Augmented Reality is a Massively Multiplayer Online world

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I’ve said this before, but in the wake of the viral success of Pokémon GO, it needs to be said again. Augmented reality is just a virtual world, an MMO, a MUD even, with all of the same design issues, plus a few new ones.

Pokemon Go privacy rules are terrible (just like all your other apps)

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Pokemon Go wants access to your Google account (and thus your email and Google Docs) and its privacy policy is a Kafka-esque nightmare document that lets them collect every single imaginable piece of private information about your life and share it with pretty much anyone they want to, forever. Read the rest

The week in Pokemon: home invasions, armed robbery, police militarization

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Pokemon Go is the game of the summer: the first really successful alternate reality game that mashes up crowdsourced maps, in-phone cameras, seriously addictive game mechanics, and (of course) a free-to-play/cash-to-accelerate slot machine mechanic that children wouldn't be allowed to stand near if it were in a casino -- in less than a week, it's lifted Nintendo's stock price by 10% and been implicated in any number of bizarre news stories: Read the rest

Tiffin: a boardgame based on Mumbai's miraculous lunch-delivery network

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More than 250,000 of Mumbai's workers enjoy a home-cooked lunch every day thanks to the dabbawallas, who bring tiffins -- stacking lunchpails -- filled at each worker's family kitchen directly to their workplace, in a miracle of coordinated logistics that consistently beats Mumbai's legendary traffic jams and attains unheard-of accuracy despite the low levels of literacy among dabbawallas. Read the rest

Ubisoft's gamer survey first asks if you're female, and terminates if you say "yes" -- UPDATED

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The first question in this Ubisoft customer survey is "What is your gender" with "Male" and "Female" as permitted responses; if you choose "Female," you're dumped into a screen that informs you that "your profile doesn't suit the survey." Read the rest

Video about a cool gravity-fed marble "computer" game that beats human players

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Matt Parker is a "standup mathematician." In this entertaining video, he demonstrates a 1960s plastic toy that plays the game of Nim against a human opponent. Interestingly, Dr. Nim is an ingenious mechanism that uses plastic levers to control the number of marbles it chooses to drop. If you go first, Dr. Nim will always win. In the video, Matt shows you how to play and win Nim every time, including a cheat that lets you win even if you go first. Read the rest

Watch a brief history of video game controllers

"A Brief History of Video Game Controllers," starting with Tennis for Two (1958). My favorite is the pioneering Nintendo Power Glove (1989). (Super Deluxe)

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After Dinner Games – 40 ice-breaking games to rev up your next dinner party

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See sample pages from this book at Wink.

After Dinner Games: 40 of the Greatest After Dinner Games by Jenny Lynch (editor) Lagoon Books 1998, 96 pages, 4.8 x 6 x 0.5 inches $1-$8 Buy a copy on Amazon

This pocket-sized book is for that time when things get awkward. That time when conversation has dried up. When you have new friends over for dinner and you’re stuck sitting there, clearing your throat, having used up all of your conversation starters. That’s when you need a book like this.

As the tagline explains, After Dinner Games offers 40 of the best games for these post-dinner situations. It’s great to either break the ice or to break out with old friends! For example, if you really want to get personal with your guests, try the game Head To Head, which is when two players carry an orange placed between their foreheads. But if acquaintances are involved, you could start with the game Botticelli. Essentially, one player thinks of a famous person (dead or alive), announces the first letter of their name, and everyone else tries to guess who it is. Safe, fun, and no moving involved.

This book is packed with old-fashioned graphics that make you want to drink an Old Fashioned while playing the games. And the simple explanations of the rules allow a smooth transition from dinner to fun. To avoid a dinner party drought, keep this book handy. Not only will the ideas in this book keep your party alive, they will make it thrive. Read the rest

Dieselgate for GPUs: review-units ship at higher clockspeeds than retail ones

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Techpowerup caught hardware giants MSI and Asus shipping them graphics cards that were preset for a software-based overlock mode, meaning that the cards performed better out of the box for reviewers than they would for customers. Read the rest

Jerry Seinfeld's apartment in Doom

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"After over 100 hours of work, I present to you Seinfeld.wad," writes Doug Keener. "A replica of Jerry Seinfeld's Apartment from his hit sitcom, Seinfeld!"

Join Jerry, George, Kramer, and Elaine in this neat Doom/Seinfeld crossover! There are many custom textures and sprites to bring you the full experience of being inside Jerry's Apartment, inside Doom 2! Each sprite has audio clips and death animations! Have fun slaughtering the gang relentlessly in this wad about nothing! ...

Special Thanks to GIMP 2.0, GZDoomBuilder, Slade3, applekwisp, Seinfeld cast and crew, and the lovely people over at ZDoom forums and wiki.

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Speed-running E3

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It’s just gone E3 time, the industry-only videogame showcase...of the year? Argue that one out with PAX fans. Tuesday was opening day, and rather than go to cover the games per se - because all those announcements and videos were already out and all over, you can’t have missed ‘em- we decided to speed run it.

Thoughts and Prayers: a Congressional mass-shooting simulator

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Politics are hard: every so often, there's a mass-shooting and Congressmen have to comment on it, despite having collectively taken $3,782,803 in campaign contributions. Read the rest

Impressive trailer for the new Legend of Zelda game

At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles today, Nintendo revealed this beautiful trailer for "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild." The game arrives next year for Wii U and NX.

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Super 8 video of Dungeons & Dragons session in 1981

Boing Boing contributor Ethan Gilsdorf -- author of Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest For Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, And Other Dwellers Of Imaginary Realms -- posted this geekily nostalgic Super 8 film he shot in 1981, at age 15, of his buddies playing Dungeons & Dragons. "Look for the classic Mountain Dew can at 1:53," Ethan writes.

(via r/ObscureMedia, thanks UPSO!)

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The game consumption cycle

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In the wake of spectacular trailers for forthcoming games at the E3 trade show this weekend (I'll have trouble resisting Skyrim: Fancy Edition) this graphic, by RamsesThePigeon, burned up the 'net. The lessons apply to all forms of consumerism. Here's something similar I did about gadgets a decade ago, though for some reason it was about the marketing and supply chain side of things. Itself based on a 1902 chocolate ad.

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The Warcraft movie is breaking box-office records... in China

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The movie is tanking in the US, thanks to dismal reviews, but it had a $46M opening day in China, the best-ever midweek opening box-office in Chinese film history.

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Watchdogs 2: hacker kids led by a guy named Marcus fight the DHS in San Francisco

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Ubisoft has announced the sequel to its surveillance-themed game Watchdogs: Watchdogs 2, which features an army of young hackers in San Francisco led by a kid with a grudge named Marcus Halloway. Read the rest

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