The Polish government has launched a Minecraft server for housebound kids

about X hours ago from
The Polish government has launched a Minecraft server for housebound kids

In an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus, Poland has shut its schools until at least April 10. While online classes are widespread, there's still the problem of keeping housebound kids occupied. The Polish government thinks it has the answer: among other initiatives, it has just launched a Minecraft server.

Speaking Simulator adds co-op multiplayer

about X hours ago from
Speaking Simulator adds co-op multiplayer

Our own Christopher Livingston found himself empathizing greatly with the robotic character you play in Speaking Simulator. "As an extremely self-conscious, shy, anxiety-riddled person," he wrote, "I spend most of my face-to-face conversations struggling to get my thoughts out properly and imagining the other person's suspicion meter rising, too."

Here’s how spectator mode works for Half-Life: Alyx, plus hitting a headcrab with a chair

about X hours ago from
Here’s how spectator mode works for Half-Life: Alyx, plus hitting a headcrab with a chair

Valve has published a little guide to Half-Life: Alyx’s unique spectator mode, a way to turn the game’s VR output into something comprehensible for someone watching on a regular screen. There’s also a frankly stunning gameplay gif of Alyx battering a headcrab with a chair, which is the strongest answer for “Why is this game in VR?” I’ve ever seen. Spectator mode is useful for both streamers and in-person watching. 

F1 has taken their cancelled Grand Prix series to Twitch and it’s good, actually

about X hours ago from
F1 has taken their cancelled Grand Prix series to Twitch and it’s good, actually

Widespread sickness may have cancelled Formula 1 racing this year, but the racing association has taken their Grand Prix series online. F1 intends to hold every cancelled GP online, starting with today’s virtual Grand Prix Bahrain. Today’s Grand Prix Bahrain was a 25% length race—14 laps—on PC in F1 2019. The driver lineup for the race was a mix of real-life drivers and racing game streamers, plus chat favorite Lando Norris, who is both—Norris is a racer for McLaren who commonly streams both iRacing and PUBG. There’s also Paul Chaloner, known as ReDeYe, a major host and presenting personality who you’ve likely seen on a stage if you watch much esports. You can watch the race below, at about an hour and 40 minutes long. 

Steam continues breaking records, this time at 22 million users

about X hours ago from
Steam continues breaking records, this time at 22 million users

Spiking 10% over last weekend's record-breaking high, Steam has reached a new peak concurrent user count of 22 million online. With 22,678,529 users this record is yet another for Steam in the past weeks as millions of people practice social distancing, isolation, lockdown, and quarantine under the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Like previous spikes, this spike came at around 15:00 GMT: Mid-morning for the United States, afternoon in the UK, and peak night gaming hours in China. 

When does Half-Life: Alyx unlock in my time zone?

about X hours ago from
When does Half-Life: Alyx unlock in my time zone?

It's a surreal moment in PC gaming history: we're just a few short hours away from the release of a new Half-Life game. A VR exclusive isn't what everyone had in mind for Half-Life 2's long-awaited follow-up, but Valve is promising that Half-Life: Alyx is a full-fledged game in its own right.

World of Warcraft hands out 100% bonus XP for the next month

about X hours ago from
World of Warcraft hands out 100% bonus XP for the next month

There’s a lot of advice out there about what you should be doing while you're stuck at a distance from others during the pandemic, either due to healthy following of the social distancing ethos or because you're under actual lockdown. The World Health Organization says you shouldn't smoke or drink because you don't want to compromise your immune system. How about something equally addictive, then? How about a little... World of Warcraft. Yes, the game that once hosted a horrible pandemic of its own wants you to play a bit while on lockdown.

Turn falling stock prices into a fun ski slope in Stock Jump

about X hours ago from
Turn falling stock prices into a fun ski slope in Stock Jump

Sos Sosowski, designer of Mosh Pit Simulator, McPixel, and a piano that plays Doom, has a new browser game called Stock Jump. It takes real stock market data from the Finnhub Stock API, turns the graph of its plummeting value into a slope, then positions you at the top as a tiny red-and-yellow skier. You click and release to jump, huffing up the inclines before you reach the inevitable drop and leap to the bottom. The distance you travel off your last jump gives your final score in meters.