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This week it’s all the video game news and rumors with gaming moms Nicole Tanner and Linda Breneman. Plus lovely and brilliant young ‘uns Simone de Rochefort and Keezy Young. Everything from summer sales of games that teach us math to Russian billionaires who may be risking all our lives by contacting aliens—we have it all!

You can download the mp3 directly here, listen to it in the player above, or…


News & Views

  • The School’s Out Summer Sale is on right now. It’s your chance to download great educational apps at a discount! Jenna Hoffstein’s great game The Counting Kingdom is part of the sale. Also included is another fave of ours, Slice Fractions, which Courtney Holmes reviewed on Pixelkin. And there’s a physics game called Agent Higgs that teaches you all about particles and forces. Plus a terrific word game and a rhythm game Simone wants to play.
  • The Angry Birds 2 game was announced. Yes, it’s going to be Angry Birds 2, not 22! The trailer Rovio released doesn’t offer much info. We speculate about how they’re going to make Angry Birds 2 different from all the other Angry Birds games out there. Simone comes up with a pretty good guess. We talk about whether or not Angry Birds is the Mother of All Apps. Perhaps the rightful owner of that crown is Bejeweled. What do YOU think?

  • All the kids (and adult kids) who are playing the newest Pokémon game will want to participate in a chance to get the new limited edition Pokemon—only this weekend.

    Diancie, the cute new limited-edition Pokémon.

  • Once you get the much-anticipated Windows upgrade, Windows 10, you’ll be able to stream Xbox games on your computer. How do you play Xbox games that use a controller on a computer? Well, Nicole says, you plug in a controller to your computer. But sometimes it’s harder than it sounds to make your controller-controlled game work on your PC.
  • Colorful and cute amiibo cards are on the way. The cards will have the same kind of NFC chip that amiibo figurines have. The chips add different kinds of functionality to certain Nintendo video games.
  • There’s action on the lawsuit pertaining to an issue with an alleged Xbox 360 defect. In March, a three-judge circuit court panel denied a class-action suit about the 360 scratching discs due to the alleged defect, but that panel didn’t throw out the entire case. This week the full Ninth Circuit Court denied Microsoft’s request to have the case thrown out and also reversed the initial decision about no class action. The lawsuit will move forward to federal district court, where it may become a class-action suit, unless Microsoft appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • College athletes sued over their likenesses being used in Electronic Arts official NCAA video games. Now a federal judge in the District Court of Northern California approved the decision to award a total of $60 million to the athletes. This amount covers two settlements. In May, EA and the College Licensing Company agreed to pay $40 million to the players and in June the NCAA agreed to pay $20 million.
  • A small research study found that guys hate losing to girls in Halo 3 more than they hate losing to other men. We say “DUH!” to that finding.
  • Stephen Hawking is partnering with a Russian tycoon to listen for intelligent life in space. We hope we get a heads up about any intelligent life out there, but we also hope the aliens don’t find us and eat us. Nicole and Linda conduct an extremely spoiler-free and therefore vague book club session about the book The Sparrow
  • There’s a thing now called real-life escape room games—sort of like a real-life Portal reenactment. People get together and solve puzzles in order to escape from places, like locked rooms or even stadiums. Fun! We want to try one!
  • In a Microsoft student tech competition, an FPS video game made by a group of students from Nepal will be competing for the $50,000 prize. The game is about robots shooting poachers to save endangered animals.
  • Simone did a story about why digital games cost so much. The variation in game prices—and all the factors that affect the prices—is pretty fascinating.
  • Gamescom, the big video gaming convention in Cologne, Germany, is happening August 5–9. IGN published a list of games that will be there.

What We Played


Viva Pinata is cute.

  • Nicole played Viva Piñata with her 3-year-old daughter Ana, who loves to whack the “sour” piñatas. We talk about how hard it is to learn how to use a controller to actually look at the things you’re trying to whack. Nicole admits she doesn’t have time in her busy life right now to properly play Dragon Age games.
  • Keezy is playing Dragon Age Inquisition on hard mode. And she played Art Academy Home Studio, which isn’t really a game, exactly.
  • Simone is playing The Last of Us. She thinks it’s beautiful. But the achievements are all too hard to get. She also played NekoBuro.
  • Linda has been playing Motion Math: Cupcake!, a game that puts you in the role of a cupcake tycoon. It might be good for little kids to learn the ins and outs of concepts like cost of goods sold. She’s also been playing an addictive little Android mobile game called Floating Islands Rescue.floating islands rescue

Oh, yeah, and Simone and Nicole are still playing the adorable word game Alphabear.


This podcast was recorded in the studios of the Jack Straw Cultural Center in Seattle. The music is by Pat Goodwin at Novelty Shop Creative. Nicole Tanner, Linda Breneman, Simone de Rochefort, and Keezy Young participated in this podcast. Thanks for listening and if you liked this episode, please rate us on iTunes!


This article was written by

Linda learned to play video games as a way to connect with her teenaged kids, and then she learned to love video games for their own sake. At Pixelkin she wrangles the business & management side of things, writes posts as often as she can, reaches out on the social media, and does the occasional panel or talk. She lives in Seattle, where she writes, studies, plays video games, spends time with her family, consumes vast quantities of science fiction, and looks after her small cockapoo. She loves to hear from people out there. You can read more about her at her website, Linda or her family foundation's website,