Summary of “The Universe’s Ultimate Complexity Revealed by Simple Quantum Games”

In all of these games, the rate at which players win has implications for the number of different ways the universe can be configured.
In 2017 three researchers proved that there are games with just five questions that can be won 100 percent of the time if the players have access to an unlimited number of entangled particles.
These games are all modeled on games invented more than 50 years ago by the physicist John Stewart Bell.
Bell developed the games to test one of the strangest propositions about the physical world made by the theory of quantum mechanics.
In the magic square game, and other games like it, there doesn’t seem to be a way for the players to win 100 percent of the time.
What Bell calculated, and what many subsequent experiments have shown, is that by exploiting the strange quantum correlations found in entanglement, players of games like the magic square game can coordinate their answers with greater exactness and win the game more than 89 percent of the time.
They’ve shown that not only do Bell’s games imply the reality of entanglement, but some games have the power to imply a whole lot more – like whether there is any limit to the number of configurations the universe can take.
Slofstra’s work suggests a way to test the distinction: Play a game that can only be won 100 percent of the time if the universe allows for infinite-dimensional state spaces.

The orginal article.

Summary of “From video game to day job: How ‘SimCity’ inspired a generation of city planners”

From video game to day job: How ‘SimCity’ inspired a generation of city planners – Los Angeles Times Jason Baker was studying political science at UC Davis when he got his hands on “SimCity.” He took a careful approach to the computer game.
Instead of writing a term paper about three different models for how cities can develop, Baker proposed building three scenarios in “SimCity,” then letting the game run on its own and writing about how his virtual cities fared.
“That’s what really got me thinking about urban planning and ‘SimCity,’ where you put in trains, where you help people move,” said Trinh, now acting senior transportation planner for Caltrans in downtown L.A. In more than a dozen interviews for this article, people who went from “SimCity” enthusiasts to professional planners talked about what they liked about the game: The way you can visualize how a single change affects a whole city.
Will Wright, the creator of “SimCity,” imagined when he designed the game that it would be interesting only to architects and city planners.
Like most video games based on real-world jobs, “SimCity” oversimplifies some of the more mundane elements of urban planning.
The “SimCity: BuildIt” app, developed at EA’s Twentytrack studio in Helsinki, Finland, has 6.1 million players and more than 200 million lifetime downloads, according to EA. Inka Spara, the game manager, said the team has purposefully brought a more European perspective to the game.
The vast majority of players, whose exposure to city planning begins and ends with the game, might come to think “SimCity’s” approach is the only way to build a city.
Top of mind among city planners today is a set of problems not present in the game.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Play a Tabletop RPG With No Planning or Extra Dice”

I looked for games that met my needs: mechanics everyone could learn in one session, but were still strong enough to bring structure and keep this from being make believe; scenarios we could jump into without an extra session for planning or character creation; no piles of dice or sheafs of paper or GM screen; no commitment past the first session.
“It’s one of the rare games where the more work you put in as a player, the more you get out of it.” How much work? He says he really started sucking the marrow around the thirtieth or fortieth play session.
One of his favorite games for this kind of play is the 48-page Into the Odd, a gothic game where each character has only three stats, and where a session can run about two hours.
You can’t rely on the one person with the extra dice if they don’t show up to every game.
Most only require a couple of six-sided dice, though some use the typical set of specialized RPG dice, especially the famous D20. You can see dozens of these games at the one-page RPG subreddit, or by searching around the general RPG subreddit.
If you want to watch someone else play a game, the Tempting Fate series is dedicated to playing microRPGs.
While microRPGs can be good for new players, I wouldn’t recommend them for first-time GMs. If you want to run a microRPG, you’ll find it a lot easier if you’ve run, or at least played, several sessions of an RPG. Always Be Ready to Play.
The first time you play a particular system, it can be helpful to have the rules printed out, maybe even an extra copy for the players.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How loot boxes hooked gamers and left regulators spinning”

Last May, the Belgian Gaming Commission decided that loot boxes fell under the jurisdiction of its gambling law, and studios like Blizzard, Valve, and EA all pulled loot boxes from their games in those countries.
“Loot boxes are a shining example of why we need to update our gambling law.” If the FTC investigation were to determine that loot boxes are an unfair or deceptive practice, the body could potentially declare a new rule that would affect the entire gaming industry.
Even while in beta testing, players were upset with how the game used loot boxes.
“We shouldn’t allow Star Wars to influence your kids to gamble.” Following the outrage, Hawaii state lawmakers made one of the most prominent change attempts, introducing four bills that would set rules for the gaming industry when it came to loot boxes and microtransactions.
“Depending on the game design, some loot boxes are earned and others can be purchased. In some games, they have elements that help a player progress through the video game. In others, they are optional features and are not required to progress or succeed in the game. In both cases, the gamer makes the decision.”
“A player can play through an entire video game successfully without buying a single loot box. In many cases, a loot box simply allows a user to collect a cosmetic in-game item. Loot boxes often enhance the experience for those who choose to use them, and are just another part of the many unique experiences that video games offer.”
If somebody – whether that be the FTC, Congress, or the courts – were to formally consider loot boxes as gambling, the gaming industry could suddenly be out billions in annual revenue, which could spell disaster for the industry’s current business model.
Geofenced intrastate online gambling can be legal, but since video game studios operate globally, studios could be forced to only sell loot boxes in states that already allow online casinos.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How former ref Tim Donaghy conspired to fix NBA games”

Jack ConcannonSuburban Philadelphia insurance salesman and friend of Donaghy who, in spring 2003, partnered with Donaghy to bet on NBA games that the referee was working.
The NBA conducted its own investigation and concluded that Donaghy did not fix games.
The research entailed interviews with more than 100 people, including current and former NBA referees, current and former NBA staff, gamblers, bookmakers, lawyers, law enforcement officials and friends and relatives of Donaghy.
Two years of reporting later, the story can now be told: This is the definitive account of how Tim Donaghy conspired to fix NBA games – and how, in so doing, he unwittingly enriched an array of gamblers to the tune of likely hundreds of millions of dollars.
Perhaps the greatest is this: that Donaghy was the ref who colluded with gamblers on NBA games for one disgraceful season.
A decade later, in the break room of the hair salon he worked in, Martino told me how it had gone: Martino had already known that their mutual buddy Tim Donaghy had been betting on his own NBA games with Concannon, and winning those bets.
Martino late at night on the phone with Donaghy, the pair having developed a nightly before-bed ritual: If Donaghy’s pick was a winner, if the spread had been covered, Martino calling the ref and whispering “Good boy,” and Donaghy echoing “Good boy” and then hanging up …. Donaghy calling two fouls 50 seconds apart against the 76ers’ leading scorer, Andre Iguodala, in the third quarter against Boston, with the score’s margin right on the spread. Iguodala heading to the bench; Boston covering the spread … Donaghy in Seattle, the Sonics hosting the Mavericks, calling 11 straight fouls against Seattle as well as the last foul of the night, with 23 seconds to go.
IN A STATEMENT to ESPN at the end of January, the NBA said: “To be clear, the Pedowitz team and the NBA performed substantial statistical and data-based analyses to determine whether Donaghy attempted to manipulate games he officiated. All of our efforts were focused on understanding precisely what he did and how he did it so we would be best equipped to protect the integrity of our games going forward.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Zion Williamson Defies Belief”

Zion’s dunks are the lowest type of hanging fruit for the casual basketball fan, but even the smarmiest hoop nerds become giddy schoolchildren when Zion pro-hops 10 feet to split an eager double-team and hit an open shooter.
Years ago, before player movement was really policed, teams would likely have just beaten the shit out of Zion.
In a transition sequence, Zion can play any part and blow the doors off of the defense, and the pressure his presence puts on the opponent brings heavy gravitational pull in his direction.
Imagine if Zion were playing on a roster that could’ve forecasted his role at the next level.
It’s easy to get carried away imagining how much his spatial advantages will improve in the NBA. Duke’s lack of shooting has also played a part in depriving us of Zion as a screener and short-roll creator.
Physical outliers like Zion give the offensive player a moment of ” oh no.
Ever since Sports-Reference began keeping stats, no player has soared to the heights that Zion has in PER, win shares per 40 minutes, offensive box plus/minus, and box plus/minus.
Years from now, when we’re passing around stories of this excitement, it’ll be fun to watch people attempt to separate folklore from reality-because the reality of Zion Williamson is that hard to believe.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Steph Curry’s Game Is More Than Just His Shot”

“Imagine the amount of space required to get a shot off from that low,” Dell Curry told me over the phone in early February.
You realize how much the NBA has changed in 10 years when you read old scouting reports on Curry and so much of the focus is on whether he can be a “True point guard.” But Curry said that in high school he actually was a pass-first player who didn’t use his shooting to his advantage as much as he probably should have.
Curry played as a 2-guard his first two seasons until point guard Jason Richards graduated, which thrust Curry into the primary playmaking role for the first time since high school.
As the talent around his Warriors teams grew, Curry had to find balance between getting his own shot and setting up others.
“Everything has so much more purpose to what I do training-wise. It connects the whole chain, so I can carry a little bit more weight, be strong, and still be able to change directions in a split second, run, and cover as much ground on the court as I do,” Curry said.
Even with Durant on the roster, Curry is already shooting nearly as many times per game as he did during his historic 2015-16 MVP season, with slightly more 3s. Thompson’s numbers are nearly identical, too.
What could Curry do with 24 shots per game like Harden or Westbrook? As efficient as Harden is this season, it’s still below Curry’s career average.
The past five seasons, Curry has posted an astronomical 65.2 true shooting percentage on 18.3 shots and 26.7 points per game.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Meet Paul George, Destroyer of Worlds”

Maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that this is the way things are unfolding for Paul George.
We’ve known for nearly a decade that George had everything he’d need to become a star, and he’s made good on that promise, earning six All-Star berths and four All-NBA nods in his eight healthy seasons.
Portland point forward Evan Turner drew the George matchup only a couple of times on Monday, according to NBA.com’s player tracking.
“Everybody in the whole arena can see that: He’s at a different level,” said Damian Lillard, a four-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA selection in his own right, after George scalded his Blazers.
Over the past 20 games, George has averaged 32.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 4.1 assists in 37.8 minutes per game; he’s done so while shooting a blistering 45.4 percent from 3-point range on 10.8 attempts a night.
For all his well-chronicled shooting woes, Russell Westbrook continues to provide an elite complement to George in the other facets of the game.
The rhythm Oklahoma City has found wouldn’t be possible without the space Westbrook has ceded to allow George to step forward or the relationship the pair has built since George’s arrival in the summer of 2017.
What he’s doing now is special, undeniable; whether you call it Most Valuable or not, it’s been remarkable to watch George grow into something beyond even the version of the player we dreamed he might be.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Pretending to Be Famous in The Sims”

Get to Work, released in 2015, extends game play from the home to the office and allows Sims to open their own businesses.
Sims 4: Get Famous, released in November, introduces social media and influencers to play with another aspect of modern human existence: the managerial upkeep of identity.
Although celebrities in Showtime can greet other Sims with an “Ever heard of me?” and, in the more cynical Superstar, suffer nervous breakdowns that get reported in the tabloids, the games made chasing fame seem like an honest living.
“Really what we do in the game is generally lighthearted … We present this as a serious career, a real career, a real way to go about making a living.” It should be noted that getting rich, available as a rewarded objective since Sims 2, is much easier than becoming famous; any Sim that goes to work and spends thriftily can be affluent before old age.
A bright-green “+Fame” qualifier allows users to nudge their Sims’ celebrity level by directing their Sims to post social-media status updates or upload photos to Simstogram.
Get Famous makes two types of in-game drones available for purchase with Sims money, and Sims can upload pre-recorded drone footage or stream live, quickly gaining bursts of new followers.
You cannot, I’ve discovered, take drone footage of Sims mid-“Woohoo,” the game’s euphemism for sex.
Once you achieve it, the best and most amusing parts of Sims celebrity are safely conventional.

The orginal article.

Summary of “”They’re more attractive than real boyfriends.” Inside the weird world of Chinese romance video games”

“The men in the game are more attractive than real boyfriends,” says one fan, who asked not to be named.
Considering how many TV shows, movies and novels feature romance as an integral part of their story, it’s strange how romantic games are still relatively uncommon.
Lovingly crafted though they were, this doesn’t contradict the opinion that video games are not a medium well-suited to romance and that the genre is better explored through more passive mediums.
“There’s a wonderful new generation of players and developers alike who want something deeper, something more, something that’s more meaningful than ‘pew pew’ and ‘vroom vroom'”, says Heidi McDonald, an American game designer and author of Digital Love: Romance and Sexuality in Games.
Many games present simple, mechanistic approaches to their romance.
In many ways, video games offer the ultimate wish fulfilment.
“There’s this police officer, he’s always there when you need him, whenever you have a dangerous situation. This doesn’t happen in real life, you can’t rely on a guy like this. He will not always be there when you need him. That’s a female fantasy”, says Yan.In China and the West, games are finally grappling with the complex themes of love and romance.
Advertisement – Inside the strange world of China’s romantic video games.

The orginal article.