Origami Sightings - Games (Part 2)

Compiled by Janet Hamilton

Pete Ford and Martin Wall were on the popular BBC game show "Jim Davidson's Generation Game" again, on November 27, 1999. They outfitted Mr. Blobby with an origami hat and boot. (See the previous article on games related origami sightings at http://www.sxpress.com/~origamisources/origami_sightings_issue66.htm for their other appearance on this game show.)

In the Home News Tribune (2/1/99) the subject of the Wonderword puzzle by David Ouellete was origami. All the words to be found in the puzzle related to origami, and the solution was also an origami related word.

Origami has been the subject of a number of Thinkquest team entries, including the Sumakov's Oriland site. One ThinkQuest Junior team created an origami website that included an Origami Jeopardy game to test how much visitors to the site had learned. The site: http://library.thinkquest.org/5402/ The game: http://library.thinkquest.org/5402/game.html

A question about origami appeared on the game show "Greed" a short while ago. The question went something like this: What material are you shaping when you're practicing origami?  The answer choices included glass and clay, as well as paper. The woman who answered correctly said that origami was her hobby when she was 13. The host said afterwards that he had never heard of it. He asked, "What does that make you? An origami-ist?" She replied that she thought it might be "origamist", but that she had no idea what they call it.  

One of the early questions on the US premiere of "The Weakest Link" (4/17/2001) was "What 'O' is the Japanese art of decorative paper folding? John, the undertaker and eventual winner, got it right. Origami was mentioned again on 7/26/2001 when the question mistress (Cornelia) said of a poor performance: "I've not seen anyone fold so quickly since my last origami class".

6/11/2001 - Puzzle Club Features of the Week website had a paragraph about the upcoming Origami USA convention in NYC.

In the 8/7/2001 New York Times crossword puzzle, One Across was a a five-letter word for "Does origami." (Folds)

The Scotsman Crossword 8/13/2001 the clue for 11 Across: "Maori and GI explaining Japanese art (7)", the answer being a 7-letter word that contains all the letters in Maori and GI, and is a Japanese art. (origami)

The National Public Radio word quiz game show, "Says You!", had this question on their latest show (8/2001): What is a desktop pile or a Filipino origami-ist (sic)? (Manila Folder)

On December 9, 2001, a BBC Radio 4 program called "A World in your Ear" discussed radio quiz shows worldwide and one question was to describe what was being folded. The presenter described how to fold a square of paper into a model (very well done and descriptive enough for a non folder to follow). It took about two minutes. People then had to phone in and guess what model had been folded. The model in question was a simple boat with two sails.

The Bogglers game by Scott Kim in the January 2002 Discover Magazine Online featured origami:
"Fold a square piece of paper, white on the front and black on the back, twice, as shown in the example at right. The black area facing you makes the letter L. Can you fold the same square of paper to reveal the other letters shown at far right? Note: The letters won't all be the same size." http://www.discover.com/issues/jan-02/departments/bogglers/

In the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition version of "Oriental Adventures", origami is a skill that characters can learn. There's even a magic item for origami, "Paper of Forms". This magic colored paper can be used by those with the Craft (origami) skill. When such a character folds the paper to create an animal or object, then blows on the origami form and utters the command word, the paper transforms into a life-sized, real version of the form with all the normal properties of the item created. Market price: 10,000 gold pieces.

On the game show Jeopardy seen in the US on 5/23/02, to paraphrase; "In origami when you fold a piece of paper away from you it's called a 'mountain fold.' When you fold a piece of paper toward you it's called..." The contestant correctly identified it as a valley fold but came in second place at the end of the show.

"The Origami Game" is on page 66 under the sub-title Motivation and Emotion; in "Activities Handbook for the Teaching of Psychology" Volume 2 Printed by the American Psychological Association, reprinted January 1996.

The Secret of a Happy Relationship Game – Origami Version - “Unlock the secrets of your relationship with the ancient art of origami. Sounds too good to be true? Not anymore! The Secret of a Happy Relationship melds contemporary psychology with the folding power of origami. Learn to build beautiful paper boxes together and each day drop in the labeled pieces corresponding to how you are feeling toward your partner. At the end of the week, come together to see what secrets unfold.” http://store.yahoo.com/janm/orrelgam.html

A parody of the Megaman game series on Nintendo is on the web at http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view.php?id=49456. Wait for the guy with the red pointy-nosed mask (Tengu Man). The “interviewer” asks what they do in their free time, and it is revealed that Tengu Man makes little origami animals. He denies it.

At Historicon 2003 in Lancaster, PA, Wayne Ko did a session called Fold and Fight! – A Beginner’s Battle:

”Hosted by: Todd Harland-White and the HAWKs Sponsored by: Brigade Games Prize: TBD Scale: 50mm Rules: Milk and Cookies Rules Period: Napoleonic Number of players: 5 Length of Event: 3 hrs”
”Get right into the thick of battle in this example entry in the Hawk's sponsored Beginner's Battles Competition: instead of taking the time to paint miniatures, this game uses Origami Soldiers folded using patterns by Wayne Ko. The battle pits British General Craufurd and his Light Division against the advancing troops of French General Ney at the Coa River bridge. Stay after the battle to fold a mounted cavalry officer, an infantryman, and/or an artillery battery and take them home. Come help us introduce your kid to the fun of miniature gaming!”

A show in Japan called TV Champion is an elimination-style game show that holds a competition each week between experts in a particular field. The March 13, 2003 show featured origami (the seventh time origami was featured in the twelve years the show has run). Jeremy Shafer and Satoshi Kamiya (the reigning champion) were on the contest, with 3 other origami experts. Challenges included designing a transforming, color changing model; folding inside a box; folding a piece of paper hanging by a string; folding underwater while using a snorkel; and folding diaramas for the 4 seasons.  http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/tvchamp/backnumber/../030313/under.htm

The December 2003 issue of Consumer Reports magazine, page 46, has an  article rating toys in three categories - movers, makers, and mindbenders, for toys that encourage physical activity, engage hands, and challenge minds. There are 3 origami books reviewed in the "makers" section. The book "Origami" from Klutz books rated a very good for clarity, spiral binding, and because it included paper. The two other books, "Origami, Plain & Simple" by Robert Neale, and "The New Origami" by Steve and Megumi Biddle, were rated good, because they were, well, just books. Imagine downgrading a book because it is a book! If they really wanted to rate origami KITS they should have bought kits. The article also stated that "The New Origami" was too difficult for 8- to 11-year-olds. I think the writer needs to visit an Origami by Children exhibit. Well, at least having 3 origami books reviewed was a good showing. Interesting that there were no LEGO or similar building kits included.

New York Times Sunday Magazine crossword puzzle (Sunday, 8/22/04), 41 down: Origami bird. (5 letters). Answer: Crane

In the National Post (Canadian newspaper) on 9/4/2004 there was a cryptic crossword with this clue: 16 down: Collapsed after having practiced origami (6,2). Answer: Folded Up

October 7, 2004 - The Japanese show TV Champion again featured origami. Satoshi Kamiya won with 56 points, and Hojyo Takashi came in second with 42 points. Challenges included making up an insect and folding it, folding a fish, folding recycled materials, and making a group of fantasy characters. http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/tvchamp/result/result.htm#2 

A maze in the form of a traditional kabuto fold was spotted at http://web.kyoto-inet.or.jp/people/eisaku/images/kabuto.gif :

Patent number D076,164, dated August 21, 1928, was awarded to Vernon B. Smith for a "paper bird puzzle" that he claims is a "new, original, and ornamental Design". The picture is of a traditional flapping bird. Apparently the patent office was not aware of this model as being prior art.

Spotted 8/11/05 - a string figure of an origami crane by Jun MAEKAWA (from 1981). Instructions can be found here: http://web.kyoto-inet.or.jp/people/ysisido/jisfa%20instruction%20origami%20crane.htm 

8/15/05 - A television game show called "Um contra todos" (One against all), had the question: What's the art that has the purpose of creating forms by folding paper, without cuting? - 3 options: Kamakura, Origami or Kamasutra? http://www.flickr.com/photos/68032096@N00/34374179/ 

1/2/2006 - The Tenyo Magic company has released a new effect called the "Origami Tube." The magician inserts a dollar bill into the Origami Tube, then folds the tube with the bill inside. The magician inserts four solid cards into the middle of the tube - where the bill's center is supposed to be. However, the cards completely slice through the tube. It appears that the bill must have been cut in half. However, after removing the cards, the magician removes the dollar bill - completely unharmed and intact. The website includes a video demonstration - http://www.tenyo.co.jp/magic_en/catalog/index_new.html 

On a recent Saturday afternoon, about 20 couples, each with a mysterious origami cup in hand, sped through Little Tokyo to Grand Central Market on a mission. After ditching their cars in a nearby parking lot, they hoofed it up Hill Street in search of an exotic ingredient most had never heard of - flor de tilo. RACE/LA is loosely based on the TV show "The Amazing Race" and is a way for couples to complete while getting to know about the city.

One of the Mario Bros. games is "Paper Mario", where Mario and the other characters become paper thin. When they land on an arrow, it folds up into a paper airplane and transports them to another place. A sequel, "Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door", frequently plays on the "paper" aspect of the universe and its characters, such as becoming a paper airplane and flying for short distances, turning sideways to become as thin as a piece of paper and slip through cracks, rolling into a tube to duck under low-hanging objects, and folding into a boat to cross water. Another sequel due out September 2007, "Super Paper Mario", starts as with the previous two games in the series, with all characters are as flat as a sheet of paper. However, Mario can manipulate the environment around him to his benefit, opening up new paths and possibilities with the ability to 'flip' from 2D to 3D at will. http://www.papermario.com/launch/index.html 

Paper Pilot: The Battle of the Air allows you to design a paper plane (paper weight, elevator angle, winglets) and then challenge friends to virtual competitions. http://www.solidworkspilot.com/ 

Like its name suggests, the setting of O-RI-GA-MI is made entirely of pieces of folded paper, making it probably the only handcrafted room escape game in existence. From the furniture to the code panel to the unconventional fauna, almost everything that you see has been created out of a piece of paper and photographed in position. http://www.chinjuh.mydns.jp/flash/origami.htm 

May 21, 2007 in The Nation was a crosswork puzzle with the following clue for 2 Down: "Nothing with the equipment given to a friend in Paris is like fancy work!" The solution: Nothing=O, equipment=rig, friend in Paris=ami, so the word was O-rig-ami! [Thanks to Susan Shubert for figuring that one out]

June 24, 2007 in the Boston Globe - "Puzzles will Save the World" by Amy Karafin. "Martin Demaine solves puzzles for a living. In his world, riddles become computer science, and computer science looks a lot like riddles. ... When a paper he coauthored on wrapping a sweet Austrian candy called Mozartkugel – which he describes as part origami, part computational confectionery – was invited to be in a journal, he was thrilled, and surprised. Mozartkugel (named after the composer, who was born in the town where it was invented in 1890) is a perfect sphere, and each one is individually wrapped in a square piece of aluminum foil. Demaine and his son [Erik] saw it as a challenge to compute the smallest piece of foil that could be used for each one, to minimize waste." http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2007/06/24/puzzles_will_save_the_world/ 

On Saturday, 07-07-07, in the crossword puzzle, 34 across the clue was origami creation, the answer being crane.

July 24, 2007 - The local paper's crossword by Thomas Joseph, the clue for 32 across is "origami need".  The answer, 'Paper'.

July 29, 2007 - Etienne Cliquet (Paris) has developed a new origami game. He has folded origami spiders (very realistic), placed them in various plastic containers, and hidden them around Paris. His web site has a crease pattern for the spiders, but, more importantly, information on where to pick up a standard tourist map of Paris and then instructions on how to fold that map such that the crease intersections show where the spiders are hidden. This is a great origami treasure hunt, and, unlike geocaching, does not require purchasing any technological gizmos to participate! http://www.ordigami.net/web-spiders 

September 2007 - The video game "Stranglehold" is mostly a shoot 'em up game. Various objects can be found to provide extra points or power. One of the objects is an origami crane, which increases the power-up meter by a level. 

A Doug Henning magic trick called the Origami Illusion has a small box unfolding, an assistant getting in the box, then the box refolding to a very small size. Doug was the first magician to perform this illusion created for him by Jim Steinmeyer, and the youtube video is from an appearance in the 1980s on the Joan Rivers Show. http://www.youtube.com:80/watch?v=-oB988DB8gk&feature=related 

January 2008 - In the computer game "Art of Murder - FBI Confidential", Nicole Bonnet receives messages from partner Nick in the form of Origami. 
Noted so far is a map folded into a boat, and a message folded into a flapping bird. When you unfold the message you even get the CP.  http://www.city-interactive.com/artofmurdergame/ http://img144.imageshack.us/img144/9757/artofmurderxj8.jpg 

At the 2007 Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Competition, third place went to the Ontario team captained by Doug Bisson for "Almost There", an origami squirrel.

Amnesia's FlightSimX Paperplane game has you launch paper planes through an office, past a ceiling fan, over desks, with a goal of getting it to fly out a window and score a record distance. http://flightsimx.cyclops.amnesia.com.au/index.html 

Origami was once again featured on the Japanese TV show TV Champion. Four contestants competed in Stage 1 for the right to duel with Satoshi Kamiya in the finals, but Kamiya kept the title. http://pl.youtube.com/watch?v=P3EwXoIemog&feature=related http://pl.youtube.com/watch?v=jFVs6r_QTBQ&feature=related http://pl.youtube.com/watch?v=5zpvdPU1TdA&feature=related 

A new construction toy called i-gami is based on origami. The plastic pieces can fold, bend, and snap together to create any imaginable shape including many of the traditional origami shapes. The kits are made by "Plastic Play Inc" in Canada. http://www.i-gami.com/ UPDATE: The i-gami line has been acquired by PlaSmart,

Swoopin offers free cellphone games "Origami Tulip", "Origami Daffodil", and "Origami Iris". The description states, "Grow your own Origami Tulip". http://wap.swoopin.org/ 

June 2008 - A recent prize from Cracker Jacks was an origami talking face with a duck on one side and a cow on the other.

June 15, 2008 - The crossword puzzle in the Sunday New York Times Magazine had the clue for 28 across: Staple figure of origami (5 letters). Answer (of course): crane.

June 18, 2008 - The Destination ImagiNation competition challenges school children from all over the world to work together to solve unique team challenges. The Cory Sharks from Cory Elementary in Southeast Denver had to construct a vehicle to maneuver through an obstacle course, so they folded an origami frog that 'hopped' through the course. One judge declared, "They thought so far out of the box that we couldn't even find the box". At regionals, their solution was rewarded with a $75.00 College Invest Scholarship and the prestigious Da Vinci award for "exceptional creativity (not skill or talent), a unique approach to the problem and/or risk taking." http://denver.yourhub.com:80/DenverSouth/Stories/News/General-News/Story~485692.aspx 

Toy brand Bandai is launched ads for its handheld Catcha Beast game with 100-second TV spots created by Origami Films. The game requires players to rotate around to find beasts and then to use a handle to reel it in, as though they were landing a fish.

August 2008 - Quantic Dream is developing a new game for the PS3 called Heavy Rain. The company presented a demo subtitled "The Origami Killer" showcasing the technology of the game. The demo centered around investigation of a taxidermist suspected as having some connection to a number of missing women. The killer's name comes from the fact that he leaves an origami model in his victim's hands. Setptember 2009 update - issue 87 of games™ magazine included an origami-themed with folding flaps that switch the main image between Heavy Rain’s two lead characters’ faces. The game's install screen has you, the player, stepping into the role of "The Origami Killer" by guiding you through a step-by-step on how to fold your own murderous calling card. According to the instructions, the game box will ship with a square piece of paper for this very purpose. 

8/24/08 - The NY Times crossword was 'Come Fly With Me' by Kevin G. Der Week.The 'unclued answers' were 'cut along the dotted line', 'fold through each pair of numbers in the grid sequentially', and 'go throw the paper airplane'. If you followed the instructions, the puzzle folds into a paper airplane! http://www.xwordblog.com/2008/08/come-fly-with-me.html http://www.xwordinfo.com/Special/Aug2408.pdf http://www.xwordinfo.com/ShowPuzzle.aspx?date=8/24/2008 

"Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" contestants Erin Hanrahan and Brian Udelhofen won $25,000 on the special show for couples playing to pay for their wedding. They lost at the $50,000 level with the question: "Which of these is not the title of a book in the popular "For Dummies" reference series? A) Breastfeeding for Dummies, B) Origami for Dummies, C) Ferrets for Dummies, D) Robot Building for Dummies?" They guessed the answer to be "C;" unfortunately, the correct answer was "B." Note that Origami for Dummies, written by Nick Robinson, has now been added to the series.

November 2008 - On "Jeopardy", a video question had to do with a name of an origami fold. They demonstrated and gave the name of a valley fold, then showed a mountain fold and asked what it was called.

Tamagotchi Connection Version 4 features origami cranes on the case. The description seems to indicate that you can give cranes to friends via electronic connection. http://toys.hsn.com/tamagotchi-connection-version-4-origami-crane_pf-1043648_xp.aspx?club_id=1043648&sz=45&sf=TY0307&rdr=1&cm_mmc=Shopping%20Engine-_-Froogle-_-Toys-_-Tamagotchi%20Connection%20Version%204%20-%20Origami%20Crane%204165269&cawelaid=155405074 

The computer adventure game "Mata Hari", designed by Hal Barwood and Noah Falstein for dtp/ANACONDA, is played from the point of view of the famous spy Mata Hari. When Mata Hari travels to Madrid, there is a scene where you see a traditional origami boat floating in the fountain.

A kit called "origami: strange faces", designed by the Tokyo-based origami group Studio Cochae, comes with 15 square sheets of paper printed with photo images of cropped faces. When folded the sheets transform into bizarre kaleidoscopic versions of a face. http://www.unicahome.com/p38751/strange-faces-origami-by-studio-cochae.html 

An game for the iPhone called Paper Pilot from Clever Coding LLC makes you pilot a paper plane through various 3D levels. 

December 2008 - Pepastar, a system of colorful recycled-paper modules for construction, was released. The modules are shaped like 3, 4, 5, or 6 pointed stars, with rounded vertices that include notches allowing them to be interconnected. Unlike plastic construction bricks, Pepastars can be torn, folded, painted, and drawn upon for additional creative options. http://www.pepastar.net/en  

Nintendo DSi owners can download Paper Airplane Chase, where up to two players can guide their aerodynamic origami through obstacle courses.

May 2009 - Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 is a set of applications that an be installed on touch screen PC. One of the apps is Microsoft Garden Pond. Touching the pond creates ripples that float origami boats through a set of obstacles. This game is for one or two players and has four small minigames: The Village, The Gate, The Bridge and The Castle. In The Village, players push origami boats to capture flowers that are floating on the surface of the pond. In The Gate, players push origami boats into candles in order to burn them down. The Bridge and The Castle require players to move their origami boats into predetermined safe zones at opposite edges.

June 2009 -Alawar Games new release, "Bilbo - The Four Corners of the World" features the hamster, Bilbo, trying to impress the father of his love interest by turning a diner into a fine restaurant. Mini games appear at different times, and include the opportunity to make origami.  http://www.alawar.com/game/bilbo-the-four-corners-of-the-world/ 

Sept 23, 2009 - The 25th anniversary event for the videogame "Elite" included a reconstruction of the 'lost origami' models, which were originally intended to be provided with the Commodore 64 game packaging. Mark Bolitho is helping to create a hangar-sized Origami Universe in Nottingham’s Old Market Square, building models of Cobras, Vipers and Thargoids. Origami diagrams are available at http://gamecity.org/elite25 along with video tutorials from the artist. http://www.mcvuk.com/press-releases/51294/GameCity-Squared 

Lottie Rose presents computer game reviews as an origami model combined with Haiku. She calls them haikvus, presumably because of the visual component added to the haiku.   http://www.gamepeople.co.uk/lottierose.htm 

Copyright © Janet Hamilton 2009

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