Sunday, July 19, 2009

(My) History of Walking

I'm pretty upfront about this: I enjoy walking. I walk to school everyday, I enjoy walking around the city, and sometimes I just walk around when I don't have anything else to really do. If you're anything like me, you spent a lot of time as a kid walking. So, hear is a history of things I've thought about or games I've played while walking:

1) This is the one that started it all: "Step on a crack, break yo' momma's back." I didn't technically think of this one, but it was sort of the starting point. circa 1st grade

2) This next one came as an inspiration of a video game I never owned: Q-Bert. Now, if you've ever played Q-Bert, the point is to get all of these tiles on a pyramid to be the same color, while avoiding all of the monsters of the level. Later on in the levels, if you hit the same tile twice, it goes back to the color you don't want. Now, the reason I started doing this one was because of the similarity it had to 1). Most of the floors in my school (HBS) were tiled, and so every step was in a different tile. I guess it's also similar to some movie, but right now I can't bring it to mind.

3) As I grew older, however, my feet grew larger. It was now more difficult to fit them within tiles if I walked straight on towards them. Looking at it from a slightly different angle, I would often walk diagonally back and forth just so that I could fit my feet within each individual square and not hit any tile twice, of course.

4) Next, I came to a more difficult problem. Where as, when I knew the regularity of the size of the tiles and the path I walked was fairly wide, walking was easy and relatively thought free. However, when the tiles are irregularly shaped, a strange tessellation occurs, or if there were things in the way, it would be difficult to adhere to the strictness of a set of rules. So, I began working at extrapolating my planning further. In addition to getting more accurate results, it also allows me to not vary my steps awkwardly (stepping on the left with my right foot and on the right with my left), thereby allowing me to do this while walking with other people with little notice.

Anyway, this doesn't even get into the subject of path finding techniques of walking, because that is a much longer subject that has been rarely breached and shall be left for another day.