Angry Birds Champions – Play for Real Money!

‘Angry Birds Champions’ lets players fling pheasants for real money

Engadget – By: Jessica Conditt – “Angry Birds Champions is now available on iOS devices and through the developer’s website, allowing players to fling their feathered friends against precarious piles of pigs in a bid to win real money for the first time. The game is accessible through the WorldWinner iOS app or on WorldWinner.com, joining the studio’s other real-money tournament games like Wheel of Fortune, Solitaire, Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit.

‘It’s really the original Angry Birds physics game — and obviously Rovio’s done a number of different derivatives using the iconography — but this is the core physics game of shooting birds and killing pigs,’ WorldWinner boss Jeremy Shea told Engadget.

Angry Birds Champions is an officially licensed title, made in conjunction with Rovio. It uses an asynchronous multiplayer format: Someone pays to enter a tournament and completes one of the two modes, best-of-three or progression, and their highest or combined score is recorded. The game finds another similarly skilled player in the tournament and that person plays the same levels. Whoever ends up with the highest score wins the cash prize, and WorldWinner takes a little off the top of each match.

WorldWinner’s matchmaking system takes a number of factors into account, including how many games you’ve played, how well you’ve performed in specific tournaments, your win-loss ratio, and average or best scores.

These competitions are generally worth a few dollars each and cost less than a dollar to join. Shea wants to be clear that this isn’t gambling — WorldWinner has been building real-money tournament games for 18 years and it knows the laws inside and out. A handful of big-name games, including Star Wars: Battlefront II and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, have come under scrutiny in recent months over their use of loot boxes and other gambling-adjacent systems. WorldWinner argues games like Angry Birds Champions are skill-based competitions, eliminating the element of chance that would turn them into gambling.

Still, 10 states have regulations that make WorldWinner’s lawyers squirm, so cash tournaments aren’t available in those areas (Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Montana, South Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee).

‘We’re always in conversations with members of different states, and obviously there are players that want to play from certain states that we don’t allow and they’re disappointed when they find out,’ Shea said. ‘But in terms of gambling laws and regulations on a state-by-state or country-by-country basis — we spend a considerable amount of money on attorneys and we’re absolutely in line with the regulations as they are today and will be tomorrow.’

Angry Birds Champions also isn’t trying to become the next big eSport — though Shea would forgive you for thinking so. Players do win real money by playing Angry Birds Champions, but it simply isn’t built to be a spectator sport.

‘We clearly deliver competitions for money, from small two-player tournaments up to thousands of people participating,’ Shea said. ‘We deliver the entry fee and the prize model that most of your eSports competition deliver. But… we’ve never been in the viewership model. So I think that’s the one area where we evolve our lingo from saying we are eSports to we are really on the edge of eSports.’

Angry Birds comes with a built-in player base, with 4 billion downloads (and at least one movie) since the franchise’s launch in 2009. Shea expects Angry Birds Champions to have tens of thousands of players, easily.

‘That is one of reasons that we went with the partnership with Rovio, in particular at this stage of our development: In the past six months we have shifted our focus from being very committed to delivering a PC-based consumer experience where we’ve had our success for close to two decades, to trying to enter the mobile space,’ Shea said. ‘Our expectation is that this week, we hit all of our launch targets and this will quickly scale to be one of our top-performing games, which would put it in the thousands of players playing in a given day.’

And that’s just on iOS — WorldWinner is working on an Android version of the game as well, though there’s no launch window just yet.”

“Starman” Heads Toward the Asteroid Belt!

Elon Musk shot a dummy called “Starman” toward Mars in his own Tesla Roadstar using his “Falcon Heavy” rocket. It is going to miss Mars and is heading toward the Asteroid belt! And, it looks cool!

“That was epic,” said Mr Musk. “That’s probably the most exciting thing I’ve ever seen, literally.” And, how cool is this: the driver’s seat contains a dummy wearing a spacesuit, nicknamed “Starman.” The in-car sound system is paying David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” on a loop, and, a “Don’t Panic” sign on the dashboard references Douglas Adam’s “Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy!” Ah, a touch o’ whimsey!

Human Powered Speed Record Broken!

The World’s Fastest Human-Powered Vehichle Sets New World Speed Record

The Market Business – By: Donald V. Morris – “What’s the fastest you’ve ever gone on a bicycle? Maybe 20, close to 30 miles per hour on a hill? The AeroVelo team just more than doubled that in their bullet-shaped ‘speedbike,’ reaching a speed of 85.71 miles per hour and breaking the world record for fastest human-powered vehicle at the same time.

The news comes from Battle Mountain, Nevada, where the World Human Powered Speed Challenge is currently taking place. In it, competitors are given 8 kilometers to build up their speed before reaching a flat section that stretches 200 meters. It’s there that the speeds are measured and recorded, and it’s there that AeroVelo broke the previous record of 83.13 miles per hour.

The WHPSC is basically where cyclists put their knees where their mouth is, and attempt to beat the record for pedal-powered speed. This is the 16th event of its kind and the magic 200 meter stretch was specially repaved with the annual event in mind this year.

This is no conventional bike that the team was riding, though. The speedbike is a completely enclosed, bullet-shaped vehicle that forces the pilot to lean back almost completely horizontal. A combination of weight, aerodynamics, and sheer physical endurance allows the bike to reach such ludicrous speeds. It’s like the fastest human hamster wheel you’ll ever see.

The team set the record on Thursday, but the event in Nevada isn’t over yet, so that top speed could still be eclipsed. You can keep up with the contest at the International Human Powered Vehicle Association website, or follow along with the team on Twitter.”

Beat Down Boogie’s Mario Warfare

Mario WarfareBeat Down Boogie is a troupe of COSplayer-to-the-max actors and filmmakers. They say of themselves:

“Before we were BDB, we were just a few guys making short films together. We made flicks about killer toasters, evil snowmen, and the epic struggle between ninjas and pirates.

One day we decided to make feature films. We learned a lot about filmmaking, but we weren’t happy with the traditional distribution system. Nobody cared what the audience wanted to see. Everything had to be tailored for investors, middlemen, and distributors. Those guys determined what the audience was allowed to see.
We didn’t like that. Making films for the approval of industry suits wasn’t fun. We wanted to be connected to the audience. We wanted the fun back.

We decided to return to our roots – guerrilla filmmaking. During our time spent on feature films, some amazing and affordable cameras came out. We grabbed some 7d’s and started goofing around. Before we knew it we were shooting Modern War Gear Solid.

The decision to leave traditional filmmaking has been rewarding. Our Beat Down Boogie videos have been enjoyed by millions!”

Check out Mario Warfare! (My brother-in-law was a dead soldier in this one!) It was also shot where I used to work, at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, NC!

By the way, there’s eight parts to this series, catch it all on YouTube!

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