Crane Co. has announced the acquisition of the assets of CashCode Co. Inc.

Crane Co.’s CashCode Acquisition Aids Push To Offer Single Solution STAMFORD, CT — (Concord, ON, Canada) for $86 million in cash. Crane Co. is the parent of National Vendors and GPL (both in St. Louis, MO), and of National Rejectors Inc. GmbH (Buxtehude, Germany) through its Crane Merchandising Systems business unit. CashCode is a privately held company that produces banknote validation, storage and “recycling” equipment for vending, amusements and music, and related markets around the world.Issue: Vol. 46, No. 2, February 2006


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Residents of Calvert Complex Hit Jackpot For Socializing
Washington Post - United States... and kind," said Walter Newman, 59, who along with his wife, Ruth, is a regular at the bingo games. ... There are also laundry rooms with coin-operated machines. ...

World Records Set on Classic Arcade Games in April Competition to ...
Business Wire (press release) - San Francisco,CA,USA... BUSINESS WIRE)--March 31, 2006--Twin Galaxies, in association with Apollo Amusements, will host a competition where the most popular arcade games in history ...

Gaming machine seizures continue
Rock Hill Herald - Rock Hill,SC,USA... They pick on our industry because of what happened to video poker.". ... All police want are owners to remove machines with games of chance. ...

Mature-rated Video Games Often Include Content Not Specified On ...
Medical News Today (press release) - UKOver 80 percent of mature-rated video games portrayed acts involving violence, blood, sex, profanity or substances not included in the games' content warning ...

Metal Smash Pinball
MTV.com - USAPinball is the sort of game that makes sense on the mobile platform, but oftentimes mobile games don't run fast enough to make something like a pinball game ...

CVG Online - USA... of a raft of new titles, but it seems Japanese gamers are to going to get further incentives in the form of some all-time classic arcade games being made ...

Massive Places Ads In Baseball Games
MediPost Publications - New York,USA... "Advertising, sports, and video games all go together," said Nicholas Longano, Massive's chief marketing officer. "This gives us ...



Do you know any pinball wizards?

Baby boomers remember “Tommy,” The Who’s rock opera about a blind, deaf mute who became a world champion pinball wizard.
To advance New American Theater’s production of “Tommy” in late April and May in downtown Rockford, we want to talk with pinball wizards who live in the Rock River Valley. If you are one or know of one, e-mail Georgette Braun at gbraun@rrstar.com or fax her at 815-987-1365 as soon as possible, but before April 10.
Include your and the wizard’s name, daytime phone number and city of residence, and tell a bit about him or her. Phone numbers won’t be published.


Playing games with video

Posted: April 3, 2006
Stanley Miller
Gorgeous graphics have taken over video games, and Web sites devoted to the industry and culture provide plenty of still shots and moving pictures.
Ziff Davis Game Group, which publishes several game magazines and Web sites, last week launched the beta version of GameVideos.com to show off, um, well, game videos.
The goal is to build it into a comprehensive archive of video related to games and gaming culture.
The Web site is in its early stages and already has hundreds of clips, organized by channels, including "extreme," "funny," "retro" and "user submitted."
What counts as funny? One popular submission shows what happens when a toddler tries to play "Gran Turismo," a popular racing simulation game for the PlayStation. Of course he finishes the race, he just manages to hit every cone along the track.

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An ad featuring William Shatner shilling for the Commodore Vic-20 - "the wonder computer of the 1980s" - is among the more popular spots so far.
"The whole family can learn computing at home," Shatner says as a barrage of arcade-like blips ring out in the background.
The site will also offer the 1UP Show, a weekly podcast about electronic games compliments of its sister site, 1UP.com.
Video game publishers give away all kinds of promotional trailers for industry and fan Web sites, showing off the great visuals or fast action in upcoming games. Most game-related Web sites include some kind of video samples, often provided just as they came from the source.
But game video goes beyond commercials and trailers.
For example, video has evolved into a practical way to teach the tactics and strategies of games. Some sites, such as Stuckgamer.com, offer game video walkthroughs for players who need to see how to complete difficult goals.
From the instructional to the artistic, game videos also take shape in machinama, short movies using video game footage, music and dialogue to tell stories.
There are plenty of Web sites already devoted to this - Machinima.com, for example - showing player-created stories acted out in the virtual environments of games like "The Sims 2," "Halo" and "Half-Life 2."
It's a way players take ownership of their virtual worlds, writing fan-fiction-fueled stories tied to the games they've spent hours playing in.
But as GameVideos.com continues collecting content, it's the videos about "gaming culture" that could prove most promising, especially considering some of the bizarre Internet videos related to the topic.
For an idea, check out a three-minute clip from a 22-minute Webisode originally from Purepwnage.com.
The best way to find it is by using Google to search for "wow is a feeling," although the original site links to it, too, and offers club remixes of the original song in the video.
This clip is a music video themed off the popular persistent-world online game "World of Warcraft." For anyone who has played it, the lyrics comically refer to instantly recognizable facets of the game. For the uninitiated, the video is a bizarre glimpse into an online gaming subculture.
Internet videos can spread quickly, forwarded via e-mail and instant messages to friends and co-workers, and the site hopes that viral nature will help lure more visitors into its network, which includes a busy blogging community. The 1UP Network has about 10 million unique visitors each month.
Gamevideos.com has no plans for charging for premium content.
Instead, videos will have pre-roll ads typically running for 20 seconds.
Videos are available via streaming and download to computers, Apple iPods and Sony PlayStation Portable systems.
Right now the maximum file size for videos is 100 megabytes. The site accepts several formats - including .avi, .wmv and .mov - and requires submissions not be obscene, libelous, threatening or illegal.
GameVideos.com also plans to include video interviews with developers, including famous ones like Will Wright, the architect behind the popular game "The Sims," and Peter Moore, Microsoft's vice president of interactive entertainment business, entertainment and devices division.


Judge nixes Michigan law aimed at 'violent' games

By Declan McCullagh Staff Writer, CNET News.com -->
Published: April 3, 2006, 6:00 PM PDT

A federal judge has overturned a Michigan law restricting the sale of violent video games, the most recent in a series of decisions that have gutted similar laws on free-speech grounds.
U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh ruled on Friday that a state law criminalizing the sale of violent video games to anyone under 17 years of age is unconstitutional because those forms of entertainment are protected by the First Amendment's freedom of expression clause.
"Video games are a form of creative expression that are constitutionally protected under the First Amendment," Steeh ruled. "They contain original artwork, graphics, music, story lines and characters similar to movies and television shows, both of which are considered protected free speech."
The ruling (click here for PDF) represents another setback to politicians and anti-game activists who have mounted a state-by-state campaign for such restrictions. In the last few years, the 7th and 8th Circuit courts of appeal, plus federal judges in Washington, Illinois and California have found such laws to be unconstitutional.
"As long as they keep losing and most of the time don't even appeal, things are unlikely to change," said Paul Smith, a partner at the Jenner and Block law firm who is representing the Entertainment Software Association and the Video Software Dealers Association in the lawsuit.
One reason for the judicial skepticism is that academic studies have not established a link between simulated violence in video games and real-world action. (Under Supreme Court precedent, such a link between simulated violence and "imminent lawless action" would be necessary to make those laws constitutional.)
Craig Anderson, a professor of psychology at Iowa State University, offered testimony on behalf of Michigan, saying that simulated violence can become "automatized" with repeated exposure.

But Steeh, in a 17-page opinion, said that "despite this claim, Dr. Anderson's studies have not provided any evidence that the relationship between violent video games and aggressive behavior exists. His tests fail to prove that video games have ever caused anyone to commit a violent act, as opposed to feeling aggressive, or have caused the average level of violence to increase anywhere."
Politicians who support more laws targeting video games have, however, been trying to write large checks to researchers they hope will come up with more compelling studies. Last month, Democratic senators Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, Hillary Clinton of New York and Dick Durbin of Illinois persuaded a Senate committee to approve a sweeping study of the "impact of electronic media use."
Last year's news about a sex scene embedded in Rockstar Games' "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" also has caused politicians to complain. (Rockstar, a subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive, has said the so-called Hot Coffee modification--which permits a player to simulate sex with a woman--was the work of hackers who performed "significant technical modifications and reverse-engineering" of the game.)
The U.S. House of Representatives voted 355 to 21 last July for a resolution calling for an investigation of "Grand Theft Auto," and a similar measure was introduced in the Senate.



Bleeps, bloops, strings and horns

Here is composer Tommy Tallarico's guide to notable segments of the upcoming ``Video Games Live'' concert at the San Jose Civic Auditorium:
Arcade games: An eight-minute history of the early video game industry, starting in 1972 with ``Pong'' and continuing to 1988 and ``Tetris.'' Classic game melodies played by a full orchestra.
``Metal Gear Solid'': Music from film composer Harry Gregson-Williams (``Shrek''). The sounds of the symphony and choir are contrasted with electronic music and drumbeats.
``Castlevania'': A haunting string and horn arrangement that evokes 18th-century Europe.
``God of War'': Watch out, ``Carmina Burana.'' This score combines sheer power with a spectacular choral experience.
``Medal of Honor'': Reminiscent of Barber's ``Adagio for Strings.'' The compositions by Michael Giacchino (``Lost,'' ``Alias,'' ``The Incredibles'') represent some of the most emotional and touching music in video games.
``Space Invaders'': Known for its pounding, heartbeat-like rhythm, which quickens as the game progresses.
``Mario'': Melodic symphony swing.
``Beyond Good & Evil'': Modern drumbeats and floating woodwinds play along with the sweeping orchestral movements, interleaved with a solo choral section.
``The Legend of Zelda'': An orchestral presentation brings an uplifting and Disney-esque feel to one of the most memorable game melodies of all time.
``Tron'': A medley of musical moments from both movies and games, written by film composer Wendy Carlos. Orchestra meets synthesizer.
``Frogger'': Audience members compete on stage in conjunction with a big-screen display as the orchestra changes the score on the fly, depending on what the player is doing.
``Kingdom Hearts'': A celebration of moments from Disney film history.
``Myst'': Ethnic and handmade instruments, Eastern European vocal styles and pounding percussion make this one of the highlights of the evening.
``Warcraft'': A Gregorian and Latin choral showcase.
``Final Fantasy'': A solo piano performance, covering almost a dozen ``Final Fantasy'' games, will be played by Martin Leung (``the video game pianist''). The styles range from ballads to swing.
``Advent Rising'': The score emulates early Italian opera.
``Halo'': The chant of Himalayan monks starts off the piece, and massive Taiko drums and electronic percussion explode in combination with a video and lighting spectacle that provides a grand finale.


Fun with furniture

By Mitzi Bible
Lynchburg News & Advance
Think back before arcades were full of high-tech video games and virtual reality machines - even back before Pac-Man and Donkey Kong. The only sounds you would hear then came from a spring releasing a silver ball that zoomed its way up and down ramps, into bumpers that lit up with a “ping” and, hopefully, hitting the flippers at the precise moment so as not to go down the “drain.”
Pinball machines were all the rage for many of today’s baby boomers. It was an obsession, much like “Dance Dance Revolution” is with teens today.
For one area furniture designer and builder, the obsession has lingered well into adulthood.
“Everyone has a spot in their heart for when they were kids and played pinball,” says Michael Maxwell, owner of M.T. Maxwell Furniture Company in Bedford. “I spent a lot of time and money doing it … a lot of kids did, I’m sure.”
Maxwell, who moved his furniture business from Philadelphia in 1994, started collecting pinball machines as a hobby about five years ago and began restoring them. He came across some machines that had missing parts and were beyond repair - “completely gone,” he says. It was then that a creative idea for a new part of his furniture business started taking shape.
“I just got a hold of a bunch of stuff I couldn’t use from pinball machines … and I hated it to end up in the landfill,” he says.
So with a mind for contemporary furniture design, he began using the parts to create items such as coffee tables and bar cabinets, incorporating the pinball machines’ playfield (where the action takes place) and backbox (where the scores show up).
“I’m trying to preserve some of the neat, old artwork,” he says, referring to some “vintage designs” of the unique playfields, with psychedelic art reminiscent of pop art of another generation.
“Pop art is really popular right now with collectors and people into the ‘in’ stuff,” Maxwell says.
The designs, some dating back to the 1950s, include “everything from Dolly Parton to Kiss to Elton John to the Incredible Hulk,” he says.
His bar cabinet pinball design was recently selected as a finalist for a Niche Award in the recycled category. (The awards are sponsored by Niche magazine, the trade publication for North American retailers of American craft.)
Using recycled materials in furniture and craft design is a growing trend in the industry.
“It’s about reusing things and turning them into art,” Maxwell says.
He says although his pinball furniture is an original idea, people have been using other recycled materials to make custom pieces for their homes. Some of the items that have caught his eye through the years are airplane wings made into conference tables and desks and road signs that are pressed into bowl shapes, he says.
Larry Schmehl, who has worked alongside Maxwell for about 12 years, says it’s “our innovative ideas” that have set the pair apart in the furniture industry.
Maxwell has described their standard line of furniture as arts and crafts, with Shaker and Asian influences. He works with exotic woods and glass, with his favorite pieces being dining room tables, chairs, beds and dressers.
Schmehl says the company “favors contemporary-style design,” adding that furniture styles have to change to keep people interested. “That’s what the market is doing; you just have to stay ahead of that,” he says.
Handmade furniture, custom-ordered to specific sizes and dimensions, goes along with that trend and is something the company has tried hard to maintain.
“I think people like the overall quality of the pieces and structural integrity - anyone who shops around for handmade furniture can really appreciate it (the work that is put into it),” Schmehl says. “We’re building each, one piece at a time.”
It’s not for people with a “disposable mentality,” he adds, that is, those people who buy furniture from large retailers or catalog stores knowing that it will need to be replaced in a few years.
Schmehl admits that custom furniture does come with a higher price tag, but it’s one that many people are willing to spend.


Women do so get video games

Re: Father and son bond over video game, Neil Crone column, Feb. 12.
I just read Neil Crone's column about a father and son bonding over a video game. As soon as I came to the sentence, "Women simply do not get video games, at all," my mouth dropped open.
First of all, I am a woman, and secondly, I get video games! I was the one who just convinced my husband that Tony Hawk is one of the coolest Play Station games ever and that he had to find it for my stepson's birthday. Not only do I play games with my husband and stepson, I also love them!
I think the line, "Women simply do not get video games, at all," should read: "Neil simply does not get women, at all."
Neil's wife may be rolling her eyes when he discusses the video games with her because she probably can't believe all the extra time he has on his hands. I'd bet that if for a whole week Neil did all the dishes, and cooked and cleaned, he may find his wife off playing video games with his son and probably playing a heck of a lot better than him!
Time for a reality check.


Arcade Claw Offers Live Lobster Prizes

A lobster dangles in a claw of a game machine that has a tank full of live lobsters in a neighborhood store in Scarborough, Maine, on Thursday, Feb. PAT WELLENBACH
By CLARKE CANFIELD (Associated Press Writer)
From Associated PressFebruary 06, 2006 3:37 AM EST
SCARBOROUGH, Maine - You don't have to be a fisherman to catch lobsters anymore. At a neighborhood store in this Portland suburb - and at restaurants and bars in more than a dozen states - customers can plunk down $2 for a chance to catch their very own lobster using a mechanical claw in an arcade-style game.
The apparatus is a new version of the old-style amusement game where players put in a quarter or two in hopes of grabbing a stuffed animal. But instead of plush toys, the Love Maine Lobster Claw game has a water-filled tank full of lobsters.
When a lobster is caught, the restaurants cook it for free and serve it with side dishes.
"He looks like a keeper," said Frank Margel of Westbrook, eyeing a mottled-green crustacean at Eight Corners Market before giving the game a try.
It's easier said than done, however.
Unlike stationary stuffed animals, the lobsters flap their tails, flail their claws and squirm this way and that, making them elusive prey.
"Those lobsters are lively. They're ready for competition," Margel said a minute later - and $2 poorer - after the crustacean slipped away.
Marine Ecological Habitats in Biddeford has been making the Love Maine Lobster game for just over a year and sold a couple of dozen, said Joe Zucchero, the company president.
The Maine-made machines can be found in restaurants and bars in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Maine, Zucchero said. A Florida company, The Lobster Zone Inc., makes a similar machine that it says can be found in more than 20 states.
The game has its critics. Animal rights activists contend it's cruel to toss a lobster into a boiling pot of water. And playing with the creatures before sending them to their deaths rubs some people the wrong way.
"Turning animal cruelty into a game is absolutely hideous," said Karin Robertson of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
A restaurant in Pittsburgh removed its lobster game last week in response to PETA's campaign against the machines.
Paul Carrozzi, owner of Roland's Seafood Grill, said he doesn't agree the machine is inhumane, but removed it after receiving threatening e-mails and calls. "It just wasn't worth it," he said.
Zucchero maintains that the machine has a gentle claw that won't hurt the animals.
"If it did," he said, "we'd have problems because then it would be destroying our inventory."
At Eight Corners Market, customers typically play the game 25 to 30 times a day and catch about eight or so lobsters a week, said store owner Peter Walsh, who also plans to sell lobsters out of the tank.
When the game's in play, it usually draws a crowd. A lighthouse-style beacon flashes on top of the machine when somebody catches a lobster.
"If somebody's playing this game and someone else walks in the store, I guarantee they'll play because they'll see how fun it is," Walsh said.
In Louisiana, Bill Bodin owns two of the machines, which he placed in seafood and Mexican restaurants in Lafayette. The machines do a brisk business, he said, especially when there are lines and people are looking for something to do - or for their kids to do - while waiting for a table.
At Eight Corners Market, Margel gets 30 seconds to catch a lobster for $2. Or he can get three plays for $5 or seven plays for $10.
Working a joystick and a pair of buttons, Margel lowers the claw, clamps it around the lobster and attempts to lift it out of the water. But the lobster fights back and escapes before he can deposit it in an opening and down a chute into his possession.
Margel leaves empty-handed, but he had good time.
"Who cares if you get a lobster for two bucks?" he said.


Video games tackle ’lazy eye’

ISLAMABAD: Playing virtual reality computer games may help treat the condition known as amblyopia, or lazy eye, say researchers.
In patients with amblyopia, one eye works better than the other. Because the amblyopic eye is inferior for some reason, the brain decides to use the good eye.
Over time, the neural connection to the bad eye becomes gradually weaker in favour of the good eye.
The traditional way of fixing the problem is for patients to force the bad eye to work harder by wearing a patch over the good eye.
The treatment usually involves patching for around 400 hours and can cause the eyes not to work together, resulting in double vision.
Researchers at Nottingham University say that an experimental treatment using virtual reality (VR) may offer the best of both worlds, encouraging the lazy eye to be more active and getting both eyes to work together.
"Traditionally VR has been used to present realistic environments in 3D so you imagine you’re there because of the depth of the world around you," said Richard Eastgate of the university’s Virtual Reality Applications Research Team.
"But we’re using VR to make something unrealistic. You could call it virtual unreality," he told Digital Planet.
"We’re actually presenting two different versions of the world to each eye."
In one experiment, the team has been trying out a racing game where the computer sends images of the player’s own car to the amblyopic eye, but the other cars go to the good eye.
A racing game was used for the research Obstacles on the track are sent alternately to each eye, so both eyes team up to get the patient through the game.
The researchers are encouraged by the results.
"We thought we’d develop a system that needed about 400 hours of treatment like patching. In the end we achieved the same effect in an hour," said Dr Eastgate.
It is not entirely clear how the treatment works on a neurological level.
Research in the past has tried static images. But the team believes that modern virtual reality has allowed different but related dynamic information to be sent to each eye for the first time.
"The technique hasn’t been proven with rigorous trials but the early results show a very rapid effective treatment through this system," said Dr Eastgate.


Art imitates video games

Cultures collide in graphic book
Duck Hunter S. Thompson, by Tim Tomkinson, is one of more than 120 pieces of game-inspired art included in I Am 8-Bit, a 156-page, 1 1/2 pound graphic book that highlights the crossroads where pop art and video game culture collide. The book, due to hit book stores as early as this week for $22.95, is proof that art does exist in gaming, says its creator, Jon M. Gibson.

I Am 8-Bit
Author: Jon M. Gibson
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Pages: 156
Genre: General non-fiction
Price: $22.95
By Brian D. Crecente, Rocky Mountain News April 3, 2006
Hunter S. Thompson looks over his shoulder through gold-tinted glasses, a plastic cigarette holder tucked into the corner of his mouth, a bush hat that says "Duck Hunter" on his head.
In his hand, he holds a plastic lightgun for the Nintendo Entertainment System, its plastic cord dangling.
Behind him a smiling digital dog stands in knee-high grass, dead digital duck grasped in his hand.
The art piece, a mix of gouache, ink and pencil on a canvas smaller than a piece of letter head, is titled Duck Hunter S. Thompson.
It's on page 88 of I Am 8-Bit, a 156-page, 1 1/2 pound graphic book that highlights the crossroads where pop art and video game culture collide.
Page 64 features an oil on canvas of a slack-jawed child staring blank-eyed straight ahead. Reflected in her pupils are tiny twin games of Missile Command.
Thirty pages away, iconic but aged video game characters perpetually reenact their games as a decrepit Pac-Man in a rocking chair looks on. An IV drops power pills into his pencil-thin arm.
The book, due to hit book stores as early as this week for $22.95, is a collection of more than 120 pieces of game-inspired art.
But most importantly to its creator, Jon M. Gibson, it's proof that art does exist in gaming.
"This is my attempt at trying to create my own cultural movement of sorts," Gibson, an admitted Burger Time addict and video game journalist, said in a recent interview from his home near Los Angeles. "I just had this crazy idea and was (upset) that no one was doing anything with video game culture."
That frustration was the fuel behind a Hollywood art show that in turn inspired the book.
In 2005, Gibson and some friends organized an exhibition at the Gallery Nineteen Eight Eight despite having no experience piecing together a show.
But no one else was championing the cause, so Gibson, 23, took it upon himself to fill the vacuum. The book showcases the best pieces from that art show, as well as a few works from an upcoming show scheduled at the same gallery later this month.
"There wasn't anything," he said. "No one has focused on the truly cool, charismatic stuff, the '80s stuff.
"We had these wonderful characters like Mario, Donkey Kong and Pac-Man. Mario was composed with like 80 pixels, max. How do you interpret that? Anyway you want, that's what's so cool."
He said the co-owners of the gallery, who are also in their 20s, immediately embraced the idea.
The three set to work getting artist friends to create work for the show and trying to track down unknown artists for the same purpose.
The show opened April 19 to a crowd comprised of equal parts art connoisseurs and game aficionados, Gibson said.
"We didn't really know until the opening night what was really going to happen," he said. "I'd say about half of the people were people who had never stepped foot in an art gallery, let alone buy something in an art gallery - something that's going to look great on their wall so they can finally take down that Spiderman poster.
"The other half was very snooty, very judgmental."
Despite the oil-and-water mix of attendees, that show was a huge hit, with 70 to 80 percent of the pieces selling for $50 to $3,000.
And while the two very different groups seemed to have little in common outside the gallery, the art brought them together.
"It was cool to see them discuss the same pieces and share memories," Gibson said.
Like memories of a day playing Frogger.
Amanda Visell's piece shows a bright green frog resting at the bottom of the work, looking across an endless crisscrossing highway of blue, gray and white cars.
Or a summer wasted on Dig-Dug.
Blaine Fontana's work is a nearly four-foot tall painting of a bloated Dig Dug and two of his nemeses resting on top of a hole-riddled terrain.
Or the video game explosion that was Pac-Man.
Peter Gronquist took two training grenades and carved them into likenesses of the perpetually eating Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man.
"It's so simple and yet so epic and deep and intense," Gibson said. "It's iconic."
or 303-892-2811


How Hold'em Players are Protecting Themselves

This release announces a new instructional DVD called Cheating at Hold’em (The Essentials). It illustrates and explains how all poker players can take simple counter measures to protect themselves from being scammed by card cheats.
(PRWEB) April 3rd, 2006 – Texas Hold’em, like all card games, has rules to keep the play honest, fair and fun. Unfortunately the reality is that 99% of all games can easily be cheated. Double George, LLC has developed a DVD program titled Cheating at Hold’em (The Essentials), designed to educate the general public about how poker scams work, how to detect them, and what steps to take in order to protect yourself from being a victim.Gambling and specifically Texas Hold’em has taken America by storm. When gambling becomes popular, cheating also escalates. Cheating at Hold’em (The Essentials) teaches you how to put a few precautions in place to help protect your game (and your bankroll) from being compromised. These are procedural changes that can be made immediately. They are easy to implement, and will go a long way toward making your game safe, honest and cheat free.Forget about fancy surveillance systems or machines to help you shuffle and deal. Within 10 minutes, anyone can learn to shuffle, cut, and deal a fair game. Also, just a few minutes of instruction can show you how to properly look at your cards (a technique known as peeking the hand,) how to deal with onlookers and those not playing, and how to detect marked cards and sleight-of-hand maneuvers in addition to various gambling devices.How do poker players benefit? Cheating at Hold’em (The Essentials) shows what various scams look like when executed. Each facet of the scam is then exposed, discussed and illustrated in detail. This enables you to spot and prevent cheating or any type of advantage play. Protection and Detection Tips are also included for each section. You quickly learn how to make easy procedural changes that will dissuade people from potentially cheating in your game. A hustler is looking for places where it is easy to get away with a scam. If you create an atmosphere that is unfriendly toward cheaters, they will leave your game alone.“It’s a common dilemma that surfaces when anyone gambles for money; some people feel at times that they may have been cheated,” said David Malek, Chairman of Double George, LLC. “In fact, if you play Texas Hold’em (or any other poker variations) for money, or for fun, it is just a matter of time before someone will try and cheat you. Believe it or not, more money is stolen in private poker games by so called “friends” than is ever stolen in a casino. However, if you know what to look for and how to protect against it, you become a far more sophisticated player. Easy to implement procedural changes go a long way to make your game safe, fair, and fun for everyone. Some scams are so deceptive, subtle, and quick, that knowledge becomes your only protection. When money is involved, game protection must be your top priority.”Cheating at Hold’em (The Essentials), is an instructional DVD covering the essential details of scams used in the game of Texas Hold’em. You’ll learn how to properly shuffle, cut, and deal the cards. You’ll learn about Peeking (learning the identity of cards that should remain unknown), Flashing (giving up information before players are supposed to know about it), Second Dealing (dealing the second card from the top, rather than fairly from the top), Marked Cards (Blockout Work, Scroll Work, Crimping, and even Nail Nicking). In addition, you’ll learn about Check Copping (a way to steal chips out of the pot), Splash Moves, and the Psychology of a Card Cheat, as well as Protection Tips to combat the most widely perpetrated scams. Every section of this 90-minute DVD can have a huge impact on the way you see the game and the way your game is played. In order to eliminate the chances of being cheated, you must take game protection and security seriously. You will enjoy the game more, and so will the people you play with. It is easy to incorporate the different protection tips into your games, as well as keep them in mind when playing in a game you have less control over.David Malek is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on game protection. His sleight of hand skill with cards and dice is legendary. Mr. Malek puts on presentations for law enforcement, casino personnel and celebrity clients. He works as a gambling consultant for film and television productions, as well as giving demonstrations at trade shows and hospitality suites for a variety of Fortune 500 companies. Mr. Malek lives in Newport Beach, California. For more information call 1-800-314-2855 or visit, www.cheatingatholdem.com.


Nintendo nostalgia leaps beyond the arcade

By OTIS HART, Associated Press (ASAP) © April 3, 2006 Super Mario has rescued princesses for over 20 years now, on TVs and big screens, in bits and gigs, on coin-ops and handhelds.
Now the stout man with the impeccable mustache makes perhaps his most memorable leap yet: to the coffee table. And he's bringing Donkey Kong, Pac-Man and Q-Bert with him.

Jon Gibson's new book, "i am 8-bit" (Chronicle Books, $22.95) collects the best video game art from 2005's exhibition of the same name. The show at Los Angeles' Gallery Nineteen Eighty Eight showcased over 100 artists who long ago forged their own nascent identities by controlling the fates of others. And with the Nintendo Entertainment System turning 20 last year, it was the perfect time to reflect on life after Space Invasion.
Nostalgia became NEStalgia.

See the complete Pilot, exactly as in print - View stories, photos and ads - E-mail clippings - Print copies Log in or learn more Pixels were the vessel of choice, but iconic characters like Mario or Kong quickly grew too immense for their two-dimensional environment. They quickly took root in the imagination of young America, shedding their skins of ones and zeros and taking on the personality of their hosts.
After gestating in the frontal lobe for almost two decades, these larger-than-life heroes and villains found a portal back to the real world through Gibson in 2004.
Then just 21, Gibson, who owns an actual arcade version of the 1982 hit "Burger Time," approached Gallery Nineteen Eighty Eight about curating a show that focused on classic video games. The art space loved the idea and the two parties went about finding artists in the L.A. area and on the Internet at MySpace and Friendster.
Gibson earns his living as a script writer for cartoons on Nickelodeon, the Cartoon Network and Disney, so he already knew the animator circuit. Faster than you could say "Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start," "8-bit" was on.
"We figured iconic images would be key, but, like Greg Simkins especially, they went balls out with the memories," Gibson said. "They really locked into what we hoped for. Games really mean a lot to a lot of these artists."
Simkins painted what many considered the exhibition's centerpiece, "Pac-Man in Hospice," featuring our yellow friend in a wheelchair with an IV full of white balls. That painting is included in the book of "i am 8-bit," along with dozens of other pieces varying from found art to plush toys.
Gibson took home only one painting from the initial show -- Jose Emroca Flores' "The M.K.," a glorious portrait of Mario and his princess resting on a series of floating bricks after a tough day fighting Goombas, Koopa Troopas and his nemesis, Bowser.
"Jose does concept art for 'Medal of Honor' for EA, and the stuff he does is amazing, but you never see it because he's behind the scenes working the magic," Gibson said. "But having those kind of guys contributing to a gallery is awesome because they really can paint, but rarely do they get the opportunity. Typically the gallery scene is dominated by a very select group of people, and to break away from that and do something different, it was a special thing."
This year's "i am 8-bit" runs from April 18-May 19 at Gallery Nineteen Eighty Eight in Los Angeles, and will feature an extravagant premiere party. Visit http://www.iam8bit.net/ for more information.

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