Boing Boing 

Was the world's oldest deck of cards any fun?

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The oldest complete deck of cards in the world is from the distinctly-unhappy 15th century, and lives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Cloisters location. The oblong cards are nifty-looking—but what would people play with them?

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TODAY: Buy a bundle of wonderful games, send money to Baltimore kids

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The Devs With Baltimore bundle contains independently-made games "donated by their authors in support of the Baltimore Algebra Project and in solidarity with protesters resisting antiblack state/police violence and white supremacy." It's available til a minute before midnight EST today, May 4, so get it now.

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Why Silent Hill mattered

On the end of a great, mad era for video gamesRead the rest

This 1-bit 'peasant simulator' is the new game by the creator of Threes

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In its opening screen, Royals describes itself as an "optimistic peasant simulator." This turns out to be a rather grim tagline, given how unlikely it is that your character will ever make it past age 30.

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Lo-Fi Let's Play: Life & Death

As a child, I dreamed of becoming a surgeon, thanks to 1988's Life & Death -- before Surgeon Simulator or Trauma Center, this awkward, deathly-serious medical game gave me the idea that I should volunteer to practice appendectomies on the other third-graders.

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In this elegant ritual horror, giant hornets are everywhere

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I love Twine games that are able to create a strong sense of place. Despite being text-only, a beautiful typeface and atmospheric, well-selected words go beyond 'choosing your own adventure', to navigating vivid interconnected chambers. Kitty Horrorshow's strange, oddly-lovely Hornets is vivid, all right.

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Play a brilliant, romantic Thelma & Louise-style space tale

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You're space cowgirl Enora Bey, and you and your alien lady love Quanee have a ship full of stolen cows. Cows are worth a fortune on Truxton, but it'll be tough to make it. Listen to lonesome radio, pick up a little mind-altering substance on the way, deal with ex-girlfriends and telepathic border guards in this smooth, special story game.

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Play games like Oregon Trail or SimCity inside your own tweets

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Thousands of classic games from Prince of Persia to Wolfenstein 3D are available for free on the Internet Archive, and now you can embed and play them directly inside of individual tweets.

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Whoa, it's Zelda: A Link To The Past's world map, in living detail

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"Friendly tag-based Javascript animators" JADSDS have made a gigantic HMTL5 map of the overworld from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, also known as the best Zelda. Though it takes a while to load, it's well worth it.

You can see the massive kingdom and all its tiny lurking enemies, characters, palaces and waterfalls. Remember playing it as a kid and feeling like the whole world was enormous, like you could never see all its secrets? Zoom all the way out and see the whole world in your browser, or in to watch everything move around in the orbits you remember. Pretty neat.

There are some more fun classic animations to play with on the JADSDS website. Thanks to Kotaku for scouting this off Reddit, and for recommending you try the map on mobile!

Play it now: Melter

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The works of Mason Lindroth have a distinctive look and texture—clay-like blobs and gradients, cranked through a 1990s Macintosh computer screen. The play-doh colors, visual flecks and alien sounds of his latest work, Melter, will take you straight back to the days of Liquid Television on MTV.

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The sea is pretty dangerous for baby jellyfish

I might have a Thing about games featuring the frequent deaths of cute marine life, but here is another one: Jelly Reef, a game about guiding baby jellyfish by creating swirling currents in the sea with your fingertips. It's soothing, until you realize all kinds of things will kill your jellies.

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The brain-tingling world of ASMR collides with science fiction

An inexplicably-soothing audiovisual phenomenon is making fascinating inroads toward interactivity, futurism and VR Read the rest

What if Photoshop were a shooting game?

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You can do a lot of things in Photoshop, but rarely do you use its tools to defeat flaming skulls in an alternate dimension.

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Watch: The Saudi prince who's challenging video game stereotypes

If the video above is blocked, you can view it here.

Commercial video games often show Middle Eastern people as the villains -- if they can tell the difference between different countries and languages at all. Prince Fahad Al Saud is aiming to help change that.

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Print out this witch fashion game and play it with your friends

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Tragic magic! Executive realness! Here's a new game for 3-6 players, about drawing fashions for witches, that you can print out and play with your friends. All you really need is some tokens, a tip cup and a timer—and all those markers and art supplies you wish you played with more often.

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5 games with weapons you'd never expect

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A week or two ago, I took part in my first Ludum Dare—Latin for "to give a game"—a recurring event that picks a theme and asks participants to make a game around it within 48 hours.

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How video game makers helped Alaska Natives tell a story

Launched late last year, Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna), an atmospheric puzzler about a young Inupiaq girl and her arctic fox friend, has been warmly received. Many players have also enjoyed the story of how the team collaborated with the Cook Inlet Tribal Council on behalf of the Alaska Native people to share some aspects of their culture with the wider world.

There's an interesting postmortem of Never Alone's development process over at Gamasutra, including some unique detail on how the teams worked together:

The collaboration started in July of 2012 with a spirited, multi-day roundtable discussion in Alaska. There were elders, youth, artists, storytellers, and historical advisors from the Iñupiaq, Tlingit, Yup'ik, Tagish communities present, along with representatives from CITC and E-Line Media. There were many goals on both sides, but the most important objective of what would become the Never Alone development team was to earn and sustain the trust of the Alaska Native community by articulating our role as students, not borrowers.

From there, the team spent weeks meeting with Ishmael Hope, an Alaska Native storyteller. His involvement would continue throughout the project, and he was invaluable as its writer and most frequent creative collaborator. Ishmael shared hundreds of Alaska Native stories passed down through generations — many of which would make fantastic games! We eventually narrowed down the candidates for adaptation to a handful, and then chose Kunuuksaayuka as the framework for the game.

We could have stopped there. And indeed, one of the reasons we wanted to work so hard to establish trust and be careful stewards of Alaska Native culture is the several groups in the past who didn't even get that far. But choosing the story wasn't enough. As we learned through Ishmael, Robert Nasruk Cleveland was one of the greatest indigenous storytellers ever, and was acknowledged by the elders of his time for his immense knowledge. So once we picked Kunuuksaayuka as told by Nasruk, we met with Minnie Grey, his daughter and oldest living descendant — and received permission to adapt that version for Never Alone.

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Video games don't always do such a good job with cultures outside the familiar white West, and it's interesting at least to see the careful respect for the collaborative process that led to the development of Never Alone, and the considered aesthetic choices the team made to incorporate traditional art and atmosphere influences. Never Alone is available on PC, Mac and console platforms for $14.99.