Thursday, November 13, 2008

Michael5000's Internet Funhouse 2008!

It has been a year since the first Michael5000's Internet Funhouse, and y'all are probably asking yourself "how am I going to use the internets to goof off this winter?" This year, the Internet Funhouse is focussing on casual internet games -- the most compelling way humans have devised to piss away our collective lifespans since the immortal Philo Farnsworth invented television! I'll be sharing some of my favorite game titles from the past year, and I emphatically recommend that you avoid following the links at all costs! Your time would be much better spent writing a novel or fighting for social justice.

Action Games

What red-blooded American man doesn't occasionally enjoy pretending to be one of the stars of the women's tennis circuit? The imaginatively named Tennis Game, from Gamedesign, offers you this opportunity! It features surprisingly compelling and tennis-like gameplay, plus a goofy awards ceremony if you win the tournament. Can cause carpel-tunnel like symptoms if overindulged in.

Dogfight 2, from Rock Solid Arcade, is an alarmingly engrossing and kind of pretty cartoon simulation of WWI aerial combat. Not recommended for people who don't like games in which you pretend to kill people. Highly recommended for anyone who has ever had a hankering to shoot down a really big zeppelin.

Abstract Shape Games

Magic Pen, by Alejandro Guillen, is a nicely-realized example of a new genre of "physics" games. The goal is to knock little circles into flags, and to that end you sketch ramps, levers, falling objects, and other miscellaneous shapes that materialize where you have drawn them and interact according to the laws of gravity and momentum. Good wonky fun.

The Eyeballing Game, which I was alerted to last week by MyDogIsChelsea, is extremely simple -- you are just testing and honing your skills at geometric estimation. "Eyeballing," if you will. More fun than it sounds. Would be ideal, incidently, for scientifically testing the effect of alcohol on one's cognitive and fine motor skills. Report back on what you find out!

Games Which, Strangely Enough, Involve the Google Search Engines

Guess the Google, by Grant Robinson, shows you a montage of Google Image results for a specific keyword, which you must then guess. It can be incredibly easy or fiendishly difficult, depending of which keywords you get.

Where on Google Earth is a puzzle blog that provides a weekly aerial image of someplace on Earth. You try to figure out where the place is. It is wicked hard. Ironically, it doesn't work with Reader, so you have to remember to stop by every week.

Really Odd Games

In Launch the Hedgehog, from Armor Games, you attempt to fire a small mammal into orbit with a slingshot to the strains of hard rock music. It's harder than it sounds.

Finally, American Public Media's Budget Hero is probably the most educational game you'll play this year. Make decisions about Federal spending and tax policy, and see if you can leave your grandchildren a functioning social order! It's disturbingly challenging! Hint: it's basically impossible if you leave the Bush tax cuts in place. But you knew that.

What about Comix?

The only online comic I read regularly is Basic Instructions, which is great, but I just don't feel like I'm taking full advantage of this opportunity to goof off. I welcome recommendations of other humorous drawn entertainment that's available online. 'Cause I've heard there's quite a bit.

Happy weekend!


Rebel said...

I heart you M5K!!! More ways to feed my internet addiction!!! =)

Tereza said...

Thanks for introducing me to Guess-the-Google. I've gotten addicted to Google Image Labeler before, but this one offers a lot more eye candy! It just may be a new favorite way to waste my time. You'll be to blame you if I play it too much ;)

MJ said...

wow i've just tryed the eyeballing game, it's addictive! thanks for sharing this!

Libby said...

my daily online drawn entertainment is Dinosaur Comics.

Jennifer said...

Damnit, I'm already showing dangerous signs of getting addicted to Magic Pen since this morning, and it's the only one I've even tried!

Thanks a lot.


Anonymous said...

I wish I hadn't read this post while at work... now we can watch productivity fly out the window!

Dug said...

Fortunately my employer's internet filter is smart enough to block most of these games so I'll have to either play Magic Pen for the next half hour or stare at the clock!

Elizabeth said...

I highly recommend (cartoons only, VERY dorky/wonky/funky/sexy) and (cartoons and commentary).

fingerstothebone said...

Only had time to try eyeballing, and it was addictive! It took me a couple of games to figure out exactly what they wanted for the equidistance one, but on the 3rd game, I managed to score 2.7x (can't remember what now), and got on The List! I seem to do best with the convergence and the bisecting, worst for parallelagram (oh, I can't spell it either). Gotta go!

mhwitt said...

Looking forward to trying some of these games!

The only online comic I have read regularly is Unshelved. ( To some extent it is insider humor for librarians and others who work in or with libraries, especially public libraries. People who rarely go to or think about libraries might find it a bit obtuse.

Jennifer said...

Okay, I'm out of Magic Pen levels.

The other members of my household are obsessively trying to catch up.

Please advise.

fingerstothebone said...

Oops, I meant the midsection one, not the equidistance one (I was good at that one). Anyhow, looking forward to trying the other games too.

Jennifer said...

The Boy has run out of Magic Pen levels as well.

I will have him write a novel next.

Jenners said...

Just what I need...more things to take away from what I really should be doing! much time do you spend doing these blogs?

Jenners said...


Someone tagged me in this thing and I panicked and tagged you in the item below. Feel free to ignore if you want.

Michael5000 said...

@Reb: I'm here to help.

@Tereza: Hmm, Google Image Labeler. Kind of fun, but the images render so poorly that I can hardly see what's in them. Maybe it's just this computer?

@MJ: My pleasure.

@Libby: Well done, little grasshopper! If I may call you "little grasshopper"! I will follow the amusing dinosaurs for a while and see if they stick!

@Serendipity: Glad I could help.

@mydog: Procrastination came to you to flourish!

@Dug: Damn employers.

@Eliz: Well done, second little grasshopper! I shall follow the droll line drawings of xkcd, and maybe the other.

@fingers: Congrats on your Listing! Another feather in your cap!

@Jenners: When people ask "how much time do you spend doing these blogs?" -- which happens with startling frequency -- I always feel like there might be an implied critique lurking beneath their curiosity about my scheduling priorities. But never mind that -- I would say that, at a minimum, if you include all three blogs and my reading of others' blogs and sporadic activity on the Facebooks, we're talking about a .25 job. Follow up questions? Anyone?

gl. said...

the only games bookmark i have had (up till now) has been this collection of meticulously illustrated, sweet games from orisinal:

Michael5000 said...

@gl.: Heavens, those are too cute. They are almost, like, TOO cute, but not quite. Meticulously illustrated and sweet is right!

Anonymous said...

I have already over played the eye balling game and now I am all set to play a few more of these.

My procrastination time allowance just increased. Thank you.

Get Your War On has vid now of the comics. They can be funny.