Grand Theft Gato? Games for your cat will totally not ruin your iPad screen…

Like many cat owners, I opt to keep my fluffy friend an indoors-only kitty. I live in an apartment complex near a busy road, but even if I didn’t, he would still be an indoor cat. The average life expectancy for an indoor cat is 12-15 years, while the average life expectancy of an outdoor cat is only 2-5 years. This is due in part to the typical dangers of not living a cozy, sheltered life, as well as a much higher risk of deadly diseases, such as feline leukemia.

Although I know I have his best interests at heart, I do admit to having mixed feelings about keeping my cat cooped up indoors, away from the world at all times. A cat is meant to be a cat! They are hunters and full of energy! You can see it in the way their ears perk up when they hear a bird, their eyes fixate on the smallest of movements, and in their notorious daily episodes of running around the house like a mad animal for no particular reason. However, this is the Digital Age. If we can’t have something in reality, we’ll simulate it! Thankfully for indoor kitties everywhere, Hiccup has done just that.

Whoever said video games are only for humans is obviously not up with the times. 2 years ago this month, Game for Cats debuted on the Apple iPad, and it’s exactly what it sounds like: a game for cats. Originally an imitation of a laser pointer, today’s most recent update of Game for Cats also simulates mice to play on cats’ predatory instincts. Although it is only a myth that cats can see in the dark, they do have superior motion-detecting vision, which explains how their eyes can dart around a room countless times within a split second when trying to catch a string – or in this case, a mouse on an iPad screen.

If you’re like me, and often deal with the split dilemma of keeping your kitty safe while wanting him to play to his predatory heart’s content, feast your eyes on Game for Cats. Of course, it does require you to have an iPad, but never fear about leaving your fuzzy friends to their own devices with such an expensive toy; many tests have ensured that sharp kitty claws will not pierce the iPad’s durable screen.



Will STASIS creep you out? The latest in horror video play.

Last week we discussed the rejuvenated popularity of sci-fi and fantasy on television as well as the big screen.  With The Hunger Games still packing theaters full and the leak of the second Game of Thrones episode for season two, both genres are undeniably thriving.  However, it appears that sci-fi is about to receive recognition on yet another screen – your PC.

This week, a second teaser trailer for sci-fi horror adventure game STASIS was released. Although no real gameplay is included in the trailer, the game’s designers have done an excellent job in creating tension build up– and that’s just in the trailer. If the game in its completed stage keeps up with what the trailer has anticipated, players are sure to experience all the chills, thrills, and goosebumps they hope for.

STASIS begins with “you” waking up disoriented on the floor as John Marachek – an ordinary family man who finds himself in an extraordinary and unfortunate situation. Although the game plays off of traditional adventure game mechanics including puzzle solving and logic, it is very unique in its graphics and attention to detail, creating an interactive and realistic environment for players to immerse themselves in.

Possibly the most terrifying part of STASIS, though, is that most of the situations the player finds himself in are not over the top far-fetched and could feasibly happen in real life, truly playing off of players’ instincts and challenging their thoughts. Dubbing its environment as “a place where humanity’s horrors come out to play”, STASIS ultimately asks the question: how far would you go to protect your family? – a question I’m sure we’ve all thought about at one time or another, but hope to never need to find out.

Although no official release date has been announced, Stasis is predicted to launch sometime in 2013. While STASIS is certain to meet or exceed expectations and excitement, I would not be surprised if it also leaves us questioning things we’ve never previously considered or looking at daily circumstances in a slightly different light.

Science Technology

Want to be an air traffic controller? Buy the iPhone game

I’m sure like most of you, I’ve been waiting for the day when I could declare myself an official expert on some subject or the other because I’d recently played a video game. In my youthful mind’s eye, decades ago, I envisioned such a game as a huge walk-in virtual reality system with wall-sized monitors and fully-emersed game experience.

But as it turns out, you only need a $200 phone and a free app to become an air traffic controller. @NASA has released a new iPhone app (Android version still in development, WTF?) that allows you to manage and alter the trajectory of incoming airplanes in California and Nevada air space. The idea is to demonstrate the need for math skills and patience in dealing with the complex world of air traffic control.

Or, you could just get shit-faced on cheap whiskey, sit in your living room in your undies and intentionally smash planes into one another while listening to Surf Nicaragua at full volume. There does not appear to be anything in the game that prevents this:

NASA – NASA Releases Sector 33 Air Traffic Control Educational Game App.