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Posts Tagged ‘Games’

Quran Flash

Posted by dbmochran on July 31, 2012

“Quranflash” had started in February 2007 as a simple microsite displaying the Holy Quran (Medina layout), in a very interactive way. The project had taken approximately 2 months of work to be accomplished by a few volunteers. The idea behind Quranflash came from a project developed and managed by the same members, Flash-eBook is an online service which digitizes books and displays them in a very attractive and easily interactive way, using flash technology. Quranflash was initially a demo for large scale applications using Flash-eBook.


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The Big Book of Business Games: Icebreakers, Creativity Exercises and Meeting Energizers Book

Posted by dbmochran on March 31, 2010

Business games are serious productivity tools. Together with icebreakers and group exercises, they can liven up stale meetings or presentations, spark group discussions, and teach important business lessons. In this exciting resource, two of today’s acknowledged games masters serve up a cookbook of 75 group games and activities designed to improve success at work.
Break the ice at your next meeting with “The Big Book of Business Games ”

In this exciting resource book, two of today’s acknowledged games masters serve up a cookbook of activities that you can learn to use, guaranteed to generate a lively discussion, or simply give a group a “breather” from the monotony of a boring staff meeting or presentation. Each of the 75 group games and activities here is adapted from the best-selling Games Trainers Play series and shortened to suit the needs of managers and team leaders to use with their departments, staff, or committees.

John W Newstrom has contributed to The Big Book of Business Games: Icebreakers, Creativity Exercises and Meeting Energizers as an author. Dr. John W. Newstrom and Edward E. Scannell are respected authors, professional speakers, and seminar leaders. They are the coauthors of McGraw-Hill’s best-selling Games Trainers Play series, which has sold more than 250,000 copies.

Newstrom has contributed to The Big Book of Business Games: Icebreakers, Creativity Exercises and Meeting Energizers as an author. McGraw-Hill authors represent the leading experts in their fields and are dedicated to improving the lives, careers, and interests of readers worldwide

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The Big Book of Team-Motivating Games: Spirit-Building, Problem-Solving and Communication Games for Every Group

Posted by dbmochran on March 26, 2010

Teamwork can be fun!

Games that improve team cooperation, communication, and spirit

Did you know that games can:

  • Raise sagging morale
  • Liven up boring staff meetings
  • Increase interaction among staff members
  • Promote a culture of harmony and cooperation
  • Create an atmosphere of fun for your team

Keeping your team motivated and challenged, especially during tough economic times, can be difficult. But this collection of high-energy, play-anywhere games, from bestselling authors and trainers Ed and Mary Scannell, provides you with all the fun, inspiring material you need to build team spirit, communication, and trust among coworkers-day in and day out.

Games Can Be Played In or Out of the Office Requiring few or no props, The Big Book of Team-Motivating Games is the latest installment in the successful Big Book series, which has been changing the way teams think for decades-providing hours of fun that fight boredom and burnout, boost performance, soothe tensions, and create a sense of community and trust.

Outstanding team motivating games is a great spirit-building, problem-solving, and communication tool. The book is designed for quick exercises to build excitement and keep morale high.

The Big Book of Team Motivating Games is a fine pick for any company interested in games that improve team cooperation and communication. These games can be used at staff meetings and to increase interaction among staff members, and offers games that can be played in or out of the office. Any business library will find this a fun, different survey.

About the Author

Ed Scannell is a speaker and trainer who has given thousands of presentations, seminars and workshops across the world.
Mary Scannell has trained thousands of business people across the U.S. and Canada, including a long list of Fortune 500 clients.

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Pingus – Linux Game

Posted by dbmochran on March 26, 2010

Pingus is Lemmings type game, where your goal is to get your fellow penguins from point A to point B safely, making sure not too many of them fall of the cliffs or drown in the water. You accomplish this by providing them with various tools. But you have absolutely no direct control of them. For example, you can give a penguin the Dig tool, using which he jackhammers straight down as far as he can.


The gameplay is awesome, with original tools, graphics, and terrains. The game starts with an open terrain. You can pause the game and carefully observe the field. Often, if you plan beforehand, you can finish the mission with ease. The second you start the game, a penguin pops out and starts walking forward. It hits a wall, turns direction, and starts walking again. After walking a few steps and passing the box from which the penguins are popping out, he falls off a cliff and dies a pointless death. This tragedy instantly makes you realize what you need to do—giving the next penguin a bridging set. You then watch that penguin laying down bricks across the gap between the glaciers. Using simple tools like this, you and your penguins move toward the destination. You need to learn to give out the most effective tools.

Graphics and Audio

The graphics of this game are sharp. The fact that they are 2D is just fine because Lemmings games wouldn’t work if they were 3D. The graphics are also pretty cute. The audio on the other hand, is a bit disappointing. The sound effects are basic. The music is not satisfactory. You can download the music separately but that usually is too much of a hassle.

Special Feature

Though Pingus is a clone of Lemmings, it still makes a great game. How many games have you played where you had absolutely no control over your units? In Pingus, you give them tools as they move, save them from deaths, and help them get to Point B. Pingus is an active game. So look forward to updates!

Bottom Line

This is a very fun, cute game, with many original details. I highly recommend this to all types of gamers. Just passively watching the cute penguins is fun and relaxing, though if you do not actively involve the penguins will die one after another. Helping the penguins is satisfying.

Games Site:

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CrossOver Games

Posted by dbmochran on March 26, 2010

Play Windows Games on Linux Computers

By Juergen Haas.

CrossOver Games is a software package for running computer games that were developed for Microsoft Windows operating systems on Linux. It is a product developed by CodeWeavers and is based on the open source software WINE, which makes it possible to run native MS Windows applications on Linux.

The project started out as “CrossOver Office” which simplified the process of installing MS Office on Linux machines using WINE. As the project matured, many other native MS Windows applications were supported and “Office” was dropped from the product name. Then a version of CrossOver was developed that specialized in MS Windows games.

Unlike the open source software WINE, CrossOver products are not free. The relatively modest price tag buys you simplified installation of supported applications. For example, when installing Steam, CrossOver Games automatically downloads the Windows installation file and any required supporting files. Also note that regular licensing still applies to the games you install.

CrossOver Games supports many popular Windows games. This includes:

  • World of Warcraft

  • EVE Online

  • Guild Wars

  • Prey

  • Stream Games (Half-Life2, Counterstrike, Civilization IV, Call of Duty 2, etc.)

All the supported games generally install quickly and easily, but CrossOver Games also gives you the option to install unsupported applications and games, which requires some manual intervention.

You may think that running Windows programs on Linux would be slower than running them in their native operating system. This, however, is not the case in general when using the well designed compatibility layer WINE. Most Windows games actually perform better on Linux, and CrossOver Games makes sure WINE is optimally set up to provide maximum performance for any of its supported games.


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Play the Game You Know You Can Win

Posted by dbmochran on March 25, 2010

By Peter Bregman

How can a few pirates in small boats capture and hold huge tanker ships hostage? How can a few scattered people in caves halfway across the world instill fear in the hearts of millions of citizens in the largest, most powerful countries in the world? How can a single independent contractor beat out a 30,000-person consulting firm to win a multi-million dollar contract?

In A Separate Peace, John Knowles’ coming-of-age novel, Phineas invents the game Blitzball, in which everyone chases a single ball-carrier, who must outrun every other competitor. And, as it happens, Phineas always wins. Because he created the rules that favor his particular skills.

That’s the secret of the successful underdog. Play the game you know you can win, even if it means inventing it yourself. Entrepreneurs intuitively understand this; they start their own companies for exactly this reason. I know a tremendous number of extremely successful people who could never get a job in a corporation because they never went to college. So they started their own companies; companies they designed to play to their unique strengths. They invented a game they could win, and then they played it.

In Moneyball, Michael Lewis, one of the great storytellers of our time, explains how the Oakland As, with 30.26€ million in salaries, consistently beat teams with over 73.81€ million in salaries. The richer teams hired the top players based on the traditional criteria: the highest batting averages, most bases stolen, most hits that brought a runner home, and, get this, the all-American look.

Other poorer teams who used the same criteria as the rich ones had to settle for 2nd or 3rd tier people who were less expensive. Which basically guaranteed that the richest teams had the best players and won.

But the Oakland A’s studied the game and reinvented the rules. They realized that the number of times a player got on a base (On Base Percentage) combined with the number of bases a player got each time they came to bat (Slugging Percentage) was a better predictor of success. And no one else was looking at those criteria, so the players who excelled in those areas were cheap. Hiring those people was a game the Oakland A’s could win.

Large consulting firms spend tens of thousands of dollars on glossy proposals to clients. But is that what wins the game? Perhaps what really wins is client ownership over the project, and if you sit with the client and design the project with her, your one-page proposal (that she, in effect, co-wrote with you) will beat their hundred pages every time. At a fraction of the cost. That’s a game an independent contractor can win.

Malcolm Gladwell, in his article How David Beats Goliath, talks about the moment that David shed his armor. He knew he couldn’t win a game of strength against strength. But he also knew he was faster, more agile, and had better aim. So he picked up five stones, dashed out of the pack, and won the battle. He broke the rules and reinvented the game.

Gladwell refers to research done by the political scientist Ivan Arreguin-Toft who looked at every war fought in the past two hundred years in which one side was at least ten times stronger than the other. He found that the weaker side won almost 30% of the time — a remarkable feat. The reason? They fought a different war than their opponents.

The 70% that lost? They fought the conventional way; they engaged in battle using the same rules as their stronger opponents.

In 1981, Doug Lenat, a computer scientist, entered a war game tournament in which each contestant was given a fictional trillion-dollar budget to spend on a naval fleet of their choosing. The other contenders had deep military background and built a conventional naval fleet with boats of various sizes with strong defenses.

But Lenat had no military background. He simply fed the rules of the tournament to a computer program he invented. A program that was built to win, not to follow convention.

“The program came up with a strategy of spending the trillion dollars on an astronomical number of small ships like P.T. boats, with powerful weapons but absolutely no defense and no mobility,” Lenat said. “They just sat there. Basically if they were hit once, they would sink. And what happened is that the enemy would take its shots and every one of those shots would sink our ships. But it didn’t matter, because we had so many.”

Lenat won the game in a landslide.

What game are you playing? Is it the right game for your particular skills and talents? Is it a perfect set-up for you or your company to win? If not, then perhaps it’s time to play a different game or invent one of your own; one that you can win.


About the writer: Peter Bregman speaks, writes, and consults on leadership. He is the CEO ofBregman Partners, Inc., a global management consulting firm, and the author of Point B: A Short Guide To Leading a Big Change.

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The Top 10 Benefits of Play

Posted by dbmochran on March 22, 2010

By Marianne St. Clair

Play is extremely important for humans from birth to death. Play is not meant to be just for children. It is a form of release and connection that can tap into creativity and can allow you the chance to connect with your inner child and the inner child of others.

Play is a state of mind, but it is also a state of body, emotion, and spirit. Yes…it is something you do (playing games, swinging, playing “tag”, playing with dolls), but it is also something you watch others do, and gain pleasure from simply watching. It is often described as a time when we feel most alive, yet it is something we take for granted and may forget to do. It can be entirely positive, or can be dramatic (such as acting out a thrilling or suspenseful activity). Play can be used in many ways to not only stimulate creativity but as a way to transform negative emotions. We are hardwired as adults to engage in play, and it is crucial to our vitality to spend time with play each day.

This article will address the top ten benefits of play and provide suggestions on how you can get in touch with your own creative possibilities and abilities.

For more information on this topic, download this mp3 interviewwith author, Marianne St. Clair.

1. Play can inspire you to think differently

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” ~ Apple Computers

Yes, play can be wild and crazy — it can break all the rules and can crash the status quo and the hum-drum way of doing the same old thing. Walt Disney was dedicated to play, and his willingness to buck conventional wisdom changed the world of entertainment. He did not allow the criticisms of the world to get in the way of his child-like imagination. The next time you are stuck in a rut, pull out a box of crayons, modeling clay, glue, and scissors, pop in a copy of Dumbo, and invite your inner child to let loose and break free. You will be amazed at the way your thinking shifts to new worlds of discovery.

2. Playing can bring greater joy into your life

What do you think the world would be like if every human spent time each day in play? I bet just asking you this question has brought a smile to your face. Play creates laughter, joy, and a feeling of inner peace. It is almost impossible to stay stuck, angry, or frustrated when you are playing “hide and seek” or acting out the role of the cowardly lion from The Wizard of Oz or making mud pies while digging your feet into the sand of a big old-fashioned sandbox. Starting today, carve out 30 minutes each day to engage in some form of play, and watch your joy factor rise!

3. Play is known to reduce stress

Studies show that as humans, play is hardwired into our genetic code. As humans, we crave the need to play because it is instinctive and fundamental to human existence. With regular play, our problem-solving and adaptive abilities will be in much better shape to handle this complex world, and we are much more likely to choose healthy answers to challenging situations as they arise. The reason for this is that play teaches us how to manage or “transform” our negative emotions, and it is the foundation for sound mental, physical, and emotional health. Play can make work seem like pleasure, and aside from this, it is just plain fun! It creates laughter and freedom that can instantly reduce stress and add a feeling of relaxation to our daily living.

4. Playing on a regular basis can increase longevity

Many adults (and many children) are working from 40-60 hours per week, seeing play as a luxury that must be“ squeezed into the work week”. This view of play is sorely misguided. Being play-deprived is similar to being sleep-deprived. Our genetic code demands that we play, just as it demands that we sleep, and when we resist this primal urge, our physical, emotional and mental energies are deeply depleted.

The loss of well-being is creating physical, emotional, and mental burnout, and stress-related health problems are widespread. Infusing play into the workday can keep you emotionally balanced and can reduce stress, both of which can contribute to living healthier and longer. The next time you are feeling stressed as if you can’t add one more thing to your full plate, take a break. Hit the basketball court, play hopscotch, jump rope, or play a few hands of cards. You will be adding years to your life in these precious moments.

5. Play can reduce struggle, conflict, and worry

Through the years, studies have revealed that play acts as an antidote to violent tendencies and is a powerful catalyst for positive socialization. People who avoid or have never learned to play may become lost in the world of fear, anger, and obsessive worry. Play provides us with an opportunity to choose alternatives to struggle, conflict, and worry, which are healthier and positive and fosters a sense of belonging and connection to other people.

6. Play can increase your sense of lightness

At play, we are all children. Unburdened by consciousness or self-consciousness, we are caught in the moment. Suffused with pleasure, we exult in the sheer lightness of being. Yet, as welcome and wonderful as those feelings are, play’s value among adults is too often vastly underrated. It refreshes us and recharges us. It restores our optimism. It changes our perspective, stimulating creativity. It renews our ability to accomplish the work of the world.

But there is also new evidence that play does much more. It may in fact be the highest expression of our humanity, both imitating and advancing the evolutionary process. Play appears to allow our brains to exercise their very flexibility, to maintain and even perhaps renew the neural connections that embody our human potential to adapt, and to meet any possible set of environmental conditions. Play is an opening to our very being.

Children if unburdened by society’s restrictions and unwritten rules, continue to show us the need for us to lighten up and BE happy. My own daughter has taught me the importance of getting on a swing and flying high in the sky to laugh and get out of any hum drum I might have been in and how transformable play is.

7. Play can stimulate the imagination, curiosity, and creativity

Research shows that play is a hands-on, minds-on learning process. It produces a deeper, more meaningful understanding of the world and its possibilities. We begin giving meaning to life through story making, and playing out various possible scenarios. As a photographer and artist, I use play as an opportunity to see the world with childlike eyes. I keep reminding myself to see and view everything as if I had never seen it before. I then begin to see things with a different and new perspective. On mornings when I get up early, I will look for the opportunities that await me such as seeing squirrels gathering their first meal of the day as the fog rests in the fields of freshly cut hay and how I imagine what it would be like to climb the tree and jump from branch to branch.

If we drive the same way to work, eat the same foods, live the same grind day in and day out, our minds begin to stagnate and we loose our zest for creativity. We are always creating our experiences and our lives, so why not have some fun and develop a thirst for curiosity like Leonardo Da Vinci; your renewed sense of imagination could be endless!

8. Playing softens the heart — as the heart becomes malleable, the risk of hypertension and depression decrease

Recently a new game was released for the computer using the dual technologies of biofeedback and computer technology. This state of the art game called The Journey to Wild Divine is the first “inner-active” computer adventure that combines ancient breathing and meditation with modern biofeedback technology for total mind-body wellness. With so many of the games today filled with toxic content, it is no wonder our youth are at risk. This game proves to be the exact opposite.

Characters within The Journey help you learn to control your body’s reactions. By increasing, decreasing or synchronizing body rhythms, through various levels of breathing, relaxation, and meditation techniques, like the “Heart Breath”, you will quickly learn to master the “events” and progress in the game.

Think about the focused intentional mind of a child and how quickly they can manifest something if they are able to freely think of limitless possibilities. We can learn so much by observing the messages of the children.

You literally become what you think about most. Your life becomes what you have imagined and believed in most. The world is literally your mirror, enabling you to experience in the physical plane what you hold as your truth … until you change it.

It is so important because, as we are learning Quantum Physics and the power of what we create with our intentions, the knowledge you gain will help you enhance your personal growth and well-being. This is just one example of where you can visibly see the effects of play on your well-being.

9. Play can greatly enhance your energy levels

Life. It can be hard. We’ve all been there: overworked, stressed, mentally and physically burned out. Day in and day out, you feel like you’ve “hit the wall” — too tired to work out, dragging through the day, and continually exhausted even when you first wake up. We’re overdoing it. It’s just a fact of life, and we need to live with it, right? Wrong! Mental and physical exhaustion is the body’s natural response to physical exertion, emotional stress, or lack of sleep.

Normally, we reach for a quick fix by drinking coffee, sugared energy drinks, or resorting to pep-up pills like ephedrine. The problem is, those stimulants provide only a temporary boost, lasting an hour at best. Worse, after they wear off, your energy levels crash, leaving you even more exhausted than before. Playing safely gives your body back the energy it needs through laughter. Doing things that bring you joy and being with other people who are having fun enables you to keep your energy levels up longer and sustain more vitality.

10. Play can provide you with an opportunity to take risks

When we are engaged in living our lives as a game and being the player, we begin to recognize the contradictions in one’s(?) own risk-taking behavior, and it makes the case that accepting risk is an essential part of a full and healthy life. Play lets us experiment, explore and take risks with ideas without fearing the consequences that might happen in “real life.”

For too many of us, what is considered taking a risk is sometimes nothing more than taking an easier course. Play helps us release those thoughts that are locked in the head and the heart. Play also helps us learn our way, develop curiosity, learn to think, make new choices, discover special talents, build social relationships, make things less scary, and experience new enthusiasm for life. These factors are the very basis for a happy life and are most critical to our evolution.

The wonderful thing about playing is that everyone is successful at it. Don’t use playtime to test or stretch your workday. It is a time to feel good about yourself and each other — and to just have fun together. Perhaps, most important of all, play is fun. Years later, when we recall our life, it is the happy times spent playing with special people that we remember most fondly. •

© 2005 Marianne St. Clair


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George H.L. Mallory

Posted by dbmochran on March 22, 2010

George Mallory's body lay undiscovered for 75 years

George H.L. Mallory
(June 18, 1886 – June 9, 1924)

On June 9, 1924 George Mallory and climbing partner Andrew Irvine were last sited on Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, only a few hundred meters from the summit. The fate of George Mallory, one of the most revered, if not the most revered mountain climber ever, was unknown for 75 years until his body was finally discovered in 1999.

George Mallory carried a photograph of his wife which he was going to leave at the summit. When his body was discovered, the photograph was missing and it could have been left at the summit.

He was also carrying snow goggles in his pocket which would lead to the theory that he had made a push for the summit and was descending after sunset when the goggles would no longer be required.

Various oxygen cylinders were located and based on the extent of usage it again can be theorized that he reached the summit and was descending.

Since the discovery in 1999, there has been considerable effort made to locate the camera carried by George Mallory or his climbing partner Andy Irvine but to no avail.

Whether it will ultimately be proven that he reached the top or not, he certainly had climbed to an altitude of at least 28,000 feet in 1924 with clothing and equipment far inferior to what is available today – a remarkable feat.

He will be remembered as well when a reporter asked him why he wanted to climb Mt. Everest and his response was “because it is there”. He always loved to climb and had the ambition drive and experience to reach the summit and we can only await the discovery of his camera on Mt. Everest for the final answer.

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