Microsoft contractors listened to Xbox audio recordings of children in their homes, to improve voice command

Contractors working for Microsoft say they listened to audio captured by Xbox consoles

How they make the gross sound effects for Mortal Kombat games

When someone punches you so hard your brain flies out the orifices of your face, how exactly does that sound? Foley artists know how that sounds, and they use a variety of clever techniqes to generate the wet, crunchy, nasty noises required to gross out and entertain players.

If you twist a bell pepper in just the right way, it sounds like someone’s chest cavity being ripped open. A lot of non-gamers may not be aware that Mortal Kombat is still being produced. In the early 90s, the game was at the bleeding edge of realistic digitized violence, and the franchise was so controversial that Congress held hearings about it. Believe it or not, the series has only gotten more violent since then.

MK always had interesting sound design, right back to the original arcade game from 1992. Here's the sound test, reeling off all the samples like a string of low-fidelity sausages:

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Amazing cosplay art: V, from 'Cyberpunk 2077'

This cosplay project of V, from 'Cyberpunk 2077' is absolutely incredible, and was shared in two parts online by its creator, @aelirenn. Read the rest

Enjoy the trailer for the new Doom movie

Behold Doom: Annihilation, or "Annthilation" as it appears in the glowy font on the poster. Read the rest

Lichess is the best chess site

I've been playing a game called "Chess" lately. I'm not much good, but have found that a good way to get people mad is to use only the "Pawn" characters. Oftentimes players will end up snarled up on them and it's apparently quite humiliating. In this game the white player quit and msgd me "what the fuck are you doing?" Read the rest

Creating a first-person adventure game with Super Mario Maker

Super Mario Maker 2 is designed to let you create your own Mario platformer levels, but the tools are flexible enough that a sufficiently ingenious creator can make all kinds of amazing things with them. Read the rest

When you're not a voice actor but have to do some voice acting

Even by the indifferent standards of licensed video games, the athletes' voice acting in NBA 2K15—unaccustomed as they are to public speaking—was something else.

The train will be humming in no time.

A convincing explanation from a Reddit commenter: "the players are contractually obligated to be there and have zero interest in the project. You’re probably going to get one or two takes per line, and that’s it" Read the rest

PacM̬̦̩̹̌͢a̪͓̮̼͍̗͑̿ͫn̛̥͈ͅ is the classic arcade game, but with extra horror

Here's Free Game Planet on PacM̬̦̩̹̌͢a̪͓̮̼͍̗͑̿ͫn̛̥͈ͅ, an interesting variation on the classic created (or perhaps unearthed) by Berick Cook: "The PacM̬̦̩̹̌͢a̪͓̮̼͍̗͑̿ͫn̛̥͈ͅ ROM is said to have been taken from a damaged game board, found locked in a safe in an old abandoned arcade. It’s been linked to several tragic incidents and completing the game is said to cause psychological and physiological trauma. The effects of the ROM are said to be less dangerous than the original game board though, so you’ll probably be okay…probably…" Read the rest

This is the sport of professional Tag

Here are some highlights from recent World Chase Tag competitions.

“With World Chase Tag as a sport it really puts you in the moment and it almost makes you feel like a rabbit trapped in the head lights of a car,” competitor Richard Thompson, 19, told The Independent. “Will you run? Or will you freeze? This is something I’ve never felt in any other sport I’ve played and it makes things really interesting. But most of all it doesn’t feel like sport, it feels like play. That’s what I love about it.”

You're it.

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CHESSES: chess variants for nonexperts, nonplayers, and the very playful

Pippin Barr (previously) writes, "I have a history of making variations on existing games (see also: PONGS, BREAKSOUT, SNAKISMS), and Chesses (source, CC BY-NC) is a continuation of that. I find chess a really interesting game to play around with because it's so classic and sort of monolithic - it's fun to mess with tradition. Other than kind of formal enjoyment involved, I suspect the variations might level the playing field a bit and allow non-experts (or even non-players?) to play some chess." Read the rest

Survey finds high levels of harassment in multiplayer games, as well as white supremacist recruiting attempts

The ADL surveyed 1,045 US adult gamers (oversampling Jewish, Muslim, African American and Hispanic/Latinx individuals) and asked them about their experiences in multiplayer games: on the one hand, they found that playing these social games brought many benefits: friendship, support, fun, connection and romance; on the other hand, they found that a very high proportion of gamers experienced harassment of varying kinds, that many players had quit games because of harassment, and that some games were home to much more harassment than others. Read the rest

Cat gets a surprise (wait for it)

Wait for it.

🐈 Read the rest

Trans woman trains her new vagina's pelvic floor with a kegel-controlled version of Flappy Bird

Laura Dale is a trans woman who got a "new vagina" through "bottom surgery"; afterwards, as she cast about for ways to strengthen her pelvic floor muscles, she discovered Perifit, a Bluetooth kegel-based video-game controller that registers every time the user bears down on it with their pelvic floor muscles. Read the rest

Slime Tango: an inverse tug-of-war, played with blobs of slime

Anton Hecht writes, "Slime Tango is a new game, the cello is optional. It is an inversion of tug of war, as here the players work together, while going apart. So is also an inversion of dance where people are close. The slime is stretched while following the dance steps, till it touches the floor, or breaks. This one is on the streets of Farlington in the UK." Read the rest

Fantastically deep history of plug & play videogame consoles

Back in the early 2000s, cheap plug & play videogame consoles became ubiquitous. I remember spotting them for sale everywhere from toy stores to Walgreens. Self-contained systems, they integrated one or many games instead of allowing users to swap in cartridges or CDs. Today, Frank Cifaldi of the Video Game History Foundation shares the deep and geeky history of plug & play as a launching point for his research on the TV Guide Quizmaster, "something so rare it might not even exist." Below are a few bits from the thread. See the whole thing on Twitter!

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AI Dungeon offers infinite, baffling adventures created with GPT-2

Adventurer! Will you attack with easy nobleness, taking reputation points from you everytime you hit back, ten times? Or will you tell the priest to finish what's been going on with your family, thrice combined this time with Gramm Corps' arcane branding? THE CHOICE IS YOURS in Nick Walton's AI Dungeon!

AI Dungeon is an AI generated text adventure that uses deep learning to create each adventure. It uses OpenAI's new GPT-2 model, which has 117 million parameters, to generate each story block and possible action.

The first couple sentences of AIDungeon and the action verbs are handcrafted, but everything else is not. For each choice that is made, the initial prompt, the last story block, and the last action are fed into the neural network. The resulting story and action options are then output by the model.

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Card Tricks: 'How To Flick a Card Boomerang' [VIDEO]

Here's a fun card trick video that shows you “How To Flick a Card Boomerang.” Read the rest

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