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General Information

This page contains some very general information about the web page it's goals and the answers to the most frequently asked questions.  You can scroll down through this page or just click one of the links below to jump directly to a specific question.  When you're done, click here to go back to the main table of contents page.

Who's Greg Corson?
Who's this "Milo Mindbender" guy?
Kangaroo Koncepts?? Where did that come from?
What is Location Based Entertainment (LBE)?
What do you mean by ILBE and IMEC?

Who's Greg Corson?

Ok, so this is one of those deep philosophical questions...if you think what I've written here is lame, I suggest you try writing one of these things about yourself.

...It's ok...I'll wait...

Not so easy, is it?

I was born in South Bend, Indiana on June 24, 1957 which happens to be less than 4 months before the Russian launching of Sputnik officially kicked off the "Space Race" on October 4.  I grew up in that era when every space flight was a landmark event and was covered in detail on every single TV station.  Quite a change from today, when a space shuttle launch is given about as much coverage as a Greyhound Bus leaving Chicago.  Space flight was everywhere in those days, and everything was a first, it was a time when something new and amazing seemed to be happening in space almost every time you turned around.

The other thing that was cool about living back then was that the lawyers hadn't gotten to the toy companies yet...so there were all kind of cool toys out there like BB guns, dart guns (with the real hard plastic darts) and all manner of toys that used big springs to launch rockets or other projectiles of all kinds.  You could even get those cheap tin-toys that looked like they were stamped out of old beer cans, complete with razor sharp edges, little flint wheels that made toy "ray guns" spit sparks, and other dangerous stuff.  In short, back then you had to be at least passably smart to survive being a kid, cause all the toys were a lot more dangerous than they are these days.

This was also commonly called the "golden age" for science fiction, when some of the great classics of science fiction literature were written.  It seemed like writers were looking a lot further into the future back then, and real-life technology wasn't catching up to their works quite as quickly as it is today.  It was also a time before the "post apocalyptic" science fiction genre got started.   Back then, most science fiction book and movie writers were dealing with futures that were troubled, but hopeful.  Not horrific as in some of today's scifi where huge wars and breakdowns of civilization seem almost common.

I think eventually, a combination of science fiction and the space program is what got me interested in computers.  I started writing games and other programs around 1974 when I was still in high-school on an brand new room-filling IBM 360 the University of Notre Dame had just installed and were kind enough to let me use.  A little time doing that and I was hooked.  I've been doing various kinds of computer applications and games ever since.  I've written software for a wide variety of applications including 2D and 3D graphics, publishing, databases, factory automation, single/multi-player games, computer aided education, simulation, communications and other areas.  See my resume and projects list for more info on this.

I'd have to say that my primary interests are creating new products and creating games.   I particularly like games that have a social element, that bring people together in some way to both compete and just socialize.  

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Who's this "Milo Mindbender" guy?

Everyone wants to know where that pseudonym came from.   Well, when I first went to Purdue University I was having a great deal of trouble using either "greg", "corson" or "greg corson" as an account name on the computers there.  It seemed like every sensible variation of my real name was already taken several times over.  Not wanting to be something silly like "greg26" pseudonym was called for.  Also, at that time (1975) the CB radio craze was at it's height, I was a DJ on the dorm radio station and I was getting heavily into multi-player games on the CDC Plato system and the various bulletin boards and notefiles there.  For all these things, a pseudonym was a must!

At the time I was reading Joseph Heller's "Catch 22" and had also become a big fan of the Firesign Theatre comedy group.  The name Milo Mindbender was a conglomeration of a character from Catch 22 named Milo Minderbinder and a Firesign character called Nino D. Mindbender.  So there you are!

For some strange reason, I was able to get the account name "milo" on every computer system I had access to (just not very common I guess) and even in later years on the web, falling back to Milo_Mindbender as an account name usually works much better than Greg_Corson.

So that's the story, now aren't you sorry you asked?

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Kangaroo_Xing.gif (1591 bytes)Kangaroo Koncepts, Inc??  Where did that come from?Kangaroo_Xing.gif (1591 bytes)

Ok, the short answer is that Kangaroo Koncepts, Inc is the name of the company I usually do business under when providing consulting services, or selling software that I've developed privately.  See my projects page for more information on the things I've done under this banner.  How it got it's name is a bit of a twisted path and takes a bit of explaining.

Back in the early days, around 1975, when the Internet was still a government only club (it was called ARPANET then) the Control Data Company (CDC) did a grand experiment called PLATO.  If you've never heard of it, it's worth looking up as it was a system that was way ahead of it's time.  It was designed to be a computer aided instruction system and had a huge library of courseware that taught just about everything under the sun from math, to language, to forensics.  The system was built to allow courseware to be easily built by people who weren't programmers (like most college professors at the time) and was amazingly well designed and easy to use.  It even had terminals with high-res 512x512 graphics, built in slide projectors and connections back to the host computers that were much faster than anything else available at the time.  As a side effect of being a great system for education, it also happened to be very easy to write multiplayer games on, and was one of the places where the first really detailed multiplayer games were born.  Long before home computers became popular, people on Plato already had dozens of multiplayer on-line graphics games to choose from, everything from multiplayer Star-Trek games to multiplayer Dungeons & Dragons.  Another thing that Plato did every well was something called "notesfiles" or just "notes".  The Plato notes system was the forerunner of virtually all BBS, Forum and online discussion groups you see today.  They had a very well designed and easy to use system which many people copied, including myself with my Unix BBS software called "The Connection".  I may talk more about Plato in a later addition to my web page, but for now, let's get back to where Kangaroo Koncepts came from.

One of the systems based on Plato Notes sprung up at Indiana University and was on a system that was easily accessible to a variety of people from local high-school kids on up to IU professors and staff.  The community that sprung up around this incarnation of Notes was really amazing.  Instead of being a tech-talk board, this system was pretty much dedicated to creating science fiction stories of various kinds.  Every person on the board had created a small group of characters that had an amazing level of detail.   This included such things as a space pirate that traveled the galaxy in a starship that looked like a four masted schooner, a "Dr. Who" style character that traveled in a Tardis that was stuck in the shape of a coke machine, and WEM the unknown, who was good friends with a race of six-foot tall intelligent penguins who lived in a secret base underneath Chicago.  These characters were shared back and forth by all the writers, and a great deal of high quality collaborative fiction was written based on them.  It was a combination of a fun way to chat and a great way to get experience writing.

So what does all this have to do with Kangaroo Koncepts?  Ok, just a bit more detail.  It happened that my character in this science fiction universe ended up as a passenger on a otherwise totally disserted 30 mile long starship with a self-aware computer named Melissa.  While rambling around the universe, the ship happened to run across a planet populated by highly evolved Kangaroos and took on a crew of several hundred of them.  They took part in many adventures with the rest of the characters other people had developed over time.

Ok, so you're probably starting to see where this is headed...  When it came time to create a company I tried several fairly pedestrian names and every time I tried to register them they always came back denied because they were already in use.  So I finally got frustrated and came up with Kangaroo Koncepts, Inc. figuring nobody would have tried something like that yet.  I was right, it got accepted without a single other company name even coming close.  After the fact we came up with a lot of good tie-ins including giving away Australian pennies (with Kangaroos on them), referring to our products as "one jump ahead" and lots of other stuff.  The name has served me well over the years, and frequently has made it much easier to get "in the door" at big companies because there's always someone who just has to call you back to find out what a company with a name like that is up to.  But in the end, the source of the name was from some creative fiction written in the late 70's about traveling the galaxy in a 30 mile long spaceship crewed largely by kangaroos.  It may be a little weird, but that's my story and I'm sticking with it!

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What is Location Based Entertainment (LBE)?

Location based entertainment (LBE) is simply some form of entertainment that is tied to a particular location other than your home.  The term LBE is normally only used to refer to places where you, the guest, take an active part in the entertainment.  That is, you go to the location and play a game or ride a ride.  The most common LBE attractions these days are amusement parks, themed entertainment attractions, ridefilms and places where you go to play high-end multiplayer interactive computer games like dogfight or racecar simulations.  Bowling alleys, pool parlors, water parks and arcades are also LBE businesses.  Spectator sports such as baseball or football, movie theatres and gambling casinos are usually NOT referred to as LBE even though they fit the basic description.  Because LBE is a rather broad term, this web page uses two other terms ILBE and IMEC to narrow things down a bit.  For definitions of these, read on.

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What do you mean by ILBE and IMEC?

These are two terms I've coined narrow down the potentially broad term "LBE" a bit.  An ILBE refers to an INTERACTIVE Location Based Entertainment center.  This would be a place where the rides, simulators or attractions are actually under your control, this would include arcades and places with single seat driving or flying simulators.  IMEC refers to an Interactive Multiplayer Entertainment Center.  An IMEC has games and attractions specifically designed to let people play cooperative or competitive games with each other.  Typically an IMEC will have a number of computer game stations or simulators (one for each player) connected together so that all the players are in the same game world, but have different views of it.  An example would be a driving game where eight players get in eight separate racecar simulator cockpits and all race against each other on the same track.

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