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Donald Rumsfeld helped design a Churchill-themed solitaire app

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Want to make sure your solitaire app stands out from the glut of mobile card games? Step one: Tie it to a famous historical figure like Winston Churchill.  Step two: Enlist former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as your lead designer.

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Rumsfeld is an avid fan of a particular variant of solitaire Churchill supposedly played during the war, and the retired politician teamed up with a D.C. design firm and an Indiana coder to preserve the game for digital posterity. 

The result is "Churchill Solitaire," which The Wall Street Journal dubs "likely the only video game developed by an 83-year-old man using a Dictaphone to record memos for the programmers." 

The Journal's in-depth piece on the creation of "Churchill Solitaire" is full of amazing anecdotes from Rumsfeld's brush with game design: his frustration with bug testing, his outrage when a server wipe erases his progress, his disdain for the cowardly undo button.

But now that Rumsfeld's worked through the teething pains, we're hoping he sticks with his new career as a game designer. Imagine a Rumsfeld-made management sim set in the Pentagon, for example. Or a hidden-object game about WMDs in Iraq.

"Churchill Solitaire" is available now on the Apple App Store and is free to download; the game sells levels and uses of the hint or undo buttons to get revenue. Rumsfeld says he's going to donate his share of the proceeds to charity.

'Madden: The Movie' ramps up anticipation for game's release

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Football season is almost upon us.

Meanwhile, #MaddenSeason has already arrived.

EA Sports released "Madden: The Movie" for its highly anticipated game on Friday. The nearly 5-minute long clip features acting from some of the NFL's best players: the Steelers' Antonio Brown, the Falcons' Julio Jones, the 49ers' Colin Kaepernick and the Patriots' Rob Gronkowski.

Newly hired Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan is also in it, along with Dave Franco and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Absent is Madden 16 cover (and New York Giants) star Odell Beckham Jr.

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Is it extravagant? Yes.

Is it over the top? Arguably.

Is it on sale yet? No, the game will be released Tuesday.

Quiz: How much do you know about Father's Day?

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How much do you know about Father's Day? Test your knowledge of the holiday with these five questions. Don't forget to tell us how you did in the comments below!

>> Special section: Father's Day

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Katy Perry bumps out Kim K for the next celeb mobile game

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Kim Kardashian may have been one of the first celebrities with their own mobile games, but Super Bowl halftime songstress is roaring into the mobile gaming world. 

Katy Perry has teamed up with the same company, Glu, that published Kim K's game "Kim Kardashian Hollywood" last year, according to E Online

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Glu Mobile announced its five-year deal with Perry that will use her likeness and voice in the iOS and Android game.  USA Today said more details will be released later, with the release coming in the second half of the year. 

Glu Mobile has been successful with Kim's game, with more than 28 million downloads, the New York Post has reported.

Internet Archive revives more than 900 retro arcade games; play for free online

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Say goodbye to your productivity. A whole treasure trove of old-school video games is now available for free online. 

The Internet Archive, a nonprofit that seeks to back up pretty much everything in the entire digital world, has made more than 900 classic arcade games playable in your browser. The site explains, "The game collection ranges from early 'bronze-age' videogames, with black-and-white screens and simple sounds, through to large-scale games containing digitized voices, images and music."

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They include a whole host of popular, coin-operated video games from the 1970s through the 1990s, such as Pac Man, Galaga and hundreds you may not have even heard of before. In some cases, the games' controls didn't transfer very smoothly to the keyboard and some files are missing sound, but there are definitely enough working games to keep you entertained for a while.

writer for Tech Crunch was pretty optimistic the group will work out the kinks, saying, "Just the fact that they got [the emulator] working in a browser, sans any hefty plugin/runtime environments, is damned impressive."

These arcade games are the latest iteration of the JSMESS project, which has already emulated a few dozen retro gaming consoles such as the Atari and Sega Genesis for use in an internet browser 

There's no denying it's a cool idea, but freely distributing emulated versions of other people's games does sound kind of illegal. Although some game companies don't often raise a fuss over this kind of emulation, others argue emulation is a form of piracy.

But, as the BBC pointed out the last time Internet Archive published old games, much of this software falls into a "legal grey area" because it's considered obsolete, meaning it wouldn't otherwise be available if not for emulators. 

Jason Scott, the archivist who did much of the work on the new Internet Arcade, explained in a blog post that the effort is about software history, and that he hopes members of the public will enjoy the games and some "will begin plotting out ways to use this stuff in research, in writing and remixing these old games into understanding their contexts."

And so far people really seem to be enjoying his work. He tweeted that the Internet arcade is getting twice as many hits as the front page of the Internet Archive website. 

The best part about all of this? You never have to worry about running out of quarters. 

This video contains images from Rick Chung / CC BY NC ND 2.0.

Can you match the horror movie tagline to the film?

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Over the yeas, many of us have seen classic horror movies at the theaters or in our homes. We may even remember the chills and screams those films have induced.

But how well do you remember the catchy movie taglines that went with those horror flicks?

Try your hand at this quiz on horror movie taglines ... just choose your answers wisely or the next scream you hear may be your own.

Brands and gamers are losers of 'Gamergate'

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The online movement 'Gamergate' claims to be about journalism ethics, but critics say it's really just an excuse for harassing and bullying women. The movement has splintered the gaming community into two sides of a vehement debate since August. 

But what role do brands play in this movement – or should they play a role at all? 

Gamergate activists have been pressuring companies to take a side in the debate by removing their advertising from certain sites deemed hostile to the movement. It's called "Operation Disrespectful Nod," and it's successfully pulled ad campaigns run by Intel and Adobe.

And a Fortune writer goes after the "normally chatty companies ... [who] have hit the mute button" as people have verbally attacked women gamers for criticizing the movement. 

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Fortune contacted seven top game publishers. Only one, Ubisoft, the company behind "Assassin's Creed" and "Watch Dogs," responded, denouncing the bullying campaigns that have become a part of Gamergate — but that's about it. 

According to The Associated Press, Gamergate backers "have been harassing several prominent women in the video game industry and their supporters for criticizing the lack of diversity and how women are portrayed in games." Software engineer Brianna Wu said she had to leave her home after receiving death and rape threats online. In addition, feminist speaker Anita Sarkeesian canceled a speech at Utah State University after receiving an anonymous threat of a mass shooting.

A feminist gamer wrote an opinion piece earlier this week saying game publishers and other big companies have stayed out of the fray not because they're "cowards" but because they, in her words, "have interests that align with #GamerGate and so yeah, they aren't going to do anything to stop it."

But an article from AdAge argues brands should stay out of it because "like most political, cultural battles, responding is a lose-lose situation." 

One example used in the AdAge article: Intel, who seemed to be siding with Gamergate after buckling to advocates' demands by pulling ads from website Gamasutra. That prompted backlash from Gamergate's opponents, and Intel later issued an apology denouncing the harassment of women.

So the "stay out of it" suggestion seems a bit difficult to follow because, in Intel's case, they were targeted before saying anything and attacked after they pulled their ads — brands are damned if they do and damned if they don't. 

Companies aren't the only one in a Catch-22. A writer at Bloomberg View says, "this battle is impossible for anyone to win ... the GamerGate War is making it no longer fun to be a geek on the Internet."

This video includes images from Getty Images. 

Do video games trump brain training for cognitive boosts?

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We've all heard how we should be keeping our brains active, and there are no end of services dedicated to helping you accomplish that, promising to make you smarter or improve your memory by training your brain.

But instead of making 15 minutes of "brain training" part of your normal routine, what if you could get that mental boost from games that are meant for fun rather than exercise?

A recent study pit Portal 2, Valve's critically acclaimed puzzle game, against Lumosity, one of the top-selling brain training programs.

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Participants were assigned to spend eight hours playing one of the games over two weeks. They were given cognitive tests both before and after their gaming homework.

And the researchers say Portal 2 is king. While the Lumosity group saw no changes in their scores, the Portal 2 group saw gains in problem solving, spatial skill and persistence tests.

Of course, saying Portal 2 is the new brain training champion is a bit of a stretch. Lumosity advertises itself as helping your brain improve over time, not just with the handful of sessions described in the study.

But this does highlight something interesting: Lots of recent studies have shown that video games do affect the brain in some positive ways.

One study found that gamers who were assigned to play Super Mario 64 for 30 minutes a day saw gray matter increases in parts of the brain related to spatial reasoning, problem solving and fine motor skills.

Another found that having older adults play Blizzard's popular World of Warcraft online game boosted cognitive abilities — particularly in those seniors who scored the lowest on the initial tests. One of the researchers said, "The people who needed it most ... saw the most improvement."

Video games seem particularly good at strengthening areas of the brain related to spatial reasoning and problem solving — not surprising, since so many games focus on navigating virtual worlds and solving puzzles. 

But, oddly enough, the jury is still out on those games meant specifically to train your brain. While some studies have shown they can improve brain function, most have found either no benefit or mixed results.

Of course, there can be too much of a good thing: studies have also shown that spending too much time on video games can influence mood and social skills. For the moment, most experts recommend limiting gaming to around an hour a day.

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Scrabble dictionary's new words include 'selfie,' 'hashtag'

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Scrabble fans are about to get a lot more choices when mixing and matching those lettered blocks: 5,000 new words have been added to the official dictionary, including "selfie," "bromance" and "buzzkill." (Via mydalliance / CC BY NC ND 2.0

It's been 10 years since the classic word game updated its vocabulary, and the new additions — including "hashtag," "dubstep" even "schmutz" — inject some 21st-century lingo into the 76-year-old game. (Via KTNV)

So far, Merriam-Webster, the company that publishes "The Official Scrabble Player Dictionary," has released only 30 of the 5,000 new words it will add to its expansive 100,000-word archive. So we really only got a small sample.

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One powerhouse of a new word is "quinzhee." 

ABC: "This is apparently a shelter made from digging in a pile of snow. ... There's a potential of a 401-point play."

Some two-letter words have been added, as well: "da" (short for dad), "gi" (a white garment worn in martial arts) and "po" (a chamber pot). (Via Jonathon Colman / CC BY NC ND 2.0)

John Chew, co-president of the North American Scrabble Players Association, said the updates will "go a long way toward bringing us closer to the language as it is currently spoken." (Via CNN)

As nice as the modernized vocabulary is for the word game, some Scrabble enthusiasts have shrugged off the new additions.

Forbes contributor and Scrabble enthusiast Jeremy Greenfield says most die-hard Scrabble players don't even use the official dictionary due to some questionable entries. He cites the book "Word Freak," which says some players are offended by the inclusion of "'jew' (a verb meaning 'bargained in a miserly way') and others, like 'fart' and 'fatso.'"

Greenfield said players instead use competing dictionaries like "The Official Tournament and Club Word List" or, for international players, the extensive word list called "SOWPODS." (Via Howcast)

The new fifth edition of "The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary" goes on sale Wednesday, but the new words will be sidelined for the upcoming 2014 National Scrabble Championship in Buffalo, New York, on Aug. 9, as the updated official dictionary goes into effect Dec. 1.

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