Breadcrumbs

Playing in the blockchain

23 August 2018

Tyler Marriner
Computer Science student Tyler Marriner is developing games for the blockchain.

The blockchain is a distributed ledger or decentralised database that keeps all records of digital transactions, such as Bitcoin, but what about playing games using this technology?

University of Waikato Bachelor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences (Honours) student Tyler Marriner is working out ways to successfully do that. He says there have been some games developed already, such as Cryptokitties and Casinos, but they’re quite simple and he’s after developing something more interesting, interactive and complex.

Tyler is using Ethereum, a distributed virtual machine protocol that uses smart contracts to develop two-player, turn-based games that have a deck of cards and secret hands for each player that need to be encrypted.

Tyler presented his research at the honours student research conference for the Faculty of Computing and Mathematical Sciences. He says he’s making good progress, but there are still issues in his programming to iron out. In Go Fish for example he says players could actually lie about the cards they have, but he’s confident he’ll be able to find a solution to that problem.

He’s also working on games such as Tic Tac Toe (noughts and crosses) and says there’s potential for chess and connect 4 to be played in the blockchain. “And then there are hidden states’ games, such as Battleships. I can see it being expanded to any other hidden knowledge or public knowledge games,” Tyler says.

Tyler was one of 20 students taking part in the day-long conference where students had 20 minutes to present their research and answer questions from the floor.

Nicole Chan for web
Nicole Chan, finding Māori loan words on Twitter.

Nicole Chan, the only female presenter, has been studying the use of Māori loanwords in tweets. She’s collected a list of 150 commonly loaned words, such as kai, kura, mana, aroha, wahine, whanau, moana, etc, and is using python, a popular programming language to clean up the tweets, (removing retweets, usernames, URLS, punctuation). She is then using  Word2Vec andfastText,  to study context and frequency.”

“I’m curious to know how people are using te reo Māori in their daily speech, how frequently it’s used and which words are most commonly used. This sort of information helps us to understand trends in everyday language,” Nicole says.

At the end of the conference, awards were given for best presentation and best project. Mitchell Grout won best presentation for his project titled Automated searching for differential characteristics in SHA-2 (Secure Hash Algorithm 2) and Joseph Simblett won best project which involves developing motion-based gesture control for drones.

Related stories

When machine learning, Twitter and te reo Māori merge

Researchers have whittled down a massive 8 million tweets, to a more manageable 1.2 million…

Summer Research Scholarship wrap up

A successful summer of research was wrapped up at a function held at the Gallagher…

What do Kiwis think of encryption?

New research by University of Waikato academics reveals what people value most when using encryption.

Mitchell Grout web

Gallagher scholarship for cyber security

Mitchell Grout is the fourth in his family to come to Waikato University and he's…

Nick Humphries web

Antarctica, a degree and a business too

Nick Humphries, graduating after action-packed study years.

Waikato school leavers get financial boost

Fifteen school leavers from the greater Waikato region will be heading to the University of…

Waikato students off to Asia and Latin America

Waikato students have been awarded a combined total of $304,685 through the Prime Minister’s Scholarship…

Kordia Launches Women in Technology Scholarship at the University of Waikato

In a bid to address gender imbalance in the information and communications technology sector, mission-critical…

From the stars to the depths of the earth: new research funding

The Marsden Fund has contributed nearly $4 million to seven University of Waikato projects.

Kia ora computer science

Dr Te Taka Keegan possesses the rare skill combination of computing and te reo Māori,…

Cyber security: what you need to know

Dr Joe Burton recently led a captivating - if sobering - talk about the impacts…

Who should own your personal data?

New research on wearable technology in high-risk work environments has been given a million dollar…