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Flash of Inspiration: EA Releases 18-Year-Old’s Idea as Online Flash Game

Flash of Inspiration: EA Releases 18-Year-Old’s Idea as Online Flash Game (photo)

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I get the e-mails like the one heralding “Rhythm” all the time. “Dear NAME,” they read, “wouldn’t you like to check out such-and-such frippery because of how awesome we’re telling you it is?”

No, I wouldn’t.

But I was 18 once and I’m pretty sure I wanted to make games, then. Or at least I had ideas for games.

The PR blather from the missive in question follows:

Dan Slutz, 18, of Canton, Ohio won the National Invent-A-Game Challenge, a competition for America’s youth to create their own video games in June 2009. Slutz won for his music-based platform game where players battle evil forces utilizing various musical styles as weapons to advance, conquer and defeat their enemies. As the Grand Prize Winner, Dan was honored at EA’s offices in Los Angeles, and received his Grand Prize, a $10,000 U.S. savings bond.

In the game, Rhythm is the hero of the story, in trying to recover the stolen platinum disc from his nemesis Sylence. The loss of the platinum disc has stolen music and color from the world, and converted its youthful inhabitants into mindless, colorless drones. Rhythm needs to explore the world, use a megaphone to convert drones back to music loving teens, and re-power amps to bring music and color back to the world. Rhythm can collect new musical genres, which when enabled change the world and allow him to perform special moves. When Rhythm finally catches up with Sylence, he needs all of the musical genres to defeat his arch enemy and recover the platinum disc.

‘Rhythm,’ created by Dan Slutz, was developed by Say Design, with support and funding from Electronic Arts Inc. and the Best Buy Foundation, in cooperation with BKFK.

“It is really exciting to see that my game has actually come to life and is ready to play,” said inventor Dan Slutz. “This is a very important first step in realizing my dream to become a video game developer.”)

So I followed the links in said e-mail to see what young Dan Slutz’s handiwork played like. And it’s pretty good.

“Rhythm” has some basic but strong ideas that are presented in a fun, easy-to-understand way. The whole “restoring color to the world” thing has been done before, but who are we if not the sum of our influences, right? I actually would love to see it beefed up from a graphical and control perspective and ported to the Nintendo DS or the iPad.

So, here’s to you, Dan Slutz. May your game development journey be fruitful and fun. And make sure EA hooks you all the way up, a’ight?

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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