In 2022, fires will destroy over 2,025 acres of Texas. In 2048, the Glacier Land Resort will open for people looking to see what life was like before the glaciers melted. In 2049, the Smithsonian—no longer open to the public—will feature a preserved hummingbird in their archives, the last proof of their species ever existing.
These are all possible futures as created by the users of FutureCoast, an interactive alternate reality game that began in February and concludes its run in May. Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, the overarching story of the game is simple: Mysterious objects known as “chronofacts" have begun appearing throughout [...]
Flappy Bird Think Pieces Dot Tumblr Dot Com has helpfully aggregated segregated all the long pieces of writing about the short-lived app sensation Flappy Bird, so that they will not appear anywhere else on the Internet and you won't be disturbed by them. LOOK ONLY IF YOU DARE. An emotional winter is coming. No but seriously, the trick is picking the good one!
Last year, a videogame creator named Tim Schafer, who was best known for a handful of games back in the 90s, got about a bazillion dollars on Kickstarter to make another one of those games. And now the game is here! I've been playing it and it is GREAT. Oh man.
So the game is called Broken Age. It is a point-and-click adventure, a very old and now-basically-extinct genre which is more like an interactive comic book than anything else. You click on a spot to make your character go there, you click on another character to talk with them, you click on objects to interact [...]
Every family has its fair share of lunatics, alcoholics, weirdos, smug hippies, right wingers, racists and garden variety assholes (to paraphrase Tolstoy). And nothing exacerbates everybody’s awfulness and passive aggressive—and aggressive aggressive—behavior like a family gathering. With Thanksgiving just a few Xanax away, and in the the spirit of the holiday season, I’d like to share a secret family recipe that has nothing to do with food.
Fingo—that’s Family Bingo, of course—is a game that’ll save your next family function. Or, at the very least, it will make things a lot more interesting. Here’s what you’ll need in order to play it.
Silicon Valley has made the case to itself (and to the users of its software) that we are voting with our clicks. [...] Of course, that completely elides the role the company itself plays in shaping user behavior to [...]
When you play nine cards, there is still downtime—you hear the number, you stamp what needs to be stamped, and you look up and wait a moment to hear the next number—but double that and there's no time to wait and barely any to look up. You become less of a bingo player than a bingo machine, entering a trance of B-11's and O-72's that isn't broken until someone finally shouts bingo and the room lets out a collective moan. Often, the calls are premature or incorrect, but many people trash their cards regardless, as if the game ends not when a bingo is confirmed but when the [...]
By definition, being a quizmaster is about asking questions. As host of a live trivia game show, the Big Quiz Thing, I’ve spent the past eight years asking thousands of them—many good, some lousy. And in that time, countless others have approached me with questions and comments of their own—many good, some really, really stupid. Now that you’ve met the different types of people who play trivia, learn about some of the more amusing things people say to your esteemed host:
1. "I don’t know any trivia." Assuming you’re not a moron, this is nigh impossible. Everyone knows trivia, or at least a good quizmaster’s definition of trivia, which [...]
Flappy Bird (2013-2014) was a game for the iPhone which, in the span of perhaps a month, half a year after it was uploaded, rocketed up the charts of the App Store and became The Game of the Moment before being deleted by its creator for reasons that remain unclear. It was a maddeningly difficult challenge in which you played a small bird, cursed to move forward, forced to tap the screen to stay afloat. You existed in a world of pipes: Pipes grew upward from the ground, emerged downward from the heavens, never to meet. Only by drifting through the narrow space between the pipes could you survive.
My friend Christopher Trapani is a composer of classical music. Apparently he is quite a good one, having won the Julius F. Ježek and Gaudeamus Prizes, among others. Also, one of his pieces was performed at Carnegie Hall, which I've heard of.
Before I met Chris I assumed that new classical music mostly involved people trying to find new discordant ways to extract terrible sounds from instruments that were designed to produce pleasant ones. It turns out that's exactly what it is, but with program notes like this: "Florence in 1899, or the unexplored ends of the earth. An exotic wash of sonorities, mystical metallic shades—almglocken, steel drum, [...]
As a rule, I don’t download time-sucking games onto my phone. Tinder is the exception. Back in May, when I first made space on my screen for that little red flame icon, I didn’t realize the latest online dating app craze was a game. But now I know. Last night my roommate, who met his boyfriend on Tinder, perched beside me for some vicarious swiping. “I miss this!” he said, as we watched the weirdos fly by.
That’s right: they’ve finally made an online dating service that is fun—nay, addictive—to use.
Like Zuckerberg’s original, verboten pleasure, FaceSmash, which asked Harvard douchebags to choose the hotter classmate between two [...]
The first time you hear a very clear Chinese woman's voice say "Sou Sou!" in your living room while you are supposedly alone, it is natural to brush it off. There are so many things making noises all the time! The second time, weeks later, when you're sitting alone by the fireplace reading at midnight, is terrifying. At this point, it is natural to wonder if this is how Moses or Allah or Jesus or Neale Donald Walsch or Oral Roberts or Ted Nugent or Charles Manson felt, when they first heard voices telling them what to do. But what did "Sou Sou!" even mean? It seemed less like [...]
And here is an iPhone/iPad game called Hipster City Cycle, in which you ride your fixie through Philadelphia streets, eating cheesesteaks and being groovy, man. It's like a Farmville for the barely-employed set! But it addresses an important question in gaming now: do we really want to play games that so closely resemble our real lives? (Kidding.)
People drop things on the Internet and run all the time—so we have to ask. In this edition, Venus Patrol founder and IGF chairman Brandon Boyer tells us more about a recent Saturday night sexbot experiment for the ages.
last night i “fed” the lonely sexbots to each other just to see if it would ever reach a logical conclusion: pic.twitter.com/afY8pKGJ0H
Brandon! So what happened here? So, I have a pretty unfortunate pattern of blithely agreeing to everything without really thinking through the ramifications, and this extends into me accepting basically any iMessage [...]
Crossword puzzle from April 25, 1965, found by David Prasad.
The crossword puzzle, which turns one hundred years old this Saturday, is a native New Yorker. Contrary to popular belief, it was not born in the virtuous, cosmopolitan New York Times but in the back pages of the now long-defunct yellow-journalism daily The New York World, among the ads for breast-augmentation serums. In 1913, The World was one of scores of city papers grabbing at readers with sensational and morbid hooks, high-contrast photos of men in hats standing over fresh corpses, headlines about the secret lechers and killers of the grim urban anonymous. These were the [...]
Today's the day that Thunderclap releases its first mass tweet into the wild. Late this morning, almost 2000 people are going to simultaneously Tweet a message from Matt Taibbi. If you don't know of it, Thunderclap is like Kickstarter for mass tweets: if enough people sign on to a message, it goes live. (This particular tweet now counts its total reach at "3,793,447 people.") I have mixed feelings about this project! It's sort of genius? And yet I also dislike shilling and intrusiveness on Twitter. (And FYI, we "signed on" to this tweet as an experiment, because we wanted to see what would happen. In other disclaimer news, [...]
A new iteration of our favorite casual game has just been released for Apple devices. (The original web version is here.) They've been working on this for some time, and to my mind, it suffers a bit from over-building. (They've crammed a lot into it! And in a sense there's too much but also too little: too many tricks to learn, and not even levels to try them out on.) But that being said, it's still pretty genius as straight-up puzzle activity, and it's also extremely handsome. And since there's nothing more shameful than playing Angry Birds on the subway—that's the cultural equivalent of blasting Huey Lewis on [...]