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  • Does Monopoly's Cash-Free AI Banker Teach the Wrong Lessons?
    "An updated version of the classic board game Monopoly has done away with cash entirely and now uses a voice-activated AI banker instead," reports MarketWatch, asking whether this teaches game-players the wrong lessons:

    This is not the first time Monopoly has reflected today's cashless world. A 2006 edition of the game in the United Kingdom featured Visa-branded credit cards instead of paper play money. Similar versions of the game are also available in the U.S. Last year, Hasbro even released a version called Monopoly for Millennials in which players compete to buy experiences rather than real estate.

    The new technology may appeal to kids used to interacting with voice-activated digital assistants such as Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri or Microsoft's Cortana. Financial experts, however, remained on the fence about the game's educational value... By removing the physical element of the game, some argue that Monopoly's usefulness as a tool to teach children about money is reduced. "Removing physical Monopoly money reduces the educational benefit of the game by glossing over the important task of learning to manage and count your money," said Nicole Strbich, director of financial planning at Buckingham Advisors in Dayton, Ohio.

    In the new version of the game, "The omnipotent talking top hat also will yell, 'YOU'RE BANKRUPT!' at you," reports CNET...

    "Hey, Monopoly cheaters. Here's a version that won't let you sneak extra hundreds from the bank or neglect to pay your taxes."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Fortnite Makers Grilled By UK Politicians Over Game Safety
    The makers of Fortnite, one of the most popular video games ever, have been quizzed by member of parliaments in the UK over what measures are taken to protect players of the game. From a report: Epic Games representatives were asked how it ensured users did not spend too much time or money on the game. Legal counsel Canon Pence said this was not something the company currently tracked. This was "extraordinary", said Damian Collins, who chairs the Digital, Culture Media and Sport Committee. "You're the one who has responsibility," he said. The committee hearing was called to examine immersive and addictive technologies. Among the concerns raised by MPs were whether Epic Games did enough to verify the age of players or encourage users to take breaks after long periods of gameplay.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Bernie Sanders Supports Video Game Workers Unions
    U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has taken to Twitter to announce his support for video game workers unions. "In his message, Sanders gives shout-outs to IATSE (the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) and Game Workers Unite, two organizations that have been working to help game creators organize," reports VentureBeat. "He also links to a June 11 Time story about the epidemic of worker burn out occurring in the industry." From the report: Video games make a ton of money, including $43 billion in revenue in 2018 in the U.S. (as Sanders also points out). But the people making games are often overworked and suspect to "crunch," mandatory (and sometimes unpaid) overtime. Recently, stories of unhealthy crunch cultures have surrounded giant game makers like Rockstar and Electronic Arts. Other employees suffer mass layoffs, like at Activision Blizzard earlier this year, even when their companies are big or even record profits. Some studios shut down completely.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Amazon Lays Off Dozens Of Game Developers During E3
    As the video game industry's attention was focused squarely on the final day of the E3 convention in Los Angeles this week, Amazon's video game division quietly laid off dozens of employees. From a report: Amazon Game Studios, which is currently developing the online games Crucible and New World, told affected employees on Thursday morning that they would have 60 days to look for new positions within Amazon, according to one person who was laid off. At the end of that buffer period, if they fail to find employment, they will receive severance packages. Amazon also canceled some unannounced games, that person told Kotaku. The company wouldn't say exactly how many employees it laid off, but confirmed the news when reached by Kotaku today.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Google Made a Video Game That Lets You Build Video Games
    Game Builder is a new video game from Google that allows you to create simple Minecraft-style games for yourself and others to play through. "The game lets you drag and drop characters and scenery into an empty sandbox to construct your world, then use preset commands to string together how things interact," reports The Verge. "It's free to play and available on both Windows and macOS." From the report: The game comes from Area 120, Google's incubator for experimental projects (some of which have quickly disappeared, others of which have made their way into other Google products). Game Builder has actually been available through Steam since November 1st last year (it already has 190 reviews, with a "every positive" score), but Google only publicized it today, which is certain to get a lot more people playing. Game Builder has a co-op mode, so multiple people can build a game together at once. You can also share your creations and browse through the games made by others. The interaction system works with "if this then that" logic, and players can craft their own interactions with JavaScript if they're familiar with it.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Netflix Unveils Plans To Develop Original Shows Into Video Games
    At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) on Wednesday, Netflix shared details of its plans to develop its original shows into video games. Hollywood Reporter reports: Among the program of upcoming games, Stranger Things 3: The Game was highlighted, described by Netflix as "an adventure game that blends a distinctively retro art style with modern gameplay mechanics to deliver nostalgic fun with a fresh new twist." Playing as a character from the show, the user will be tasked with solving puzzles and battling the Mind Flayer. Dave Pottinger, CEO and co-founder of BonusXP, shared that the game will feature old-school graphics.

    Two characters from the game were revealed at the panel: Max, who will exhibit karate kicks and the ability to add fire damage to those kicks; and Eleven, described by Chris Lee, director of Interactive Games at Netflix, as "the most powerful character in the game" -- she will have psychic push power. The game will launch on July 4 and be available on Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One and other consoles. In addition, a special announcement was made at the panel about a Stranger Things mobile hybrid RPG/puzzle game that will launch in 2020. The game is a collaboration with Next Games, which is based out of Helsinki, Finland. Stranger Things isn't the only show that's planning to have its own game. "Netflix show The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics is also set to become a 'turn-based tactics' game challenging fans to recruit an army and act as their commander in a series of campaign battles," the report adds. "No specific date was mentioned, but the game will launch this year on various consoles."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Konami Announces the Turbografx-16 Mini
    An anonymous reader shares a report: Hey, if Nintendo and Sega can do it, then Konami can too. In a surprise E3 announcement, the company is releasing a miniature version of the classic 90s Turbografx-16 console, called the Turbografx-16 mini. If you're wondering why Konami is handling this, the original console was a joint effort between NEC and Hudson. Konami became Hudson's parent company in 2005 and then absorbed its operations in 2012, meaning it owns the brand and all its properties.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Opera Launches Opera GX, World's First Gaming Browser
    Opera Software, the company behind the Opera browser, today launched a custom version of its browser dedicated to online gamers and streamers on Windows platform. From a report: Named Opera GX, the browser comes with dedicated features that let users limit the browser's access to computer resources such as CPU (processor) and RAM (memory). The idea is to provide gamers with a way to navigate the web while leaving resources available for games or streaming applications that the gamer might also be running at the same time. "Running a game might require a lot of effort from your machine. Even more so if you are streaming while you play," said Maciej Kocemba, product director of Opera GX. "Before Opera GX, gamers often shut down their browsers to not slow down their gaming experience. We came up with the GX Control feature to make people's games run more smoothly without requiring them to compromise on what they do on the Web." Besides the GX Control Panel that lets users manage CPU and RAM usage limits, Opera GX also comes with Twitch integration, meaning users can log into their Twitch accounts via the browser's sidebar.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Project Scarlett is the Next Xbox Console, Launching in Holiday 2020
    Project Scarlett is the next Microsoft video game console. Phil Spencer, executive vice president of gaming at the company, announced the hardware during Microsoft's E3 2019 press briefing. From a report: "The console should be optimized for one thing and one thing only," said Spencer, "gaming." Spencer explained the console has been developed by the team responsible for the Xbox One X. A promotional video featuring various Xbox employees promised variable refresh rates, real-time ray tracing, 8K resolution and frame rates up to 120 frames per second, and a new SSD that has upwards of 40 times better performance over the current generation. The tech at the heart of the console -- which Microsoft said is four times as powerful as the Xbox One X -- will be a custom chip based on AMD's Zen 2 and Navi technology.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • New Game Based On 'The Blair Witch Project' Demoed at Microsoft Xbox Event
    "So that Blair Witch reboot wasn't very good. But maybe a video game could change things up?" writes Engadget. Mashable has more details:
    Remember The Blair Witch Project, that viral horror sensation that made waves before social media was even a thing? Well, it's back. And it's an Xbox game.

    Microsoft debuted a first look trailer for Blair Witch during its annual E3 press conference, and it's coming from Layers of Fear developer Bloober. We don't know much. It returns you to the Black Hills Forest, the site of the movie. There's a camcorder. Also, a dog.

    I fear for that dog.


    Kotaku writes that "According to the description the game will be a 'first-person, story-driven psychological horror game based on the cinematic lore of Blair Witch.'"

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



| Date published: 2019-06-25T07:23:17+00:00
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