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PC Games (Games)

+ - Mr robot - Another Worthy Indie Game

Submitted by
bear pimp
bear pimp writes "Bedroom development team, Moonpod, have released their second game, Mr. Robot. Mr. Robot combines a JRPG with isometric platform-based adventure. A surprisingly well written story and great characters, combined with fairly unique gameplay sold me on it, but if you want to make up your own mind you can try out the (sadly PC only) demo and watch the trailer here Early reviews from Cinema Blend and Third Party Ninjas are also positive."
Announcements

+ - Internet's Largest Internet Forum to Shut Down

Submitted by
Neo_Mushroom
Neo_Mushroom writes "From the article: "2channel, the largest Internet forum in the world and an ISP in Japan, has been shuttered by a Japanese court ruling in a civil slander case. The corporation managing 2channel was declared bankrupt and its assets will be seized. The ISP will close on January 15th, and the future of the famous "mega-BBS" is uncertain."

For those who've never heard of 2channel, the BBS is massively popular, recieving over 2.7 million posts every day."
Hardware Hacking

+ - Where to donate old hardware?

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "Like many Slashdotters, I have a surplus of old computers and parts that I (and family and friends) no longer have use for. Some of this junk is still useful, and although I'm too busy to sell it piecemeal on eBay, it'd be a shame to just throw it away. I'd prefer to just drop this stuff off, driver disks and instruction manuals included where applicable, at a major charity such as Good Will, AmVets, or the Salvation Army, but I suspect that they wouldn't be able to move it and would end up throwing it away. Anyone have any recommendations for the major charities or any suggestions for recycling options?"
Microsoft

+ - Vanishing Point: explains Microsoft laptop scandal

Submitted by
secretsather
secretsather writes "http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2007/01/14/va nishing-point-addictive-onlinereal-world-game-expl aining-microsofts-laptop-scandal/

At a point in time, something happens that makes you question the validity of anything you read, see, or believe. I've come to this point, and it's spinning my head in circles. The deeper I dig, the realization that I haven't traveled far enough consumes me.

Each week, tens of thousands of mystery seekers flock to Vanishing Point, an online/real world game, in an effort to unlock hidden clues in real world events around the world. The Prizes are immense, including a sub-orbital space flight for the grand-prize winner.

Microsoft and AMD have finally come clean by admitting 'Vanishing Point' is just a clever marketing campaign for Vista, set to launch on Jan 30, and an extremely clever one at that! Don't be surprised that there is ulterior motive here; only big names like Microsoft and AMD can generate enough buzz to make this advertisement/game a successful one.

Wait.. I've started too soon. Lets go back to the past. The clues are mind bending, and seem to be trailing back to events that happened last year, events that were not properly associated with a game.

Last month, Microsoft and AMD sent free Acer Ferrari 1000 and 5000 notebooks loaded with Vista to a group of high-profile bloggers. While it attracted loads of criticism, jealousy, and hype; it's to no-one's surprise that Microsoft and AMD were up to something.

There's more. The laptops included a Chinese puzzle box that featured a USB flash drive. The drive came pre-loaded with a video of a woman named Loki, Microsoft's puzzle master, in which Vanishing Point is solely based around.

Who is Loki? This question seems to be the ultimate challenge in the game Vanishing point. All that's known, currently, is that Loki is a character with a fictional story broken into 1,000 clues that are scattered around the Internet, and in real world events. The person who reveals her true identity will have their name laser-etched onto a batch of microprocessors from AMD.

"Especially for that audience, the most technically engaged, having their name in lights like that is a pretty special thing," said Brian Marr, the group marketing manager for Vista.

This international game challenges players to work together, extracting clues from certain global events. Each week, twelve puzzles are posted, along with footage of the real world event, which must be used together to unlock the correct answer.

The first "official" real world event was a water projection displayed outside the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas earlier in the week. Hundreds gathered around to view an image of Loki projected in the waters, showing a cryptic clue filled with indications of calendars, clocks, and time.

More clues were unveiled yesterday delivered through cryptic sky-written messages around the world including Los Angeles, Phoenix, Miami, and Sydney. Microsoft has hinted that more offline events "could" happen later this month.

The puzzles are ingenious, and give you an optimum challenge; they seem to have a distinct similarity to the old PC game, Phantasmagoria, except the players are competing for nearly a half-million dollars in prizes.

Vanishing point has been in the works now for over a year, and all to create buzz for the launch of Windows Vista. The heart of the game was created by 42 Entertainment, a viral marketing agency based in Emeryville and Seattle in which Microsoft used to create hype for the launch of Halo 2 in 2004.

While the game is just a massive promotion, it's almost impossible to stay away from, and it's not too late to register and start solving puzzles. Vanishing Point promises to challenge the most brilliant minds, and it will certainly be interesting to see how this plays out."

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