Games + Leisure

Games + Leisure
10:20 am
Mon May 5, 2014

A Video Game Meant To Take Us Back To The Physical World

People gather to play Ingress in Austin, Texas. The video game has been downloaded 2 million times and is popular in the U.S. and Europe.
Niantic Labs

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 2:38 pm

Mobile phones and computer screens can distract us from engagement in the real world and that's been especially true of video games. But, there's an innovative game being played around the globe that's designed to use the same technologies to get its players more engaged with each other and the physical world.

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Games + Leisure
10:08 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Gaming While Male: A 'Privilege' Few Men Recognize

In video games, sexism often comes in the form of male-dominated storylines and character archetypes. In the video game community, it takes a more menacing shape.

It ranges from attempts to silence female critics to the harassment of fellow players. Some harassment even goes so far as phone calls and rape threats, as one female game developer found out last year.

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Games + Leisure
4:36 pm
Sat April 26, 2014

E.T.'s Home Is Found: Trove Of Atari Games Unearthed At Landfill

An E.T. doll was held up at the site of an exploratory dig for old Atari video games Saturday. Workers dug into a landfill in Alamogordo, N.M., that had long been rumored to be the final resting place of millions of copies of the game E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.
Juan Carlos Llorca AP

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 8:54 am

For decades, it was mere legend: an "Atari Dump" rumored to harbor millions of copies of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, a video game so bad that burying it in the New Mexico desert seemed the best way to move on.

But now, the Atari graveyard has been exhumed, and the latest attempt to find the cache of game cartridges has been declared a success. Helped by heavy machinery, a crew found some of the games today, in a dig that inspired the Twitter hashtag #DiggingET.

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Games + Leisure
10:27 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Getting Back In The Game: Arming Yourself To Play With Strangers

With millions of players worldwide, World of Warcraft is one of the largest and longest-running massively-multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG).
Blizzard Entertainment

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 2:29 pm

In our Getting Back in the Game series, we're showing you how to get into the wide world of video games — whether you're new to gaming or a former player who hasn't picked up a controller in a while.

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Games + Leisure
10:13 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Jazzpunk: A Spy Game Full Of Jokes, Blokes And Cold War Tropes

In Jazzpunk, you play a spy in a surreal world seemingly ripped from the pulpiest of spy novels.
Necrophone Games/Adult Swim Games

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 10:21 am

Just last week I was lamenting a severe lack of comedy-based video games, where perhaps getting a hearty laugh is the goal rather than quelling a rebellion or fighting off hordes of zombies.

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Games + Leisure
10:05 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Famous Four-By-Fours That Aren't Trucks

NPR

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 11:57 am

On-air challenge: Every answer is the name of a famous person with four letters in his or her first name and four letters in the last. For each person, you'll be given initials and an anagram of the full name. You name the person.

Last week's challenge: Name a famous entertainer: two words, four letters in each word. You can rearrange these eight letters to spell the acronym of a well-known national organization, and the word that the first letter of this acronym stands for. Who's the entertainer, and what's the organization?

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Games + Leisure
10:03 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Look Out! Not My Job Guest Sen. Mark Warner Gets Quizzed On Warnings

Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 12:03 pm

Mark Warner says that he got off to a good start, making it to Harvard Law School, but then promptly failed at everything he tried. No wonder, then, that he had to settle for a career in the U.S. Senate, where he's currently a democratic senator from Virginia.

We've invited Warner to play a game called "Danger! Get Away! Ahhhhh!" Three questions about warnings.

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Games + Leisure
1:02 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

A Father Plays Call Of Duty With His Son, Watched By Thousands

Jason Munkel and his father stream their Call of Duty games online every night. In the past year, they've gained more than 120,000 followers.
Twitch/Activision

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 3:59 pm

Jason Munkel and his father Bill are 39 years apart in age, but since last year, they've been sitting down together to play Call of Duty: Ghosts almost every night.

They also broadcast their gameplay to more than 120,000 followers, who watch the father-son duo pursue and shoot enemies on the screen, and talk to them during the game. Sometimes they do this for six to seven hours a day, and their audience has grown dramatically in just one year, though not all watch every day.

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Games + Leisure
4:19 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Here's What Happens When Thousands Play Pokemon Together

A screenshot of the online multiplayer Pokemon game.
Twitch.tv

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 8:02 pm

Pokemon is the wildly popular Japanese Nintendo video game, first released in 1996. Its goal is to collect wild creatures and battle other trainers to become the Pokemon master. Simple enough, right?

Now imagine trying to play the game with tens of thousands of people looking over your shoulder, telling you which buttons to press. That's the latest social experiment going on in the gaming community. At any given time, thousands of people are controlling a single game of Pokemon Red — the original game of the series — at the same time.

And so far, it's going ... OK.

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Games + Leisure
12:13 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Break Loose, Break Loose, Kick Off Your Sunday Shoes

NPR

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 11:44 am

On-air challenge: Today's puzzle is called "Break Loose." Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase in which the first word has a long-A vowel sound (as in "break"), and the second word has a long-U vowel sound (as in "loose").

Last week's challenge: The challenge came from listener Sam Williamson of Charlevoix, MI, and it's a two-part question: where in most homes will you see the words SHE and HIS ... and what word will you see right after HIS?

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Games + Leisure
12:11 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Being An 'Octodad' Is A Hilarious Lesson In Controlled Chaos

In Octodad: Dadliest Catch, you play a mild-mannered octopus living in a human world, struggling to keep your cephalopod secret from your family.
Young Horses, Inc.

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 6:00 pm

Great comedy is sometimes hard to find, and great comedy in a video game is even rarer. But the new game Octodad: Dadliest Catch is a "Theater of the Absurd" for the gaming crowd, and it certainly does not fail to entertain. From the title alone you know you are in for something completely silly.

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Games + Leisure
4:34 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Sandwich Monday: Subway's Fritos Chicken Enchilada Sub

It happens.
NPR

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 11:57 am

Whether the Subway Fritos Chicken Enchilada Sub was the result of creative inspiration or an enormous workplace Fritos spill, we'll never know. What matters is it happened, and it's only a matter of time until all foods everywhere will be available topped with Fritos.

Ian: I like that they're thinking in texture. And adding crunch with Fritos is way better than McDonald's creepy BBQ McTickle.

Miles: Yeah, but let's be honest, crunches are the last thing anyone is going to be doing after eating this sandwich.

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Games + Leisure
12:12 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

The Novelist: A Story-Driven Game Of Impossible Choices

In The Novelist, the Kaplans are struggling to keep their little family together. You play a ghost that tries to help keep the peace.
The Novelist/Orthogonal Games

First things first: Yes, this is a game review — but I'm no gamer. I'm surrounded by them at work and at home, mind you, but I personally haven't played a video game since a brief Tetris obsession in junior high.

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Games + Leisure
10:21 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Drop The Zero And Get With The Hero

NPR

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 2:17 pm

On-air challenge: For each single letter given, recombine it with the letters in the word "ZERO" to spell a new word. For example, ZERO plus F would be "FROZE."

Last week's challenge: What word, containing two consecutive S's, becomes its own synonym if you drop those S's?

Answer: Blossom, bloom

Winner: Trey Moody of Killeen, Texas

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Games + Leisure
10:27 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Not My Job: How Much Does A Former Hedge Fund Manager Know About Hedges?

Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 3:07 pm

Mad Money, CNBC's daily show about the stock market, is not your typical financial show. Host Jim Cramer shouts, he throws things around, he pushes buttons to make funny noises.

Since Cramer is a former hedge fund manager, we'd like to see just how much he knows about actual hedges. We'll test him with three questions about the world of topiary.

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Games + Leisure
10:23 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Take Synonyms For A Spin (Or Pirouette)

NPR

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 2:28 pm

On-air challenge: For each word given, name a synonym in which the first two letters are the same as the second and third letters of the given word. For example, spin and pirouette.

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Games + Leisure
3:18 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Brain Games: Move Objects With Your Mind To Find Inner Calm?

Richard Warp uses an Emotiv headset paired with his invention, NeuroDisco, which translates brain electrical patterns into music.
Josh Cassidy KQED

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 3:38 pm

Couch potatoes everywhere, rejoice.

New commercial devices, using technology borrowed from the field of neuroscience, are making it possible to control objects with brain power alone. The idea is to help train users to become more focused — and relaxed.

EEG headsets, which detect electrical activity in the brain, were once found only in research labs. Today, the technology has become cheaper and easier to use. That's made it possible to connect EEG headsets to other consumer devices.

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Games + Leisure
3:23 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Hot On YouTube: Videos About Video Games, And Science, Too

A screengrab of a YouTube video of the game Walking Dead from the Swedish gamer known as PewDiePie. Videos of people offering commentary while playing video games are wildly popular on YouTube.
YouTube/PewDiePie

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 10:34 am

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Games + Leisure
2:01 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Geeky Gamers Feast Upon Settlers Of Catan Cookbook

The deconstructed, hexagonal salad nicoise: perfect for all your gourmand geek friends.
Courtesy of Chris-Rachel Oseland

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 10:15 am

We've discovered a text that could rank among the geekiest of all cookbooks. It's based on Settlers of Catan, that German civilization-building board game with the cult following.

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Games + Leisure
11:59 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Not My Job: Actor Oscar Isaac On Folk Music Vs. Filk Music

Oscar Isaac as the titular character in Joel and Ethan Coen's Inside Llewyn Davis.
Alison Rosa Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat December 14, 2013 11:27 am

The latest movie by Joel and Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis, is a lot like their other movies in which a guy endures a lot of terrible things happening to him. This one's different though, in that this time, the guy seems to deserve it. Oscar Isaac plays — and sings — the role of Llewyn Davis, a homeless, former merchant marine trying to make it in the 1960s Greenwich Village music scene.

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