Valiant Hearts Free on iOS
The first episode of Valiant Hearts, a wonderful game that deals with WWI history and the repercussions of war on its combatants and civilians, is now free on iOS. The game comes in four episodes, each under $5. The free episode does not extend to Android versions, however.
Arkansas Requiring Computer Science
Arkansas will become the first state in the U.S. to require schools to offer computer science. The law will take effect in the 2015-2016 school year. Because some districts do not have the funding to put the program into effect, classes will also be offered through Virtual Arkansas. Governer Asa Hutchinson reiterated that students will not be required to take computer science to graduate, but rather they will have the option to do so.
BioWare Founder Making Playground Apps
Greg Zeschuk, one of the founders of BioWare, has turned to making apps for kids. He is working with Biba, a company looking to make free-to-play apps for mobile designed to help make time on the playground more interactive for kids and their parents. One example would be kids racing around the playground pretending to be cars while parents act as pit crew, using their phones to track laps and mimic repairs. Zeschuk says he wants to try to bring digital play and physical play together.
This War of Mine DLC Supports Child Refugees from Syria
This War of Mine is a warzone survivor simulator played from the perspective of a civilian, and its War Child Charity DLC has raised enough money from sales to help 350 child refugees from the conflict in Syria. This help comes in the form of psycho-social support for trauma recovery, child-friendly safe spaces, and informal education, including teacher training and school fees.
How Devs Rate Their Games for Google Play
Matt Small has done a write-up of the steps developers take to rate their games and apps for Google Play. Interesting reading for parents who would like to know about how it works!
Anita Sarkeesian Starts New Series on Positive Representation
Anita Sarkeesian, creator of the Feminist Frequency series “Tropes in Video Games,” which details often-used sexist tropes in gaming, has started a new series on examples of positive female role models in games. The first video can be found here. It examines the game Sword and Sworcery.
Plays.tv Wants to be the Instagram for Gaming
Raptr is a new online gaming platform that has released an Instagram or Vine-like service called Plays.tv. Users will be able to record and upload short snippets of gameplay video and share on social networks. Raptr hopes to capitalize on e-sports popularity.
Nintendo Direct Announces New Amiibo, Animal Crossing
Nintendo made several announcements on Wednesday during its Nintendo Direct presentation. In addition to revealing the next wave of amiibo figurines, they also announced two new kinds of amiibo: soft, plushy amiibos and amiibos that resemble playing cards. The card amiibos will be compatible with the upcoming game Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. Nintendo also revealed more details about its upcoming game Splatoon, as well as a new faster speed for Mario Kart 8 drivers and several brand new trailers for upcoming games.