Museum of Curious Toys & Games: The (Not So) Funny Face Board Game

Hello and welcome to an exclusive showing of the Museum of Curious Toys & Games. Each item featured in this collection represents a questionable moment in the development of toys and games throughout history.

Today’s Featured Item: The “Funny Face” Board Game

Museum of Unsettling Toys & Games: Funny Face Board Game

The “Funny Face” board game — the stuff that nightmares is made of.

Whitman was a board game company that was founded in 1916 as a subsidiary of Western Publishing Company. In 1968, Whitman had the crazy idea to make the “Funny Face” board game — screenshots from which you see here.  In 1979, Mattel purchased Whitman and they were eventually phased out. Lucky for us, “pieces” of this terrifying clown face game still live on.

More unsettling photos of “Funny Face” after the jump. 

Throwback Thursday: TV Glasses from 1963, The First Google Glass?

It’s time for another installment of Throwback Thursday — a popular meme re-imagined.

Meme of the Moment: Me as Condescending Willy Wonka

Based on a comment about the snarky expression on my face in a photo I posted of myself on Facebook, here’s me as “Condescending Willy Wonka” — yea! Fun with PhotoShop….It never ends. Just ask the Kardashians.

My Top 10 Observations from Casual Connect USA (SF, 2014)

One of the premiere conferences catering to the world of casual games, Casual Connect USA 2014, has come and gone. I know this because I was there — attending the show in San Francisco.

My list of 10 observations from Casual Connect is a random mix drawn from the business, the people, the culture and the industry from the past few days at the conference.

1. Playmatics Made a Good Show for Branded IP

All self-promotion front and center, my gaming company, Playmatics, was well-represented at Casual Connect — especially in terms of all the work we’ve done with major brands. Since we’ve been in business, my company has collaborated with everyone from Red Bull, David Cronenberg for Body/Mind/Change, the American Museum of Natural History, AMC’s The Walking Dead & Breaking Bad….

“The Daily Show” Mocks Google Glass Explorers [VIDEO]

Drawing from Bill Gates Anti Google Glass Patent

Jason Jones of The Daily Show put together this incredibly humorous piece on Google Glass Explorers — done up in typically biting mockumentary fashion. In the piece, Jones is interviewing a panel of “Explorers” who were confronted by anti-Glass people in various places, including San Francisco and New York. Many of the interview participants I recognized from previous stories on how Glass wearers have become social pariahs in many circles.

Branded Mobile Games: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (LOGIN Conference, San Francisco 2014)

Branded Mobile Games: Opportunities and Challenges

Presented at LOGIN 2014 in San Francisco

So many beloved brands from the world of film, music, books, comics, consumer-facing products, television and much more are reaching old and new audiences alike via branded mobile games delivered on smartphone and other connected devices This goes for both old brands and new brands alike. In the competitive landscape of mobile gaming, an increasing number of content creators are integrating brands into their games, working closely with licensors, and expanding the ways in which fans can connect to these brands.

The talk I presented at LOGIN focused on top considerations that come into play when deciding whether to add brands as part of your overall content strategy. Majors issues to consider, including opportunities and challenges in branded mobile games, are covered.

Branded Mobile Games: Opportunities and Challenges

LOGIN 2014: Branded Mobile Games - Good the bad and the ugly

Just as Timely Today…Robert F. Kennedy “On the Mindless Menace of Violence” — 1968 Speech

Robert F. Kennedy

Given all of the sad events happening in our world, it got me thinking on the nature of violence — both everyday and that which grabs mainstream media (and therefore our) attention. Then I happened to hear this incredible speech by Robert F. Kennedy from 1968 and it really struck a chord with me.

RFK on the Epidemic of Violence

“On the Mindless Menace of Violence” is probably one of Robert F. Kennedy’s better-known speeches. He delivered it the day after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated — a horrendous fate that both Kennedy and his brother, the 35th President of the United States. met.

Playmatics “Red Bull Focus” Available Now On the Apple iOS App Store

Red Bull Focus

Red Bull Focus

Pleased to announce that the latest game by Playmatics has launched on the iOS App Store. The game is called Red Bull Focus and we announced the game at SXSW recently.

Red Bull Focus Description

Red Bull Focus challenges you to touch, slide and spin your way through a photo puzzle world with a musical twist.

This audio-visual game  tests  focus, skill and reaction speed to beat the clock, your friends and the world.

Solve this global image tour by touching animated circles and placing them back to their original position.


SXSW 2014 When Licensors & Mobile Games Collide

SXSW 2014

Fun Panel Today at SXSW 2014. Got to formally announce our forthcoming Red Bull Focus game.

SXSW 2014

Panel Description:

“When Licensors & Mobile Games Collide” 

From G.I. JOE to The Walking Dead and The Simpsons, many of our favorite franchises in comics, books, film, music, and television are finding new homes and rejuvenated lives on mobile devices. Game developers and publishers are working hand-in-hand with cult-classic brands to usher in the next generation of online gaming experiences for these storied franchises and enrich consumers’ connections to these brands through licensed mobile games.

Playmatics to Exclusively Preview Red Bull Mobile Game at Upcoming SXSW Talk

Red Bull Focus: Coming SoonNY-Based Gaming Company to Unveil Exclusive Details Around Forthcoming Red Bull Mobile Title for the iOS Marketplace

New York City, New York, March 6, 2014 – Playmatics, a company dedicated to bringing rich gaming & digital media experiences to life, today announced that its CEO, Margaret Wallace, will exclusively unveil details about its forthcoming iOS game, “Red Bull Focus” at a panel taking place at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2014 in Austin, Texas.

#SochiProblems at the 2014 Winter Olympics: The Funniest / Most Poignant Tweets (Final Edition)

Sochi 2014 will probably go down in the history books as one riddled with politics, problems and persistent questions about fairness in judging certain events, like the women’s figure skating competition. In part, the games were over-shadowed by these issues.

Well Played, Sochi? Well Played, World?

The end of the Olympics also coincides with the recent uprising happening in Kiev, a city I visited a few years ago. So perhaps it’s petty to focus on the ridiculous, humorous and sometimes poignant tweets from the 2014 Winter Olympics.

#SochiProblems at the Winter Olympics: The Bob Costas Pink Eye Edition

The 2014 Winter Olympics will go down in history as one of the funniest. Snarky comments from Western journalists, athletes, tourists and far-away bloggers alike can’t stop going on about the deplorable conditions of the Sochi hotels, including rumors that one too many photo of a shirtless Putin abound as decoration of choice for said accommodations. On top of this, signage that best lost in translation and a slew of technical problems make armchair quarterbacking this shindig deliciously funny.