OK, it's a slow news day around here so forgive us if we report the stunning news Playboy is going to set up shop in Second Life. Set to occur in June, details are scarce and Second Life Herald has a lot of questions such as will there be a virtual Mansion? Will the real world bunnies have anything to do with the virtual bunnies? Will there even be virtual bunnies? How many Playboy Bunny avatars will actually be fat, balding, middle aged gamer geeks getting their rocks off while staring at their virtual Bunny? Do tell, Hugh. Inquiring geeks want to know.
Riding the vertical social network trend, TitleRound, a new social networking site for men hopes to offer guys what they can't find on MySpace, Facebook and other broadly focused networks. We're told the site will provide "a centralized area where guys in their twenties, thirties and forties can communicate on a public and personal level about the topics and interests that matter to them, including sports, gear, entertainment, activism, business, sex and health." Probably a good thing. There's only so much time a guy can spend looking at and fantasizing about things he'll never get his hands on. At least with TitleRound a guy can win stuff through the site's Triple Crown baseball promotion.
Not completely ignoring a guy's primary needs, TitleRound also features a baseball hottie contest in which guys can leer at women dressed in baseball uniforms. Some things will never change.
Volvo thinks it's the only vehicle sound enough to transport buried treasure from the Caribbean to your home. We would've guessed armored car, private jet or pirate ship, but you know, whatever.
Indulge the automaker by digging around for the gold doubloons and car key they hid for a campaign collabo with Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.
If you're too jaded to do that, indulge us by playing Bill's game instead.
That's what we did. Why hunting down a stylistic inconsistency won out over doubloons, though, is anybody's guess.
Solving puzzles posited by cryptic voices just seemed like too much of a commitment. There are other things that demand our time.
Candystand takes advantage of us. We know this. Whenever they send us a new game, we crack our knuckles and prepare to trash them.
Unfortunately we can't, because the games have gotten really freakin' good. No, scratch that. The Candystand folk are just mighty talented at isolating classic standbys (ping pong? Come on) and appropriating them for their own maniacal purposes. Consider Bloxie, a new concoction that's had us stuck on stupid for at least a half hour.
If we could track how many hours we've lost on the Candystand website, we'd probably find we're putting in the same amount of time as a Wrigley's intern.
If you've ever harbored questions about the quality of your ad indoctrination, ease (or aggravate) those concerns with the TV Jingles Quiz from Mental Floss. We nailed 11/16 and lament the absence of the Whatchamacallit song, which was our favourite.
There's something deliciously twisted about feeling childhood fondness for a sales gimmick. Then again, what music isn't trying to sell you something? Even the Beatles are pushing shopping carts these days.
When we're presented the chance to launch ourselves out of a cannon to any destination in the world, we tend to get a bit excited. After all, that Outpost.com gerbil thing was pretty cool. Well after no less that 15 clicks and a seemingly endless collection of forms, buttons, drop down menus and a final challenge to enter personal information, our desire to hop inside the cannon quickly waned. For fuck's sake, marketers, if you're gonna offer up some silly time-waster, the least you could do is make it simple.
If you care, this whole cannon thing has something to do with Heineken, the UEFA Champions League Final and various prize packages. We know we're shirking our journalistic duties here but if you really want to see what happens when the cannon goes off, you'll have to slog through the site on your own,
This is how Murphy's Law works. Soon after we finish ranting about the plethora of racing games already floating about in the ether, another avails itself to us. This one, however, is special because it contains spiffy surprises that are revealed when you speed or otherwise misbehave (it's for an insurance company, after all).
And note the demented version of the benign but neurotic Chevron persona.
We are not amused. Why doesn't anyone make gaming variations of Tetris? Those blocks have nothing to do but serve as ad space. And the Tetris-obsessed have nothing to do but stare at the blocks. Consider the marketing opportunity.
BMW recently launched Pursuit Across Europe (PACE), an animated drag race that takes place between Lisbon and Prague. Developed by Interone Worldwide Hamburg and artist Dirk Hoffman, it's actually a fairly clever way to introduce couch potatoes to new vehicle technology like brake energy regeneration and electric power steering.
If only it didn't lag so much. But maybe that too is a unique new BMW functionality, with esoteric yet explanatory nomenclature like Heightened Atmospheric Awareness.
Off-topic, we maintain that everybody makes a racing game and it would be really neat to have someone focus his or her energy on putting a really good car-washing game on the market.
Every once is a while it's healthy to have one's spelling ability tested. It's sort of like going back to high school minus all that clique-ish, cafeteria-style segregation or Mean Girls-inspired hatred. Helping us leave the high school years where they should be, Odwalla and game show champ Ken Jennings have partnered to create Be Soy Smart, a spelling bee site that tests ones spelling metal. We particularly like the tiny disclaimer at the bottom of the site which reads, "We're not saying Soy Smart will make you smarter, but it's a smart choice for vegetarian soy protein and Omega-3 DHA, an important brain component."
Miller had Man Laws. Dial's got something different. If you're a man who's sick of all that metrosexual crap, is happy with your ape-like body hair and took a pass on the Philips Body Groomer, Dial has something for you, the Man Luge. It's simple. All you have to do is to avoid all the female-ish objects as you slide down the luge to total, complete manhood. And after you finish, you'll likely need a shower and Dial is there to help with its Ultimate Clean hair and body soap. Nifty.