By Dave Gilmore
11:03 AM EDT, April 23, 2012
•••• A trio of geniuses made an art installation that uses real-time traffic data to populate a “Frogger” arcade game. While obviously smacking of a classic “Seinfeld” episode, “5th Ave. Frogger” is a great exercise in “reverse gamification” (a term we possibly just invented). [The Verge]
•••• ”Marvel’s The Avengers” kicks off summer movie season next weekend, and predictably there are going to be multiple video game tie-in titles. Forgive us if we do not hold our breath, given the usual quality of blockbuster movie games release alongside the film. [Forbes]
•••• You know that dystopian future where every kid is an expert at flying unmanned military drones due to years of gaming? It’s here! [CNN]
•••• Kids in a New Zealand study used a specially-developed video game called “SPARX” to combat depression. 44 percent of the students who played the game completely beat depression, compared to 26 percent who entered traditional therapy. [Time]
Out This Week
•••• ”Prototype 2” comes out Tuesday for both the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. This title interests us because it’s a rare turn in storytelling when the protagonist of the original (Alex Mercer) becomes the main antagonist in the sequel. If you’re into super powers, post-apocalyptic warfare and open-world action, this one may be for you.
•••• A pair of PC ports of previously released console games, “Binary Domain” and “Risen 2: Dark Waters” will be available on Friday.
Game Cache Classic
If you have an indie rock band and your name isn’t already “Cobra Triangle,” consider this a freebie. This game was the first NES game we remember that was simply impossible. The levels seem to go on forever and get progressively more insane, which is saying something given the game’s boxart. One of the first isometric shooters, this game was something that only could’ve existed in the late 80s. Speedboats were all the rage back then. You never really hear about speedboats anymore, do you?
Free Mobile Challenge
OK, we haven’t played “Slide” yet, because we can’t quite believe that this is really a thing. But we will be playing it this week. “Slide” seems like some sort of amped-up training regimen for unlocking your iPhone, but maybe there’s something we’re missing here. After all, “Slide” is wildly popular. Or, perhaps the review by Apple user Mneeley18 sums it up best: “don’t bother if you have an IQ higher than a mushroom.”
Really Important Video
Here’s proof that in the spring of 2012, using the words “Hunger Games” and “Minecraft” in your YouTube upload is guaranteed to get you a million views. Click-baiting notwithstanding, this “Hunger Games”-inspired tournament these Minecrafters played gives you an excuse to check out “Minecraft” in action if you also happen to be Team Peeta (barf). Let’s just say I would not be wasting my money on sponsoring the narrator of this thing.
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun