Sometime in the past few weeks a hacker calling himself Gnosticplayers hacked into Zynga’s Words with Friends database; the Words with Friends hack breached the personal data of more than 218 million Words with Friends players.
Below is the full text of Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s launch announcement of Google Stadia and the Google Stadia Controller, as presented at the 2019 Game Developers Conference this week.
Not content to dominate our email and search world, Google has entered the online gaming market with the launching of Google Stadia (‘stadia’ is the plural of ‘stadium’, so basically Google Stadium, only many of them), and the Google Stadia Controller device. (You can also read the full text of the Google Stadia announcement here.)
As the next generation of 911 systems is being worked on, experts have fears of an increase in swatting incidents. Swatting is the act of calling in a fake emergency call designed to have a SWAT team deployed to the target’s location. Swatting is often attributed to hostility (or a practical joke) between rival online gamers, although of course people who play online games are not the only ones to call in false 911 calls.
Perhaps one of the most frustrating thing about the Zynga game ‘Words with Friends’ is trying to figure out how to resign from (or quit or remove or delete or otherwise end a game – even if you are willing to forfeit the game – of Words with Friends) when it is not your turn. One reason you might want to do this is because the friend with whom you are playing has become unresponsive, particularly if you are maxed out on the number of games you are playing, and so can’t start any new games until some of the other games go away. In such a case, it can be maddeningly frustrating trying to end a game of Words with Friends, when it is not your turn, and your friend has gone missing or nonresponsive for days on end, and so isn’t taking their turns so that you can play the game through to its natural conclusion.
Pokémon Go was released last week, and it seems to have taken over the world. And not just the world, but people’s houses, bathrooms, and even the Westboro Baptist Church. Pokeman Go is an augmented reality app, in which Pokémons are inserted (or superimposed) into real world context on your phone, using both the GPS and the clock. But already bad guys are using it to rob people, and one poor woman unwittingly found a dead body along with her Pokémons.
Last month fans of Flappy Bird were outraged when its maker pulled the app from online stores. The addictive game disappeared from existence although it didn’t actually disappear from devices that had previously downloaded it. Well now, Flappy Bird is back.
Pizza Hut has announced that the Xbox 360 Pizza Hut app brought in a million dollars in pizza business in just the last 8 months (since it launched), much of it new pizza business.
Want to play classic arcade games in your browser for free? With no downloads required? You can now play Centipede online in your browser, play Space Invaders or Missile Command online in your browser, or play any of 100s of other Atari 2600 games online free with no downloads! Not only that, but also Atari 7800 games, ColecoVision games, Magnavox Odyssey games, and even Astrocade games! All free, all online, with no downloads required!
You may be familiar with the concept of fantasy sports, such as fantasy football or fantasy baseball, where participants act as a sports team owner, and pick (“draft”) their favourite real-life players, to assemble a dream team. Then they follow the real players’ statistics to see how their team did. Well, meet Fantasy Congress (also known as Congress: the Game), where instead you pick your favourite legislators to assemble a dream Congress. (On a sidenote, fantasy sports used to be caller rotisserie sports, primarily for fantasy baseball, such as a “rotisserie baseball league; which means that this could be called “rotisserie congress” – which brings an interesting image to mind.)
A few months ago, Texas teenager Justin Carter, a regular gamer who played the League of Legends game online, and a fellow gaming friend, got into a heated argument with someone on Facebook. During the argument, which took place publicly on their timelines, the person with whom they were having this discussion on Facebook had said something to Carter, regarding his gaming in general, and League of Legends in particular, to the effect of “Oh you’re insane, you’re crazy, you’re messed up in the head.”
Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll has been implicated in Florida’s storefront Internet gambling parlor problem, specifically because of her involvment with a group known as Allied Veterans of the World, and so has resigned. The storefront Internet gambling casinos, which mask themselves as “Internet cafes”, contain electronic slot machines, in violation of Florida’s gambling laws.
Things are not looking good for Zynga, the developer of popular Facebook games like Farmville, Mafia Wars, and Hidden Chronicles. At the close of the market yesterday, the value of Zynga stock had decreased by more than a third, to $3.18 a share, which likely led to a devaluation of Facebook stock, down eight percent after late trading yesterday. Zynga is doing no better today: at the close of the market, the value of Zynga is hovering around $3.17 a share. Shortly after the Zynga IPO that took place last December, Zynga stock was worth nearly four times as much.
As goes Facebook, so goes the world of social media – perhaps not the whole world of social media, but certainly those companies intricately intertwined with Facebook, like Zynga, the creator of popular (at least for now) Facebook games like “Farmville,” “Hidden Chronicles,” and “Mafia Wars.” Zynga shares have declined steadily over the last few months as fewer Facebook users play games through the social media platform. This week has been particularly unkind to Zynga, whose share price dropped 10 percent on Tuesday alone. What’s wrong with Zynga? Are Zynga shares not worth what they once were? Will Zynga shares continue to decline in value?
In what is being called an “epic PR failure”, and “the biggest PR fail in history” (well, we’re not so sure about that – but still) Paul Christoforo, the man behind Ocean Marketing, and a representative – make that a former represenative – for N-Control’s The Avenger XBox 360 Adapter basically turned a customer support request into a big “F-ck you” fest between himself (Ocean Marketing), a customer named only “Dave” and, eventually, Penny Arcade, Pax East, and Kotaku, to name a few. What Christophoro forgot was that the “real Internet”, to which he sarcastically welcomed Dave during the exchange, has a far reach, and a long memory.