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the haunted mouse

oh, and i made this game last week for klik of the month. i’m really fascinated by the phenomenon of pokewalker cheating: it’s a device that exists in order to give game-playing nerds game-like motivations to leave the house and walk around, but lots of people have spent lots of creativity coming up with complicated solutions to trick the pokewalker and avoid having to do some walking.

maybe unnecessarily, i wanted to make a game that encourages the same kind of solutions. the player’s scored on how much the mouse moves, but isn’t allowed to touch it. because it’s distance travelled that’s scored, the obvious solution of using chopsticks or something to prod the mouse around is inefficient, and i decided that was good enough.

i also like that it gives the player some of the responsibility for keeping the rules. i was talking to one of the authors of button (chicanery with pushups) this past week about how our reliance on the program as ruleskeeper is holding us back from making more interesting social games. (“how does the computer know you’re not cheating?” that’s not the point!)

the haunted mouse was a bit too complicated for klik & play, so i had to use game maker. but i wanted to make a klik & play game too, so i used the second hour to make a game about getting shot by amazons.


  1. My immediate thought was to use a belt-sander, but I actually can’t find a mouse that still uses a ball.

    6/28/2010 at 9:40 am | permalink
  2. snapman wrote:

    The mouse game could totally be made in knp…

    6/28/2010 at 10:08 am | permalink
  3. William wrote:

    Clayton: Get a trackball. Even though they use optical technology to track the ball now it’s still a ball.

    6/28/2010 at 11:59 pm | permalink
  4. daphny wrote:

    haunted mouse is a really clever name

    6/29/2010 at 9:18 am | permalink
  5. Sergio wrote:

    Sadly, I use a laptop touchpad which doesn’t seem to react to anything but fingers.

    6/30/2010 at 3:44 am | permalink
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    So, would using the *mousekeys* handicap function from the control panel work/count as moving the mouse, without touching it?

    (or would this be a form of cheating/being too lazy?)

    7/1/2010 at 2:46 pm | permalink
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    Or! Or! Or! – Perhaps I could just shake the desk…

    Not really creative, but at least it involves a method of physical exertion.

    7/1/2010 at 2:58 pm | permalink
  8. daphny wrote:


    7/2/2010 at 9:47 am | permalink
  9. who? wrote:

    use a laptop. plug a usb mouse into the laptop. play using the touchpad.

    hey, you’re not touching the mouse, right?

    7/2/2010 at 6:15 pm | permalink
  10. GREG wrote:


    insert a lot of counters into the amazon game. arrows survived. time spent sitting still. time spent moving up. etc. i want to see statistics.

    7/16/2010 at 12:07 pm | permalink
  11. matt w wrote:

    I think shaking drops of water onto the touchpad would work, a little. But not that much. Anyway, don’t think it’ll run on my OS X.

    7/21/2010 at 10:54 am | permalink
  12. Firecracker wrote:

    That pokewalker cheating page is priceless.

    It’s’ actually really cool from an engineering/problem solving standpoint to see random people coming up with a bunch of mechanical solutions to a physical problem like that.
    However, it’s not so cool from a health standpoint, obviously.

    8/6/2010 at 9:48 am | permalink

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