Games + Leisure

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
6:45 pm
Sun April 27, 2014

First In, Last Out

NPR

On-air challenge: For each word provided, give a word that can follow it to complete a familiar two-word phrase. The first two letters of the provided word should be the last two letters of the answer. Example: Red Square

Last week's challenge: Name certain trees. Also name something that trees have. Rearrange all the letters to get the brand name of a product you might buy at a grocery or drug store. What is it?

Answer: Firs + Leaves = Life Savers

Winner: Nils Thingvall of Lafayette, Colo.

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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
11:53 am
Sun April 20, 2014

April Showers Bring Puzzle Flowers

NPR

On-air challenge: With spring in the air, it's a fitting time for a flower puzzle. Find the flower answer using its anagram, minus one letter. Example: R-I-S-H-I, minus H, is "iris."

Last week's challenge from listener Louis Sargent of Portland, Ore: Name a well-known American company. Insert a W somewhere inside the name, and you'll get two consecutive titles of popular TV shows of the past. What are they?

Answer: Westinghouse; West Wing, House

Winner: John Rowden of New York

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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
9:16 am
Sun April 13, 2014

Looking High And Low For Middle C

NPR

On-air challenge: This puzzle is called "Middle C." For each prompt or clue, think of a common three-syllable word or name in which the middle syllable is pronounced "cee." Example: Coming immediately before = preceding.

Last week's challenge: Last week's challenge came from listener Mike Reiss, a former writer and producer for The Simpsons. The film Wild Wild West had three W's as its initials. What prominent film of last year had two W's as its initials?

Answer: The Wolf Of Wall Street

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Games + Leisure
5:59 pm
Sun March 30, 2014

Fool Me Once, Shame On You; Fool Me Twice, Shame On Me

NPR

On-air challenge: This week's challenge comes from a book called Puzzles & Pleasantries, published by the Old Farmer's Almanac. Since April Fool's Day is coming up on Tuesday, the challenge questions are all April Fool-ish. Each one has appeared in a past year of the Old Farmer's Almanac, and each has a legitimate answer.

Last week's challenge: Name a capital of a country. Change the first letter to name a familiar musical instrument. What is it?

Answer: Caracas, maracas.

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Games + Leisure
11:32 am
Sun March 16, 2014

Two Is Company, But Three Is A Crowd

NPR

On-air challenge: A series of paired words will be provided. For each pair, think of a third word that can follow the first one and precede the second to complete a familiar two-word phrase. Every answer starts with "W." Example: Open and Awake; Answer: Wide.

Last week's challenge: This puzzle was created by Will Shortz for an event held recently at the Museum of Mathematics in New York City. Take the name of a classical Greek mathematician. The letters in his name can be rearranged to spell two numbers. What are they?

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Games + Leisure
12:00 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

A High Five On The Seven Seas

NPR

On-air challenge: For each five-letter word provided, insert two letters after the first letter to complete a familiar seven-letter word.

Last week's challenge: The challenge came from listener Harry Hillson of Avon-by-the-Sea, N.J. Take the first name of a nominee for Best Actor or Best Actress at last Sunday's Oscars. You can rearrange these letters into a two-word phrase that describes his or her character in the film for which he or she is nominated. Who is this star, and what is the phrase?

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Games + Leisure
11:30 am
Sun March 2, 2014

Let's All Go To The Lobby, To Get Ourselves A Treat

NPR

On-air challenge: Today's puzzle is called "Let's." Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or title containing the consecutive letters L-E-T. Specifically, the first word will end in L-E and the second word will start with T.

Last week's challenge: Write down these six words:

  • Cupid
  • Yoo-hoo
  • Eyeball
  • Entrance
  • Seafood
  • Wiper
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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
11:44 am
Sun February 16, 2014

Get Ready To Flip Your Lid

NPR

On-air challenge: Today's puzzle is called "One, Two, Three — Flip!" The answer will come in the form of two words, and for each word you'll get a clue beforehand. Reverse the order of the first three letters of the first word to get the second word. Example: Cavalry sword and more villainous = SABER, BASER.

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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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