adept at making videos that make each topic compelling.

As a result, I’m almost always inspired to action after watching one of the videos. I want to learn about compute shaders, and procedurally-created meshes in Unity, and techniques to make interesting visualizations! But then I usually end up just sitting back and watching more theme park videos.

Also discovered this week:

  • This weird video from the Primer channel about running simulations to determine whether there’s a genetic advantage to altruism.
  • I love just about every single thing from this ad for the Magnavox Odyssey game console from 1972. Music, typography, even the dad gleefully firing a rifle at innocent animals the television under shroud of darkness.
  • Here’s a longer promotional film for the Odyssey that does a better job of dispelling any potential nostalgia. (I’m intrigued by the Haunted House game, though). I’m hoping that no millennials watch these videos and go away thinking that we were all impressed with screwing a VHF channel-switch box to the antenna connections on our TVs. Even at the time, we all appreciated that that was janky as hell.
  • Another fascinating video from the “A Critical Hit!” channel: Wild Gunman ’74, the first FMV game, from Nintendo.

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