Friday, June 12, 2009

USC students creating a "gay video game"

John Christensen, a doctoral student in the University of Southern California's Department of Psychology, recently e-mailed me to let me know he and a few of his colleagues are creating an online video game aimed at the LGBT community.

According to Christensen, the game, which is expected to be released next year and will be free to play, allows players to "go on a series of 'virtual' dates and hook-ups with different characters. Your character will even be able to have virtual sex on these dates.

"It's kind of like a 'choose your own adventure' game," he adds, "that is designed to be very sexy while also addressing some of the social and health issues facing gay and bi men, including tips on how to find the perfect guy and how to avoid STDs."

Christensen and his crew are looking for a bit of help while they fine tune their product. Anyone willing to fill out an anonymous survey on the project's website ( will be entered into a drawing for $200. Additional volunteers will be asked to test and provide feedback on the game when it's released next year.

"Princess Peach likes cake" - and other musings from the made who made Mario, Shigeru Miyamoto

Wired's Chris Kohler recently spent some time chatting up the man who created Mario, Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto. The entire interview is worth a read, but if you don't have the time or interest, here's my favorite quote:

"With New Super Mario Bros. Wii ... we’ve had some battles over the story elements. They always want to have these dramatic scenes where Princess Peach gets kidnapped, but I always tell them, no, it’s fine — Princess Peach likes cake, so you can just have them use cake as bait to kidnap Princess Peach, and that’s enough. I was thinking they could have these big ships come in, and they’ve got these big chains all over them, and they drop a plate down with cake on it (laughs)."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My prayers (may) have been answered: New Tingle game coming soon?

The latest issue of Famitsu includes an ad that suggests the folks at Nintendo of Japan may be about to unveil a new Tingle game. Here's a scan of the ad, from

Considering the DS logo in the upper-left-hand corner, it seems to be a safe bet that the game will appear on Nintendo's world-dominating handheld (as opposed to its world-dominating console, the Wii), but that's about all that can be gleaned from the ad.

Hopefully more will be revealed soon - and hopefully this title will be released in North America, unlike the Japan-and-Europe-only Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland. I'll be getting it regardless, I'm sure...

Upsate #1: The Japanese text above Tingle says, "Fairy?"

Update #2: Nintendo of Japan has launched a website for this as-yet-unnamed game. Apparently, a trailer will be added to the site on June 18.