Blogville, a virtual world where you can read blogs


Philipp writes, "In Blogville, you can read blogs... including Boing Boing! This is part of Manyland, the browser-based MMO universe where you can draw and script anything to build the world."

Kickstarting a new edition of the classic game Paranoia


Eric writes, "Paranoia is a cult classic tabletop roleplaying game that has sold hundreds of thousands of copies worldwide, won the Best Role Playing Game of the Year award, and been inducted into the Origins Award Hall of Fame."

Paranoia is light-hearted game of terror, death, bureaucracies, mad scientists, mutants, dangerous weapons, and insane robots, which encourages players to lie, to cheat, and backstab each other at every turn.

Paranoia is a darkly humorous roleplaying game set in Alpha Complex, a dystopian underground city of the future, ruled by The Computer. Alpha Complex is, according to The Computer, a Utopian society, but one threatened by all kinds of real (and imagined) traitors: mutants, members of treasonous secret societies, and terrorists. The players are Troubleshooters, agents of The Computer, whose job it is to uncover these enemies, and, well, shoot trouble. Each player is a mutant, and a member of a treasonous secret society, so each has a reason to discover the treasons of their co-workers -- and execute them, the better to convince The Computer of their own fervent loyalty.

Paranoia, originally published in 1984, was a product of, well, Cold War paranoia, but it is even more relevant in an era when the NSA and GCHQ work tirelessly to ensure that we are all safe and secure against the pervasive threat of Commie mutant trai.... Uh, I mean, evil, crazed terrorists. When we are all subject to constant surveillance by both government and private entities -- and when the kind of hard AI that might lead to The Computer seems just over the horizon.

This new edition of Paranoia...

...will include cards, special dice, reusable character sheets and other devices to promote fast play, a Paranoia state of mind, and a minimum of 'old school' paper-and-pencil logistics a la Dungeons & Dragons.

...will double down on the original darkly humorous premise built around a 24/7 full-surveillance police state (e.g., the cover of the 1984 edition showed a low-level guy's every move being watched from several different angles by The Computer and several of its Internal Security troopers).

...is being developed under the auspices of Mongoose Publishing, Britain's largest RPG publisher, which has run several successful Kickstarters before. It is being designed by James Wallis, a World Famous Game Designer (Baron Munchausen, Once Upon a Time), with assistance from the original game designers (Eric Goldberg and Greg Costikyan), as well as Grant Howitt and Paul Dean.

All good Citizens should show their fervent loyalty to The Computer by pledging eagerly. Those who fail to do so may receive an all expenses paid vacation in the HEL Sector Recreational Gulag & Reeducation Center. Trust The Computer! The Computer is Your Friend!

Paranoia RPG

(Thanks, Eric!)

WATCH: 8-Bit Silence of the Lambs

Daniel writes, "As Halloween draws closer, CineFix presents The Silence of The Lambs retold via old-school 8-bit (and a little 16 bit) game tech." (Thanks, Daniel!)

Vultures circle GamerGate

The mainstream media finally discovered the Internet’s latest subculture of hostile, cynical, easily-led youngsters. Matt Binder on the narcissists, grifters and creeps arriving in its wake.

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Why (and how) games are art


I sat down for an interview with the LA Times's Hero Complex to talk about my book In Real Life (I'm touring it now: Chicago tomorrow, then Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Warsaw, London...), and found myself giving a pretty good account of why games are art, and how the art of games works:

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If you don't agree to the new Wii U EULA, Nintendo will kill-switch it

When you bought your Wii U, it came with one set of terms-of-service; now they've changed, and if you don't accept the changes, your Wii seizes up and won't work. That's not exactly what we think of when we hear the word "agreement."

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Kickstarting Haphead, a science fiction web series about gamer culture

Haphead, the wonderful science fiction webseries about gamer culture that I wrote about in March, is kickstarting a budget for kick-ass post-production. It's from Jim Munroe, who made Ghosts With Shit Jobs.

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Anita Sarkeesian cancels Utah campus appearance after threats of a "Montreal-style massacre"

Sarkeesian was willing to go on with the show at Utah State University -- as she's done after all the other death threats that she's received as a speaker -- but wanted attendees checked for firearms. Ogden, UT cops refused, citing Utah's open-carry firearms law. At least one of the threats cited Gamergate.

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Apps bring new possibilities to board games

Matt M. Casey on Golem Arcana, one of the new offerings whose gameplay leaps from tabletop to tablet.

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Gamergate as a hate-group


Jennifer Allaway is a social scientist who studies diversity in games. In the wake of being targeted by Gamergate trolls, she has written an analysis of the movement as a hate group, showing that it satisfies the formal requirements for such.

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Booze flasks that look like NES cartridges


I bought one of these at New York Comic-Con this weekend -- it's a surprisingly good facsimile of an old NES cart; and the rubber stopper (rated to 10psi) performs better than it looks like it would. My only complaint is that it's a bit awkward to nip from directly, though it'd be fine with a straw.

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eBay: Huge collection of 80s-90s console videogames

$_57

On eBay: a massive collection of 5700 console games, 5700+ games, and custom shelves for it all. Buy it now for (gulp) $164,000.

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Castelvania casemod


Vadu Amka gave his old-school SNES a stunning Castelvania casemod makeover, with an attention to detail that demands our respect and admiration.

SNES Castlevania - Dracula's castle Edition (via Kotaku)

3D Zelda game gets 2D makeover

ZELDA

Ocarina of Time is lauded among the series' greats, but some find its early 3D graphics charmless. A fan project is remaking the game with chunky pixel art to give it that perfect old-school look. Borrowing art and audio from other entries in the Legend of Zelda set to augment their own work, they've already released a playable demo of the classic's first chapter. [via]

Actual ethical issues in video-games


Leigh Alexander has a partial list, from their use as military recruiting tools to Apple's censorship of games critical of the electronics industry's manufacturing ethics to actual paid-review sites to the naked pay-for-play of popular Youtube game-reviewers.

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