August 10, 2018

Weekly Wins: AR Games, Baidu and more!

WRITTEN BY: Nick Kewin

The Weekly Wins are back with the finest bits and digital bites from the past week. 

Get ready for the most fun you’ve had all week. Without a doubt.

1. AR You Experienced?

Facebook is continuing it’s gamification push with a two new AR features in Messenger that are poised to knock Snap off of its gamification pedestal.

All you need to do is gather six of your friends and jump into messenger and let the games begin! It’s a cute overload with Facebook’s newest game, called ‘Don’t Smile’, which is exactly what you may expect it to be: a filter frenzy with an added challenge to remain stoically stone-faced throughout.

The war is on for your AR games hearts and minds. Who will be the victor? As Facebook forges ahead with cute level 10 games like Don’t Smile that are bound to attract the youth set, it seems likely that an FB victory is in the cards.

2. Info Wars Behind Closed Doors 

Love him or loathe him, the certifiable lunatic behind the right-wing, conspiracy spouting podcast, Infowars has been pulled from all major media distribution channels. Throughout its history, Infowars has skirted the hate speech line and it appears that they have finally pushed it a tad too far for the likes of Facebook, Apple and Spotify to stomach.

So we’re finally free of the possibility of mass dissemination of Alex Jones rhetoric but the best part about the curtailing of his soapbox is the degree to which he’s cried foul–despite displaying a similar censorship threat on the Infowars website that threatens to block anyone that doesn’t play by the rules.

There are winners and losers in any game and internet is nothing if not a giant arena. This time around, Alex Jones has proven to be the loser. That’s no conspiracy and it most definitely is the truth.

Baidu throws down

3.The People’s Republic of Baidu 

After conceding bitter defeat in China and finally bailing out in 2010, Google is staging a comeback in The People’s Republic. This decision has, not surprisingly, been met with controversy.

Critics say that if Google bows to censorship pressure in China, a dangerous precedent is set and the same could happen the world over.

Valid concern but it may add up to nothing more than a moot point because Baidu’s CEO has made a statement that he is supremely confident that Baidu would be able to PK Google should it make its way back to China.

For those of you who are unaware, ‘PK’ is popular Chinese slang for Player Kill, a gaming term. Aggressive words. The Chinese search engine wars are heating up!

4. Snap Out Of It 

Remember the good old days, when all that we had to physically aspire and compare our relatively bland visages to was beautiful celebrities? It was a simpler time…

Doctor’s have noticed an alarming trend in recent years in which potential patients are more confident than ever that their unattainable selves is attainable. The culprit for this mass delusion? Social media filters. Yes, the same super fun AR tools that allow you to add animal ears, stars, hats and other fun items is ruining people’s personal realities by also allowing them to create their perfect selves. Imagine the disappointment when they look in a mirror.

Dubbed ‘Snapchat Dysmorphia,’ the phenomenon is exacerbated the few people in the world that actually can make their looks correspond to their filter life. A quick look at Kylie Jenner throughout the years is a great example of this.

The problem is that they are not perfect. Which is fine because no one is. Not even celebrities, they just have teams of people working on them constantly to make them appear to be. So go ahead and keep using filters because they’re a ton of fun but just remember that you’re so, so  great just the way you are.

Snap to it

5. Machine Dreams 

Things have been going pretty well lately and you may be feeling that your life is almost complete. Or is it??? Hold the phones, the product of the year, nay, century was just launched. Get your credit cards ready, Panasonic has just created a machine that eliminates the odours from your shoes.

This miracle of modern technology uses some deep science to get to the root of this problem; it apparently emits ion particles containing hydroxyl radicals to attack the offensive, odour causing bacteria.

It’s times like these that you just have to sit back and marvel. As a species we’ve really come a long way and the foot-stink deodorizing machine may just be our pinnacle.