Game Tech: Find out friends’ deepest secrets

WHICH of your friends would survive longest in the wild? Which of them was most recently sick in the street? Who among you is the worst chef?

No, this isn’t a hipster job interview. These are questions from That’s You, a party game from Sony that uses smartphones as the foundation for gameplay. Using your phones, you take selfies, draw pictures, and answer questions about each other, with points for those who agree on the best answers. It’s the first game in Sony’s PlayLink system, which is designed to use phones and PlayStations to create new social gaming experiences.

“Who is most likely to blow out someone else’s candles,” the game asks, barely skirting around dodgy euphemisms. You get a point if your answer matches another player’s selection, with the most-picked answers getting the most points overall. “Draw them after a month in the wild,” the game says, giving you a chance to doodle over a friend’s picture on your phone, to presumably hilarious effect. “Snap someone so they can be drawn at the wheel of their car.” That’s You draws from the spirit of board games and Cards Against Humanity-style party experiences, where the fun you have is entirely dependent on the company you keep. This probably isn’t a game you’ll want to play with avowed Amish bookkeepers. Instead, it’s the kind of experience that works best with a group of close friends or family, where people can poke fun at each other in knowing ways and where inhibitions might be lower. It’s designed to begin innocently enough (with questions about school and younger life) and then grow towards slightly more riske scenarios, without losing its family-friendly tone.

The game is designed for two to six players, with a few different question types. There are “Who is most likely to…” questions, which are simple, funny, and sometimes even illuminating. There’s a variation on those same questions using pre-selected pictures. There are fill-in-the-blank scenarios, where one player chooses an answer and others have to try and guess their choice. There’s a ‘mimic’ challenge, where player must take selfies to
recreate poses, and, finally, there’s a drawing challenge.

With the right group of people, That’s You is a one-way ticket to hilarity. It’s hard not to have a good time when your friends are given opportunities to poke fun at you every 30 seconds. On the other hand, being a social game, That’s You is obviously reliant on the people you play with — it’s not going to turn the
Lannister family into best buddies.

“ Who’s most likely to download That’s You?” Actually, anyone with a PlayStation Plus account, which is the majority of
PlayStation owners. It’s free for members.

Chinese wrath on gamers

Phones might form the basis of social gaming in Sony’s PlayLink, but the Chinese government doesn’t see mobile gaming in such a
positive light. In fact, it’s gone on the attack against mobile gaming — and one game in particular.

Honour of Kings, which reportedly has 200 million players, is based around Chinese mythology and owned by Tencent, the same company that runs League of Legends. Tencent is one of the biggest gaming’s companies in the world. Chinese newspaper People’s Daily, which is government run, ran an editorial calling the game a “drug” that was harming young people. “Don’t commit evil,” the editorial says. “As a company that does good for the world, Tencent will get better rewards in the long run even if we have to sacrifice some short-term profits.” As a result, Tencent has now limited the time young people can spend on the game. Players under the age of 12 are limited to one hour a day and players between 12 and 18 are limited to two hours a day.

Fresh fish in India

Meanwhile, in India, a former game developer has changed focus from one type of net to another. Shan Kadavil, former CEO of Zynga India, used to deliver Farmville to the online world, but now he’s focusing on fishing lines instead, helping fishermen deliver fresh fish to the market.

He has founded FreshToHome, a service that allows Indian people to order fish directly from the fishermen themselves. It cuts out the middleman and results in lower prices for fresh fish. From social gaming to social
betterment?



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