Grindr is removing an "ethnicity filter" from its dating app as part of its support for the Black Lives Matter movement, the company announced on Monday. The controversial feature, limited to those who stump up £12.99 a month for the premium version of the app, allows users to sort search results based on reported ethnicity, height, weight and other characteristics. In a statement posted to Instagram, the company said "We stand in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the hundreds of thousands of queer people of color who log in to our app every day. "We will continue to fight racism on Grindr, both through dialogue with our community and a zero-tolerance policy for racism and hate speech on our platform. As part of this commitment, and based on your feedback, we have decided to remove the ethnicity filter from our next release.
Singapore park-goers have been reminded of their social distancing obligations by Boston Dynamics' yellow "dog". The robot hound is equipped with numerous cameras and sensors, which it can use to detect transgressors and broadcast pre-recorded warnings. The authorities have reassured locals it is not a quadruped data-collection device. In Milton Keynes a recently expanded fleet of six-wheeled robots has been delivering food and small supermarket shopping consignments to hungry residents. The town's large network of cycle paths makes it ideally suited to the knee-high machines, which trundle along at a top speed of 4mph.
In difficult times, nostalgia can be a balm, and sometimes you want your games to be totally uncomplicated. Currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, the original iteration of Pac-Man still rules. It is a simple game – gobble the dots, avoid the ghosts – but the genius is in the details: did you know that each ghost behaves slightly differently according to their personality? A landmark game for storytelling with big swords and bigger hair, Final Fantasy VII might look a bit rough these days but the tale it tells is still rich and absorbing. There is a fancy, beautiful-looking remake available now, but the original version is much cheaper, still pretty great, and hits that 90s nostalgia spot.
It is a narrative standard in role-playing adventure games: the hero is pitted against a Big Evil, who has a strategic or chaotic hunger to destroy the world we know. From Shinra's greedy harvesting of the planet's resources in Final Fantasy VII Remake to Ganondorf's quest for power and destruction across more than 30 years of Legend of Zelda games, the stakes are always astronomically high. But what really makes these fictional realms worth saving? Role-playing games need to offer more than a sequence of linked events toward a monumental finale. A world is made of people, not just objectives.
Tue 19 May 2020 06.14 EDT Last modified on Tue 19 May 2020 06.16 EDT When legendary chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov found himself beaten by IBM's Deep Blue supercomputer, it was seen as a seminal moment in the evolution of artificial intelligence. A road trodden by war heroes and student researchers alike, whose singular desire to create a program that could beat the very best in the world would shape an entire science. Early origins Chess lends itself well to computer programming. Where other games can depend more on gut instinct or physical skill, chess is a game of strict binary rules – a move is either correct or it isn't. It's a game where multiple permutations, strategies and responses to moves and gambits could all be pre-programmed.
When the idea to make a Minecraft spinoff was first batted around at Mojang Studios, a dungeon crawler game must have been one of the first suggestions. From Gauntlet to Diablo, this genre has always featured dank subterranean lairs, treasure chests and warrior skeletons – all beloved Minecraft components. The signature blocky visuals also work well, ensuring that Minecraft Dungeons will look familiar to fans as they hurtle through dioramas of hack-and-slash fun that rearrange themselves each time you play. The plot is paper thin: a vengeful loner discovers a treasure that turns him into a powerful mage and duly begins a reign of terror over the Minecraft kingdom. The game can be played alone, but it is most enjoyable to play its co-op mode, which can be enjoyed on a console or online.
Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk and his partner Grimes have changed the unusual and largely unpronounceable name of their firstborn child. But anyone hoping that X Æ A-12 might be replaced by something a little more conventional, is going to be disappointed. In an Instagram post on Sunday, singer Grimes confirmed that the baby formerly known as X Æ A-12, would now be known as "X Æ A-Xii." Grimes gave no explanation for the change to using Roman Numerals, but later responded to a post asking if the alteration was made to comply with a California law that holds only the 26 letters of the alphabet can be used for child names. Looks better tbh," Grimes wrote. The couple appeared to have been at odds over how to interpret X Æ A-12 from the outset. The musician, whose real name is Claire Elise Boucher – previously explained that Æ is the Elven spelling of AI (for artificial intelligence) and explained "X" stands for "the unknown variable". Like how you said the letter A then I," wrote Grimes on Thursday in response to a query on Instagram.
It was on this day in 1980 that one of gaming's most iconic characters made his debut. The idea for the character came to him when he removed a slice from a pizza. "When you think about things women like, you think about fashion, or fortune-telling, or food or dating boyfriends. So I decided to theme the game around'eating'." Blinky constantly chases Pac-Man, Pinky attempts to ambush him, Inky is randomised depending on Pac-Man's position and Clyde will get close to the player then attempt to flee to the bottom left corner, potentially cutting off escape routes.
"I'm going to the mines!" says a voice through my laptop. I see him move swiftly out of the screen as I go back to my task of chopping down an oak tree, searching for wood and sap. It's an ordinary mid-pandemic night and Joel and I are both tucked into bed at our respective Sydney share-houses. In truth, neither of us is anywhere near a rare minerals mine and I doubt I have the strength to hack down a tree – even if I wanted to. But we're not talking about real life; we're talking about virtual reality in Stardew Valley – a multi-player farming simulation game that's sold over 10 million copies, and become our guilty pleasure since physical distancing and lockdowns began.