Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hyperspace meets hyperjournalism

My family used to go five-pin bowling when I was a kid. I would sneak off to a video game room and pay reams of quarters for the privilege of getting nowhere near the high score in Asteroids.

There was something trance-like about the two-note music for a 2-D screen, and the triangle of pain that aimed its lined shots at asteroids that looked like they were drawn with an Etch A Sketch. Buckner & Garcia — who brought us the horrible 80s song Pac Man Fever — wrote a song Hyperspace using Asteroids sound effects. Not exactly a chart topper.

Some online newspapers offer computer games on their websites, and I’m hooked. As I continue looking at online newspapers in Ontario, I see the St. Catharines Standard offers 25 games. There are word games for people who like to stretch their minds, and brainless shoot-em-ups for the rest of us.

The Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal lets readers play online crossword, while other sites, including the Brampton Guardian, are serving up Manhattan clam chowder and other recipes.

It’s inexpensive to license small flash games, and these extra bonuses are a fun way to keep readers on a news site or coming back for more. Purists would roll their eyes at the thought, but I say let’s have some fun on the job.

Hypersodoku anyone?

The Hyper Journalist


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