So-called social network games like Farmville and Mafia Wars are intentionally designed to not be fun and cause you anxiety, says a well-respected game developer. [More]
The bad news: the GameStop where Ambyr went to buy a copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops for her husband only had enough copies of the game to fill pre-orders. The good news: In GameStop’s universe, to “pre-order” means that you leave the store that just refused to sell you a game, order that game online, and then return fifteen minutes later. Bad for logic, good for Ambyr. [More]
Parsons design and technology thesis students came up with a pirate ship board game that has the twin goals of teaching personal finance to kids and not sucking. [More]
Yesterday we noted that Blockbuster was launching a new DVD-by-mail rental service (which Netflix promptly one-upped by announcing a new streaming agreement), and today we’re getting tips from people that the beleaguered brick and mortar movie rental company is throwing games into the offer as well. FastCompany notes that GameFly offers around 7,000 game titles compared to Blockbuster’s library of 3,000 titles. On the other hand, Blockbuster’s rental plans start at $9/mo compared to GameFly’s $16/mo (both for one disc at a time). [More]
If you play games on the website Kongregate–its founders say 10 million players stop by every month–then congratulations, you’re about to become GameStop’s new BFF. There’s no word yet on how this will affect the Kongregate community; the site lets people play online games for free, and GameStop says that the its founders will continue to run things for now. If we start seeing offers to pre-order an upcoming online free game, I guess we’ll know the takeover is complete. [More]
Rounding out our trilogy of beer pong posts this week, here’s an exciting product that commenter Nic715 pointed out: Hasbro’s game Cuponk. Throw the ball into the cup, and lights go off and electronic noises sound. It’s a way to have some family fun and hone your kids’ skills long before they leave for college. [More]
You’ve seen the box cover on MSNBC and CNN, but now you can actually see the pieces and board of the genuine 1970s “BP Offshore Oil Strike” game. BoardGameGeeks has a full image gallery. [More]
Wolfire Games is running a special sale called the Humble Bundle, where you can pay as little as one penny via PayPal, Google Checkout, or Amazon, for five cross-platform indie games that are completely free of DRM or even serial numbers. Despite that, says the company, it looks like over 25% of downloads are coming from “shared links from forums and other places without actually contributing anything.” That’s not counting anything happening over BitTorrent. [More]
So you think you’re pretty smart with your credit know-how? Got a good credit score and line of credit? Well here’s another number to watch, your credit card I.Q. Take this 10 question test and see how you stack up. Even I got a few of these wrong. For instance, “The typical American carries a balance of about $5,500 in credit card debt. If you make no more charges and pay only the minimum payment each month, how long will it take to pay that debt off at 19 percent interest?”
If you’re trying to pirate the Japanese erotic manga game Cross Days–and I don’t care what people say, I love that I live in a world where I can type that phrase–you should know that the game’s developers are wise to you, and they’re going to do their best to shame and embarrass you. [More]
One of the cool things about the iPhone ecosystem is there are nearly 17 quintillion apps available for it, and although many of these are crap, the good ones frequently cost only a dollar or two. Even the premium-priced “productivity” apps–things like note pads and to-do lists–rarely cross the $10 threshhold, which means you can load up your iPhone or Touch with a lot of cool stuff on a modest software budget. But if a leaked video of the iPad app store is accurate, you can expect to pay 200-500% more for simple things like 99-cent games, and PC-level prices for more robust apps, on your fancy new iPad. [More]
This website professionally simulates what it’s like to drive a Toyota. Includes authentic screams of terror.
(Thanks to thespatulaoflove!)
There are several apps on the Apple app store that help consumers track sales and free offers from developers, but you have to launch them and check in regularly. The website App Spy offers an automated price tracker for games (just games, unfortunately) that will send you an email whenever a price threshhold is reached. If you tend to be an app junkie, it can help save you money by letting you get your fix on the cheap good stuff. [More]
For a brief, shining moment, Barnes & Noble let customers pre-order the upcoming PC game Battlefield Bad Company 2 for $19.95, far below the retail price. Gamers were skeptical, but placed orders anyway. Their skepticism was well-founded, since the retailer caught the error and canceled all of the mistaken pre-orders…nine days after the deal began to go viral. [More]
Robert usually writes about energy and the environment on his blog. However, he recently ran into a scammer online, and surprised the scammer by fighting back:
After I didn’t roll over for him, he resorted to sending me numerous threats and harassing e-mails, going so far as to threaten harm to my elementary school aged son. I wasn’t about to let him get away with this. [More]
You might enjoy raking in money as a fake mobster in Mafia Wars, or collecting cotton subsidies in FarmVille, but TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington argues that the real racket in virtual games is for the companies that run them, and for the social networking sites that host them.
This HSN presenter remembered to use his wrist strap when playing with a Wiimote, so good for him! Unfortunately, it turns out you also have to make sure any attachments are firmly attached.