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  Games for Lunch, Breakfast  
 
 
Posted 2007-06-07 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Kyle Orland has set great expectations for regular game criticism with his new blog, Games for Lunch. One game, one lunch-hour, one review per day. Orland's "playlog" (plog?) attempts to determine if a game's worth playing after an hour, a fair enough pursuit. If a game can't grab a player in 60 minutes, is it worth playing? In my experience, not usually.

If you're the type to skip lunch, I recommend games for breakfast. Or rather, I would recommend games for breakfast if they didn't come printed on Pop Tarts. Kellog's and Hasbro teamed up last year to provide over 200 edible Trivial Pursuit questions for distribution through the Pop Tart platform. Brings new meaning to tabletop games when one can eat the playing pieces, doesn't it? Given the shelf-life of "food" such as Pop Tarts, I reckon you'll be able to enjoy edible Trivial Pursuit for decades to come.
 
     
 
   
 
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  Redpoint Ventures:  Smart Money, Virtual Worlds  
 
 
Posted 2007-03-29 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
I'd like to thank Redpoint Ventures for graciously inviting me to a gathering at a swank Tribeca restaurant last night. The Menlo Park-based investment firm was in town for the Virtual Worlds 2007 conference, and took the opportunity to meet with a group of major players and other brainiacs in the virtual-worlds space. I'll spare you the name-dropping, but it was a pleasure to share an evening with the team from Redpoint and the invited virtual-worldists (hat tip to Glitchy for "worldist"), many of whom I hadn't yet met in person.

The guys from Redpoint are taking a hard look at opportunities and challenges in this space after having already invested in Gaia Online. In my opinion, there's been a lot of crazy money thrown at virtual worlds lately (and much more to come), but Redpoint and a few other investors like Charles River are playing it smart.
 
     
 
   
 
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  Luncheon With the Stars  
 
 
Posted 2007-03-10 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
This year's SXSW is turning out to be even more social than last year--not that the panels aren't interesting, just that the impromptu get-togethers are more engaging (as is the way with conferences, apparently). Today I had the pleasure of lunching with this morning's ARG panel, specifically with fellow Torontonian Evan Jones, displaced Brits Dan Hon and Alice Taylor, the wise Brooke Thompson, and the crafty Brian Clark. Fruity drinks FTW! I'd met everyone in the posse previously except Alice, who turned out to be as clever, punchy and charming in person as her writing suggests. Yay!

Over lunch I learned that "The Ocular Effect," (aka Fallen alternate reality game) a project I worked on last summer with Toronto's Xenophile Media, has been nominated for a SXSW Web Award in the "Experimental" category. Luckily Evan Jones (creative director), Thomas Wallner (co-producer), and myself (game designer) are all here in Austin in case the stage needs rushing.
 
     
 
   
 
  2 comments  
  Country Style Says “LOL”  
 
 
Posted 2006-11-22 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Country Style Says “LOL”
lol?
"lol" says the Country Style coffee cup. But why? Is it part of a marketing campaign targeting people who are conversant in chatspeak, 1337, or gamerspeak? From what I gather, there's some sort of contest involved. If you don't win, a Country Style coffee cup apparently mocks your misfortune with a terse "lol." How about a hot cup of STFU, Country Style?
 
     
 
   
 
  7 comments  
  Burger King Rules ‘Fight Night Round 3’ Reality  
 
 
Posted 2006-04-12 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
While I knew Burger King had wedged its brand into Fight Night Round 3's boxing trunks, I wasn't aware of how crass the effort really was. GameCritics.com contributor Scott Jones writes "In Fight Night Rd. 3 (EA) you can 'hire' the Burger King as your fighter's cornerman (he gives your stat ratings a heart boost, making it easier to get up from knockdowns). And every time I put an opponent on the canvas, the announcer tells me that this particular knockdown is 'brought to you by Dodge.'"

Here we have Burger King giving a boxer extra stamina through a "heart boost." This is the opposite of what I'd expect from a Burger King diet, and at the very least seems totally unrealistic. Along similar lines, when McDonald's scored product-placement in The Sims Online, in-game character stats could be boosted by munching on the fatty food. In the game 50 Cent: Bulletproof, players are apparently able to recover from wounds by drinking the Formula 50 fortified beverage. I don't think it's such a good idea to artificially inflate the attributes of an in-game brand. But associating Burger King with heart health sounds just plain dangerous.
 
     
 
   
 
  1 comments  
  Organic Backup System  
 
 
Posted 2006-01-12 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
The BBC reports that the Norwegians plan to create a sealed Arctic repository containing seeds for all known crops on Earth. The vault will reportedly be dug out of a sandstone mountain about 600 miles from the North Pole, and is designed to "withstand global catastrophes like nuclear war or natural disasters that would destroy the planet's sources of food." Apparently there are around 1,400 such seed banks worldwide. This way, when man genetically-modifies its food-supply into an unrecognizable mess, we can just burn everything to the groud and dip into the bank for backup.
 
     
 
   
 
  5 comments  
  Food Tag Added  
 
 
Posted 2005-09-30 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Just like the headline suggests, I've added a "food" tag to the taxonomy here at Clickable Culture. To my surprise, I have written nearly 30 blog posts related to food since 1999 (probably more if I could be bothered to read through the first couple of years). Shocking for a blog that isn't really about food.
 
     
 
   
 
  4 comments  
  Head of Meat  
 
 
Posted 2005-09-30 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Crafty site Not Martha suggests making a Meathead for Halloween. The deadly delicacy involves slathering a lifelike plastic human skull in red jelly and ham for use as an appetizer. While the illustrated how-to delivers what it promises, it fails to suggest the obvious: Removing the top of the skull to reveal a salmon mousse, meatloaf, pumpernickel dip or liver pate. Eating someone's face off is fine, but the brain is the best part! [thanks to my wife for the link]
 
     
 
   
 
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  Food Violence and Our Children  
 
 
Posted 2005-02-14 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
A pre-teen Michigan boy reportedly stabbed his sister when she refused to hand over a microwavable chicken pot pie. This is only the latest in a string of near-deadly food-related attacks in America. Last fall, two Georgia schoolgirls allegedly served their classmates a deadly cake, while last summer a group of girls planned to create a computer game entitled "Dr. Evil Stinky and the Poison Cake."

Food has always been an influence on children, but it seems food-related violence is on the rise. The solution to this modern problem is to limit the exposure of young people to food. If governments will not regulate food-exposure, we must look to the food industry to self-regulate and either refrain from selling food to minors or clearly label food based on age-appropriateness. For example, "E" might indicate that the food is safe for Everyone, whereas an "M" might indicate that the food should only be sold to legal ("Mature") adults.

Clearly any sort of pie or cake should be an M-rated food.
 
     
 
   
 
  2 comments  
  McDonald’s Picks on 4-Year-Olds  
 
 
Posted 2005-01-31 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
AdAge.com reports that McDonalds' clown mascot is visiting elementary schools to bring tidings of healthy eating choices. A McD's executive reportedly said that the corporation is addressing 4- to 7-year-olds in its advertising, aiming mainly at 6-year-olds. The visits, entitled "Ronald Live and in Person," are approved by the Academy of Pediatrics, who has partnered with McDonald's in the past, ironically in an effort to immunize children against 10 preventable diseases. Heart disease doesn't seem to have made it onto the list.

The American Psychological Association said last year that "children under the age of eight are unable to critically comprehend televised advertising messages and are prone to accept advertiser messages as truthful, accurate and unbiased. This can lead to unhealthy eating habits as evidenced by today’s youth obesity epidemic."
 
     
 
   
 
  2 comments  
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Dinozoiks wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... http://www.dino.co.uk/labs/2008/45-tips-when-designing-online-content-for-kids/ Hope it helps someone... Dino...
in Dino Burbidge's '10 Things To Remember When Designing For Kids Online'


yes, many of the free little games are crappy. but as an artist who has recently published free content on the itunes app store,…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


I vote for popup radial menus. Highlight a bit of text, the push and hold, Sims-style radial menu pops up with Copy, Paste, etc....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


Hey Tony! A client of mine is looking to hire an internal Flash game dev team to build at a really cool Flash CCG…
in Dipping Into Toronto's Flash Pool


Yeah, there's a lot of weird common sense things I've noticed they've just omitted from the design. No idea why though....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


It also bears noting there's no mechanism right now for a developer to offer a free trial for the iPhone; the App Store isn't…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


@GeorgeR: It's on my shopping list :) I've heard good things about it as well. And Cro Mag Rally. @andrhia: meh, I don't know…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


...you get what you pay for, you know? I actually bought Trism based on early buzz, and it's truly a novel mechanic. I've been…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


The only one I've heard good things about is Super Monkey Ball. Have you given that a whirl yet?...
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


Advance warning: this frivolent comment is NOT RELATED or even worth your time ... But whenever i hear "Collada", i think of that SCTV…
in Electric Sheep Builds Its Own Flock


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