Monthly Archives: March 2013


Brick and Geoffrey run down the week in entertainment news and spoil the heck out of the most recent episodes of Justified and The Walking Dead, as well as both the American and Danish versions of The Killing. The music in the audio program is the cover of Adele’s “Someone Like You” by Walk Off the Earth.

How many of us here supported Ouya with their Kickstarter campaign?  Well if you pledged your $95 or more, you’ll be getting your console sometime this month.  It won’t be widely available for everyone else until June.  Comment and let us know if you are going to or have already received your console.


Mobile gaming may be getting more popular by the minute, but 2013 is shaping up to be the year of the console, and it’s not just because of new boxes due out from Microsoft and Sony.

Ouya, the highly anticipated $99 Android-based gaming console, starts shipping to “tens of thousands” of early Kickstarter backers beginning March 28. “Parts are in the factory and assembly lines are buzzing,” Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman said in a company blog post. “We’ll gradually ramp up production as we make sure things are working.”

Gaming fans who supported the Ouya’s development by contributing $95 or more to the Kickstarter campaign will get their devices a few months before the console becomes widely available. Ouya’s official public launch is set for June when the console becomes available from retailers like Amazon and Best Buy.

The Ouya may be cheap—about half the current price of a basic Xbox 360—but its other unique feature is the attempt to bring mobile app-style economics to a television console. The idea is to create a console platform that is readily available to big and small game makers.

Both Microsoft and Sony do offer a platform for independent games, but the costs of developing for the major consoles is often too high for smaller game studios. Since Ouya is based on Android—a platform many mobile developers are already familiar with—it should be much easier for companies to create new games or adapt their mobile games for the console.

Big names sign on

Some big names from the gaming world have also signed on to develop for Ouya:

  • Kim Swift, who led game design for Portal and Left 4 Dead at Valve, is working on an Ouya title with Airtight Games.
  • Tripwire Interactive is bringing its 2010 game The Ball to Ouya.
  • Gaming start-up Robotoki is working on an episodic prequel to Human Element Ouya.
  • Human Element is an anticipated new game slated for release in 2015 that will work across a variety of platforms including consoles, PCs, and mobile devices.


How many times have we heard the battle cry of attorneys, legislators and all-around haters that gaming is bad for you.  We’ know better, right?  We’ve seen gamers do wonderful things for others, give back to their community, support local hospitals and many other things.  Well now a study has shown that gaming actually has a beneficial effect for children with dyslexia.  How awesome is that?

Clearly moderation is key, but it really is nice to see some positive press for gaming for a change!

Allowing dyslexic children to play action video games can dramatically improve their reading skills, a study has shown.

Twelve hours of gaming achieved more than a year of reading development and was as effective as the best remedial treatments, scientists found.

Lessons learned from the research could “drastically” reduce the incidence of reading disorders, they said.

Two groups of 10 young children with dyslexia took part in the research.

Both had their reading, verbal and attention skills tested before and after they played action or non-action video games.

After nine 80-minute sessions, only the action games produced significant benefits. Children playing the games were able to read faster without losing accuracy, and showed gains in tests of visual attention.

The improvements were greater than those normally seen after a year of “spontaneous” reading development without treatment, and equal or better than the results of “highly demanding traditional reading treatments”.

Video games are thought to affect visual attention pathways in the brain which may influence reading ability, said the researchers.

Action games in particular involved rapidly moving objects and transient events that imposed a demanding workload. This in turn could improve the efficiency of certain brain pathways.

The findings are reported in the journal Cell Biology.

Dr Andrea Facoetti, from the University of Padua in Italy, said: “Action video games enhance many aspects of visual attention, mainly improving the extraction of information from the environment.

“Dyslexic children learned to orient and focus their attention more efficiently to extract the relevant information of a written word more rapidly.”

The scientists wrote: “Our findings… pave the way for low-resource-demanding early prevention programmes that could drastically reduce the incidence of reading disorders.”

However, Dr Facoetti stressed that the results “don’t put us in a position to recommend playing video games without any control or supervision”.