Essential mobile adventure games

Konstantinos Dimopoulous offers the 10 adventure games you must play on iOS. Android gamers have plenty to choose from too (albeit buried in Google Play's "Puzzle" section), including the just-released director's cut of Broken Sword.

Episode 1 of Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day's "Tabletop," a net-show about tabletop gaming sessions

Last month, I wrote about Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day's announcement of their joint project, Tabletop, a net-show that records rollicking tabletop gaming sessions. The first episode, covering the game Small World, is out, and it does not disappoint. This is 30 minutes of incredibly good fun, with a great guest list:

Wil Wheaton and guests, Sean Plott (host of "Day9TV", a Starcraft II dedicated webcast on how to be a better gamer), Grant Imahara (host of Discovery Channel's "Mythbusters"), and Jenna Busch (geek blogger, writer and host) play Small World!

WIL WHEATON dot TUMBLR, My new show, #Tabletop, premieres today. Episode...

Meet Japanese "human beatboxer" Hikakin (and prepare to be blown away by his video game theme remakes)

Video Link to a short feature on the very popular "human sound machine" Hikakin, who has a growing following within and beyond his native Japan. His YouTube channel is here, and well worth a subscribe. Below, his take on the Donkey Kong theme song.

Microsoft text adventure game!

"Microsoft has jumped onto the free-to-play bandwagon with its latest game, a text-driven adventure called Visual Studio 2010. The innovative new game marries the traditional interactive fiction text adventure with its arcane commands and exploration with the free-form, open-ended gaming" [Ars Technica, following the introduction of gamification and "achievements" to the coding app]

Male privilege vs. women in gaming

Harris O'Malley takes a run at male privilege in gaming, especially how it manifests as angry refusals to accept womens' complaints about the sexual objectification of female characters in mainstream games. "If a girl wants to see herself represented in video games, she better get used to the idea of being the prize at the bottom of the cereal box. ... It's hard to feel valued or fully included when a very vocal group insists that your input is irrelevant, misguided and ultimately unwelcome." [Kotaku]

The Tetris Effect

"The world's first commercial electronic video game, Computer Space, was released in 1971. The world's first electronic stock market, the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ), opened in 1971. The world's first scholarly journal devoted to the study of autism and autism spectrum disorders in children, The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, published its first issue in 1971." -- Justin Wolfe on gaming, the financial system and autism, at The Awl. [Thanks, Choire!]

Diablo 3 "auction house" to use real money

I've been waiting for Diablo 3 for ten years. However, Diablo 3 will now encourage players to buy and sell items for real money, which means I won't be waiting for it any more. [RPS]

Two veteran Anonymous members say group is responsible for Sony attacks

750px-Anonymous_Flag.jpg

Anonymous officially denies that it is responsible for the recent hacking attacks on Sony—well, to the extent that an entity like Anonymous is capable of doing anything "officially," or with one voice. But two hackers identified as veterans of Anonymous tell the Financial Times that the cyber-activist group, or at least cells of the group, are probably behind it.

One Anonymous member told the FT that he saw technical details of a vulnerability in Sony's network that enabled the break-in discussed on an Anonymous chatroom, shortly before the intrusion.

"The hacker that did this was supporting OpSony's movements," the Anonymous activist told the FT.

Another established member of Anonymous who participated in the hacking of security firm HBGary Federal, said it could well have been other members who subsequently hacked Sony.

"If you say you are Anonymous, and do something as Anonymous, then Anonymous did it," said the hacker, who uses the online nickname Kayla. "Just because the rest of Anonymous might not agree with it, doesn't mean Anonymous didn't do it."

Hackers admit Anonymous likely behind Sony attacks
(FT, thanks Joseph Menn)

Jeff Koons Must Die: '80s arcade game themed art piece in which you shoot Koons' work

Boing Boing pal Syd Garon points us to a wacky piece of arcade-themed art by Hunter Jonakin called "Jeff Koons Must Die."

"It's a 80's style video cabinet with a first-person-shooter game he created, where you run around a museum shooting Jeff Koons' work," says Syd. "It's pretty fucking awesome. Koons comes out to stop you, Big Boss style. I love that you end up fighting an endless wave of lawyers." From Jonakin's website:

The game is set in a large museum during a Jeff Koons retrospective. The viewer is given a rocket launcher and the choice to destroy any of the work displayed in the gallery. If nothing is destroyed the player is allowed to look around for a couple of minutes and then the game ends. However, if one or more pieces are destroyed, an animated model of Jeff Koons walks out and chastises the viewer for annihilating his art. He then sends guards to kill the player. If the player survives this round then he or she is afforded the ability to enter a room where waves of curators, lawyers, assistants, and guards spawn until the player is dead. In the end, the game is unwinnable, and acts as a comment on the fine art studio system, museum culture, art and commerce, hierarchical power structures, and the destructive tendencies of gallery goers, to name a few.

Read the rest

New blog for video game concept sketches

Got a game idea you know you'll never get around to making? Share it at Gamestorm, a new blog for game sketches, and maybe someone else will! [via Indiegames]

Onion on gamer memories

"Approximately 47 percent of Jenkins' hippocampus is dedicated to storing notable video-game victories and frustrating last-minute defeats, while 32 percent of his amygdala contains embedded neurological scripts pertaining to game strategies, character back stories, theme songs, and cheat codes."

Awesome archive of art from Sony PlayStation ads

Dozens of great ads for the Sony PlayStation, apparently from 2007-2010. Flickr Gallery here. Boing!

(Submitterator, thanks anleichter)

This Gaming Life free online

Jim Rossignol's splendid book, This Gaming Life, is now available to read in full online. A "rumination on the personal, sociological and even political impact of videogames," Joel Johnson gave it a good review at BBG. Wired liked it too! [Umich via Jim Rossignol] (Buy it at Amazon)

Cockatiel appears to sing themes from various video games

cockatiel.jpgI watched every single video in this guy's YouTube channel of his cockatiel singing themes from various video games, and can't figure out if it's a miracle or a hoax. I have never kept a cockatiel as a pet, but have kept other exotic birds, and I have a hard time buying that it's not faked. But either way, I enjoyed.

Cockatiel sings Theme of Chocobo (Final Fantasy)
(blackwhite810, thanks Joe Sabia)

Update: Most commenters thinks it's real. I am a jaded internetter, but okay, I'll go with the popular vote. Cockatiels are amazing and life is a miracle!

Cartoon about Angry Birds mobile game


I enjoyed this whimsical cartoon for a mobile catapult physics game called Angry Birds. Should I pay $1.99 to get it from the iPhone apps store?