While companies around the world are trying to make games seem more life-like, a few are trying to do the inverse: make life more game-like.
At the latest Web 2.0 Summit, Jane McGonigal talked about how adding game-like features to traditional activities makes them more fun, and ultimately more productive. Such as experience points for doing housework (Chore Wars) and trading virtual favor tokens at work (Seriosity).
BBC News picks up the subject of Seriosity, as well as virtual company meetings in Second Life.
Nolan Bushnell, the man who practically invented the video game (invented Pong and founded Atari, for instance), goes seriously ballistic on modern video games. "Video games today are a race to the bottom. They are pure, unadulterated trash and I'm sad for that," says Bushnell. Instead he recommends board games for social interaction. One of his favorites is Go.
He has also started a project called uWink, which is a chain of restaurants featuring casual video games you play on the table surface.
Callapidder Days writes occasional kid's game reviews that raise the bar for excellent game reviews. (via Buffalo Game Buffs)
Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress is an upcoming book about a woman and the D&D games she loves.
Kate Milani wrote some nice things about three board game blogs in her Blog Watch column in the Wall Street Journal Online. This site was one of them, as was ekted's Gamers Mind and Gone Gaming. You can only access the article if you're subscribed, but Kate was kind enough to send me a copy, which I will pass on to anyone who wants.
Illinois Central College is beginning a video game design degree program which it claims will also be applicable to board game design.
Did you know that there is a special board game and a special collectible card game designed for and available only to children of the U.S. National Guard?
I've written previously about Eye of Judgment, which combined trading cards and a video camera to make an hybrid card and video game. When I first heard of it, it sounded cool. Now that I think about it, it actually looks pretty dumb. You have to look back and forth between the cards and video to play the game. It's horrendously expensive to start playing. And now it looks like most of the cards aren't going to be ready at launch time.
Man shot during a card game catches a flight instead of going to the hospital. After he lands, he finally goes to the hospital. He refuses to press charges. Probably doesn't want to have to testify that he trumped his partner's Ace.
And Shocking Autopsy. Just like the game Operation, but instead of a buzzer going off, you receive a nasty electric shock.