Make Tech Easier: “Serious Games” Want to Teach You Real Skills

Make Tech Easier: “Serious Games” Want to Teach You Real Skills. “If ‘serious game’ sounds like a bit of an oxymoron to you, you’re not using your imagination to its fullest potential. Don’t worry, though – there’s probably a serious game out there that can help you, just as they’re already helping teach people things like flying planes and cutting better deals.”

Vox: Angry Birds and the end of privacy

Vox: Angry Birds and the end of privacy. “A Pew study published this January found that 76 percent of Americans knew basically nothing about Facebook’s tracking and targeting policies, even though other research shows that most people understand that they shouldn’t trust the company. (Researchers at Georgetown University and NYU recently named it one of the least trusted American institutions, across political parties.) If the tactics of even the largest, most public, most well-documented violator of our privacy are a black box to the average person, what do most of us know about the tactics of, say, a Finnish game developer?”

Ars Technica: Senator Hawley announces bill banning loot boxes, pay-to-win mechanics

Ars Technica: Senator Hawley announces bill banning loot boxes, pay-to-win mechanics. “Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) today announced plans to introduce ‘The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act,’ which would target ‘the exploitation of children through ‘pay-to-win’ and ‘loot box’ monetization practices by the video game industry,’ according to a summary released by Hawley’s office.”

Berkeley News: New online strategy game advances the science of nuclear security

Berkeley News: New online strategy game advances the science of nuclear security. “Love military strategy games like Risk and Diplomacy? Try SIGNAL, a new online game that lets you satisfy your appetite for virtual global domination while simultaneously helping researchers understand the risks of real-world nuclear conflict.”

Boing Boing: Make and share your own GameBoy adventures without learning to code

Boing Boing: Make and share your own GameBoy adventures without learning to code. “GB Studio is a ‘free and easy to use retro adventure game creator for your favourite handheld video game system.’ Use a modern visual scripting interface to create Zelda-style 2D role-playing games that run on the Nintendo Game Boy or standalone on the web.”

Mental Floss: Inside the World’s Only Public Collection of Mechanical Puzzles

New-to-me: a database of mechanical puzzles. “The collection is named after Jerry Slocum, a Chicago-area native who started donating his personal collection of puzzles to the library in 2006. The library now has over 34,000 mechanical puzzles, which, unlike jigsaw and crossword puzzles, tend to feature interconnected pieces that must be physically manipulated in order to solve the problem…. An online database of the collection lets users search by the puzzle’s date of creation, designer, maker, or classification.”