Sgt Crispy writes, "XKCD creator Randall Munroe, has made a spiffy little hoverboard game. Looks to be small, however, when you realize that boundaries are made to be broken, A massive world opens up to be explored." Read the rest
Gauntlet, Atari's 1985 dungeon-looting arcade game, came long after the heyday of its successful home console. But CDS Games has managed to pack a playable version of the complex action RPG into the primitive Atari VCS. [via] Read the rest
Global Justice Now's "Corporate Monopoly" is an excellent piece of information design; it's a playable boardgame adapted from Monopoly (itself originally designed to teach the evils of capitalism), in which a shoe (the 99%) and a top hat (obvs) take it in turns to go round a familiar board whose squares tell stories about real-world class war, centred around UK policies and business. Read the rest
Hive Pocket is a strategy and tile-laying game for two players. It's the more portable version of the original game, Hive, with a couple of expansion pieces and a cloth bag for transport. The base game has 11 pieces, with a queen and several other pieces that move differently around the board. The grasshopper jumps over straight lines of pieces, the ant can move anywhere on the outside of the board, the spider can move 3 spaces at a time around the outside and so on. You'll be attempting to surround the opposing queen bee to win the game. There's 2 expansion pieces that are optional to the base game.
Hive falls into a category of easy to learn, and difficult to master. The game typically doesn't take the full 20 minutes, as there's an emphasis on turn economy, or getting the most out of your moves so that you're not one move behind the other player, but frequently it turns into not being able to stop someone from winning. I've had games run way longer when someone devises a new strategy that they want to try out. I have the pocket edition because it's easy enough to throw in something to bring along. The tiles are hearty and the bag is showing no signs of wear. Not having a board also makes it so that you can play while waiting for food, in an extremely small area. – James Orr
Hive Pocket – A strategy tile-laying game that's easy to learn, difficult to master
Changing technology made it a legend, then gentrification killed it. But Chinatown Fair, Manhattan's legendary video arcade, is open to players again in a new location. The Lost Arcade is a forthcoming documentary about a place best summed up in the line: "of course the best players went there. It was the only place still open."
Chinatown Fair opened as a penny arcade on Mott Street in 1944. Over the decades, the dimly lit gathering place, known for its tic-tac-toe playing chicken, became an institution, surviving turf wars between rival gangs, changing tastes and the explosive growth of home gaming systems like Xbox and Playstation that shuttered most other arcades in the city. But as the neighborhood gentrified, this haven for a diverse, unlikely community faced its strongest challenge, inspiring its biggest devotees to next-level greatness.
The premiere showings are on Nov. 14 and 18th, 2015, in New York City at IFC Center.
More from the description:
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The story focuses on three members of the Chinatown Fair community: Akuma, a young man who found refuge in the arcade after running away from foster care; Henry Cen, a kid who grew up in Chinatown and became one of the best Street Fighter players in the world; ￼￼￼￼and Sam Palmer, father figure and longtime owner of Chinatown Fair.
When Sam is forced to close Chinatown Fair, Henry and Akuma refuse to let the arcade community die and create Next Level, a modern incarnation of the classic arcade located in the Chinatown neighborhood of Brooklyn.
The manual for Atari's classic game (posted to flickr by Brian Bennett exactly ten years ago) is not a masterpiece of design. But it is beautiful, in its way, and I strongly approve of that particular shade of orange. Sadly, your ninety-day warranty is over.
There's a reason that 8 runs of Dan and Dave’s Smoke and Mirrors decks have been produced. They're amazingly elegant and people just want to get their hands on them. They remind me of girls I dated in school who were just too darned classy for me. They never judge my clumsiness and always make me look better just by being with me.
There’s no visual storyline hidden in these decks because their design isn’t about that - they're more about beauty in simplicity. From what I can see, the decks were created for collectors, cardists and magicians who love weaving tales with their hands. Below is a great link of The Icarus Sequence which is a series of flourishes that references one of my favorite stories.
The performer's name is Huron Low and to me, his technique is somehow both inspiring and sickening at the same time.
You can pick up loose Smoke and Mirrors decks of your favorite colors on EBAY or get them ganged in a box set.
Each set is an instant collector’s item and comes with a serial number on velum.
The truth is, I’m not interested in saving these decks for a re-sell. I’m interested in fumbling with them now and even though I stink at card manipulation, these cards behave as nicely as any I've ever touched.
It’s clear that these decks are a labor of love to Dan & Dave. In fact, they almost seem to be like their children – each one even has a special name. Read the rest
According to a survey by Pew Research, 40 percent of the adults report that their home contains a videogame console: 42 percent of women and 37 percent of men.
The survey confirms the general consensus that videogame popularity has substantially grown among females in the West. The industry’s marketing scope has also shifted noticeably towards the trend, with majority of current generation videogames now containing gender diversity.
The Pew Research reports that game console ownership overall in the US remains where it was back in 2010, but this is expected to change over the course of the next few years as the videogaming industry gradually prioritizes consoles over PC gaming.
PC owners were apparently not polled in the study, notably. In entirely unrelated news, the Candy Crush empire was sold for $5.9bn in cash. Pictured above is D. Fox, said to be Britain's "oldest gamer." Read the rest
Classic strategy games have long been bested by computers: checkers is a solved puzzle, and the machines long ago surpassed human Chess grandmasters. But thinking meat is still the master when it comes to Go—for interesting reasons that Facebook is interesting in cracking..
…researchers at Facebook are now tackling Go with an increasingly important form of artificial intelligence known as deep learning.
In recent years, companies like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft have shown that deep learning is remarkably adept at recognizing photos,identifying spoken words, and translating from one language to another. To recognize a cat, for instance, a deep learning system analyzes thousands of known cat photos, feeding each into a network of machines that approximate the neural networks of the human brain. Thanks to these neural networks, your Facebook app can recognize photos of you and your friends. Google’s smartphone digital assistant can recognize the commands you bark into your Android phone. And Microsoft can instantly translate your Skype calls. Now, Facebook is using similar technology to recognize a promising Go move—to visually understand whether it will be successful, kind of like a human would. Researchers are feeding images of Go moves into a deep learning neural network so that it can learn what a successful move looks like.
That's not to say computer Go players are dumb. They are not.
P.S. Yes, Chess has a solution; no, computers will not find it any time soon; yes, it's probably going to be a stupefyingly long and boring draw that begins 1. Read the rest
Michael Witwer's Empire of Imagination is a new biography of Dungeons and Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax that not only tells the tale of this marvelous wizard but also explores the profound impact D&D had on popular culture, gaming, and geek culture. NPR spoke with Witwer for All Things Considered. Listen below.
"Many of the derivative games — and maybe it's all of the derivative games we've talked about — whether it be computer role-playing games or whatnot, they actually lack most of the most important fundamental elements of a role-playing game," Witwer says. "That is, sitting around with your friends and participating in this kind of group storytelling exercise: actually being in a room physically sitting at a table with nothing but pencils and paper and dice. There's something very special about that, and it's kind of a social experience that's pretty hard to frankly re-create over any type of electronic media."
Last night at midnight, Halo 5 launched. Will this be the last epic adventure for video gaming's mightiest champion? The Master Chief is back, but all the cockamamie advertising colors our hero as the bad guy.
I wish I could tell you if this game is any good! I've certainly been waiting a long time to play it! I purchased my Xbox One at launch, anticipating that Halo 5 would shortly follow. My Xbox has been around for two years now, with nary a Chief sighting. I could have played the Master Chief collection, but I heard poor reviews of its translation to the Xbox One.
The only game I've really enjoyed in the interim has been Destiny, which was developed by Halo creators Bungie. There is no small amount of question, in my online Destiny circles, around Halo killing Destiny. Destiny has also felt like Halo, without the amazing backstory and hero. Bungie is creating a backstory, and thus far it is pretty much a dud. The game play, and its mesh of FPS with MMO queues, like farming (sigh) are addictive but it is not Halo. I miss stickies. I long to gloriously dual wield the needler, or have a hell bent for leather Warthog chase! Will Halo 5 kill Destiny?
Large online teams of 12 players, mashed with an insane gameplay frame rate, and 4 player campaign mode all sound wonderful! I'm far more interested in the story, however. I have not read any Halo fiction, I have simply played the games, and the Master Chief is my ultimate video game hero. Read the rest