games

Scenes from a mega videogame championship at Key Arena

Aug 13, 2016

Outside Key Arena in Seattle, gamers from all over the world have converged to watch the Dota 2 championships.

Dota stands for Defense of the Ancients. The strategy of this game is pretty simple. Two opposing teams try to capture the other’s base. Think about capture the flag when you were a kid.

This year at San Diego Comic-Con, one of the biggest phenomena isn't just inside the convention center, it's all around. Yes, there are billboards and installations trumpeting things like Doctor Strange and Fear the Walking Dead. But the crowds of people here aren't looking up; they're mostly staring down at their phones, playing Pokémon Go.

People who live in the country who want to play Pokémon Go have a problem.

There are a lot of techie reasons why Pokémon stops are found more often in cities. But generally speaking, where there are more players or people there is usually more Pokémon activity on the game -- it just works better.

KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

David Hyde talks with Mark Rosewater, head designer for the card game Magic: The Gathering, about changing social attitudes about gaming culture.

Jane McGonigal
Wikipedia/Public Domain

Ross Reynolds interviews Jane McGonigal, director of game research and development at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, about her new book "Superbetter."

While recovering from a debilitating concussion, McGonigal applied what she knew about game science and cognitive psychology to speed her recovery. She points to research that finds games can help control pain more effectively than opiates and help reduce post-traumatic stress disorder.

Monopoly can be pretty addictive once you start playing it, right? Well, for author and journalist Mary Pilon, searching for the game's true origins proved just as consuming. She writes:

"In the process of reporting this story, I hacked off over a foot of hair in one anguished swoop, sold off many of my material possessions, was confronted by law enforcement for falling asleep in public places ... found Monopoly money in my linens when doing laundry, fretted about finances, [and] had nightmares about the various aspects of the story. ..."

The job interview hasn't changed much over the years. There are the resumes, the face-to-face meetings, the callbacks — and the agonizing wait, as employers decide based on a hunch about who's best suited for the job.

Some companies are selling the idea that new behavioral science techniques can give employers more insight into hiring.

For most of her life, Frida Polli assumed she'd be an academic. She got her Ph.D, toiled in a research lab and started a post-doctorate program before she realized she'd been wrong.

Fear is one of the strongest and most basic of human emotions, and it's the focus of Fearless, the second episode of Invisibilia, NPR's new show on the invisible forces that shape human behavior.

This segment of the show explores how a man decided to conquer his fear of rejection by getting rejected every day — on purpose.

The evolution of Jason Comely, a freelance IT guy from Cambridge, Ontario, began one sad night several years ago.

Doctors are required to keep current on best medical practices, but those efforts all too often don't do a thing to improve patient care. But what if the class is a game — one that lets you compete against other doctors and show off your smarts?

Plus you get funny emails. Oh, and your patients get better, too.

That's the gist of an online game tested at eight Boston-area hospitals to see if it could improve treatment of high blood pressure by getting practitioners to follow recommended treatment guidelines.

Colson Whitehead's book "The Noble Hustle."

David Hyde talks to Colson Whitehead, MacArthur Genius Award winner and author of the new book "The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky and Death."

World of Warcraft is trying to reduce racial inequality. Don't worry, this isn't about racial disparities between black, Latino and Asian players — we're talking about gnomes and trolls and orcs here.

He’s being called the “Jeopardy villain,” but Arthur Chu of Broadview Heights, Ohio, considers himself more of a “mad genius.” The 30-year-old insurance analyst and voiceover artist has won three times since he came on the show last week.

Some say Chu is taking all the fun out of the game. He goes for the hardest questions first, slams down his buzzer incessantly and tries to get the host to speed up. It’s all part of his strategy inspired by game theory — a model of strategic, mathematical decision making.

Steve Scher explores the Pacific Science Center's gift shop with store manager Katherine Johnson.

From Top Ten Toys' Facebook page.

Steve Scher visits Top Ten Toys in Greenwood to talk with owner Allen Rickert, who says this is a good year for ferry toys and Seattle-themed coloring books.

Flickr Photo/Philippa Willitts

Marcie Sillman discusses the origin of the first crossword puzzle with puzzle author Merl Reagle in honor of the crossword's 100th birthday on Saturday.

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