GOLF WHEREVER YOU ARE

“Optishot Golf” is a $500 simulator that fits in a briefcase and connects with a computer to analyze your swing. Videos and still shots from world-famous courses are projected onto whatever wall you happen to have handy. You can play alone or with two to four companions.

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BATTLE FOR THE OLDIES

Avast mateys! You scurvy dogs! Playing games like “Monkey Island” back in the 1990s was the most fun we’ve had playing video games. But some of those old games won’t play on new machines — unless you can get new versions.

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FREE GAMES, REALLY

Many computers come with a “games” file on board from their first startup; our Hewlett Packard has at least a couple hundred.

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LEARNING SPANISH THROUGH GAMES

pbskids.org/noah has a new scavenger hunt game where players must decipher Spanish words and locate objects. Through videos, the site tells the story of a kid called Noah and his grandmother, who live in an area where everyone but them speaks Spanish (sort of like Miami).

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GET MOVING

We read about a guy who lost 140 pounds playing “Ingress,” a free Android/iPhone game that gets you moving about in the real world (whatever that is). You the player can choose to be on the side of the “Enlightened” or the “Resistance” as you search for power nodes that connect with another universe.

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LEARN CHESS

ChessCademy.comĀ is an awesome site for learning chess. It’s also free.

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GAME MUSIC

You can create a musical score made up of the kind of music and sound effects you hear in adventure games and save it to any application you wish, even making weird sounds for your cellphone. This is free for the month of February from Syrinscape.com if you feel like trying out their new beta version (pre-market release) of the Syrinscape Fantasy Player.

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GAMES CAN MAKE YOU SMARTER

According to researchers at Florida State University, playing the video game “Portal 2″ makes you smarter than training your brain with the well-known Lumosity system.

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WATCHING PEOPLE PLAY

In our favorite non-violent action game is Peggle, a kind of cartoon pinball game. We once made a move so cool we would have liked to share it with others. Now the instant replay feature of the free game service “Raptr” lets you save video clips of your game play in any length up to 20 minutes. You could use your clips to start your own video channel online. There is a surprising large number of people who like to see video game replays.

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TINKERBOX: FREE GAME FOR TEACHING ENGINEERING

“Tinkerbox HD” by AutoDesk is a free puzzle game for iPhone/iPad/iPod, for teaching basic engineering concepts. Build outrageous machines or download popular inventions

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