Parents might be happy to know their kids can get a head start in the competitive slipstream of computer programming by doing something they already enjoy — playing video games.
That’s the goal of Server Design 1, a new online course rolled out Tuesday by Youth Digital, a tech education company that teaches kids to code, develop apps, and design 3D modeling. The company’s new program allows kids to create their own worlds, with their own rules, all while playing the popular video game Minecraft with their friends.
When Minecraft came out, I heard a lot of people describe as sort of like virtual Lego. Now, there’s a game for which that description is even more apt: Lego Worlds, an open world building game that lets users create using virtual Lego bricks, and interact with the world as a customizable minifigure avatar. READ MORE: Play Lego Worlds, A New Minecraft Competitor From Lego, Right Now | TechCrunch.
I’d like to try the Cardboard experience to compare to the Oculus Rift. I tried OR at Netspeed 2014, experiencing an under water universe (boring with unwieldy navigation) and a roller coaster (exciting; definitely created a unique, visceral experience that made me want to puke my guts out after). Looking forward to more virtual reality experiences as the tech and devices evolve.
Google Cardboard has come a long way since Android honcho Sundar Pichai introduced it with a sheepish grin six months ago. The smartphone virtual reality viewer, made from folded-up cardboard with a pair of attached lenses—you supply an Android phone to provide computing power and a display—has shipped more than 500,000 units as of early December. (You can build your own Cardboard, or buy a ready-made version from not-quite-official sources for under $30.) Google has now added a Play Store showcase for the best Cardboard apps, and released a software development kit to spur even more VR app creation.
For a project that took mere weeks to throw together, Cardboard has done surprisingly well. But its success also puts it in an awkward position, somewhere between the oddball project that Cardboard appeared to be back in June and the serious business that prompted Facebooks $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR in February. As virtual reality matures, is Cardboard prepared to mature with it?
Leave it to Lego to use the word “fusion” correctly. The construction-toy companys new Lego Fusion analog-to-digital game sets are a true blend of real-world Lego building and tablet-app play.
Announced on Wednesday, and shipping in August and September, Lego Fusion boxes each come with 200 Lego pieces. They let you build and play in app-based virtual worlds that include a tower-defense game called “Battle Towers,” a town-building game called “Town Master,” a racing game called “Create and Race” and “Resort Designer.” What you build in the real world can be captured and used in the iOS and Android tablet apps. Each structure then becomes part of the game, and each game can be a part of your world or the larger Lego social community, where others are using their Fusion sets to build similar worlds. Towers can battle towers, race cars can compete against each other and townspeople can take virtual metros to visit other player’s towns.
The Ever, Jane Kickstarter project is ~$14,000 short of its $100,000 goal with only 51 hours to go @ 6pm MST Friday, November 29th. You can support the project by pledging as low as $1.00!!!
Ever, Jane is a virtual world that allows people to role-play in Regency Period England. Similar to traditional role playing games, we advance our character through experience, but that is where the similarities end. Ever, Jane is about playing the actual character in the game, building stories. Our quests are derived from player’s actions and stories. And we gossip rather than swords and magic to demolish our enemies and aid our friends.
Many will tell you that video games are bad for your eyes, but James Blaha doesn’t buy that theory. He’s developing a crowdfunded virtual reality title, Diplopia, that could help restore 3D vision. The Breakout variant trains those with crossed eye problems to coordinate their eyes by manipulating contrast; players score well when their brain merges two images into a complete scene. Regular gameplay could noticeably improve eyesight for adults that previously had little hope of recovering their depth perception, Blaha says. The potential solution is relatively cheap, too — gamers use an Oculus Rift as their display, and they can add a Leap Motion controller for a hands-free experience. If you’re eager to help out, you can pledge $20 to get Diplopia, and $400 will bundle the app with an Oculus Rift headset. Check out a video demo of the therapeutic game after the break.
Ramona Pringle’s life was like a sitcom — one of those cheesy, too-good-to-be-true shows about finding love and success in the big city.
She had a good job at Frontline; a number of smart, successful friends; and a boyfriend — “a fantastic one!” — whom she planned to marry. Things were perfect.
With a quick roll of the dice, though, everything changed. Her mother was diagnosed with a life-changing illness, and Pringle left her job in New York and moved back home to Toronto to take care of her. A week later, Pringle’s boyfriend broke up with her.
The dream, the city, the perfect life — gone in a flash.
“It was absolute rock bottom,” she says. ” Here I was, back in my childhood bedroom — and it was so quiet. It was so eerily quiet Here I was, back in my childhood bedroom — and it was so quiet. It was so eerily quiet.”
It was the type of situation in which some might turn to alcohol, drugs or even religion to cope. Pringle was looking for some kind — any kind — of answer. But her mother was sick, and she needed to be with her. Leaving wasn’t an option.
“People get these ‘pilgrimage moments,’ you know? When something happens to them and they trek across Europe or India in search of some kind of wisdom,” she says. “I couldn’t do that.”
Instead, she turned to the virtual realm of World of Warcraft (WoW), where she found an unexpected community of support and camaraderie. She was so inspired that she went to work on an interactive documentary, Avatar Secrets, about the lessons she learned. It’s set to be released in the spring of 2014.