The idea is that you get three boys in your hand (eyooo!) and then you take turns to call them individually on the Phone, picking up extra boys as you discard the last ones. The boys on the phone give you a clue as to which boys do not fancy you. ... as I pick up the cards now as a fully grown adult, in the sort of tipsy glee that is necessary to even open the box, I glimpse that if I’d played it when I was younger I would have been made aware that girls are supposed to aim for relationships. What boys think of you feels more important than what you think of yourself.
Mom says hang up! Electronic Dream Phone is available at Amazon in both vintage and modern forms.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing, which bills itself as a "directory of wonderful things." He joins us to share some of his recent finds.
This time, it's The Adventure Time Encyclopedia and the iPad game Blocksworld.
The Cartoon Network's show Adventure Time is ostensibly for children, but eagerly devoured by people of all ages. It follows the psychedelic adventures of a boy named Finn and his dog Jake. The new Adventure Time Encyclopedia, "translated" by comedy writer Martin Olson, features new original artwork and everything you ever wanted to know about the post-apocalyptic land of Oooo. Mark also suggests downloading the Blocksworld app for iPad, a virtual Lego-like world with huge creative possibilities.
David Ewalt's Of Dice and Men is a wonderful, energetic and personal history of Dungeons and Dragons. Ewalt -- an editor and writer at Forbes magazine -- played D&D as a geeky adolescent, gave it up through his early adulthood, then fell in love with it again. Dice and Men is the story of his journey in D&D and the history of the game itself.
Ege University's Haluk Sağlamtimur presented a remarkable find of 5,000-year-old gaming tokens found in a Bronze Age burial mound at Başur Höyük in Turkey. They take a variety of forms ("Some depict pigs, dogs and pyramids, others feature round and bullet shapes. We also found dice as well as three circular tokens made of white shell and topped with a black round stone") and suggest a game based in some way on the number four.
I just spent another two hours playing it. Spelunky still has that. That crazed need to play again, and again, and again. And I’m rusty, and I never got out of the first location today. ... But then the truth is, just as I was back in the swing of it, just as I was accepting that yes, there’s still enough here, I had to switch out to respond to an email. “Error loading texture pack” it informed me when I tried to go back. Yeah, I’ll play it on my 360, thanks.
An attendee at the GaymerX convention in San Francisco got Ellen McLain, who voices GLaDOS in the game Portal, to sing a modified version of the games' themesong, "Still Alive," as part of a marriage proposal. If this doesn't melt your heart, you are a murderous AI.
Ecstasy Of Order: The Tetris Masters is a 2011 documentary telling the story of Robin Mihara, a "Tetris superfan" who convened a global Tetris championship in 2010 in Los Angeles, assembling a collection of the greatest Tetris players on earth. The movie's official site has lots more on the event and the documentary, which looks very exciting indeed.
The Inspirations 4 Your Life tumblr had a great suggestion for entertaining your kids: "Make a 'laser grid' by taping yarn to the walls and let your kids try to get though it. Also great for parties and laughing at your friends.
I mean really, who doesn’t see those lasers on TV and think it would be fun to try..."
A redditor called EquinnoxX wanted to propose to his girlfriend, so he hacked an NES console-game cartridge called Contra so that it delivered the proposal in the course of the gameplay. He changed the character names' to his and his girlfriend's, and then modded the end text to be a marriage proposal (she said yes).
Four-time Hugo award winner Frank Wu writes, "Revolution 60 is a highly cinematic game developed by Giant Spacekat, a mostly-female team of game developers based out of Boston. In the game, you play as Holiday, a female assassin for Chessboard, a black ops organization, that has to discover why an orbital weapons platform has malfunctioned. Now, the game is being developed for PC and Mac, completely DRM-free!"
They're looking for $5,000; $20 gets you a copy of the game.
Dave Maass from the Electronic Frontier Foundation attended San Diego Comic-Con and wrote this report called "What We Learned at San Diego Comic-Con," with a roundup of the ways that comics geeks and civil liberties geeks are coming together. As he says, it covers "A hacker video game, Person of Interest's strong language for the NSA and the Jayne Hat controversy."
Leafcutter ants are fascinating tropical creatures that farm fungus gardens, require access to certain resources in order to survive and grow, and are constantly splitting off from the pack to form new colonies with connections to the old. Which, of course, makes them the perfect species to adapt into a version of Settlers of Catan, as entomologist M.L. Henneman has done. — Maggie