Thursday, November 02, 2006

Vistas That Might Have Been

I'm weeks late on this, but oh well. By way of NYT technology editor David Pogue, some Windows Vista enhancements that didn't make the cut:
As you may know from my previous blog entry, we have taken flack in the past for Minesweeper and the use of mines. Although we don't have land mines in the USA, in many countries they are experienced in daily life, and not something to make light of in a video game.

So, for Vista we wanted to replace mines with something that people also wanted to avoid finding. Thus we came up with the concept of Mimesweeper:

In Mimesweeper, you uncover street intersections on a black and white striped grid in which several mimes are hidden. Just like wandering around Paris, the goal is to figure out where all of the mimes are without actually encountering one.

Unfortunately, beta feedback revealed a tremendous amount of controversy over the use of mimes. Although we do not have many mimes in the USA, apparently there are many countries where running into a mime is common occurrence and not something to make light of in a video game.

In the end, we pulled the concept and replaced it with a garden of flowers.
It actually gets better from there - I particularly like the statistical section on the "Safe Delete" feature.

I was also amused by Pogue's nostalgiablogging of his attempt to upgrade a Mac back in 1989.

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