Saturday, October 29, 2011

Solving Bioshock Cats on National Cat Day

Today, October 29, is National Cat Day and to celebrate I shall share with you a partial SOLUTION to the BIOSHOCK Cats Mystery.

Including cats for the player to discover actually IS a game-within-the-game.

While it is still unknown who originally designed the black-and-white cat and put him/her in the original Bioshock, all the level designers of Bioshock 2 participated in finding fun places to stash kitties. And...

We have Steve Gaynor to thank for putting NAMED cats in Minerva's Cave.
All Hail Steve!!

There are THREE cats - one for each level of Minerva's Cave. The names of each feline honor someone important to the development of computing - which is of course very important in the Cave storyline. I found Babbage and Turing, you may remember.

Armed with this information, I set about to find the third kitty on my second playthrough - and discovered:

According to Wikipedia, Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace is recognized as the World’s First Computer Programmer, having written the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine.
For whose computer did she write this? Charles Babbage’s.

Babbage called her the Enchantress of Numbers and wrote of her in his Passages from the Life of a Philosopher (1864):
I then suggested that she add some notes to Menabrea's memoir, an idea which was immediately adopted. We discussed together the various illustrations that might be introduced: I suggested several but the selection was entirely her own. So also was the algebraic working out of the different problems, except, indeed, that relating to the numbers of Bernoulli, which I had offered to do to save Lady Lovelace the trouble. This she sent back to me for an amendment, having detected a grave mistake which I had made in the process.
Fun facts:
 - Ada was the only legitimate child of the poet Lord Byron.
 - The computer language Ada created by the US Department of Defense is named after her.
 - The British Computer Society awards a medal in her name.
 - There is a movement to have an Ada Lovelace Day (which this year was October 7).

I didn't know any of that, so I am now a better informed person because of Bioshock's dead cats.  :)

Many thanks and virtual cupcakes to Steve for allowing me to interview him on the subject of virtual kitties. He's a wonderful fellow and you can follow his tumblr and his twitter.


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