OgoSport Discs let you play volleyball, Frisbee, or paddle ball


My daughter got a Mini OgoSport Discs set as a gift last March and we finally broke it open last week. It has quickly tied first place with bocce ball as our new favorite outdoor summer game. Like miniature portable trampolines, these 12-inch discs can send the “ball” (a rubber stringy pom) bouncing higher than a hundred feet and are perfect for a game of Ogo-style volleyball (volleying without a net or formal rules). You can also throw a disc like a Frisbee, or play it like paddle ball without the attached elastic string. Lightweight and small enough to toss into a backpack, I look forward to packing it up the next time we head for the beach.

See more photos at Wink Fun.

Mini OgoSport Discs by Ogo Sport Ages 4-99 $28 Buy one on Amazon Read the rest

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, who launched Wii, dies of cancer at 55

Nintendo Co's President and Chief Executive Satoru Iwata. REUTERS/Toru Hanai, 2014
In a business where execs often lose touch with their audience, with development, & with the spirit of play, Iwata kept close to all these.

Humble Game Making Bundle: name your price for amazing game dev tools

Joel writes, "Humble Bundle is currently offering a massive amount of game development tools for a very tiny price. Several game engines, art tools, asset packs to help make your games, and more are all in the pack for $10-12." Read the rest

49 Boxes: a most incredible shared experience

Michael Borys' magical participatory experience is art, and puzzles, and story, and music—and so much more.

Is objective journalism possible?


At Medium, Jay Allen deconstructs the demand for "objective game journalism" sometimes found among those uncomfortable with their hobby's growing status as an art form.

Reviews of art relate the experiences and opinions of the critic. As art is engaged emotionally and playing a video game is an experience unique to each person, that engagement is a one-off experience. Any attempt to describe that experience, no matter what the critic may intend, is deeply personal.

There are no objective metrics to describe this experience. With apologies to Terry Pratchett, there is no atom of emotion, or molecule of entertainment. While scores out of 10 or ratings out of five stars are popular in criticism of consumer art, they are arbitrary evaluations. Contrast this with the sort of benchmark testing Consumer Reports does on dishwashers, which are experiments measuring physical qualities under fixed conditions.

The belief that games (or movies, or books, or anything else) can be evaluated by objective criteria perhaps strikes you as laughable. If so, you might pause to remember that many people sincerely believe that only objectively-measurable things are worthy of reflection. To them, games may as well be dishwashers. Read the rest

Bocce ball – A summer evening lawn game that is simple yet competitively addictive

Bocce ball is my favorite game to play on a long summer evening. A simple lawn game that is at least 7,000 years old, bocce ball has no set up, takes a second to learn, and is a competitively addictive game. What I love most is that it gets my family/friends and me to enjoy fun time outdoors.

Here are the rules in a nutshell: The game traditionally comes with eight balls – four green and four red – as well as a much smaller white ball called the jack, or pallino. Someone tosses the jack across the lawn. Then players take turns bowling their ball towards the jack. Whoever gets closest to the jack scores a point. First person or team to score seven points wins the game. It’s that simple! But if you want a bit more detail on the rules, you’ll find them inside the game’s black bag, or you can check out this nicely illustrated WikiHow page.

Note: This particular brand offers a "standard set" (3.5" diameter poly-resin balls) and a "full size" set (3.93" diameter poly-resin balls), both which come in a black carrying case. I prefer the extra weight of the full size, which gives the balls a much better feel and roll, and they cost just a dollar more.

See more photos and ordering info at Wink Fun. Read the rest

Photoset of the legendary "Nintendo" Play Station


Sony's classic console was originally envisaged as part of a collaboration with then-market leader Nintendo. It went its own way, and the rest is history. Here's a look at a rarely-pictured prototype, though, thanks to imgur user DanDiebold. [via] Read the rest

Binge-watching Titansgrave: Wil Wheaton's new live RPG show

I've just watched all three new episodes of Wil's new show, which features performers and writers playing an exhilarating RPG campaign with Wil as DM, set in a lavishly illustrated techno-primitive society. Read the rest

Love Letter is a game that can take you from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs and vice versa


Would you do anything for love? More importantly, would you do anything for power? Are you willing to betray your friends and family for the chance? Well, you probably shouldn’t. But, if your answers were yes, there’s a game made just for you. Love Letter is a deceptively simple card game. In fact, there are only 16 cards in the entire deck. The object of the game is to get a love letter to Princess Annette of the City-State Tempest. To do this, you must either either eliminate all of your opponents or have the highest card value at the end of the round.

Love Letter is a game that can take you from the lowest lows to the highest highs and vice versa. You can lose on the first turn of the round only to come back in the next round with a decisive victory. There’s no greater thrill than seeing your opponent’s shoulders sag with defeat.

This is a fast-paced, approachable card game that offers a surprising level of strategy for such a small deck. A game can be completed in five to ten minutes, making it the perfect game to take on the go or play in your break room. Each card has a nice illustration of the character and the overall design evokes a sense of Shakespearean drama. One thing to note is the cards are susceptible to damage over time. So, if they’re going to be used heavily, I would recommend getting card protectors for your set. Read the rest

Boochie - a zany twist to the classic bocce ball yard game


Let the games begin! The zany games, that is. You'll find it with Boochie. Boochie is similar to bocce, but has many interactive and challenging elements. Instead of just tossing a ball toward the target, players must throw items in a variety of ways, such as under their legs, with their eyes closed, or lying on their side. And, the challenge is determined via a cool “wrist tracker.”

The game includes four sets, a different color for each player. Each set consists of a hoop, ball and wrist tracker. The game also includes a 12-sided Boochie ball. To start, everyone tosses their hoop and ball toward the Boochie ball. The player with the closest object to the Boochie ball earns two points; whoever has the second closest object receives one point. But wait, there’s more! Players read the top of the Boochie ball to see if they’ve earned bonus points, such as for a hoop being farthest away. For every point, players move the dial on their wrist tracker a notch, and on their next turn, must toss accordingly. The challenge might be anything from throwing their items while standing backwards to shouting a sound effect while tossing their hoop. Whoever scores 11 points first wins!

We love teaching this game to guests at our outdoor parties, and it’s always fun to not only play, but to watch everyone twist and turn, jump and, invariably, giggle. – Mia Geiger

Boochie by Gamewright Ages 8 and up, 2-4 players $30 Buy one on Amazon

See more photos at Wink Fun. Read the rest

Watch the first ever TV commercial for Super Mario Bros. from 1985


Approximate translation: "It's the Family Computer's Dream Adventure Game, "Super Mario Bros."! With a mysterious power, he gains a great transformation! Explore the earth, underground, the sea, the sky, and much more to see in this complete world." Read the rest

Interactive books for kids that let you play alternate reality games at home


Imaginary Friends is a series of interactive books for kids that involves online and real-world puzzles that parents set up. I just got a sample from the creator, and the art and stories looks excellent. I am looking forward to trying it out. Check out the video for the Kickstarter.

Sign up for a free 2-chapter trial.

And here are some Father's Day cards you can print at home.

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Interactive art: “Enough,“ by Isaac Cohen


Isaac Cohen's interactive storybook follows the journey of a strange creature. Read the rest

Fun online color brightness vision test


My daughter, her friend, and I had fun taking this non-scientific color brightness vision test. You have to identify the one square that has a different brightness level within a grid of similarly colored squares. It gets harder as you progress. It took me a few tries, but I finally received the "hawk" badge, with a score of 25.

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D20 Mug

The 12oz mug is dishwasher/microwave-safe: $13 at Thinkgeek. Read the rest

Watch Minecraft become holographic in Microsoft Hololens E3 demo


Amazing gameplay footage: Minecraft through the Hololens. The VR demo from Microsoft executive Sax Persson today at the annual E3 games convention completely transforms the experience of Minecraft.

Microsoft acquired Minecraft Maker Mojang for $2.5 billion last year.

From PopSci:

“This is a live demo, with real working code,” Persson said, before donning the HoloLens and projecting a Minecraft map onto a wall, and then a table onstage. Microsoft announced Minecraft would be a main attraction of the HoloLens earlier in the year, but this is the first working demo the company has shown to the public.

Viewers were able to see Persson’s augmented reality through a “special camera” outfitted to show the HoloLens display in real time, as he played the game on the wall with an Xbox controller.

Persson then walked over to the table, said, “create world,” and watched as the Minecraft world poured onto the table. This was met with perhaps the loudest applause of Microsoft’s presentation, as he continued to use voice commands and gestures to manipulate the world. The virtual projection constrained itself to the edges of the table well, and the camera was able to look inside of structures by moving through the virtual walls.

No HoloLens release date yet.

More at Boing Boing's OFFWORLD: “The only things you really need to know about Microsoft's E3 press event

[Kotaku on YouTube]

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Super Mario mugs

Mario Pipe Mugs: half-price at Thinkgeek: ($6.49). (via Geekymerch) Read the rest

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