Games and gear

5 things I've learned about Titanfall (so far)

I've being playing the Titanfall beta for six days straight. My wife hates me! So what else have I learned? A lot. You've probably seen it trending on Twitter and lighting up message boards. So before I start, let me bring you up to speed on just what the heck Titanfall is exactly.

Titanfall is a game made by Respawn Entertainment and published by EA. Respawn is a developer founded by two guys who started Infinity Ward, the studio responsible for seven mostly great Call of Duty games. Titanfall is a console exclusive for Microsoft, meaning it'll … Read more

'Twitch Plays Pokemon' is now a fight for the soul of the Internet

No one was quite expecting "Twitch Plays Pokemon," the massively-multiplayer Pokemon game being streamed on for more than 150 hours straight, to virally erupt within a week of going live, let alone accomplish anything by way of in-game progress. Yet the channel has ballooned to mind-boggling popularity as the group of tens of thousands of Twitch users have managed to make surprising advancements in tandem with hilarious missteps.

In the process, a community unlike anything the Internet has ever seen has sprouted up, the strangest aspect of which is the disturbingly elaborate religious narrative crafted by thousands of meme-hungry participants. It would be an understatement to say it's one of the weirder things to happen on the Internet lately.… Read more

The 404 1,428: Where we see in HD (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Neuroscientist develops app that can train you to see farther.

- Exhibition "Personified" allows visitors to turn their heartbeats into music.

- A small town in Pennsylvania seeks recognition from Google Maps, Facebook, and Mapquest.

- Protip: How to keep YouTube streaming on your phone when you turn it off.… Read more

Maker builds real-life Flappy Bird in a box

It was a tale of gaming woe. Casual gamers got addicted to the Mario-esque game Flappy Bird. The creator pulled it from app stores. Flappy Bird clones flooded the market, but many of them were nixed by the app stores. Fawn Qiu's version of the game, however, won't be axed from any app stores. It's a real-life, physical version.

Qiu's Flappy Bird in a box uses a scrolling background with two controls to move the bird up and down to avoid obstacles. If you screw up, the box lid will close on you and play a "game over" sound. It's easy to get started, but hard to master, just like the original game.… Read more

The 404 1,427: Where your secret's safe with us (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Social networks built for two offer couples tools for productivity and romance.

- New app lets you bet on your friends' relationships.

- Secret revealed: inside the most scandalous social network.

- Michael Keaton confirms "Beetlejuice 2" talks with director Tim Burton.

- The creepiest urban legends in the history of gaming.… Read more

Classic arcade watch puts a game cabinet on your wrist

You love classic arcade games like Pac-Man and Space Invaders, and you want the world to know it. You could wear a hip T-shirt with a Donkey Kong logo on it, or you could scrap all sense of subtly and strap ThinkGeek's classic arcade watch to your wrist.

The watch looks like a mini arcade cabinet complete with a tiny joystick and little red button. What it actually does is tell the time with a pair of moving asteroids and a spaceship. The fictional game on display is called "Galactic Defense." It comes out in March for $59.99.… Read more

The largest multiplayer Pokemon game is happening on Twitch right now

In what can only be described as the best thing to happen to Valentine's Day, about 12,000 people are participating in a collective game of Pokemon Red on the live game-streaming service Twitch, all by simply typing in directions in the comment box in a messy frenzy. Not every single one of the viewers is mashing in commands of course, but because anyone with a Twitch account can comment on a public stream, any viewer is a potential player in this wacky experiment.

Believe it or not, the team effort has already gotten the group past the game'… Read more

Dear White House: Please bring back Flappy Bird

President Obama may have to contend with budget crises, economic woes, health care snafus, and international conflicts. But those are nothing compared to the greatest threat now facing the world -- the demise of Flappy Bird.

The popular game met an early expiration date on Sunday when its developer pulled the plug over worries that it was too addictive. Some of those who never got a chance to flap their wings have since turned to knockoffs, but one Flappy Bird fanatic thinks the government needs to step in to solve the problem.

In a White House petition launched Thursday, a … Read more

Can new Angry Birds game ease your Flappy Birds pain?

With an Angry Birds stable that already features Rio, space, seasons, Friends, Star Wars, and Star Wars II -- not to mention the spinoff Bad Piggies -- you wouldn't think there'd be much room left to fit in more feathers. Alas, the company seems committed to keeping its promise "to continue expanding Angry Birds to make it a permanent part of popular culture."

This time, a lady bird will take center stage in a game called Angry Birds: Stella, due to be released this fall. The developers seem to be taking a bit of an "empowering women" approach to the game, with Thursday's statement noting that "Angry Birds Stella is all about inspiration, empowerment, and other real issues, without forgetting entertainment and quirky fun." … Read more