Microsoft offers memory cards and subsidised hard drives to low-end Xboxers

xbox360.jpgOwners of spec-challenged Xbox 360s hoping to get onboard the new Experience are being handed a lifeline by Microsoft. The company has graciously decided to give away free 512MB memory cards, or dirt cheap 20GB hard drives, to anyone with a pitiful Xbox having less than 128MB of storage space.

Active Xbox users can get the hard drive for £12.99, while inactive ones must pay £19.99…

Casual gaming reduces stress, sez science

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Next time you get caught out playing Peggle at work, you can legitimately tell your boss that you’re reducing the high level of stress, fatigue, and anger caused by him being such as slave driver.

New research from East Carolina University suggests that casual games (particularly those by PopCap games, because they commissioned the study) can be therapeutic, lowering stress levels, increasing vigour, and reducing fatigue, confusion, anger, and psychological tension…

RealNetworks may buy Scrabulous, legal online Scrabble-esque gameplay for all

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Scrabulous is definitely popular, as a recent Facebook petition testifies, so anything which brings hope to its survival has to be a good thing.

GigaOm speculates that such a deal would be great for RealNetworks, as it could give them a foot in the door of casual gaming on Facebook. Although Facebook users may not really care who saves Scrabulous, so long as they can still play it, they may well win a few fans along the way.

Computer games can help adults bond with their kids, casual gaming survey reveals

nintendowii.jpgAccording to a recent worldwide casual gaming survey, 70% of family members have seen educational benefits of their children and grandchildren playing computer games, while a whopping 92% say that casual games provide an opportunity for them to bond with them.

PopCap Games commissioned the survey and found some other interesting statistics that suggest not all video games are bad, either educationally or in terms of isolating kids.

Casual games provided the following observed benefits: improved hand-eye coordination and mental dexterity (68%), improved learning, such as pattern recognition and spelling (60%), mental workouts/cognitive exercises (51%), strengthened memory (48%), stress relief and relaxation (44%), and confidence building/affirmation (37%).