Friday Buffet: 'Angry Birds' launch into orbit and how not to handle an Internet outage

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"Angry Birds Space" is Finland's way of taunting us for our severe lack of progress with our space program since the 1960s.

News Roundup

•••• Like the Muppets and the Russians before them, the "Angry Birds" have taken to space. You can download the game now. I haven't reached the ending yet but I've already got a strongly-worded email to Rovio about it saved as a draft just in case. [Rovio]


•••• Lawmakers in California and Virginia are proposing a bill that would require almost all video games to carry a warning label stating "exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior." That makes me so angry I just want to go and punch a defenseless person and steal their coins. [GameTrailers]

•••• The Xbox 360 version of "Minecraft" has its release date set for May 9th, when it will be available as a $20 download on Xbox Live. Look I'm a pretty big nerd, and "Minecraft" seems even too nerdy for my tastes. [USAToday]


•••• A small Indiana town will teach visitors its history through a specially created video game. That sound you just heard was me crumpling up my "Parks and Recreation" spec script. [WLS]

•••• In other midwestern small town gamification news, high school teachers in Minnesota are using a business simulator to teach their students how to turn a dime. What, too good for "Monopoly"? [Fox 21 News]

Tweet of the Week

"So if the government comes knocking, games are art. But when we hate the ending, they're products and the customer is always right. Got it." -@BrendanSinclair

Blowing Off Steam

Well, it only took a month for this feature to come back around to everyone's favorite digital game purchasing platform: Steam.

Yesterday, the Internet and VoIP phones at my office went dark. As it's my job to coordinate the restoration efforts when this happens, it was a fairly busy day even without access to all my usual workload.  However, there was a two-hour window where I had to wait for a technician to show up. So, I couldn't work, but I also couldn't leave.

I thought, "This will be a great time to catch up on a few games I bought on Steam and haven't really had a chance to play yet." Keep in mind, these are games that I paid for, downloaded, and installed.


No dice. I looked up on the Steam support site, and you know what they tell you to do to play in "Offline Mode"? First, go online and enable this feature! Every time you want to play offline! This infuriated me so much I think I took it out on the Comcast tech. Sorry dude, I actually don't hope your job is one day outsourced to a robot.

I'm sure Valve has their reasons for creating such a service, but let me make a bold prediction: a day is coming when they will be sunk. Take a look at what comedians Louis C.K. and Aziz Ansari just discovered. They released their most recent comedy albums directly through their own websites. You paid them a fair price directly, and they gave you their product to enjoy as you saw fit, asking that you kindly not pirate or torrent it. This is not unlike when Apple finally gave up on DRM for the iTunes store.

That day is coming for games, and boy can it not get here soon enough.

Loading For Next Week

You be Maverick, I'll be Goose, and we'll review "Top Gun: Hard Lock." We'll also check out "Ninja Gaiden 3," so now would be the time to brush up on your credible ninja information. We'll also talk to the developer making mobile gaming magic right here in Baltimore. If that fails to peak your interest, I'll do a slideshow of my top 400 "Game of Thrones" characters.

Really Important Video


What's that you say, there are other games out right now besides "Mass Effect 3"? Don't tell that to the people who make videos on the Internet. To add some levity to the whole "Mass Effect 3" ending saga, someone did an "Animal House"-style ending that is pure gold. (SPOILERS)