Shannon Symonds

Difficulty in Video Gaming

Some video games make us want to throw our controllers against the wall and swear never to play again. But somehow we always seem to find ourselves plopped back on the couch, controller clutched tightly in our hands, determined that this time will be different. Frustration and challenge are part of the appeal of a good game and that fits with much of what we know about what makes good play.

Evolution of the Rubik’s Cube

“For me, the Cube is a piece of art. It is more than an object with the shapes of a cube made of plastic, more than many colored stickers, more than a puzzle, and it is much more than a gimmick. Like other pieces of art, the Cube is more than itself. Though it may look ever simple at first, it is in fact rather complicated and complex at the same time.” -Ernő Rubik, 2008

Hercules: The Pinball Legend

In 1976, game designer Ron Halliburton of Arcade Engineering created a jumbo-sized pinball machine concept for the Bally Manufacturing Corporation. Bally created two prototypes for the electro-mechanical game they called Bigfoot and determined not to move it to production. Allan Reizman, Engineering Lab Supervisor at Bally, reported that the intense vibrations and stress the oversized components placed on the frame caused the game to shake itself apart.