Episode 133 – Game Brains


Episode 133 – Game Brains was recorded on Friday, the 18th of February 2016.

Does playing video games make you smarter?  Michael and Michael answer this question with a resounding “maybe”, as they go through a tour of several interesting links, from Google’s DeepMind computer playing Go, to Volvos starting up without keys, to toys that think and 3D printing going back to 1964 with plastigoop.

We hope you enjoy the show!

Selected links
Can Video Games make you Smarter? — https://youtu.be/OOsqkQytHOs
Luminosity — http://www.lumosity.com
Gmailification — http://techcrunch.com/2016/02/17/google-launches-gmailify-a-way-to-use-gmails-best-features-with-non-gmail-accounts/
Mailbox — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mailbox/id576502633?mt=8
Airmail — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/airmail-your-mail-with-you/id993160329?mt=8
Google Now — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Now
Connected Toys and the Serious Business of Play — http://techcrunch.com/2016/02/15/the-serious-business-of-play/
Mattel 3d printer — http://www.engadget.com/2016/02/15/mattel-thingmaker-3d-printer/
Mattel’s Creepy Crawler Thingmaker with Plastigoop — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creepy_Crawlers
Sphero — http://www.sphero.com/starwars
Teddy Ruxpin — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teddy_Ruxpin
Monopoly — http://www.avclub.com/article/monopoly-now-cashless-economy-232281
DeepMind plays Go —  http://mashable.com/2016/01/27/google-ai-beats-go-champ
Pacman 256 — http://pac-man256.net
Rogue on iOS —  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rogue/id298113808?mt=8
Volvo keyless cars — http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-35611130
Keyless remote app — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/car-remote-keyless-entry/id718121721?mt=8
Smartphone app ride pickup zone — https://twitter.com/doctorow/status/700734551132282880
Global Gamification Market estimated to be $11.1B by 2020 — http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160218006350/en/Global-Gamification-Market-Worth-USD-11.10-Billion

Games Michael & Michael are playing
Michael R — A Tiny Game of Pong — http://mashable.com/2016/02/17/apple-watch-a-tiny-game-pong
Michael M — Tomb of the Mask — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tomb-of-the-mask/id1057889290?mt=8


Good news on a lost episode and intro to Tiny Tycoons

We have some good news for our podcast listeners — while there was not a recording this past Friday, an episode thought to be lost has been found! There needs to be some cleanup, and that will take place over the next few days. So in the meantime, let us remind you that we are interested in your feedback and are eager to hear your suggestions on topics that you would like us to cover.

In the meantime, there is one topic that we’ve been very interested here over at Games At Work, and that deals with location-based computing, coupled with games. The intersection of iBeacons (and other low energy Bluetooth) and gaming has been very promising for some time, and MacRumors posted an interesting story on the game Tiny Tycoons.

Tiny Tycoons is a cross between Foursquare, Monopoly City Streets and Ingress, where you can travel the world, both physically and virtually, to buy and trade properties. I’ve downloaded the game and will be giving it a whirl, and will look forward to sharing my insights on how this could be adapted for business purposes. I’m going to be the mayor, um, owner of a few new properties shortly!

Episode 22 – Play for Free on Free to Play

Phaedra and Michael M discuss free to play game economics — both from the game designer and the game player perspective as well as how this changes when the game is focused on individual paying players vs larger enterprises as the target market.  With micropayments for in-game purchases being the revenue source for free to play games, Phaedra mentions that at the recent Game Developers Conference that free to play games can be more profitable than $50 boxed games.  Michael shares that he likes to avoid such in-game purchases, hence the title of the show.  🙂


Cross genre gameplay also gets the GamesatWork.biz treatment when Phaedra and Michael brainstorm on what may make for a good cross genre game.  An interesting idea emerges combining maps, geocashing and Habitat for Humanity Restore opportunities.


Some of the games mentioned on today’s episode include

Simpsons Tapped Out — http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-simpsons-tapped-out/id497595276

Tiny Tower — http://nimblebit.com

Plants vs Zombies — http://www.popcap.com/games/plants-vs-zombies/home

SimCity — http://www.simcity.com/en_US

Monopoly City Streets — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly_City_Streets

Hivemind — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hivemind_(software)