Games

Courtesy Tiltfactor

  Some of the most thought-provoking research into how we think about health care is going on at Dartmouth College – and it’s coming out of a game design lab.

Paul L. Dineen via flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/ebu1fU

“Birthday suit”, “in the buff”, “wearing nothing but a smile.” Call it what you will, on today’s show we’ll strip bare the American nudism movement and we’ll explore the progressive-era origins and continuing tensions over what it means to take it all off.

Then, we’ll hear about two young men who embarked on a bold crime spree, stealing thousands in gold and weapons. The hitch? It all went down in a video game. 

Jana Brooks / facebook.com/theknightshall

With the Medieval Combat World Championships just around the corner, Jaye Brooks, senior instructor and owner of The Knights Hall, doesn’t want to risk any late-in-the game injuries. Usually his men would be practicing judo throws and boxing drills while wearing sixty to eighty pounds of armor. Today, they take turns beating on car tires with two-handed axes, swords, and maces.   

Before Maz Jobrani was a panelist on Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, he was an actor trying to get a break. On today’s show, we’ll talk to the Iranian-born comedian about being typecast as a terrorist.

Then, we investigate a problem facing many American workers: food theft. What motivates some people to steal another person’s lunch from the office fridge? We’ll talk about the ethics of office food theft, and answer the age old question: is it ok to use someone else’s salad dressing?

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Artwork By: Kate Adams / kck.st/1zWdSus

There are jobs, and then there are dream jobs. On today’s show we’re featuring good gigs and odd jobs.  From a DJ who lives to uncover rare soul albums and share them with the world, to a woman who studies and creates board games for Dartmouth College’s Tilt Factor game lab. Plus, a broke writer who’d much rather read Dostoyevsky than Fifty Shades of Grey tries to break into the lucrative erotic lit genre.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Rachel via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/dXsYyp

The Oscars are Hollywood’s top award for recognizing achievement in film – and of course, fashion. On today’s show: why some actresses are bucking against the red carpet parade.

Then, for most of us, the prospect of winning a million dollars is a daydream, but for Justin Peters, it was just two right answers away. He’ll explain how losing Who Wants to Be a Millionaire changed his life for the better.

Plus, a conversation with artist, writer and filmmaker Miranda July.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Mark Turnauckas via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/HR2Y2

The Super Bowl is still some time away, but there's plenty of competition taking place in New Hampshire - most notably the Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament at the Derryfield School on Sunday, January 25th.

To get a preview, All Things Considered talked with Ben Dougherty, Head of Upper School at Derryfield, and Jack Miron, a Derryfield sophomore who's organizing the tournament.

Tom Simpson via flickr Creative Commons

The first Star Wars film may have been released 37 years ago, but its hold on the popular imagination remains as strong as Darth Vader’s death-grip. On today’s show, a look at the role fandom has played in the success of the Star Wars franchise.

Plus, from data collection to the latest internet tracking technology, online advertisers go to great lengths to find out who we are and what we like. We’ll enter the world of intelligent marketing to find out just how much, or little, they really know about us.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

8.10.14: The Game Show!

Aug 9, 2014
mbiebusch via flickr Creative Commons

Welcome to the show, and come on down! Wait. Rewind. This isn't that kind of game show - but it is a show all about games. From video games, to board games, to game culture, we spoke with the industry game changers. Our adventurous host Virginia Prescott even took a dive into the virtual world of gaming with a Skyrim sesh for better ("I just swiped at someone pretty mightily!") or worse ("I'm getting slaughtered!"). Check out her experience and gaming pointers here. Is she now a self-proclaimed gamer? Find out on today's show - join us for the fun and games here and on our Twitter and Facebook!

Listen to all the fun of our full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Maureen McMurray

Authored by Sarah Thomas 

We reached out on Facebook to find out what video game you wanted Word of Mouth host Virginia Prescott to play for our game show. Options were limited to Producer Taylor Quimby's Xbox games, which include Call of Duty, Skyrim, Portal 2, BioShock Infinite and Halo 4. The masses ultimately chose Skyrim, drawn to its "Game of Thrones-ness" and option to "pretend to be a stabby turn-of-the-century street urchin." With virtual mace in hand, Virginia bravely took on the world of Skyrim and learned a few lessons along the way.

SamsungTomorrow via flickr Creative Commons

Whether scoping out plasma-screen HDTV’s, or picking up a PlayStation 4, consumers upgrading their entertainment systems this Christmas are generally looking for products promising a better picture, superior sound, or next-generation graphics.  We’ve come a very long way since the VHS and Atari 2600.  So far, in fact, that one may wonder how much better the visuals, sound and graphics on entertainment systems can get – and would the casual user even be able to tell the difference?  

Joining the conversation about where entertainment technology can go from here is Jamin Warren – founder and editor-in-chief at Killscreen, a videogame arts and culture magazine, Slate music columnist Carl Wilson, and, David Ewalt, contributing editor at Forbes.

Leo Reynolds via flickr Creative Commons

The Saturday show is jam-packed jelly-tight with the best from the Word of Mouth archives. Sit back, relax and let the sweet sounds of this public radio audio sandwich be your weekend treat. On this week's show:

  • Would a mirror change your shopping habits? Michael Moss is investigative reporter for the New York Times and winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting. He told us about some interesting new tactics supermarkets are using to influence shoppers.
  • This Soylent is NOT made of people. A new 'food' product is meant to be the perfect replacment for all your daily nutrients. Lee Hutchinson is senior reviews editor at Ars Technica. He lived on Soylent for a full week, and blogged about the experience.

via ofdiceandmen.com

Recounting his relationship with Dungeons and Dragons, David Ewalt writes, “I don’t know if I played D&D because other kids my age thought I was a nerd, or if they thought I was a nerd because I played D&D.”  The progenitor of many of today’s role-playing games has gained a reputation for attracting social outcasts and misfits and as a gateway for teenage boys to consider Satan and suicide. Like millions of kids who played twenty-side die in basements and game rooms across the country, Ewalt grew up…and had less time for a game that could suck up the idle hours of youth. He’s among those picking up the old dice bag for a D&D revival. David Ewalt is now an editor for Forbes, and author of the new book Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons and Dragons and the People Who Play It. It hits stores August 20th.

Logan Shannon

This past weekend, Funspot arcade in Laconia, New Hampshire, played host to the International Classic Video Game Tournament. Gamers from all over the world have been traveling to Funspot for the past 15 years to compete against each other, sometimes on video games that were born long before they were. For many, it's a chance to play rare games that they've only heard about. For others it's a great chance to connect with like-minded friends over a friendly, albeit competitive, game of Tapper.

The competition runs for four days as participants try to post the high score on each of the tournament games. Outside the cordoned-off area reserved for the tournament, the rest of Funspot's American Classic Arcade Museum is open to the public. Mixed in amongst the novice players, you're likely to see world record holders trying to beat their high scores in between their tournament play. I spoke to three gamers who have made the nostalgic trip to Funspot repeatedly, enticed by the pristine machines and the sense of camaraderie among the players.

Special thanks to Derek Janiak for his help wrangling the elusive video gamers in their natural habitat.

Pinball Wizard

May 28, 2013
Kapungo via flickr Creative Commons

In February of 2011, Jon Lynch visited the newly opened Pinball Wizard Arcade in Pelham, New Hampshire, where more than 200 impeccably restored pinball and vintage 80's video games are still luring gamers looking for big-time nostalgia.

Average Jane via Flickr/Creative Commons - http://www.flickr.com/photos/averagejane/7173196970/in/photostream/

Create your own game in a day and a half. That's the challenge awaiting participants in this weekend's New Hampshire Game Jam in Manchester.

Glenn Given and Michael Taylor are organizing the Jam; they sit down with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson to discuss how it works, the gaming scene in the region and what you can learn from trying to create your own games.

The Museum of Modern Art in New York recently added 14 video games to its permanent collection. Killscreen says they helped.

Killscreen co-founder Jamin Warren explains how, and helps us answer the burning question, are video games art?

wootam! via Flickr Creative Commons

I hate Monopoly. Always have. The reason is simple: it's impossible to play the game and feel good, even if you win. Monopoly, simply put, is all about crushing  your fellow players through bankruptcy, even if they're your own kids. Turns out, there might be a reason for my hatred of Monopoly.

The most popular game in the world, according to this amazing article in Harpers, is, simply put, theft. And it has an incredible, almost unbelievable history:

Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons

Part 1: Your Own Personal Jesus:

Fort Meade via Flickr Creative Commons

Games have emerged from the rec room and found a place in the classroom, onto cellphones, advertising, and as we’ll hear, into activism, relationships, and the way we view the world. Colleen Macklin is working to make us more game-literate. She designs games based not on winning or losing, but on learning and experiencing the creative, social and political universe outside the screen.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/myklroventine/3333757313/in/photostream/" target="blank">Mykl Roventine</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

History was made Sunday at Dartmouth College – of a sort, anyway. A team led by Dartmouth senior D. Parker Phinney set a record for the world’s longest Barrel of Monkeys chain. He joins All Things Considered host Brady Carlson to relive the excitement.

(Photo by Gadl via Flickr Creative Commons)

From the competitive scribbling of after-dinner Pictionary, to the endurance-test that is a family game of Monopoly, board games often reveal a great deal about the players around the table...

There's a new kind of technology that may be able to beat you at your own game — at least if your game is a crossword puzzle. Its name is "Dr. Fill," but unlike the TV psychologist, this doctor solves less complicated problems. Its solutions only go down and across.

The computer program will be an unofficial competitor at the 35th annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in New York this week. It was created by Matt Ginsberg's software company, On Time Systems, which specializes in optimization algorithms.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gwilmore/1394399144/in/photostream/" target="blank">gwilmore</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

Every since I was a young boy, I played the... gumball? The Gumball Pinball Machine is a real-life mashup of two iconic machines - turn the gumball machine handle and three candies roll onto a baseball-themed pinball board.

Sadly, losing a ball doesn't mean snack time - it goes back into the rotation.

On a slightly related note, I found what may be the world's greatest pinball dance while writing this column. If the lighting had been better, total meme fodder. Dancing Pinball Player never tilts!