Sarasota Tribune: Sarasota special-needs mom goes viral on TikTok, sparks positive gamer movement. “A Sarasota mother and a dog food factory worker from Pennsylvania have teamed up to create a safe haven for children with disabilities to play video games online. Fed up with her special-needs son being ignored, Linda Espada sparked the movement after a TikTok rant went viral.”
Michigan Daily: The Summer of Farming Simulations. “Farming sims are games in which the player typically grows and harvests crops, raises animals, and decorates their farm. There is also a large social component to most games in the genre, often involving both friendship and romance through a system of talking with the various townsfolk, giving them gifts and leveling up your relationship. These bonds and activities are not just vital to the experience of each game but have also helped me grow in unexpected ways in real life.” Sometimes you just want to fire up Stardew Valley and go fishing for a few hours.
CNET: Epic Games is shutting down Houseparty, its video chat app for gamers. “Epic Games is shutting down its video chat service Houseparty, the company announced Thursday. The move comes two years after Epic acquired the app back in 2019.”
GR+: Animal Crossing: New Horizons online exhibition opens at the National Videogame Museum. “Created with the intention of acting as a time capsule, documenting fans’ experiences with the game during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Animal Crossing Diaries exhibition features a tonne of fan-written letters all of which detail how impactful the game has been over the last 18 months. ”
Google Blog: Check out the highlights from the Indie Games Festival. “Every year Google Play, hosts the Indie Games Festival, a competition that rewards high quality indie games with promotional opportunities and supports small mobile games developers. We also host the Indie Games Accelerator, an educational and mentorship program to help high potential studios grow their business. Last weekend, some of the best indie game creators from Europe, South Korea and Japan, as well as players from around the world, got together at the Festival’s finals.”
Daily Wildcat: Why Twitch streaming is so addictive. “Clearly, there is an appeal to video game streaming, but what exactly is up with the hype? Well, I could ask the exact same question to someone who watches football games. What the two forms of entertainment have in common is gratification for the viewer. And luckily for us, there have been scientific studies conducted that illustrate the influence that gratification has, especially within a gaming setting.”
Hypebeast: Roblox Introduces Voice Chat With ‘Spatial Voice’ Beta. “Roblox is introducing a new voice chat feature called “Spatial Voice,” starting with an invitation-only beta for select developers, the gaming platform announced on Thursday.” Interesting, comes very soon after Clubhouse announced its own spatial audio feature. I’m not trying to imply they’re copying, just that audio seems like a new focus of social networks.
CNET: Facebook adds fantasy gaming to its iOS, Android apps. “Facebook is getting into fantasy gaming on iOS and Android, it revealed Wednesday. It launched Facebook Fantasy Games on the Facebook app in the US and Canada, letting you make predictions about sports and TV shows.”
The Quint: Google Doodle Celebrates Tokyo Paralympics 2020 with Champion Island Games. “After almost a month of celebrating the inauguration of Tokyo Olympics 2020, Google Doodle is back with its Champion Island Games. This time to celebrate the spirit of Tokyo Paralympics 2020. Champion Island is an animated athletics game, in which you have to defeat each sport champion to collect all seven sacred scrolls and complete the hidden challenges across the game.”
Make Tech Easier: Minecraft vs. Roblox: Which Is Best for You or Your Child?. “Minecraft vs. Roblox is a big battle between two of the leading sandbox games. They both let players build and explore worlds, go on adventures alongside others, and create something akin to using digital Lego bricks. Even so, there are differences you’ll want to know about before choosing one. This post will look at Minecraft vs. Roblox in a number of areas, and which one’s best for you (or your child).”