American Go E-Journal » Go Spotting

Go Spotting: HBO’s “Vice” and the Lane County Museum

Wednesday June 7, 2017

HBO’s “Vice”: The fifth season of HBO’s newsmagazine documentary series Vice features go in its eleventh episode, writes Gordon 2017.06.04_HBO Vice  S5 E11 aired 5-7-17 #1Castanza.  Produced by Bill Maher, Vice is a documentary TV series hosted by Shane Smith aiming to tackle global issues often overlooked by traditional media.  The episode, titled Engineering Immortality & Robot Revolution, starts out on the topic of “Engineering Immortality”, covering scientific advancements with potential to lead to an explosion in human longevity.  The show then transitions to the “Robot Revolution”, showing examples the unfolding revolution of creating systems intelligent enough to actually think for themselves. The show features an interview with the renowned Demis Hassabis in an interview covering the significance of game research.  To see if DeepMind had “successfully built artificial human intuition”, VICE travelled to South Korea to cover the match between AlphaGo and Lee Sedol.  Noting the result of the match, the documentary points out that AlphaGo’s win “reinforced the idea that we may be on the brink of transformative artificial intelligence,” warning of the potential consequences that artificial intelligence may bring.  When questioned about the potential dangers of today’s “Robot Revolution”, Demis Hassabis replied that, “Most technologies are inherently neutral, but it depends on how society uses them and deploys them that ends up determining whether they end up being for good or for bad.” The series currently airs Monday through Thursday at 7:30p ET on HBO.
Lane County Museum2017.06.04_Lane County Museum
Castanza also reports that he spotted a July 1942 photo of two Japanese men playing go at the Farm Security Administration farm workers’ camp in Twin Falls, Idaho at the Lane County Museum in Eugene, Oregon.

2017.06.04_General and IGeneral and I: The popular historical romance drama General and I has an entire episode featuring go, reports Crystal Lin.  In episode 52 of the series, heroine Bai Ping Ting is challenged to a game of blind go against an unknown and unseen player.  Little does she know, Bai Ping Ting’s opponent is Chu Bei Jie – her lover and adversary, who believes Bai Ping Ting to be dead. Through a vivid portrayal of the match, the director illustrates the players’ moves through a ninja-like battle on a simulated go board, as the players shout out their moves.  In a dramatic climax of the scene, Bai Ping Ting realizes her opponent from his style of play. Click here for a summary of the episode, along with a video clip illustrating Bai Ping Ting and Chu Bei Jie’s exciting match.
- edited by Brian Kirby
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Go Spotting: Wild Kratts

Tuesday June 6, 2017

Wild Kratts features go in its episode, Pangolin Rescue, writes Ryan Carroll.  Wild Kratts is an educational animated series aimed at children,2017.06.04_WildKratts  pangolin rescue created by Chris and Martin Kratt.  In the Pangolin Rescue, the Wild Kratts learn about the ground pangolin, before getting an alert from Chinese Wild Kratts Kids Yi and Duyi that someone has set traps to capture Chinese pangolins, a critically endangered species.  The show features Yi and Duyi playing go as they wait for the Wild Kratts to arrive in China.  The Kratt brothers need to use “Pangolin Powers” to free the captured pangolins and save them from becoming Smoothies.
- edited by Brian Kirby
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Go Spotting: Samurai Gourmet

Thursday June 1, 2017

In Samurai Gourmet ‘s ‘Mackerel in the morning’ (Season 1, Episode 3, available on Netflix), recently retired Takeshi Kosumi stays up late playing2017.05.27_samurai-gourmet go with his friend and misses his train home in this charming new gastronomic exploration of a newly liberated corporate man exploring his freedom with a little help from a masterless samurai.
Thanks to Michael Kyriakakis and David Bogie for sending this in. 

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Go Spotting: Walter Mosley’s “Known to Evil”

Monday March 6, 2017

Fred Baldwin reports that “on p. 212 of one of Walter Mosley’s noir crime novels, Known to Evil  (2010) the detective Leonid2017.02.25_Walter Mosley’s Known to Evil McGill sums up the results of an online search. ‘Bug must have been serious about Zephyra because I received a long document from him, giving me all kinds of hitherto unrevealed information about Angie. She’d participated in a few long-distance runs of ten kilometers or more and worked for the Hillary campaign during the primaries. She played Go over the Internet and was pretty good at it, earning an emerald rating at a California club.’ I have no clue what an ‘emerald rating’ in go means,” says Baldwin, “but, hey, it was in California.”

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Go Spotting: AMC’s “Humans”

Tuesday February 28, 2017

The second season of AMC’s science fiction series, Humans, features go in its second episode, reports Alicia Seifrid. The 2017.02.28_HumansGoBoardaward-winning television drama explores the social and psychological impact of anthropomorphic robots having their own free will. In the episode, artificial intelligence scientist, Dr. Athena Morrow, finds Silicon Valley billionaire, Milo Khoury, finishing up a game of go with the son of one of his colleagues. As a part of their discussion while Dr. Morrow helps him to clear away the stones, Milo notes that, “there are more possible moves in go than there are atoms in the observable universe; just a bunch of little stones on a piece of wood. People like you and me, we need facts like that to remind us of our own insignificance.” The series currently airs on Sundays at 10p ET on AMC.
Thanks to Paul Wiegand and Gordon Castanza for flagging this as well.
- Brian Kirby

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Go Spotting: “The Vegetarian”

Thursday February 2, 2017

“There is a nice allusion to go in Han Kang’s novel, The Vegetarian, winner of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize,” 2017.01.30_The_vegetarian_-_han_kangwrites Tony Koslow. On page 164 (2016 US paperback edition translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith):

There’s been a time when she could spend hours like this, weighing up all the variables that might have contributed to determining Yeong-hye’s fate. Of course it was entirely in vain, this act of mentally picking up and counting the paduk stones that have been laid out on the board of her sister’s life.

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Go Spotting: Reddit app

Monday January 30, 2017

“Reddit on their app download has a picture of the AlphaGo news,” reports Barry Physics. 2017.01.29_reddit

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Go Spotting: “Shadowrun” Computer Game

Wednesday December 21, 2016

The 2015 computer game “Shadowrun: Hong Kong” features go, reports Eric Rasmussen. In one scene, a handful of non-2016.12.19_shadowrun_hong_kong_goplayer characters sit around a go game in progress. The player can speak with them, but, unfortunately, cannot join in their fun. “Shadowrun: Hong Kong” is one of the latest games exploring the cyberpunk world of Shadowrun, a fantasy role playing game that started in the 1980s with a tabletop RPG ruleset. The series depicts a near-future version of Earth in which corrupt corporations have led a world full of sprawling metropolises into a gritty, dangerous, hi-tech age. However, unlike many cyberpunk adventures, this world also includes magic and fantasy creatures like Elves and Orcs, alongside the high tech weaponry and hacking-oriented futuristic themes. The turn-based role playing game is available on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux operating systems.
- Noah Doss

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Go Spotting: Documentary: “Tora, Tora, Tora”

Sunday December 18, 2016

Japanese naval personnel may be seen playing both go and shogi at 31:38 in “Pearl Harbor: Tora, Tora, Tora: True Story of 2016.12.11_ToraToraToraPearl Harbor,” the History Channel documentary from 2000.

In a related film, Daniel Acheson, who sent in this item, also reports that “A relic from the time of World War II, Frank Capra’s 1945 propaganda film Know Your Enemy — Japan’ mentions go.”  Acheson writes that the film speaks of “attempts to eradicate Western influence in Showa-era Japan” and asserts that “Western card games were purged in favor of [go]” which they refer to as “a game of super chess.” The narrator then notes, “somewhat threateningly, that it is ‘a game of military strategy.’”

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Go Spotting: League of Legends Azir champion

Saturday December 17, 2016

Go is featured in the League of Legends Azir champion skin preview, reports Daniel Chou. “In a pre-release video teaser, we2016.12.11_League of Legends Azir champion skin preview see Azir sitting in front of a Goban as he recalls back to the Fountain. League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) where two teams battle each other to capture important objectives on the map in order to reach and destroy the enemy team Nexus. Each player selects a champion to play for the duration of a game. Occasionally the player would recall his champion back to the fountain to regenerate in-game champion stats and to spend earned gold on upgraded items.”

“The champion Azir appropriately pays homage to go; according to League of Legends lore, Azir was the Emperor reawakened after millennia lying dormant beneath the desert that overtook the once-powerful Shurima Empire.” Click here for more info on Azir.

 

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