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  Holding ‘Dead Man’s Hand’  
Posted 2006-06-12 by Tony Walsh
Holding ‘Dead Man’s Hand’
Dead Man's Hand features the sights and sounds of Deadwood.
The PR folks from Canada's Fuel Games let me know that Dead Man's Hand, their latest advergame, has been launched in support of the TV series Deadwood. The series (which I saw for the first time last night) runs on HBO in the US, and The Movie Network in Canada. It's a mud-spattered, gin-soaked view of life and death in an American frontier camp.

Dead Man's Hand was developed using the Virtools software, which is capable of rendering high-quality 3D graphics within a web-browser (plugin required, naturally). At first glance, the object of the game appears to involve playing Texas Hold `Em poker with several key characters, but since I always ended up getting shot, I'm sure there's more to it than that. In addition to playing cards, you can dish out some sly taunts, or whip out your gun to lay waste to the bar. From the little I know of it, the game seems to do justice to the show, at least in terms of its look and feel--the environment and characters are faithful renditions in particular. Dialog from the characters is pulled directly from the TV show, but doesn't integrate very well with the rest of the game--some of the lines are almost Ralph Wiggumesque non-sequitors.

Dead Man's Hand draws players into the world of the TV show with complimentary activities such as gamblin' and drinkin' and shootin'--it's an example of game-based advertising that's low on the crass and high on the class. I'm not sure the game itself has much lasting appeal, but that isn't really the point. Losing the game seems inevitable (I haven't escaped a vengeful bullet yet), and since poker-winnings can be "bequeathed" to a friend (via email), word about Deadwood has the potential to spread like a prairie fire. Too bad the show's in its last season.
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Comment posted by youngbling
May 10, 2007 @ 7:21 pm
any one know how i can get the activation key for dead mans hand
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