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Slashdot: Gameshttps://games.slashdot.org/News for nerds, stuff that mattersen-usCopyright 1997-2016, SlashdotMedia. All Rights Reserved.2019-02-23T13:57:18+00:00Dicehelp@slashdot.orgTechnology1970-01-01T00:00+00:001hourlySlashdot: Gameshttps://a.fsdn.com/sd/topics/topicslashdot.gifhttps://games.slashdot.org/Norwich's Fortnite Live Festival Was a Complete Disasterhttp://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdotGames/~3/4F2lcDtdBJg/norwichs-fortnite-live-festival-was-a-complete-disasterAn anonymous reader shares a report: A festival designed to recreate Fortnite on the outskirts of Norwich has, somewhat predictably, not lived up to expectations. Event organisers flogged 2500 tickets to kids and parents. Entry cost upwards of $15 and unlimited access wristbands a further $26. In return, families got what amounted to a few fairground attractions. Photos from the event show a climbing wall for three people, archery for four people, and four go-karts. An attraction dubbed a "cave experience" was a lorry trailer with tarpaulin over it. An indoors area where you could play actual Fortnite was probably the best thing there -- although it cost money to access and you had to queue to do so. So much for free-to-play. And all of that was if you could actually get into the event to start with. Hundreds of people were left queuing for hours due to staff shortages.

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msmash2019-02-22T19:35:00+00:00businessbad-ideagames4444,39,19,16,6,1,1https://games.slashdot.org/story/19/02/22/1925208/norwichs-fortnite-live-festival-was-a-complete-disaster?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feedGoogle Is Expected To Reveal Game Streaming Service At GDC In Marchhttp://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdotGames/~3/LahjVfCGsUc/google-is-expected-to-reveal-game-streaming-service-at-gdc-in-marchGoogle has sent out invites to this year's Game Developers Conference (GDC) press event, where the company is expected to unveil a new game streaming product. ExtremeTech reports: There have been rumors about a Google game stream product or service for several years. Initially, leaks pointed to a hardware platform called Yeti that would stream games to a connected display. In late 2018, Google rolled out a game streaming test called Project Stream. To publicize the demo, it worked with Ubisoft to give everyone free access to the new Assassin's Creed Odyssey. Google wrapped up Project Stream in early 2019, offering players a free copy of Assassin's Creed Odyssey as thanks. Of course, you'd need a real gaming PC to run that version. Google's GDC event will take place on March 19th at 10 AM Pacific. All we know for sure is that Google is there to talk about a gaming project. It just seems extremely likely that it will be a new phase for Project Stream. It might remain browser-only, but Google does have a giant network of TV's out there with Chromecast streaming dongles plugged in. If it could leverage those to stream games, it could instantly have as many eyeballs as Sony or Microsoft.

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BeauHD2019-02-21T00:50:00+00:00googlemark-your-calendartechnology5858,56,17,15,2,1,0https://tech.slashdot.org/story/19/02/20/2314259/google-is-expected-to-reveal-game-streaming-service-at-gdc-in-march?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feedMajor Games Publishers Are Feeling The Impact Of Peaking Attentionhttp://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdotGames/~3/8TqgzcTahbo/major-games-publishers-are-feeling-the-impact-of-peaking-attentionSome analysis from research firm MIDiA: Earlier this month Electronic Arts (EA) reported disappointing quarterly results, now Activision has laid off nearly 800 staff, mostly in marketing and sales. As MIDiA has reported multiple times before, engagement has declined throughout the sector, suggesting that the attention economy has peaked. Consumers simply do not have any more free time to allocate to new attention seeking digital entertainment propositions, which means they have to start prioritizing between them. This downward trend in engagement has persisted for a while now, and the latest quarterly results from some major games publishers confirm that a revenue slowdown will ultimately follow consumer behaviour. Arguably sooner than most of the games industry would have thought. Publishers will be quick to blame declining engagement and revenues on Fortnite. While the title indeed intensified the manifestation of the peak attention economy dynamics among gamers, the coming slowdown is part of a much bigger challenge -- how to capture attention in an increasingly attention-scarce landscape. Top publishers are facing several headwinds at the same time. Fortnite is only one of them, and arguably one of the less harmful ones to the long-term outlook of the games industry: Fortnite's model utilises the attention economy dynamics: It's a high-grade gaming experience and it's free to play, which means there is little barrier for consumers to allocate attention to, compare to its paid counterparts. While it has undoubtedly cannibalised some revenue and engagement from other major publishers, Fortnite engagement still contributes to the bottom line of the global games industry. More gamers engage with games videos and events than Fortnite: Not only is engagement declining across mobile, PC and console gaming, at the same time, video is winning the race against gaming in capturing attention on multipurpose devices such as PC.

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msmash2019-02-18T14:03:00+00:00gamesgetting-to-the-bottom-of-thingsgames168168,164,87,72,19,9,4https://games.slashdot.org/story/19/02/18/142226/major-games-publishers-are-feeling-the-impact-of-peaking-attention?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feedRazer Game Store Closing Feb 28, Less Than Year After Launchhttp://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdotGames/~3/roxb-APdgaY/razer-game-store-closing-feb-28-less-than-year-after-launchThe Razer Game Store will close on February 28 at 1am PST, the company announced in a blog post. This comes less than a year after its launch last April. From a report: The shutdown is part of "the company's realignment plans," according to Razer. "It has been a privilege for us to recommend and deliver great digital game deals to you. We have been extremely fortunate to have you as part of our awesome community," the post reads. "Thank you for the support and making all this possible. We will be investing in other ways to deliver great content and introduce game promotions through Razer Gold, our virtual credits system."

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msmash2019-02-17T21:10:00+00:00businessrealignment-planshardware2525,24,11,10,4,1,1https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/19/02/17/2015217/razer-game-store-closing-feb-28-less-than-year-after-launch?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feedUS Labor Organization AFL-CIO Urges Game Developers To Unionize In Open Letterhttp://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdotGames/~3/NJJET9aR0h4/us-labor-organization-afl-cio-urges-game-developers-to-unionize-in-open-letterAn anonymous reader quotes a report from Gamasutra: In the wake of Activision Blizzard's massive layoff wave, a move that was announced in the same call as the company's record quarter, the union federation AFL-CIO has published an open letter to game developers urging members of the industry to organize. The AFL-CIO itself is the largest labor organization in the United States and counts 55 individual unions (and more than 12.5 million workers) among its affiliates. The letter, readable in full on Kotaku, calls out many of the issues that have prompted conversations about unionization in just recent years like excessive crunch, toxic work conditions, inadequate pay, and job instability. The industry, points out AFL-CIO's secretary-treasurer Liz Shuler, boasted sales 3.6 times greater than those of the film industry in 2018, yet much of that financial success isn't felt by the developers working on the games that generate those billions. "Executives are always quick to brag about your work. It's the talk of every industry corner office and boardroom. They pay tribute to the games that capture our imaginations and seem to defy economic gravity. They talk up the latest innovations in virtual reality and celebrate record-smashing releases, as your creations reach unparalleled new heights," says Shuler. "My question is this: what have you gotten in return? They get rich. They get notoriety. They get to be crowned visionaries and regarded as pioneers. What do you get? Outrageous hours and inadequate paychecks. Stressful, toxic work conditions that push you to your physical and mental limits. The fear that asking for better means risking your dream job. [...] Change will happen when you gain leverage by joining together in a strong union. And, it will happen when you use your collective voice to bargain for a fair share of the wealth you create every day. No matter where you work, bosses will only offer fair treatment when you stand together and demand it."

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BeauHD2019-02-15T22:10:00+00:00softwarecall-to-actionentertainment158158,152,79,68,20,12,8https://entertainment.slashdot.org/story/19/02/15/228244/us-labor-organization-afl-cio-urges-game-developers-to-unionize-in-open-letter?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feedCopyright Office Refuses Registration for 'Fresh Prince' Star Alfonso Ribeiro's "Carlton Dance"http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdotGames/~3/XqKz6pSaNyU/copyright-office-refuses-registration-for-fresh-prince-star-alfonso-ribeiros-carlton-danceThe U.S. Copyright Office is skeptical about Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor Alfonso Ribeiro's ownership claim over the signature "Carlton Dance," which became famous after a 1991 episode of the Will Smith series. From a report: In correspondence last month that was surfaced on Wednesday in California federal court, Saskia Florence, a supervisory registration specialist in the Office's Performing Arts Division, told Ribeiro's attorney that registration must be refused because his claimed "choreographic work" was a "simple dance routine." [...] Take-Two Interactive, publisher of the game NBA 2K, is now seizing upon the refusal in support of the argument that movements for the "Carlton Dance" are not protectable. Ribeiro is suing Take-Two as well as the publisher of Fortnite over special features that allow game players to have their avatars perform the dance. In a dismissal brief, Kirkland & Ellis attorney Dale Cendali makes some of the same arguments she did earlier in the week in an attempt to reject a similar lawsuit over Fortnite from the rapper 2 Milly. But there are particular contentions specifically directed at Ribeiro's claim.

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msmash2019-02-15T19:33:00+00:00courtcloser-lookyro6161,56,33,22,6,3,2https://yro.slashdot.org/story/19/02/15/1931253/copyright-office-refuses-registration-for-fresh-prince-star-alfonso-ribeiros-carlton-dance?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feedNo Link Between Violent Video Games and Increased Aggression in Teens, Study Findshttp://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdotGames/~3/pgBGT5j8Rco/no-link-between-violent-video-games-and-increased-aggression-in-teens-study-findsA new study from the Oxford Internet Institute claims to have found no link between time spent playing violent video games, and increased aggressive behavior teen teenagers. From a report: Published in Royal Society Open Science, the study is "one of the most definitive to date" according to the University of Oxford. While many studies have previously made similar and contrary claims, lead researcher professor Andrew Przybylski said the "idea that violent video games drive real-world aggression is a popular one, but it hasn't tested very well over time". According to the university, this study is set apart from previous work by preregistration, where researchers publish their hypothesis, methods and analysis technique before beginning research. "Part of the problem in technology research is that there are many ways to analyze the same data, which will produce different results," said Przybylski. "A cherry-picked result can add undue weight to the moral panic surrounding video games. The registered study approach is a safeguard against this." This was supported by co-author Dr Netta Weinstein from Cardiff University who said: "Our findings suggest that researcher biases might have influenced previous studies on this topic, and have distorted our understanding of the effects of video games."

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msmash2019-02-14T20:45:00+00:00gamesupon-closer-inspectiongames8888,85,45,42,13,6,1https://games.slashdot.org/story/19/02/14/2022243/no-link-between-violent-video-games-and-increased-aggression-in-teens-study-finds?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feedDevelopers Accuse Sony of 'Playing Favorites' With PS4's Cross-Platform Supporthttp://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdotGames/~3/uTcnZKl3lfw/developers-accuse-sony-of-playing-favorites-with-ps4s-cross-platform-supportAfter years of fighting the idea, Sony announced last September it is finally bringing "cross-platform gameplay, progression, and commerce" to the PlayStation Network, with Fortnite as the first example. Months later, the company's efforts have yet to gain wide traction and now we may have identified the bottleneck: Sony. Several major third-party developers have accused the company of standing in the way of letting the PS4 versions of their games play nicely with other platforms. ArsTechnica reports: "We just launched Wargroove with crossplay between PC, Switch, and Xbox," Chucklefish CEO Finn "Tiy" Brice wrote on the ResetEra forums. "We made many requests for crossplay (both through our [Sony] account manager and directly with higher-ups) all the way up until release month. We were told in no uncertain terms that it was not going to happen." Brice's comments came days after new Hi-Rez Studios CEO Stew Chisam tweeted at Sony that the studio was "ready to go when you are" for cross-play on Smite, Paladins, and Realm Royale. "It's time to stop playing favorites and tear down the crossplay/progression wall for everyone," he said. In a follow-up tweet, Chisam explained that Xbox/Switch cross-play has led to a direct improvement in the Paladins online user experience, including reduced wait times, more balanced matchmaking, and fewer "bad" matches overall. Brice's comments in particular come in direct response (and contradiction) to a recent Game Informer interview in which Sony Interactive Entertainment chairman Shawn Layden said that cross-play was open to pretty much any PS4 developer that wants it.

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msmash2019-02-14T18:41:00+00:00playstationcloser-lookgames2020,20,8,8,0,0,0https://games.slashdot.org/story/19/02/14/1840244/developers-accuse-sony-of-playing-favorites-with-ps4s-cross-platform-support?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feedActivision Blizzard Cuts 8% of Jobs Amid 'Record Results In 2018'http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdotGames/~3/f76CsgjVSRE/activision-blizzard-cuts-8-of-jobs-amid-record-results-in-2018On an earnings call this afternoon, publisher Activision Blizzard said that it would be eliminating 8% of its staff. "In 2018, Activision Blizzard had roughly 9,600 employees, which would mean nearly 800 people are now out of work," reports Kotaku. "This afternoon, the mega-publisher began notifying those who are being laid off across its various organizations, which include Activision, Blizzard, and King." From the report: On the earnings call, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick told investors that the company had "once again achieved record results in 2018" but that the company would be consolidating and restructuring because of missed expectations for 2018 and lowered expectations for 2019. The company said it would be cutting mainly non-game-development departments and bolstering its development staff for franchises like Call of Duty and Diablo. Development sources from across the industry told Kotaku this afternoon that the layoffs have affected Activision publishing, Blizzard, King, and some of Activision's studios, including High Moon. At Blizzard, the layoffs appear to only have affected non-game-development departments, such as publishing and esports, both of which were expected to be hit hard. "Over the last few years, many of our non-development teams expanded to support various needs," Blizzard president J. Allen Brack said in a note to staff. "Currently staffing levels on some teams are out of proportion with our current release slate. This means we need to scale down some areas of our organization. I'm sorry to share that we will be parting ways with some of our colleagues in the U.S. today. In our regional offices, we anticipate similar evaluations, subject to local requirements." Thankfully, the letter promised "a comprehensive severance package," continued health benefits, career coaching, and job placement assistance as well as profit-sharing bonuses for the previous year to those who are being laid off at Blizzard. "There's no way to make this transition easy for impacted employees, but we are doing what we can to support our colleagues," Brack wrote.

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BeauHD2019-02-13T01:30:00+00:00businesslong-rumored-layoffsgames112112,105,51,42,19,7,4https://games.slashdot.org/story/19/02/12/239255/activision-blizzard-cuts-8-of-jobs-amid-record-results-in-2018?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feedYoung People Who Play Video Games Have Higher Moral Reasoning Skillshttp://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdotGames/~3/OpTDEa7L0ns/young-people-who-play-video-games-have-higher-moral-reasoning-skillsAn anonymous reader shares a report: Young people who play video games, including violent titles, display more developed moral reasoning skills than their non-gaming peers, a study has found. Researchers from Bournemouth University asked 166 adolescents aged between 11 and 18-years old about their video game habits and questions designed to measure their moral development -- the thought process behind determining what is right or wrong. The children and teenagers who said they played more video games from a wide variety of genres had increased moral reasoning scores, including titles containing violent content. Violent games were found to have a positive relationship with moral reasoning while mature content was more likely to produce a negative one, the report published in published in journal Frontiers in Psychology found.

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msmash2019-02-11T18:05:00+00:00gamescloser-lookgames107107,104,59,51,16,11,3https://games.slashdot.org/story/19/02/11/180201/young-people-who-play-video-games-have-higher-moral-reasoning-skills?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feedAn AI Is Playing Pictionary To Figure Out How the World Workshttp://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdotGames/~3/j0HOAH3VPp0/an-ai-is-playing-pictionary-to-figure-out-how-the-world-worksResearchers at the Allen Institute for AI (Ai2) believe that Pictionary could push machine intelligence beyond its current limits. To that end, they have devised an online version of the game that pairs a human player with an AI program. MIT Technology Review reports: In case you've never played it before, Pictionary involves trying to draw an image that conveys a written word or phrase for your teammates to guess. This tests a person's drawing skills but also the ability to convey complex meaning using simple concepts. Given the phrase "wedding ring," for example, a player might try to draw the object itself but also a bride and groom or a wedding ceremony. That makes it the perfect vehicle to help teach machines. The team developed an online version of the game, called Iconary, that pairs a user with an AI bot called AllenAI. Both take turns as the artist and the guesser. Playing as artist, a user is given a phrase and then has to sketch things to convey it. The sketches are first turned into clip-art icons using computer vision; then the computer program tries to guess the phrase using a database of words and concepts and the relationship between them. If the program gets only part of the phrase, it will ask for another image to clarify. The AI program uses a combination of AI techniques to draw and guess. Over time, by playing against enough people, AllenAI should learn from their common-sense understanding of how concepts (like "books" and "pages") go together in everyday life, Fahadi says. It will also help the researchers explore ways for humans and machines to communicate and collaborate more effectively.

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BeauHD2019-02-06T01:30:00+00:00softwarepush-it-to-the-limitgames3131,30,13,11,1,0,0https://games.slashdot.org/story/19/02/05/226238/an-ai-is-playing-pictionary-to-figure-out-how-the-world-works?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feedXbox Live Will Soon Connect Players on Android, iOS and Switchhttp://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdotGames/~3/ZGbQnsm0MX8/xbox-live-will-soon-connect-players-on-android-ios-and-switchMicrosoft is getting ready to release an important software development kit (SDK) that will allow game developers to integrate Xbox Live into any titles that run across PC, Xbox, iOS, Android, and Nintendo Switch. From a report: A Microsoft session at the upcoming Game Developers Conference mentions that Xbox Live will soon have a cross-platform developer kit that integrates the service into Android, iOS and Switch games. You'd have your achievements, clubs, friends list and "more" while on the move, and could pick up on some experiences where you left off. The session will provide a "first look" at the kit. You shouldn't expect titles to support Xbox Live for a while, even if the software toolbox is complete by the time GDC starts.

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msmash2019-02-04T20:11:00+00:00xboxshape-of-things-to-comegames4747,45,18,14,5,0,0https://games.slashdot.org/story/19/02/04/1941254/xbox-live-will-soon-connect-players-on-android-ios-and-switch?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feedMicrosoft's Moving Xbox Ad Was the Best Thing About the Super Bowlhttp://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdotGames/~3/TksfmUbgFIQ/microsofts-moving-xbox-ad-was-the-best-thing-about-the-super-bowlMark Serrels, writing for CNET: Super Bowl 53 has come and gone and, for me at least, there was one clear highlight. This Microsoft commercial. [...] Essentially a commercial for Microsoft's Xbox Adaptive Controller, this ad follows up on an earlier ad from the Christmas period, which highlights young kids with limited mobility playing video games. It's incredible. It tells the story of kids with limited mobility and their love for video games. All kids love video games and if you're a person with limited mobility, video games can often provide a pathway to experiences that are often difficult in the real world. But in some cases, particular types of limited mobility can make even the games themselves difficult to play -- which is where the Xbox Adaptive Controller comes in. Further reading: Xbox wire; and Why Xbox spent a year designing the Adaptive Controller packaging.

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msmash2019-02-04T04:35:00+00:00microsoftgood-Microsoftnews132132,125,72,52,22,10,4https://news.slashdot.org/story/19/02/04/0435201/microsofts-moving-xbox-ad-was-the-best-thing-about-the-super-bowl?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feedCan DeepMind's AI Really Beat Human Starcraft II Champions?http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdotGames/~3/91r0ipRgkxc/can-deepminds-ai-really-beat-human-starcraft-ii-championsGoogle acquired DeepMind for $500 million in 2014, and its AI programs later beat the world's best player in Go, as well as the top AI chess programs. But when its AlphaStar system beat two top Starcraft II players -- was it cheating? Long-time Slashdot reader AmiMoJo quotes BoingBoing: It claimed the AI was limited to what human players can physically do, putting its achievement in the realm of strategic analysis rather than finger twitchery. But there's a problem: it was often tracked clicking with superhuman speed and efficiency. Aleksi Pietikainen writes "It is deeply unsatisfying to have prominent members of this research project make claims of human-like mechanical limitations when the agent is very obviously breaking them and winning its games specifically because it is demonstrating superhuman execution." "It wasn't an entirely fair fight," argues Ars Technica, noting the limitations DeepMind placed on its AI "seem to imply that AlphaStar could take 50 actions in a single second or 15 actions per second for three seconds." And in addition, "This API may allow the software to glean more information... " After playing back some of AlphaZero's back-to-back 5-0 victories over StarCraft pros, the company staged a final live match between AlphaStar and [top Starcraft II player Grzegorz "MaNa"] Komincz. This match used a new version of AlphaStar with an important new limitation: it was forced to use a camera view that tried to simulate the limitations of the human StarCraft interface. The new interface only allowed AlphaStar to see a small portion of the battlefield at once, and it could only issue orders to units that were in its current field of view.... We don't know exactly why Komincz won this game after losing the previous five. It doesn't seem like the limitation of the camera view directly explains AlphaStar's inability to respond effectively to the drop attack from the Warp Prism. But a reasonable conjecture is that the limitations of the camera view degraded AlphaStar's performance across the board, preventing it from producing units quite as effectively or managing its troops with quite the same deadly precision in the opening minutes.

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EditorDavid2019-02-03T04:34:00+00:00aimachines-learninggames129129,128,98,92,12,5,3https://games.slashdot.org/story/19/02/02/033253/can-deepminds-ai-really-beat-human-starcraft-ii-champions?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feedUbisoft Apologizes for The Division 2 Email Promising a 'Real Government Shutdown'http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdotGames/~3/AfyKNDoyz4E/ubisoft-apologizes-for-the-division-2-email-promising-a-real-government-shutdownUbisoft, the game studio behind upcoming title "Tom Clancy's The Division 2", has apologized for an email that made light of the U.S. government shutdown that ended a week ago. From a report: Ubisoft sent out a marketing email for The Division 2 earlier Thursday which prompted a quick retraction. The email was an invitation to the game's private beta, with the subject line: "Come see what a real government shutdown looks like in the Private Beta". Not long after the email was issued, the publisher sent a retraction. "A marketing email promoting Tom Clancy's The Division 2 was sent in error today. This was a grave breakdown in process and we apologize for this error and the offensive subject line of the email. We recognize the very real impact of the United States government shut down on thousands of people and did not intend to make light of the situation."

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msmash2019-02-01T17:25:00+00:00gameswent-too-fargames150150,141,68,50,11,9,8https://games.slashdot.org/story/19/02/01/176245/ubisoft-apologizes-for-the-division-2-email-promising-a-real-government-shutdown?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feedSearch SlashdotSearch Slashdot storiesqueryhttps://games.slashdot.org/search.pl