The iPhone 3G and the games people play

It’s aliiive!

It’s aliiive!

I stood in line for 5 1/2 hours in the hot sun to get the new iPhone 3G, the whole time wondering if it was really worth it. Well, it has exceeded all I had imagined.

There are more than 550 games and apps, many of which are free, that can be searched and downloaded straight from the phone—no computer needed. The accelerometer works with many of the games and apps, letting you, for example, tilt the phone to steer the motorcycle. I can’t stop playing Ms. Pac-Man (and Monkey Ball and MotoRacer and …).

There are amazing applications that work with the GPS to help you find everything from good restaurants to your friends in relation to your exact location. If you are not convinced this is revolutionizing the cell phone world, check out New York Times tech guru David Pogue’s humorous take. Gotta go play with my phone …

Biology is fun
Ms. Pac-Man is not the only game keeping me up at night. I heard a BBC story about E3, the world’s biggest gaming convention that took place in Los Angeles in mid-July. There were the predicable mentions of a new Guitar Hero with a drum kit and the ability to upload songs you’ve produced yourself, and Rock Band 2, which will include Bob Dylan’s “Tangled Up in Blue,” as well as songs by Guns N’ Roses, Bikini Kill, AFI and more. Nintendo’s Wii is jumping on the rock ’n’ roll bandwagon with its own music game—fairly predicable.

But the news that has terribly disrupted my rapid eye movement is from Electronic Arts, and the new developments with their upcoming September release of Spore. I downloaded their free Spore Creature Creator and I was glued to my laptop, mixing and matching arms, legs, eyes, antenna, claws, teeth, spikes and so forth. So much fun. Search YouTube for Spore or visit

Here’s the wind up
Web site is marketing a wind-up mobile phone charger as an emergency device (if you buy the new iPhone 3G you may need it just to get through the day). It also comes in handy for tree-hugging cell-phone users as it lets you leave the power grid, getting anywhere from one to eight minutes of talk time per three minutes of cranking. The 10-ounce cell-phone-sized device comes with a built-in flash light and costs about $18.

Wacky Web Site of the Week
Nothing whack about this. Regular readers know I lean to the left politically, but this site goes beyond partisan politics. Many believe this man is a criminal and here is a well-designed Web site on the issues.