If you’re a lady or gent of a certain age, then you remember Atari, makers of the first video games (along with Coleco). When my parents first got an Atari, they played for hours — I was too young to try my hand, but I remember how exciting it seemed to have this new home technology. Some games were great (hello, Pong, first game ever), but others, not so much. And those often ended up in a landfill outside of Alamogordo, New Mexico, near where the Atari company was based. The games were allegedly dumped in the landfill illegally, under cover of night.
Video games developer Fuel Industries believe that many of the company’s worst-selling games ended up in the landfill — including their “E.T.” game, which has now become a cult favorite — and have received permission from the local government to excavate. The company has six months to dig around in the landfill, which is locally known as an Atari Graveyard. Fuel is hoping to revive some of Atari’s “worst games” and cult favorites. [Alamogordo News]
Rescuing the “damsel in distress” is one of the most common stereotypes in video games. But this game developer wanted daughter to be able to save the day, as a girl, so he hacked Donkey Kong and enabled Pauline to rescue Mario. “My three year old daughter and I play a lot of old games together,” he explained on YouTube. “Her favorite is Donkey Kong. Two days ago, she asked me if she could play as the girl and save Mario. She’s played as Peach in Super Mario Bros. 2 and naturally just assumed she could do the same in Donkey Kong. I told her we couldn’t in that particular Mario game, she seemed really bummed out by that.” A little bit of hacker magic and voila! [Polygon]
The fabulous career as a fashion designer! The penthouse apartment! The closet filled with clothes!
Oh, yes, Disney, this is exactly what being a “City Girl” is like. Keep reading »
Just weeks after the Newtown tragedy, and merely days after another shooting at a California high school, the fine folks of the National Rifle Association have decided that now is the perfect time to release a new mobile target practice app, aimed at helping gun owners to become more accurate shots. The app is packaged as an “information” tool, providing gun owners with safety tips (like “keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot”) and state-by-state gun law information. But the target practice portion of the program is on there, too. It looks a lot like any other first-person shooter video game — you know, one of the many things besides actual guns that the NRA blames for gun violence — except this one is put out by the National Rifle Association, and it’s ostensibly aimed at improving the skills of real-life shooters.
And the truly great thing about the app? It allows users to switch up between guns. So you may start out with an M16, but for just a $1, you can upgrade to an AK-47. So awesome — anybody with a smart phone can practice shooting an assault rifle.
And oh, the Target Practice app is recommended for shooters ages four and up. Sick. [Gizmodo]
If I was a rich girl … I would play with eyeshadow all day? That seems to be the idea behind “Upper East Side Makeover,” an online video game by Girl Games. The “game” — yes, I “played” it — involves such brain-twisting tasks as exfoliating skin and applying makeup. It’s one of many “games” on the site like “Super Manicure” and “Super Hair Studio.” Animal New York reports the game was created by a Romanian developer who has never been to NYC, ergo, has ever met an actual woman who lives on the Upper East Side. “Gossip Girl” is a fictional TV show, sir. And even Serena and Blair did something other than brush their hair all day. [Girl Games via Animal New York]
I really don’t know whether to laugh or cry after watching this couple embrace each other for an excruciatingly excessive amount of time. I feel a huge amount of secondhand embarrassment for having what I presume is someone’s friend videotape their first schmoopy moment. But my heart also melts when they kiss for the first time after five years in a long-distance relationship. Allow me to explain… Keep reading »
All feminist blogger Anita Sarkeesian wanted to do was create a new project aimed at examining common tropes in video games through a feminist lens. Sarkeesian, who blogs at FeministFrequency.com, was hoping that the new web series “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games,” would offer a new, in-depth view on gender representation in video games and throughout gaming culture. She needed $6,000 to fund the venture, so she launched a Kickstarter campaign (the video for the project is after the jump), and pledged to make the web series available free online upon completion.
No big deal, right? It should have been a simple project to get support for and fund. But then her project caught the attention of anti-feminist, anti-woman trolls. Keep reading »