Brought to you by asap and The Associated Press, The Slug tastes pop culture for you — just in case it's been poisoned. E-mail us at theslug@ap.org.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Slug Buys It Now

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(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Last night, The Slug attended eBay's Game Show Night, a press event featuring Andy Ritcher and Paul F. Tompkins as hosts of a made-up eBay-themed game show — complete with podiums, flashing lights and prizes. It was cute and fun. Unfortch, we weren't selected to come on down. However, we were clued into the auction site's cool new features, which include a handy-dandy countdown page (no more hitting refresh only to learn you've been outbid by someone in Montana) and the ability to embed video in listings. Time to go shopping for old Yaz records!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Real Estate for Sale in Middle-Earth

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(AP Photo/HO/Turbine)

You'll soon be able to own your own virtual home in Middle-earth. That's because "Lord of the Rings Online" is introducing player housing on Oct. 24. The homes will cost up to 20 gold pieces. The interiors can be customized and decked out with hundreds of items. Dwarves will dwell in Ered Luin. Men will maintain residences in Bree-land.  Elves will exist in The Tower Falls. And hobbits will hang in The Shire. How precious! 

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Name of the Game

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(AP Photo/HO/World Cyber Games/Marcus R. Donner)

As you might have heard, The Slug was in Seattle last weekend. One of the reasons we traveled to the Emerald City was to attend the World Cyber Games Grand Final. It's sorta like the Olympics for gaming geeks. More than 700 competitors from 74 different countries battled in games like "Gears of War" and "Counter-Strike" for $448,000 in prize money. Team USA ended up nabbing the most medals. You can see our report on the action in this week's "Up Down Left Right," the AP's weekly video game video.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Looking Back at E3

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(AP Photo/Stefano Paltera)

After spending a week in Los Angeles with Becks, Posh and gaming geeks, The Slug is back on the East Coast, baby. This year's E3 Media and Business Summit will probably be remembered for its controversial decision to downsize and focus on compelling new content. Nintendo introduced two innovative controllers. Sony paraded its social networking platform "Home" and continued to tease with "Killzone 2." And Microsoft is putting its money on more family-friendly fare and something called "Halo 3." Find out what The Slug thought about the swag, setup and more as we ask ourselves questions about E3, after the jump.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Topsy Turvy Amusement Park Searches

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Yahoo! has unveiled the top 40 amusement park destinations in the United States, according to searches on the Web. As roller coaster and theme park aficionados, The Slug expected both Disney parks to take top honors, but we're totally surprised at the other results.

Dollywood didn't even crack the Top Ten. Nope, the Smokies getaway is down at No. 13. Come on! It's an amusement park themed around Dolly Parton! And Legoland — the real one, not the virtual one — is all the way down at No. 16. And get this: The Land of Make Believe ain't even on the list. Believe it. See the searches, after the jump.

Continue reading "Topsy Turvy Amusement Park Searches" »

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Next Big Internet Revolution

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AOL. Hot or Not. Blogs. MySpace. YouTube. The Slug believes the next big Internet craze — drum roll, please! — will be iminlikewithyou.com. OK, OK. So we're not 100 percent sold it actually will be, but just in case it does blow up like Digg.com, we want to get credit for saying so. You see, that's because we're obsessed with credit now because iminlikewithyou.com is all about racking up points by answering questions and winning conversational games. It sorta combines a traditional dating site, eBay and bubbly design. Our friend who invited us to join iminlikewithyou.com (yes, not just anyone can log on) said it was like "MySpace but without all the creeps." If you want to join, e-mail us at theslug@ap.org and we just might send you one of our invites.

Monday, June 04, 2007

What to Do While Paris Hilton is in Jail

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Paris Hilton is in jail for the next 23 days. How, oh how, will The Slug spend the month of June without her tabloid cameos and red carpet appearances!? By playing video games starring her, of course! (When we're not gaming, we'll watch prison chick flicks.) To cash in on Hilton's jailtime, GSN has released the Web-based game "The Prison Life: Paris" on their site which allows casual gamers to play as a bobble-headed Paris tasked with making license plates. It's kinda hard! If playing Internet-based games is not hot, you can always download "Paris Hilton's Diamond Quest" for your cell phone. And E! — home of "The Simple Life" — has an interactive quiz which will inform you if you're a Paris Hilton or Nicole Ritchie. The Slug took it and we were dubbed a Nicole, which is hot because we don't look sexy in jumpsuits.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Another Day, Another Stardoll

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Few things leave The Slug speechless, yet Stardoll has. What the heck is a Stardoll? They're digital celebrity caricature paper dolls, ranging from Madonna to the "High School Musical" cast. The two-dimensional  dolls can be dressed up with more accessories than are available at a Claire's (tiaras, balloons, wheelchairs) and placed in a myriad of settings (movie theater, enchanted forest, an alleyway).

Above is a portrait The Slug made at Stardoll starring "Prison Break" star Wentworth Miller. We've titled it "Prom Queen and Pimped-Out Wheelchair." Granted, this hybrid social networking site is aimed at the highly unstable tween demographic, but perhaps that makes the customizable bizarreness even more baffling. Who needs Us Weekly when celebrities are now our children's playthings?!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

What to Do In Case of Reruns

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(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

May sweeps is right around the corner and you know what that means on the boob tube: unsolved mysteries, jaw-dropping revelations, sudden deaths, over-the-top weddings and then — BLAM! — reruns. Don't be blue. There's this thing called the Internet that has entertainment on it that's unlike anything on broadcast TV. Here are three of our current favorites:

Prom Queen. Take the sensibilities of "My So-Called Life" and "Beverly Hills 90210." Throw in some "Undressed" bad acting. Spread some "Passions" campiness on top and then mix it all with a bunch of YouTube videos and you've got yourself "Prom Queen," a fictional soapy online series about a group of sexed-up teenagers that's being broadcast all over the Web (and is sponsored by "Hairspray"). The best part is each episode is only 90 seconds long so there's no commitment.

TwitterTV. You may have heard about the wacky craze on the Internet called Twitter, a site that aggregates short posts from folks who reveal what they're doing at that exact moment. Sounds boring, right? But TwitterTV, developed by David Troy, makes the voyeuristic notion entertaining by plopping all the twits on a Googley map. As The Slug was watching this afternoon, someone in Mexico mundanely said "going to lunch" right before another person in Asia confessed "i just dropped white out on my new dress." Color us captivated.

Justin.TV. If peeping into peoples' lives around the world is too grand in scope, you can also narrow your Internet focus on Justin Kan. This dude is wearing a camera on the side of his head and broadcasting what he sees online 24/7. While Kan's life isn't that fascinating — he's a Web entrepreneur, not an astronaut or firefighter — peering at the media attention he's received for exposing himself from his perspective is très interesting. Plus there's a chat room underneath the streaming video so you can gossip with strangers about what's going on.