IndieCade brings the future of underground gaming to Santa Monica

At the cliffhanger end of the demo for “ARBox,” an in-development augmented-reality game that uses a mix of digital and physical objects to allow for escape room-like experiences in our home, players were given a choice: Join a magic revolution and risk it all or pledge allegiance to a corporation and opt for the promise of security. The cost? A life without sorcery. Earlier this year at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the gaming industry’s largest North American trade show, most of those who tested the experience played it safe and put their trust in a corporation. At IndieCade, however, an annual independent-focused game event that concluded Saturday in Santa Monica, the votes were unanimous: Join the magic rebellion. No real surprise that IndieCade attendees would favor a more autonomous route. For more than a decade, IndieCade has showcased what’s underground, what’s next and what’s important in interactive storytelling. Perhaps more vitally, IndieCade puts the emphasis on individual developers, highlighting gaming’s idiosyncratic voices who believe play is a language as much as it is a tool for a medium. After all, play increasingly surrounds us as “immersive” has become...

44 Brilliant Things You’ve Never Heard Of With Tons Of Glowing Amazon Reviews

You may know Amazon as the internet’s favorite one-stop shop for everything from toiletries to tech but the e-tailer is also loaded with other brilliant things you’ve probably never heard of. And I’m not just talking about useless novelty kitchen gadgets, these genius hidden gems (which are now starting to rack up thousands of glowing reviews) are actually improving people’s lives, according to reviewers. Whether you’re looking for ways to be a little more conscious, productive, eco-friendly, or organized, having the right tools at your disposal can help you tenfold — and Amazon is full of weird but genius gadgets that can help. If you’re looking to read more books this year, limit your use of wasteful materials, or eat more home-cooked meals, these clever items help to set you up for success. The fact that they’ve gained so much recognition and so many high ratings from past buyers is a testament to their effectiveness — and their ability to actually make a difference in your daily routine. “It works exactly as well as it says, and has changed my life,” wrote one reviewer (about an automatic egg cooker, of all things), and t...