Arcade Fire goes big with their latest release, Reflektor; Katy Perry’s new album Prism roars; Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag guarantees hours of swashbuckling fun and exploration.
Both Keith Urban and Nine Inch Nails are stretching their musical wings in new releases. On Fuse, listeners will hear more than a classic country sound from Urban. Hesitation Marks doesn’t include a single scream from Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor. Splinter Cell Blacklist relies on its classic formula—”seek and destroy while staying out of sight.”
I’m not sure what was more of a surprise to me—that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been around for 30 years, or that the John Madden videogame football franchise goes back twenty five years! John Mayer has some ground to make up; his first album debuted in 2001, an Internet only album titled Room for Squares. Hopefully he’ll have the longevity of the turtles and one particular earthbound former football coach.
Inspired by the experiences of Connecticut librarian Sarah Ludwig’s Minecraft library club, Elizabeth Grohoski and Karen Letteriello of the Mattituck-Laurel Library (NY) are now using a virtual Minecraft library to attract young patrons. The game allows users to build in a 3-D virtual world with cubes similar to Legos—but without any proscriptive kits and manuals.
Imagine a day in your library devoted to the basics of coding in Python and sending a roomful of teens home with computers they can keep. Now imagine doing this for about $30! It’s completely possible, because it happened at Southwest Regional Library, a regional branch of the Durham County Library system in Durham, North Carolina.
Thirty-two titles from the “DC Super-Pets,” “DC Super Heroes: The Man of Steel,” “Superman,” and “Batman” series are now available as interactive ebooks from Capstone. Educators, student teams, gamers, or programmers can submit entries of games, math videos, infographics, or manipulatives to the WGBH Educational Foundation’s Innovation Math Challenge for prizes of $1,000.
Our teens review music for R&B listeners as well as country/western fans; Kelly Rowland, well-known for her affiliation with Destiny’s Child, dishes out tasty tunes on her lastest album Talk a Good Game, while relative newbie Hunter Hayes hits the mark with his special release, Encore. Looking for a videogame experience that promises a “gut-wrenching journey full of action, horror, combat, and stealth?” Cue up The Last of Us, a new release for Playstation 3.
Findaway World launches the Playaway Bookpack program, which features preloaded audiobooks and their print versions. There are currently more than 200 titles available for preschool through young adult readers. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is now accepting nominations for the 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Book Foundation’s Up All Night online exhibit showcases National Book Award Winners and Finalists in Young People’s Literature. Educators interested in integrating educational games into the K-12 curriculum are invited to attend a one-day workshop on August 19 during the Serious Play Conference.
Summer vacation calls for cool tunes and lots of screen time. Daft Punk’s latest album promises to put them front and center on the U.S. music scene—tracks from Random Access Memories will be blasting from car windows. To escape the heat, our reviewer recommends hitting the virtual race track with Grid 2, a car racing game. And for fans of everything Mario, add Minis on the Move to the collection for puzzle fun and games.
Though the reviews of the recently released film, The Great Gatsby, are remarkably mixed, the soundtrack gets high praise from our teen reviewer. It’s hard not to like Lady Antebellum, with their sweet sounds and finely wrought lyrics on love and heartbreak, on their latest album Golden. What happens to Star Trek when it just becomes a shoot-em-up and logic goes by the wayside? Read on for our reviewer’s take on Star Trek: The Video Game.
From rock icon David Bowie to relative newcomers, Paramore, music lovers can look forward to good summer listening and lots of choice in styles of music. Longtime fans of Luigi, Mario’s oft-maligned brother, will be happy to see that he finally gets to demonstrate his mojo in Nintendo’s new addition to the franchise, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon.
Celebrate 10 years of Mo Willems’s Pigeon with a visit to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA, which will be hosting an exhibit on the award-winning author/illustrator. Winners for the Jane Addams, Golden Kite, and IRA awards have been announced. Attend a one-day workshop focused on integrating games into the K–12 classroom. These stories and more, in this week’s News Bites.
Timberlake’s performance during the Grammy Awards earlier this year may have been panned, but our reviewer finds his efforts on The 20/20 Experience laudable. If you’ve never heard of Son Volt, it may be time to give their latest album, Honky Tonk, a listen. Been missing Lara Croft? She’s back in Tomb Raider, a prequel to the wildly successful franchise that first launched in 1996.
Though I’m surrounded by Walking Dead fans, I’d have never imagined a soundtrack—guess I was wrong! This might be just the thing to listen to while taking part in Run For Your Lives, a zombie-infested 5K obstacle course race that’s going nationwide. Spring training has wrapped up and the baseball season has begun, so there’s no better time to break out MLB 13: The Show, which sports many new features. Ready for some classic gaming? Sounds like Sly Cooper, Thieves in Time has all the moves for a satisfying experience.
OK, rub it in—our music reviewer wasn’t even born when My Bloody Valentine released its first album in 1991…. How about a puzzle game in which a cave with a “wicked sense of humor” is your guide? I don’t usually associate puppets with blood and gore, but the review of Black Knight Sword has changed my outlook.
There’s just enough on Josh Groban’s new release, All That Echoes, to keep his groupies happy, though he may be stretching it. Fans of Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers can add the “breakout rock band of 2012″ Imagine Dragons to this sound canon. The popular Japanese role-playing game (RPG) Emblem: Awakening makes an impressive debut here in the States, with our reviewer promising “countless hours of serious entertainment.”