On Ebay: the rare, original "woodgrain" D&D set

s-l1600

A mere $5,700 (as of current writing) gets you the 1974 first printing of the game that Tactical Studies Rules used to change the world(s). Read the rest

Virtual toilets reveal the souls of video-game companies

6ywpx3h5zrg4n7lyvwgogk-650-80

People need toilets, or the poop starts piling up, so video games that are supposed to simulate human environments need toilets to attain willing suspension of disbelief. Read the rest

Kickstarting "Bears vs Babies," a new game from the Exploding Kittens team

d39617ff289ac277015c3056c30147

Elan Lee writes, "Bears vs Babies is a monster-building card game from the creators of Exploding Kittens, Elan Lee and Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal). Described as a game of 'strategic benevolent betrayal' it has already raised more than $2.5 million in funding on Kickstarter from 67,000 backers. Bears vs Babies completed the original $10,000 funding goal in less than 10 minutes after its launch. The game is set to join the ranks as one of the most successful crowdfunded gaming campaigns in history." Read the rest

Nintendo's relaunched NES Classic sells out in seconds

nintendno

I was looking forward to grabbing the NES Classic Edition console today, but it was not to be: the box, a miniaturized version of the classic 1980s machine replete with dozens of classic games, sold out instantaneously.

At Amazon, countless negative reviews piled up as buyers rushed to check out the surprise hit, only to be shut down by error messages.

"Clearly thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of gamers were sitting on the product page hammering the F5 key and some random selection thereof got their wish," writes Devin Coldeway at Techcrunch.

The instant evaporation of inventory from Amazon was repeated at other stores: top retailer GameStop reported being out of stock half an hour after opening.

They're already popping up on eBay for ridiculous prices; Nintendo says it will have more on the shelves soon.

Previously: NES Classic Edition looks like great fun—but will it hack? Read the rest

The New York Times's GOP voter-suppression retrogame: "The Voter Suppression Trail"

050-056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8

Throughout the election cycle, The GOP Arcade has been releasing satirical 8-bit games about the GOP and right-wing politics in America; the New York Times commissioned a special one, based on the classic Oregon Trail, in which you play one of three voters attempting to cast a vote in either Texas (where you are a Latina nurse); Wisconsin (where you are a black salesman) or California (where you are a white programmer). Read the rest

Popular misspellings of "ouija" in discussions of ouija boards on Yahoo! Answers

ouija-boards

Celebrate not having to think about Halloween for another eight months or so with J.T. Sexkik's recital of the various mispellings of "ouija" found in Yahoo Answers questions. ( Previously.) Read the rest

Ico and Shadow of the Colossus prints

ico
Ico and Shadow of the Colossus were beautiful, moody video games; games with a sense of place, of weird looming silences. Before gamers realized they didn't want games to be art after all, these were the games they thought were art. And now, more than a decade on, you can finally get the legendary box paintings as gorgeous "giclee" prints. They're expensive: $100 or so each. Read the rest

Samsung abuses copyright to censor satirical exploding phone Grand Theft Auto mod

gtav_mod

Samsung's got problems: its Galaxy Note devices are bursting into flames, and have been banned from the skies. Read the rest

Great computer games you can finish in one day

firewatch

I love computer games but don't have time to plow through countless hours of padded-out nonsense. As I've enjoyed several of the picks in Joshua Rivera's roundup of 21 games you can finish in 6 hours or less, I'll surely be hitting the rest too! Pictured above is Campo Santo's Firewatch, worthy of two plays through to catch any backstory you missed the first time. Read the rest

Nintendo announces new hybrid portable game console

switch1

Nintendo's Switch is a touchscreen tablet with removable physical controls that turn it into a traditional handheld game console. It comes with a chunky dock to hook it up to a TV set for high-definition couch action; also announced is a traditional wireless gamepad to match the squared-off dark gray design: it's what disassembles to become the tablet's own controls.

Introducing Nintendo Switch! In addition to providing single and multiplayer thrills at home, the Nintendo Switch system also enables gamers to play the same title wherever, whenever and with whomever they choose. The mobility of a handheld is now added to the power of a home gaming system to enable unprecedented new video game play styles.

Switches use cartridges instead of discs: suggestively retro, especially in the promise of instant-on gaming, but also reflective of the general decline of optical media in favor of flash and high-bandwidth internet connections.

The promo video depicts intriguing social game cultures that don't yet exist—think kids toting their no-nonsense, easy-to-use Switches around to the pub and competitive event alike. For me it lit up dormant arcade-era neurons that Sony and Microsoft (and Apple, for that matter) never get close to.

It's out in March. Read the rest

Game developers say no to DRM: "hurts our customers"

zpy6woaiznz8lq3tylq0

The developers behind the hotly anticipated Shadow Warrior 2 have gone on record explaining why they didn't add DRM to their new title: they themselves hate DRM, and understand that DRM disproportionately inconveniences legit customers, not pirates who play cracked versions without DRM. Read the rest

Atari founder Nolan Bushnell's new virtual reality startup

screenshot

Modal VR, the new stealth startup co-founded by Atari and Chuck E. Cheese creator, has opened the doors a crack. According to Bushnell, their portable VR system is built for business applications (even though the demo video shows, you guessed it, a game). “We want to help enterprises solve problems by looking at them from another point of view," Bushnell said.

“For those of us who grew up on “Star Trek,” the holodeck has always been the gold standard," he said. “Modal VR is the first time that I believe we actually have the holodeck.”

"Nolan Bushnell’s Modal VR launches next-generation virtual reality platform for enterprises" (VentureBeat)

"Nolan Bushnell Says His New Virtual Reality Startup Has the Keys to the Holodeck—and it’s Portable" (IEEE Spectrum)

Read the rest

The FEEL FLUX grants the sense of slowing down time

20140421153148-flux_original_h

I’ve been playing with my FEEL FLUX for weeks and its hit rate in the amazement department is 100%.

Each time you drop the metal ball through the copper tube you’d expect it to zip out the other end but instead, it lazily creeps from one end to the other and dribbles out into your waiting hand.

 

SILENT CATCH

A “Silent Catch” is what happens when you toss the ball into the FF and it slowly glides down the sides without making contact with it.  I have to say that it’s satisfying and magical every time I pull off the maneuver.

As the ball glides down the tube, the magnetic field changes inside the metal wall and when this happens, a bit of voltage is created.   This reaction is not unlike a tiny, temporary battery and is called an electromotive force. The movement pattern of the voltage moves down with the ball and looks like this:

 

 

What could be simpler?

The tube’s material is an electrical conductor and drives current around in circles as the ball descends. The scientists at my laboratory tell me that when this happens, a second magnetic field is created that opposes the downward motion of the magnetic ball. The ball wants to fall through the tube at 9.8 meters per second but the field wants to halt it and of course, gravity wins in the end. And here’s the crazy part – the faster the initial downward motion, the more powerful the slowing force becomes. Read the rest

Dice so nerdy, they make other dice seem not nerdy

polyhedra

Eric Harshbarger's weird, laser-engraved dice are a tour-de-force: a pair of D6s for figuring out where to go for dinner in NYC; another D6 to figure out which die you should roll; an all-20s critical hit D20; Sicherman D6s that have different faces to a normal D6 pair, but the same probability distribution; punctuation mark dice (I've had students who were definitely using these); dice for indecisive people, and so on. Read the rest

Women as sinister seductresses in video games

050-056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8

The latest Tropes vs Women in Video Games (previously) is as on-point, smart, and deep as ever. Read the rest

100% CGI versions of 80s tech and toys

2291b741072581-57a9345d42146
Mike Campau recreated Generation Gap, a CGI series of some of the most iconic items from 1980s childhoods, each one lit with gorgeous multi-hued gradients. Read the rest

Sim Fed Chairman

050-056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has released a simulator that challenges you to be the Chair of the Federal Reserve and "achieve full employment and low inflation." Read the rest

More posts