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Lose all your money to an Ellen DeGeneres-themed slot machine


 
Ellen DeGeneres is so very likeable that nobody is going to mind at all that she stands to make a huge wad of moolah from the what can in many cases be presumed to be the problem gambling habits of thousands of lower-income Americans.

When your face is on a device that will be used to vacuum all the spare change out of patrons’ pockets, you can’t exactly hide the fact. Ellen announced the new machines last year on her site. Her website also has a “finder” so you can make your way to the slot machines more easily. There are currently four in the San Francisco area, five in the Los Angeles area, two in the Chicago area, and so on.

“From the first spin of the reels, the famously familiar Ellen theme song emanates from each game and players are transported to the set of their favorite TV hour,” says International Game Technology, which its website identifies as “the industry’s leading manufacturer of gaming machines.” Phil O’Shaughnessy, director of Global Corporate Communications for IGT, said the following:
 

If you think about the show, there are so many icons from the show, be it the red chair, the sunglasses, even the boxer shorts. They really lend themselves nicely to a video slot environment. The other thing is, Ellen’s all about laugh dance play, and we really embrace that concept, realizing that some of the elements, such as “Know or Go” or “Wheel of Riches,” would actually make excellent bonus rounds in a slot environment as well.

 

 
There are actually three Ellen-themed games, “Ellen’s Dance Party,” “Ellen’s Know or Go” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show 12 Days of Giveaways.”

“Casino gambling expert” Al Moe hilariously opines that “the huge Ellen photos are a bit creepy, as her eyes seem to follow you around the slot floor.” However, the San Francisco Chronicle reported yesterday that the new machines are a hit, “drawing crowds”—a representative from some casino indicated that “it’s not unusual to see a crowd standing around the machines, laughing at what transpires while people play,” according to the Chronicle.
 

 
via SFist
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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‘Social Justice Warriors’: Video game simulates arguing with assholes on the internet
03.23.2015
07:36 am

Topics:
Activism
Games

Tags:
video games
social justice


 
When I first heard there was a video game called Social Justice Warriors which simulated Internet arguing, I (errantly) assumed that in the wake of the gamergate controversy, the title was invoking a pejorative use of “social justice.” Upon further investigation, I learned that the titular Social Justice Warriors are indeed the heroes in this turn-based RPG, battling “trolls” in a virtual simulation of every dumb Internet comment-thread ever.

The “warriors” in this crusade are based on standard medieval fantasy RPG heroes.  The game characters are described on the game’s Steam site:

Social Justice Paladins duel foes with 140 characters or less while shrugging off attacks with a press of the Block button, at least until their foes create new accounts.

Social Justice Clerics serve in the name of their patron sub-deity, taking solace in its comforting presence to heal and summoning its divine power to smite their enemies.

Social Justice Mages conjure powerful constructs of fact and opinion to alter minds and reality… while occasionally summoning an activist organization or hurling a scathing fireball of a blog post.

Social Justice Rogues fight fire with fire. Throw flurries of vitriolic character attacks, confuse enemies with smokescreens of alternate accounts, then delete your accounts and withdraw into the shadows of the net.

 

 
JJ Shepherd, a video game historian, developer, and gaming researcher at the University of South Carolina, hipped me to the game and clarified the play:

Briefly describe the gist of what happens in a game of Social Justice Warriors.

Shepherd: Once a warrior is chosen, the battle against waves of trolls begins. The resources you’re given are simple but highly indicative of what it takes to argue on social media. “Sanity” can be thought of as health and strength. It corresponds to how effective your arguments are and how angry you are. For instance, if your sanity is low and you are reaching a boiling point, then attacks are far less effective as they start lacking coherency.“Reputation” is an interesting resource system. If the player has a high enough reputation they will gain favor with other social justice warriors, and they will bandwagon, helping the player fight. It can also be used to launch personal attacks against the troll (at a price).

Using these resources the player can launch one of four different attacks each turn. A logic attack targets the troll’s sanity, but has a low chance of accuracy—so while your logic is sound the troll is probably going to ignore it. Then there is the personal attack, which goes for the troll’s reputation and has a high chance of accuracy. While this can be a powerful anger inducing attack, it takes away from your reputation. A mixed attack combines the best of logic and personal attack, and in so you prove your point while calling them stupid, but keeps your reputation intact. Finally the special attack depends on the warrior. For instance the cleric will heal its sanity by talking in their sub-forums “/r deity,” or the rogue will dig up a scandal to completely defame the troll. Whoever’s sanity or reputation is depleted first is the loser of the battle. If the player wins they go on to face more powerful trolls.

It sounds like the SJW tactics are not so much different from what the trolls get up to. Can the game be beat, or is this a Professor Falken style lesson of “the only way to win the game is not to play?”

Shepherd: I’d agree with that to a degree. It reveals many truths about arguing with people on the Internet. It never matters who’s right, and all that matters is feeling like you won a pissing contest with idiots. It’s interesting to note the trolls are applying the same tactics against you, which reveals in many ways social justice warriors are also trolls in their own right. I haven’t been able to beat it yet, but I believe that’s what they’re going for. As hard as you fight you keep having to go against more and more trolls until eventually you give up and walk away from your keyboard. Is it worth sacrificing sanity and your reputation trying to prove a point? I believe their stance is “no.”
 

 
If our assumptions are correct, this time-waster is a statement on time-wasting—but without all the hurt feelings and impotent death-threats.

If this sounds like an ideal waste of your time, and you want to try Social Justice Warriors first-hand, the game can be purchased for eight dollars on Steam

...Or just scroll down to our comments section, and get a face full of the real thing.

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Discussion
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Hear the ‘Ziggy Stardust’ orchestral remix made but not used for Disney’s ‘Fantasia’ videogame


 
This morning Dangerous Minds pal Chris Holmes (he’s been all over the media recently with his “Anti-Paparazzi” clothing line) sent over the Soundcloud files of a couple of the “Ziggy Stardust” remixes produced, but ultimately not used, for Disney’s Fantasia videogame.

Although the remixes are simply wonderful as heard here, when Chris demoed the songs for me in his studio, he showed me his innovative idea for the game, which would have allowed the player to “parallel remix” (or “conduct”) the song on the fly, as with Ableton Live, or a similar program.

The idea for the remixes was to create fourteen separate remixes simultaneously in Ableton, and then have all of those tracks available in groups (drums, lead lines, strings, vocals, guitars) available to the user in the game to make their own remix each time they play the game.  I think the concept of parallel remixing has a lot of potential in the VR, webspace, and future Oculus like worlds where users actions determine the how the music develops. It’s been sitting on my hard drive for almost two years now. The remixes turned out great, but I think the most important thing is turning people on to the concept of parallel remixing.

You could strip it down to the original version at any point or to a totally acoustic version, or go totally orchestral. These mixes have elements of each. It was very difficult because the timing had to remain in time with the original Bowie song which speeds up and slows down around 15 bpm over the course of the song.  It would be far easier to do it with a consistent bpm.

 

 

This is the second version of our Fantasia “parallel remix” of “Ziggy Stardust.” This one is more electro dubstep, playing the game you can morph between any of the mixes and make your own using the game controller.

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Edward Gorey’s ‘anxious, irritable’ tarot card set is predictably perfect
02.24.2015
10:04 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Games
Occult

Tags:
Edward Gorey
tarot


 
Since he supplied us with a visual vocabulary for cutesy dread over many decades, perhaps it comes as no surprise that Edward Gorey designed a set of whimsical tarot cards. The set is called the “Fantod Pack,” the word fantod signifying “a state of worry or nervous anxiety, irritability” and thus possibly the most Edward Gorey word ever. (David Foster Wallace was fond of the word as well, using the phrase “howling fantods” multiple times in Infinite Jest; the main clearinghouse website for DFW information is called The Howling Fantods.) 

Not surprisingly, Gorey’s tarot set is (a) not precisely a tarot set, (b) reflexively downbeat, (c) more like a parody of a tarot set, and (d) utterly hilarious. Seriously, and I know that he is known for this style of humor, but looking over the Fantod Pack will give you a whole new appreciation for the possibilities of the deadpan mode of humor. Why is the “Stones” card so funny, when it’s just a little drawing of three plinths of varying size? Somehow the silly self-seriousness of the project is communicated. The backs of the cards feature a typically Goreyish creature called a “Figbash.” Here’s one now:
 

 
Authorship of the Fantod Deck is attributed to a “Madame Groeda Wyrde,” which might engage the minds of those of you who enjoy anagrams. The instructions are as hilarious as the other elements of the set, as for instance:
 

Interpretation must always depend on the character and circumstances of the person consulting the pack. What might portend a wipe-out for a teenage hotdogger from Yokohama, might warn an octogenarian spinster in Minot, North Dakota, of a fall in the bathtub, though, of course, the results might come to much the same thing.

 
Ahem: “To read your fortune, first shuffle the pack and take it in your left hand. Stand in the centre of a sparsely furnished room and close your eyes. Fling the pack into the air. Keep your eyes closed. Pick up five cards and place them face up in the form of a cross.” Then you’re supposed to read the cards in the following fashion. The center card shows your current situation, the top card depicts “something from the past that continues to affect your future,” on the left is your “inner self,” the card on the right shows “the outer world,” and the bottom card displays “something about to come into being in the near future.”
 

 
Every card comes with an evocative list of associated words, and these too are simply brilliant. Unfailingly austere and morbid—nobody’s meeting a dark & handsome stranger in this set—the peculiar word choices only enhance the grim comedy, with bizarre words like chagrin, bêtise, megrims, impetigo, catarrh, inanition, cafard, barratry, and champerty lending everything a flushed air of erudite and anemic horror.

Some sources falsely attribute the deck to the 1995, which is when Gorey made the first set available. Its origins actually trace back to an issue of Esquire in the 1960s. An unauthorized deck was printed in 1969, after which an authorized limited edition of 776 copies was created (750 numbered, and 26 lettered) in 1995. Since 2007 it is available as an unlimited deck; you can get it from Amazon for about ten bucks. Copies of the 1995 limited edition set run much, much higher, though—there are three of them available on Amazon for $450 each.   
 

“The Sea”
January / wasting / loss of ears / an accident in an elevator / lurching sickness / cracks / false affection / vapors / a secret enemy / misdirection / demons / estrangement / chagrin

 

“The Limb”
February / miscarriage of justice / gapes / a forged snapshot / morbid sensations / a useless sacrifice / alopecia / a generalized calamity / broken promises / ignominy / an accident in a theatre / fugues / poverty

 

“The Stones”
March / a forged letter / paralysis / false arrest / falling sickness / evil communications / estrangement / a sudden affliction / anemia / strife / a distasteful duty / misconstruction

 
The rest of this great tarot deck is after the jump…..

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Cold case playing cards highlight unsolved murders
01.20.2015
09:33 am

Topics:
Crime
Games

Tags:
police
murder
cards


James Foote, Florida (SOLVED)
 
In 2007 the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Department of Corrections, and the Attorney General’s Office worked with the Florida Association of Crime Stoppers to forge a new way to solve some of the state’s unsolved cases. It’s a regular deck of cards in which the face of each card features a photograph and some factual information about an unsolved homicide or missing persons case. In July 2007, 100,000 decks of cold case playing cards (two decks highlighting 104 unsolved cases) were distributed to inmates in the Florida’s prisons. Two cases, the murder of James Foote and the murder of Ingrid Lugo, were solved as a result.

Connecticut and Indiana have also taken up this idea, and produced decks of cards with homicide victims (sometimes missing persons) on them. We found a few images of the cards to show you. A friend of mine gave me a deck of the Connecticut set at a party recently, where they made quite the impression. They’re a little bit reminiscent of the “Iraqi Most-Wanted” playing cards that coalition forces distributed after the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
 

Maurice White, Indiana
 

Linda Weldy, Indiana
 

 

Ingrid Lugo, Florida (SOLVED)

More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Scenes from ‘A Clockwork Orange’ recreated using Grand Theft Auto V


 
A pretty impressive homage to Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 masterpiece A Clockwork Orange hosted by Grand Theft Auto Online on YouTube. It took more than a dozen people to recreate some of the most iconic scenes from the movie using Grand Theft Auto V. Now I’ve played GTA a few times myself—this was years ago, btw—and I can’t figure out for the life of me just how they were able to recreate a few of these scenes. Incredible work!


 
With thanks to Edward Ludvigsen!

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Nerd Alert: The Internet Archive releases thousands of classic MS-DOS games
01.07.2015
09:46 am

Topics:
Games
Science/Tech

Tags:
Video Games

Oregon Trail
 
If you like your game play pixelated and your background music repetitively bleeping, or if you just want to take a look at how far along video game design has come over the last thirty-or-so years, you’re in luck! The Internet Archive has just released a collection of over 2,000 MS-DOS games that you can play through your Internet browser right now.

The collection, which you can find here, holds some popular titles you’ll probably recognize if you’re of a certain digital vintage including Q-bert, Ms. Pac Man, The Oregon Trail, Double Dragon and a couple of titles from the Street Fighter series, to name just a few. You’ll also find lesser known (at least to me) games, some of which are bound to generate a laugh or two such as Sex Vixens from Space, Tongue of the Fat Man and the inexplicable Captain Bible in the Dome of Darkness.

By the way, the page for these selections warns that the “EM-DOSBOX in-browser emulator” used to play these games can be a little buggy. So watch out for that I guess.

Below you’ll find a clip just over 13 minutes long of somebody playing the aforementioned Tongue of the Fat Man created in 1989 that might give you an idea of the kind of wacko video game action that we’re talking about here in some cases.
 

 

Posted by Jason Schafer | Discussion
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F**ktionary: The board game for cunning linguists


 
If you know your “Pearl Necklace” from your “Red Rocket” then you’ll probably love F**ktionary—the board for (im)mature players who have an impressive knowledge of filthy words.
 
11fcktnry11.jpg
 
The game is a bit like Viz Comic‘s Profanisaurus, which as regular readers to that robust organ (fnnar, fnnar...) know is the world’s foremost dictionary of crudeness, rudeness and profanity. Viz encourage readers to send in their amusing and often obscene definitions for slang words which are then added to the “Das Krapital” of profane language.
 
ccfcktnrycc.jpg
 
F**ktionary is played by four players and a set of 300 specially embossed definition cards from which one player gives a word, say “Etch-a-Sketch” which the other three then have to define to the best of their dirty imaginations. Of course there are a few bogus words slipped in to keep the game lively and the minds dirty.
 
bbfcktnrybb.jpg
 
If you think you’re up to the challenge and can separate your “Chug Nuts” from your “Turkish Delight” then order F**ktionary here.
 

 
Via Nerdcore.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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People who paid six bucks for shit from Cards Against Humanity were startled to receive just that
12.16.2014
10:00 am

Topics:
Amusing
Games

Tags:
Cards Against Humanity


 
Everyone’s favorite grassroots card game company Cards Against Humanity pulled off a neat trick a couple of weeks ago, grossing—hehe, “gross”—$180,000 (!) by offering some addlepated customers an opportunity to buy “Bullshit” for six dollars on that most maniacally consumerist day of the year, Black Friday. They removed all of their products from their online store on the day after Thanksgiving and instead sold 30,000 instances of “Bullshit.” People can’t say they weren’t warned, either—the product billed as a “once-in-a-lifetime offer” promised to include “literal feces, from an actual bull” that “looks, smells, and tastes like shit. Because it is.”

Over the last week or so the boxes of poop have been distributed all over the country—nay, the world—and customers are somehow still poleaxed that their promised packages didn’t actually contain some awesomely fun surprise gift, like when you paid to see that band South of Hell because your asshole cousin swore that it was actually Slayer playing a super secret gig but it turned out to be just a regular satanist speed metal band? Yeah, it was a lot like that.

Here’s a mildly repulsive and hilarious “unboxing” video that shows some dude using his fingers to break apart the poop to see if there is an excellently nifty secret Cracker Jack prize hidden in the poop. But there isn’t, because he spent six bucks for bullshit “hand-packaged inside a custom bullshit box,” and that’s what he got.
 

 
via Uproxx

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Hawkwind’s ‘Galactic Tarot’ deck, 1971
12.02.2014
10:44 am

Topics:
Games
Music
Occult

Tags:
Hawkwind
tarot


 
A couple of weeks ago Arthur’s Jay Babcock tweeted that he had stumbled upon a fascinating two-page Hawkwind spread while “trolling thru the online International Times archive.” It turns out it wasn’t just any Hawkwind spread, it was a full Hawkwind tarot deck! Here’s a look at the spread, rotated 90 degrees. (If you click on the image, you can see a much larger version.)
 

 
This spread appeared in Issue 117 of International Times, or IT, which bears a publication date of November 18, 1971, a date that coincides neatly with the release of Hawkwind’s second album, In Search of Space or X In Search of Space, depending on who you ask, which had come out just a few weeks earlier. Linking to Babcock’s tweet a couple of days later, John Coulthart speculated, “Is this an overlooked Barney Bubbles design?”

Bubbles had designed the cover for In Search of Space, which featured a die-cut interlocking foldout. Coulthart himself designed the covers for the 1980s Hawkwind comps Zones and Out & Intake. According to Paul Gorman’s Reasons to Be Cheerful: The Life and Work of Barney Bubbles, Coulthart once credited Bubbles with inventing “cosmic art nouveau” in his early work for Hawkwind.

For any readers of IT wanting to make a deck of their own, the following instructions are provided: “Paste this page down onto a stiff sheet of cardboard. Wait till it’s dry. Then cut out each card until you have a pack of 21. Shuffle and deal into three rows of seven. Read the image / word combinations thus formed. The Galactic Tarot does not speak of the future or the past, for all galactic time is contained in the present.” Yeah, man, faaaar out….. (Cannabis and quaaludes are not mentioned.) If you’d like help deciphering the text, this page is very helpful.

Here are the cards. The text on the cards is a little bit puzzling. If you forgive a transposed word or two, the cards contain the full text of two Hawkwind songs: “Born to Go” and “Infinity.” (If you order the cards Earth-Atlantis-Pluto-Jupiter-Flying Saucer-Sun-Pyramid-Alien-Horus-Machine, you get the verses and chorus for “Born to Go,” and if you order the cards Winged Hero-Icarus-Mercury-Time Card-Aquarian Age-Galaxy-Mars-Saturn-Venus-Infinity, you get the verse and chorus for “Infinity.”) The truly bizarre thing is that neither of those songs appears on In Search of Space—“Born to Go” first appears on the live album Space Ritual, which was released in 1973, while listeners had to wait eight solid years, until 1979’s PXR5, to hear “Infinity.” (Since not everything works out so neatly, the left-over “Space” card has a line from “Black Corridor.”)
 

Earth: “We Were Born to Go / We’re Never Turning Back”
Pyramid: “We Were Born to Go / As Far As We Can Find”
 

Atlantis: “We Were Born to Go / And Leave a Running Track”
Flying Saucer: “We Were Born to Blaze / A New Clear Way Through Space”
 

Space: “Space Is the Absence of Time and of Matter”
Alien: “We Were Born to Blow / To Blow the Human Mind”
 

Time Card: “Infinity So Beautiful / Has Turned My Soul to Ice”
Machine: “We’re Hatching Our Dreams”
 

Sun: “A Way Out of the Maze / That Held the Human Race”
Winged Hero: “I Used to Be of Human Kind / I Had a Life to Lead”
 

Galaxy: “I Met Her in a Forest Glade / Where Starbeams Grew Like Trees”
Horus: “We’re Breaking Out of Our Shell / We’re Breaking Free”
 

Icarus: “But Now I’m Frozen in a Dream / My Life Is Lost It Seems”
Aquarian Age: “And Crystallized Eternity / For All My Future Time”
 

Infinity: “In a Dream / Infinity”
 

Mars 12a: “I Did Not Take Her for a Witch / She Wasn’t What She Seemed”
Jupiter 12b: “We Were Born to Learn / We Were Born to Grow”
 

Saturn 12c: “She Led Me to a Palace Gate / With Constellation Towers”
Venus 12d: “She Is the Keeper of My Fate / I Sleep Locked in Her Powers”
 

Pluto 12e: “We Were Born to Go / And Leave No Star Unturned”
Mercury 12f: “She Turned the Key / Of Endlessness and Locked Me”
 
“Born to Go”:

 
“Infinity”:

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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