Games + Leisure

Games + Leisure
12:43 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Exclusive First Read: Scott McCloud's 'The Sculptor'

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 2:35 pm

Cartoonist and theorist Scott McCloud is sometimes called the "Aristotle of Comics" because of his three landmark nonfiction works: Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics and Making Comics. He's a man who's spent a lot of time thinking about making art — and that's reflected in The Sculptor, his first full-length graphic novel.

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Games + Leisure
12:57 pm
Sun January 18, 2015

Sunday Puzzle: S.V. You

Sunday Puzzle
NPR

On-air challenge: Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name with the initials S.V. For example, given "noted Idaho ski resort," you would say "Sun Valley."

Last week's challenge: From listener Steve Baggish of Arlington, Mass. Think of a U.S. city whose name has nine letters. Remove three letters from the start of the name and three letters from the end. Only two will remain. How is this possible, and what city is it?

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Games + Leisure
1:37 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

You Can Create A Hit Video Game About Anything. Even Making Toast

Screen shot of the mobile game Candy Crush Saga.
Screen shot of Candy Crush Saga

Originally published on Sat November 1, 2014 9:53 pm

Flinging birds at pigs and moving jelly beans around a little screen are not human instincts. Game designers create the urge to do those things for hours at a time.

"From the way the games are designed to help us start playing the game, to the way they keep us coming back to the game, to how they involve our friends in the game — all of these things have underpinnings in consumer psychology," says game consultant Nir Eyal.

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Games + Leisure
1:36 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Can Losing Weight In Your 'Second Life' Help In Your First?

A player avatar runs on a treadmill in the virtual world of Second Life. Researchers used the online game to see if it could help people maintain weight loss habits in the real world.
Courtesy of Univeristy of Kansas Medical Center

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 2:11 pm

There is no shortage of diet programs available to those that seek to lose weight. But for many, taking those initial steps into a weight loss and exercise program can be an intimidating leap.

A new study from the University of Kansas Medical Center, however, shows that the online game Second Life helped some people lose weight — and keep it off — in real life.

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Games + Leisure
10:46 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Your Online Avatar May Reveal More About You Than You'd Think

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 10:49 am

My Nintendo Wii character, my Mii, looks a lot like me. She has the same haircut, the same skin tone and even the same eyebrow shape. And while my Mii plays tennis slightly better than I do, I designed her to be a real, virtual me (albeit with balls for hands).

But it turns out I might not have needed to mimic my appearance to let people know what I'm like.

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Games + Leisure
11:35 am
Mon January 5, 2015

A Winter Puzzle To Brrring In The New Year

Sunday Puzzle
NPR

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 12:20 pm

Editor's Note: In a previous version of this page we posted the wrong on-air challenge. The correct on-air challenge for the week is posted below.

On-air challenge: Given a clue, each response is a two-word answer with the first word starting with B-R and the second word starting with R.

Last week's challenge: Take the following 5-word sentence: "THOSE BARBARIANS AMBUSH HEAVIER FIANCEES." These 5 words have something very unusual in common. What is it?

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Games + Leisure
9:39 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Not My Job: Comedian Jenny Slate Gets Quizzed On Jennifer Lopez

Victoria Will AP

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 11:27 am

Jenny Slate is a standup comedian, actor and writer who has rocketed to fame with her online film series Marcel the Shell with Shoes On and the movie Obvious Child.

But there are some other famous Jennifers out there; we've invited Slate to play a game called "You're Jenny from the Block" — three questions about J. Lo.

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Games + Leisure
7:36 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Marvel At 75: Still Slinging Webs And Guarding Galaxies

Stan Lee — shown here in 2002 — helped create Marvel mainstays like Spider-Man and the Avengers.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 5:03 pm

Marvel Comics has provided some of Hollywood's biggest box-office characters ever: The Avengers, the X-Men, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man, Spider-Man, all starring in gargantuan special effects blockbusters.

And like every superhero, Marvel Comics has an origin story. It begins in New York City, in 1939.

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Games + Leisure
4:33 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

India's New Comic Book Hero Fights Rape, Rides On The Back Of A Tiger

The comic book superhero Priya survived a rape and now fights violence against women.
Courtesy of Ram Devineni

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 6:46 pm

Two years ago this day, a 23-year-old woman was brutally gang-raped on a moving bus in New Delhi. Three days later she died from her injuries. The incident pushed millions in the city and all over India to protest the widespread violence against women. The protests led to tougher laws and empowered women to stand up against sexual violence.

And one man was inspired to create a comic book superhero.

Ram Devineni, a New York-based filmmaker, gave life to Priya, a survivor of gang rape who seeks to stop violence against women.

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Games + Leisure
3:36 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Tech Star Wants To Make Diversity Plug-And-Play For Silicon Valley

Tristan Walker founded Code2040, an internship program designed to bring Latino and black engineering undergrads to Silicon Valley.
David Paul Morris Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 11:11 am

Tristan Walker is successful by anyone's standards: He went to a top-notch prep school, graduated as valedictorian at college, went on to become a trader on Wall Street, earned an MBA at Stanford, and then helped to launch the location app Foursquare.

But what makes Walker so remarkable is that he is one of the few African-Americans to rise up the ranks in Silicon Valley.

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Games + Leisure
11:48 am
Sat November 8, 2014

Not My Job: 'Elementary, My Dear (Dale) Watson'

Dustin Finkelstein Getty Images

Wait Wait is in Austin, Texas this week, and so we've invited country singer Dale Watson to play our quiz. Watson has that true Austin sound — not to mention his own honky-tonk bar.

We've invited Watson to play a game called, "Elementary, my dear Dale!" Three questions about the immortal detective, Sherlock Holmes.

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Games + Leisure
3:45 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

The Man Behind Wonder Woman Was Inspired By Both Suffragists And Centerfolds

The man behind the most popular female comic book hero of all time, Wonder Woman, had a secret past: Creator William Moulton Marston had a wife — and a mistress. He fathered children with both of them, and they all secretly lived together in Rye, N.Y. And the best part? Marston was also the creator of the lie detector.

Harvard professor and New Yorker contributor Jill Lepore reveals this and other surprising details about Marston in the new book The Secret History of Wonder Woman.

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Games + Leisure
10:03 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Pew: Gaming Is Least Welcoming Online Space For Women

A new Pew study finds that of all online environments, only online gaming is viewed as "starkly" more welcoming for men.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 11:16 am

As the ongoing, harassment-fueled controversy known as Gamergate rages into its second month with no sign of dying down, the Pew Research Center is out with new numbers on online harassment.

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Games + Leisure
8:29 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Wolverine's Death: Superheroes And The Cycle Of Eternal Return

Go on, guess what it's about.
Marvel

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 6:47 pm

The fourth and final issue of the weekly, four-issue Marvel Comics miniseries Death of Wolverine, written by Charles Soule and drawn by Steve McNiven, will be published Wednesday. This prompted an incredulous text from a friend, Golfrguy, to NPR's nerd-about-town Glen Weldon:

Golfrguy: dude they're killing off wolverine???????

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Games + Leisure
12:31 pm
Sat September 27, 2014

Not My Job: 'Eat, Pray, Love' Author Gets Quizzed On Dieting, Blasphemy, Hate

Jennifer Schatten The Penguin Group

Elizabeth Gilbert was a successful magazine writer in New York when she went through a life crisis and decided to travel the world. When she got back, her book Eat Pray Love become one of the biggest best-sellers of the past decade, along with its sequel Committed. Her latest novel is called The Signature of All Things.

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Games + Leisure
9:58 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Finding A Voice — Again — In The Pages Of A Comic Book

Recall and Given recasts the story of David Rector and Roz Alexander-Kasparik as a superhero comic.
Roz Alexander-Kasparik

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 11:15 am

This is a story about love. It's a story about bad things happening to good people, about memory and perseverance — and comic books. But most of all, it's a story about a voice. A mellow, smooth voice, just right for late-night jazz.

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Games + Leisure
6:27 pm
Sun August 24, 2014

For The First Time, Real Tattoos Make Their Madden Debut

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is the only player in the newest edition of the Madden NFL video game franchise to have his signature tattoos faithfully rendered in the game.
EA Sports

Originally published on Sun August 24, 2014 7:13 pm

The NFL season is looming, and with it comes the new version of the Madden NFL video game — a franchise that has sold more than 100 million copies over the last 25 years.

Each year, Madden gets more and more realistic. "The NFL superstars definitely look like their real life counterparts would," says Samit Sarkar, a reporter for the gaming website Polygon.

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Games + Leisure
12:21 pm
Sat August 23, 2014

Native Stories From Alaska Give Gamers Something To Play With

The game Never Alone tells the story of a young Inupiaq girl, Nuna, and her companion, an Arctic fox, as they go on a quest to save her village.
Upper One Games

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 3:42 pm

Until recently, no video games on the market have told the story of an indigenous people from their perspective. A group of Alaskan natives have partnered with a game developer to change that.

Their game is called Never Alone, and its creators hope it will set a new standard in video game development.

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Games + Leisure
11:43 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Book News: George R.R. Martin Was Told Sci-Fi Would Rot His Brain

Novelist George R.R. Martin at Comic-Con Weekend on July 25 in San Diego.
Charley Gallay Getty Images for Playboy

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 8:47 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Games + Leisure
12:42 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Bad To The Bone

NPR

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 11:59 am

On-air challenge: Today's puzzle is ba-a-a-ad. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with BA- and the second word starts with D-.

Last week's challenge: This challenge came from listener Matt Jones of Portland, Ore. There are three popular men's names, each six letters long, that differ by only their first letters. In other words, the last five letters of the names are all the same, in the same order. Of the three different first letters, two are consonants and one is a vowel. What names are these?

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