Engines of creativity

November 18, 2008

Jane McGonigal says that computer games aren’t just for escapist entertainment – they’re also engines of creativity.

McGonigal is director of games research and development at the thinktank Institute for the Future(which sounds like one of the more interesting jobs we’ve come across). She argues that games offer the perfect setting for employees and organisations to collaborate in solving problems.

Employees of major corporations such as Procter and Gamble have been encouraged to play one of McGonigal’s creations, a game called Superstruct in which players are asked to imagine the world in 2019. Another multiplayer game challenged players to imagine a world without oil.

It makes sense. After all, all intelligent animals learn through play, and that is true for adult human beings too.


Get creative with your toast

November 14, 2008


There’s no excuse not to get creative with your toast. Not when you can buy a German skull toaster  (a VIP option is available for those who require an ego boost to accompany their bacon and egg) or the must-have best seller that burns an image of Hello Kitty into your bread. Rather that than your brain, one supposes.


This collection of cool toasters is enough to inspire you to rush out to your local supermarket and clear the shelves of Wonder White. We are especially intrigued by the Scan Toaster, which is linked to PC and can imprint your bread with everything from downloaded patterns to the morning’s headlines. The idea was a winner in a competition held by Electrolux; there are no plans to manufacture it as yet, thus sparing purchasers from the trauma of having to cover up the morning news with butter and jam.

There’s even a toaster teapot, although, somewhat disappointingly, it turns out not to be a toaster/kettle combo, but a teapot shaped like a toaster. If, however, you feel that joy is a Marmite teapot, then this English eccentric teapot site  is for you.