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Archive for Gaming

Phone Stacking Meal Game–Dinner 1.0

You know that guy, maybe you are that guy. At dinner with friends, even a romantic dinner always checking your smart phone. AT&T even portrayed ‘him’ in a recent commercial:

Too much face time with his phone during a romantic dinner.

On a recent episode of The Office, Ryan gave up his place in an important trivia game rather than put down his smart phone.

So it maybe shouldn’t be a surprise to walk into a restaurant, or night club and see groups of people young and old all at the same table, but interacting with their phones more than each other. Don’t we get enough fake social interaction during the course of a day? It is asking too much to put down the Words with Friends app, and actually have some real words with real friends?

Credit for inventing this game generally goes to 20-year old Stephie from CA, and her blog post titled “Don’t be a di*k during meals with Friends”. Recently, it’s more likely to be called by the less offensive, “Phone Stacking”. Following are the rules from her site:

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Free Angry Birds Game for up to Four of your PCs

Intel’s AppUp has offered a PC version of Angry Birds for $4.99 for some time now. Recently, they began offering it free if following a special link from Best Buy. This game supports touch in Windows, and plays just like the iPad/Phone/Touch version. It even supports multi-monitor.

1) Visit BestBuy’s Intel AppUp Page:

angrybirds1

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When’s the last time you played a flight simulator game?

In the early days of computers and computer games, flight simulators were king. The latest versions were waited for with eager anticipation. Realism in gauges, physics and controls left even seasoned pilots impressed.

Whether it was a combat sim in an F4, F16 fighter jet or Red Baron’s bi-plane, or a realistic airplane simulator like Microsoft Flight Simulator, I played a lot of these games. However, I haven’t played one for years. If this short video is any indication, that is about to change. The graphics are jaw-dropping:

Microsoft Flight announced on Tuesday as part of it’s plans for Games for Windows and Windows Phone 7. Looks like Flight will also have an online component as it will be, “Live-enabled”.

Gamer Girl Scholarships

Are you a girl who loves video games? Have you also perhaps thought of a career in video game design? If so, I have some excellent news for you! Sony Online Entertainment is now accepting applications for their third-annual G.I.R.L. Scholarship! This award comes with up to $10,000.00 towards a student’s tuition and other educational expenses. Even better – the winner will have the option of participating in a 10 week internship with Sony Online Entertainment!

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One Million Xbox Live Users Banned

xbox360Microsoft is tired of piracy – and they’re doing something about it in a very big way. In a statement released by the company, they state: All consumers should know that piracy is illegal and that modifying their Xbox 360 console to play pirated discs violates the Xbox Live terms of use, will void their warranty, and result in a ban from Xbox Live..

Reactions around the globe are varied… and passionate on both sides of the coin. Teens who have had their accounts cut off are definitely not happy, even when they fully admit to being guilty of piracy and console modifications. One such banned player, who hails from the UK, told a radio station this morning that he is “gutted” and “distraught” by Microsoft’s decision. He was even noted to be seen crying loudly in public. However, this same person also admits to paying a local electronics shop more than $100.00 to mod his Xbox for him – so he can play pirated games.

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Xbox 360 warranty extended to 3 years, including previous repairs

Xbox 360

The Xbox 360 has come under criticism for its high hardware failure rate. Microsoft has said its around the industry average of 3-5%. However, other unconfirmed sources have put the figure closer to to 30%. Microsoft does acknowledge the consoles had a higher failure rate when first launched.

No matter who’s numbers you accept, you have to give kudos to Microsoft for taking a billion dollar hit to make things right. Effective July 5th, all Xbox 360 warranties have been extended to 3 years. Including repairs already made!

In late 2006, Microsoft extended the warranty of all Xbox 360 consoles to one year, up from 90-days. For gamers who were out of warranty, a replacement or repair would cost about $140.

EA unveils “The Simpsons Game”

simpsons game

There have been at least 21 tries before to make a successful video game based on the hit Simpsons TV show. All have flopped. The Simpsons Game is now under development by EA and will release for the PS2, PSP, PS3, Nintendo DS, Wii and the Xbox 360 in the fall of 2007.

So what’s different this time? Scot Amos, Executive Producer, The Simpsons Game says,

Our goal in developing THE SIMPSONS GAME is to create the most original game ever, which is a lofty goal and only possible given the close collaboration with ‘The Simpsons’ creative team. We’re also especially proud of the game’s warm visual feel, which captures – for the first time ever in a game – the look of the TV show.

Powerhouse EA badly needs an original hit. It’s also getting great support from the TV show cast and crew. All the characters voices will be represented, and the writers contributed over 8,000 lines of dialogue for the games 16 “episodes”.

The plot of the game is not based on the upcoming Simpsons movie, but instead revolves around the Simpson family finding that without its advanced knowledge or consent, it has become the basis of a new video game.

‘Simpsons’ game leads EA summer preview [ZDNet]

Another Sony blunder

God of War 2As if dismal PlayStation3 sales weren’t bad enough, Sony recently threw a party in Greece to celebrate the launch of a new Playstation2 title, God of War II. According to reports, this party featured topless women feeding grapes to people in the crowd, and a beheaded goat. While Sony claims the goat was from a local butcher, and returned after the party, it has animal rights activists up in arms.

In addition to the beheaded goat, participants were also invited to dine on goat entrails, and contents of the goat’s stomach, in a reality game show like atmosphere. Sony later explained it was actually a meat soup provided by a local caterer.

Sony has launched an internal investigation, the company said in a statement.

“The goat was returned to the butcher,” Sony said. “On this occasion we recognize that we fell short of our normal high standards of conduct.”

Sony offers goat sacrifice to ‘God of War’ [NewsBlog]

20 Gig Playstation 3 Discontinued?

In a bit of investigative journalism, I have recently taken it upon myself to answer the question of, “where have all the 20 gig Playstation 3 models gone?” In a rather silent disappearance, it seems that the 20 gig version of Sony’s new console has gone missing as of late. So where could they be?

To start off, I contacted local stores in my area as to inquire about the availability of the 60 gig’s little sister. Naturally, the response I received was universally negative. There was not a 20 gig model to be found. However, upon dialing up one store in my area, I stumbled upon a piece of information that was quite shocking. It seems that one of the nation’s larger consumer electronics stores were listing the smaller console as “Discontinued” in their inventory system. That’s right; discontinued.

View: Full Story @ gamedrift.com

Video game playing may fulfill innate human need

Playing video games can satisfy deep psychological needs and, at least in the short term, improve people’s well-being, new research shows.

The more a game fulfilled a player’s sense of independence, achievement and connectedness to others, the more likely he or she was to keep playing, Dr. Scott Rigby of Immersyve, a Florida-based virtual environment think tank, and colleagues from the University of Rochester in New York found. And the more fully a player’s needs were satisfied, the better he felt after playing.

“We think this is really one of the first validated models of what is going on psychologically when people are playing video games,” Rigby told Reuters Health in an interview. To date, he noted, research on video games has focused on their potentially harmful effects, such as promoting social isolation, addiction, and violence.

View: Full Story @ Scientific American