Slayaway Camp
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Slayaway Camp turns VHS horror into a cute, murderous puzzle

Slayaway Camp is a puzzle game about massacring hapless teenagers, and, perhaps fittingly, it comes from a place of aggression. “After a decade [of] making gems go clink and pegs go… Peggle at PopCap,” said Jason Kapalka, one of the founders of PopCap, and now returning to independence with Blue Wizard, “I had a lot of pent-up aggression and wanted to work on something really violent and gross.” A sliding puzzle game isn’t the most likely candidate to vent such vicious desires. And that’s entirely the point—Kapalka is looking to assault the sparkly, saccharine game genre with Slayaway Camp in action. As…

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Food scientists unwittingly diagnose why sometimes we can’t stop playing

This past Sunday’s New York Times Magazine features a remarkable story on the junk food industry and its many secretive struggles for our mouths. Though the author, Michael Moss, kept his focus on obesity and nutrition, I couldn’t help but notice a few startling parallels with the many videogames I just can’t stop playing. Chief among them was food scientist Steven Witherly’s diagnosis of why Cheetos are so tasty and addictive, a trait endemic to a growing number of short, disposable games that sink their hooks in and won’t let go. – – – He calls the effect Vanishing Caloric…