computer games

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New Bot Plays Perfect Poker: Researchers

Its strategy involves the ability to 'regret' past moves

(Newser) - The world's greatest poker players have a formidable new foe. Scientists have developed a computer program they say plays an effectively perfect game of Fixed-limit Heads-up Texas Hold 'em, the BBC reports. The Cepheus system "can't be beaten with statistical significance within a lifetime of human... More »

Another NSA Target: World of Warcraft

Agents saw games as a 'target-rich communications network'

(Newser) - It's not just us humans who have faced NSA surveillance: Orcs and elves were also among its targets. The agency, along with its British cousin GCHQ, did some of its spying in the virtual world, through games like World of Warcraft and Second Life, the Guardian reports, based on... More »

What Tablet? Lenovo Rolls Out 27-Inch 'Table' PC

Giant all-in-one aims for multiple users

(Newser) - Tablet too small for you? Try an entire table. Lenovo is releasing a 27-inch Windows 8 PC billed as a computer for multiple users, CNET reports. A wheeled stand (which may not reach the US) invites users to gather 'round, while another concept turns the computer into a coffee... More »

How Violent Video Games Can Be Good for You

Study suggests they can boost your pain tolerance

(Newser) - Next time you think you're going to take a bullet in real life, do yourself a favor and take some on your X-Box first. A new study suggests that playing violent first-person shooters actually increases your pain tolerance, the Daily Mail reports. Researchers at Keele University had 40 subjects... More »

IPO Values Zynga at $9B

Farmville firm to sell 11.1% stake

(Newser) - Online gaming company Zynga is preparing an IPO that values the company at between $7.7 billion and $9.04 billion. The Farmville firm is selling an 11.1% stake, with 100 million shares going for between $8.50 and $10 each. The figures put Zynga on track to raise... More »

Gamers' Brains Have Bigger 'Reward Hub'

Researchers unsure whether it's pre-existing or games change brains

(Newser) - This is your brain on videogames: The brains of hardcore gamers are wired differently than those who rarely play video games, according to a new study. Researchers who scanned the brains of more than 150 14-year-olds found that the brain's "reward hub"—which plays a role in... More »

Cops: Vietnam Girl Is Killed for Online Game Money

Teen boy allegedly stole 7-year-old neighbor's earrings

(Newser) - A Vietnamese teenager who allegedly killed his 7-year-old neighbor to steal her gold earrings to pay for computer games has been arrested. The 15-year-old was taken into custody a day after he allegedly beat the girl's head with rocks and fled with her earrings. The girl died of brain... More »

Angry Birds Soar Into Reality

Birds, pigs, explosions come to life in Spanish setup

(Newser) - You’ve played the game, you’ve seen the “movie” trailer —now, witness Angry Birds in real life. A giant replica of the game’s birds, pigs, and barricades was set up at Plaça Nova de Terrassa in Spain in an effort to promote Deutsche Telekom. The... More »

UK Offers FarmVille ... on Actual Farm

Please, try not to kill the cows

(Newser) - Addicted to FarmVille? Now you can play the game on an actual farm—without leaving home. Britain’s National Trust is offering up an estate to be run by gamers, using a program called MyFarm . Users—there’s room for 10,000—make choices on which crops to plant, what... More »

Mom Kills Baby for Interrupting Farmville

3-month-old cried as Florida mom tended Facebook farm

(Newser) - A Florida woman who killed her baby when his crying interrupted work on her virtual farm on Facebook has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Alexandra Tobias, 22, told investigators that she shook her 3-month-old baby boy because he was crying as she played Farmville, the Times-Union reports. She may have... More »

Shoot 'Em Up Games Improve Decision-Making

Action gamers outperformed Sims players

(Newser) - Playing fast-paced shooter video games makes people better decision-makers, according to a new study. Researchers tested young people ages 18 to 25 who weren't regular gamers and split them into two groups. The group that spent 50 hours playing action games like Call of Duty 2 and Unreal Tournament performed... More »

Facebook's Fastest Growing Games

FrontierVille leads the way by a mile

(Newser) - AllFacebook runs down the 10 fastest growing Facebook games. Click here for the full list, or for a sampling:
  1. FrontierVille: By far. It added 3.7 million users this week alone; it's from Zynga, the maker of FarmVille, which is heavily pushing it.
  2. Millionaire City: It added 800,000 users
... More »

Computer Science School Tries to De-Geekify Students

Everyone majors in computer science

(Newser) - At Utah’s Neumont University, everyone majors in computer science and “geek” is a badge of honor, not an insult. But some at the school are worried that grads—though highly valued for their tech skills and nearly certain of landing jobs—might be lacking in other areas, the... More »

Gaming Scientists: 'Spore' Misleading But Fun

Game not exactly rigorous about evolution

(Newser) - Scientists are raving about Spore, the hyperanticipated new game from Sims impresario Will Wright, the New York Times reports. But that’s mostly just because it’s a fun game, not because it’s scientifically accurate. On that score, the game, which allows players to evolve a creature from a... More »

British Game Companies Target 25K Downloaders

Alleged pirates told to pay $550 or face court

(Newser) - A group of five of the world’s top computer-game makers are getting tough on illegal downloaders, the Times of London reports, demanding settlements of about $555 from 25,000 people across Britain. Those who refuse to settle will be taken to court, the companies—Atari, Topware Interactive, Reality Pump,... More »

Spore Spawns Sims-Sized Expectations

EA risks millions on 5-in-1 evolutionary computer game

(Newser) - Spore will face scary expectations when the one-of-a-kind computer game goes on sale next month, CNET reports. Electronic Arts has poured untold millions into it; fans of Will Wright's last all-new creation, The Sims—the best-selling game of all time—hungrily await a new diversion; and analysts ask if gamers... More »

Gamers Vie for World Title

Top players gather in Los Angeles

(Newser) - Video gamers, get ready: Tonight will determine your world champion as Los Angeles hosts the finals in the Championship Gaming Series. The evening will be broadcast globally—complete with a breathless play-by-play announcer, NPR reports. Players, all of whom are paid for their efforts, will compete in a variety of... More »

Laptop Ban Cuts Into Bhutan MPs' Computer Gaming

Speaker: "I have seen many of our lawmakers playing computer games when others are debating serious issues"

(Newser) - Bhutan's parliament has banned members from bringing laptops to work in an attempt to keep lawmakers focused on government business, the BBC reports. "I have seen many of our lawmakers playing computer games when others are debating serious issues," said the speaker of the new democracy's National Assembly.... More »

Retired Justice Turns Video Game Designer

Day O'Connor's Our Courts aims to boost civics knowledge

(Newser) - Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor isn't taking it easy now that she's no longer writing decisions, Wired reports. The first woman to be appointed to the top court is leading a project to help young people learn more about their government through a video game. Our Courts, an... More »

New Game Plays Off Miley's Midriff

New computer game aims to catch an animated Hannah showing skin

(Newser) - Thinking of becoming a paparazzo? hosts an animated paparazzi game called Miley Naughty Pics, where the object of the game is to catch Miley Cyrus in varying degrees of undress, TMZ reports. You get “money” based on how much flesh you “snap” of the moving animated... More »

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