Games Culture

Genius Lady-Gamer Uses Lipstick To Play Counter-Strike

This is genius. No, really. Superb multi-tasker Chloe Desmoineaux has adapted a tube of lipstick to enable her to play the online multiplayer game Counter-Strike. Using Makey-Makey, an electronics experimentation kit we often see adventurous teachers using in schools, Desmoineaux plays the entire game simply by applying make-up, with the contact between skin and stick completing the low voltage circuit. You can watch her using her brilliant creation in action every week until June on Twitch, and maybe it’ll inspire your family to try a project of your own!

Update:

We’ve also found this awesome video of a family using carrots to play Super Mario Bros!

 

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Games Culture

Short On Shoes? Here’s one for your Pinterest boards.

It’s Friday afternoon and we are slacking a bit, and cool-hunting for awesome things to put on our shiny Pinterest boards. And what about these beauties!? Information is scant, but the pictures are rather gorgeousness. So if you know a tiny human with massive clod-hopping feet and a love of all things Nintendo, why not check out the latest additions to our boards.

nintendo vans

Hub Stuff

Which Games Go On GameHub?

I was asked a question today that I thought would be worth answering more publicly, because it was a good one and because I thought it’d give an insight into how we work. It was this:

There are so many games out there! How do you decide which ones to cover on GameHub?

The short answer is: in an ideal world, all of them! We are looking into systems that would allow us to do just that, but at this point such an option is several years away yet. The slightly longer answer is that there is no hard and fast set of rules. Multiple factors apply, including:

  • Have we been specifically asked to cover the game by a parent? – We are always open to requests.
  • Is the game easy to categorize from a quick glance? – We tend not to cover an over-abundance of  things like LEGO Games, for example, as they are clearly for children, and the majority of parents do not report having any issues with the content when they have purchased them for their children. We do one or two every now and again, to keep current, but it’s not worth our while to do every single one, because parents tend to know and trust the brand.
  • Have we been specifically asked to cover the game by a teacher? – Some teachers report certain games that have become popular in their school, for one reason or another.
  • Is it a popular brand that parents want to know more about? – Minecraft, anything with Lara Croft in it, Skylanders and similar “big brand” titles are games parents want to understand.
  • Is it “hot” right now? – Rocket League and Monument Valley being prime examples.
  • Is it a small studio that offers something parents tell us they are looking for? – Educational games, particularly for pre-school maths and language skills, are the kind of games parents report they are actively seeking to buy.
  • Does it offer something exciting and unusual? – A weird new idea that might capture peoples’ imaginations? We are interested!

So as you can see, there are no hard and fast rules about which games go to the top of the review queue and which languish in the To-Do list. If there is a game you want to see on GameHub HQ, the best way you can boost it up the list it to get in contact and request it. The request bar is on the front page of http://www.GameHubHQ.com. If you need specific info right now, drop us an email and we’ll do some digging for you!

Words Worth Knowing

Words Worth Knowing: Buzzfeed Ran A Quiz

Buzzfeed ran a quiz. And, to be honest, it wasn’t too bad. Though clearly written for kicks, it isn’t as straight-up nasty as I feared it might be. “Parents don’t know what these complicated, highly specialised acronyms mean, ha ha ha” is not a great premise for an article, but they do make an effort to explain the words, which is appreciated, and the eye-rolling is kept to a minimum. I just feel a bit unsure about how helpful this kind of content is. Mere information is not enough – now you know, but you were made to feel stupid in the process. Empowerment, feeling good about your new-found knowledge, should also be part of it, and that feels pretty lacking here. So, ho-hum. Could be better, could be worse.

We asked our parents to guess what these gaming terms mean
I score this Buzzfeed quiz a 6/10. Could be less patronising, but could also be a lot worse.

Words Worth Knowing, our Monday gaming term explanation column, will return in February 2016 after taking a New Year’s rest. So if you don’t know your AFK from your DLC, stay tuned.

Games Culture, Guest Posts & Interviews

“My accounting skills are triplifying exponentially!”

“Sorry Mother, I can’t come to dinner right now, my accounting and management skills are triplifying exponentially!”

Don’t answer ba-wait, pardon?! It’s hard not to be jaw-on-the-floor surprised when your seven-year old comes out with phrases like “cognitive development”  (Top Tip to reassert your smugness, challenge them to spell it.)

BUT,

it’s absolutely true. 

You can have more screen-time if you can spell that smart-arse word you just used.
You can have more screen-time if you can spell that smart-arse word you just used.

Games are a fantastic way to train all sorts of important and useful skills, from creativity to team-building, business management, faster reaction times, logic and verbal reasoning, problem-solving and more. A game does not necessarily need to be billed as an “educational” or “edutainment” game in order to have loads of positive benefits. There are too many to keep in one sub-section alone, which is why, for the sake of sanity, we divide educational benefits from creative expression, and list opportunities where players can develop their moral and philosophical ideas in a different tab from instances where they can play with others to develop their social skills. Not every game develops every skill, and if one did, it’d be an overwhelming amount of information all crammed on one page!

This light-hearted post by The Girl Who Games, a 20-something UK blogger who specialises in iPad games provides us with a fun reminder of all the benefits games can provide. She’s also an expert on The Sims Freeplay, a game I have been trying, and failing, to put on http://www.GameHubHQ.com for a while now (it’s so big!) If you guys would like to see this game on GameHub, let me know in the comments box below and maybe I’ll reach out to Charlotte to see if she would be interested in doing a guest entry with us! Wes did a fantastic set of five for us in 2015 and it’s something I’d like us to do again at least a couple of times in this shiny new year of 2016.

Source: The Girl Who Games