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THE CUTTING EDGE | Events

The Spotlight Is on Multimedia

July 20, 1998

Spotlight, an executive conference "directing the future of interactive media," is being held through Tuesday at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel in Dana Point. Invitees will examine successful multimedia business models and those who helm them--such as media mogul Barry Diller, Qwest's Joe Nacchio and MIT Media Lab's Michael Hawley. For information on this invitation-only event, go to http://www.spotlight.com.

* Computers Illustrated: It may be hard to believe, but Siggraph's annual conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques is in its 25th year. The event runs through Thursday in Orlando, Fla. For more information as well as conference news and info updates, point your browser to http://www.siggraph.org/s98.

Summer is supposed to be about fun, but that's not always possible for us worker bees droning along in our lonely cubicles. Here's a list of game sites--not for serious gamers, mind you--just to pass the time. Not that we are in any way encouraging you to goof off on company time. Let the games begin.

CYBERSPACE

* Basic Bingo: Head on over to Gamesville (http://www.gamesville.com) to play bingo and Picturama against other online cats. You already know what bingo is, and Picturama gives you clues and pieces of pictures until you can guess the celebrity--unless someone beats you to it.

* The Word's the Thing: If words are your specialty, you should take a look at Funster (http://www.funster.com). It's a quick multi-player game that doesn't use a lot of techy stuff, so it goes by quickly, and you can play in short spurts. They give you a couple of words, often a name, and you compete with others to make the most words out of letters from the phrase. The more you play the better you get, we promise.

* Also Wordy: The Enigma Device is a weird word puzzle that is harder to figure out than to actually play. But there are directions--which we couldn't begin to do justice to. It's got to do with substituting letters with other letters to guess a phrase. See for yourself, at http://www.wordzap.com/enigma/index.html.

* Board Gamers Unite: Both Yahoo and Playsite have big multi-player game communities where you can try your hand at all sorts of card and board games. Yahoo, which uses Java and usually can't be used by those behind network firewalls, has backgammon, chess, go, bridge, gin, sheepshead, euchre, poker, checkers, spades and more. Playsite, which requires a free downloadable player, adds Go-Moku and Hex to its board game list and has most of the same card games as Yahoo. Yahoo is at http://play.yahoo.com, and Playsite is at http://www.playsite.com.

* Lone Rangers: The downside to Bill Kendrick's Games is that they can take a painfully long time to play. The upside is that they are all CGI scripts and don't require extra plug-ins or Java. So hangman, 21, Connect Four, Wordscram and an "impossible" word guessing game are worth the bother because they go pretty fast. But solitaire is a nightmare--stick with the FreeCell that comes on your computer. Kendrick's games aren't multi-player, though you can play with someone sharing your computer, like the poor drone at the desk next to yours. The site can be found at http://zippy.sonoma.edu/kendrick/games/.

* Business Letters: Rosie O'Donnell may know every jingle for every product ever set to music, but do you think she can as easily name the products' logos? Can you? To take a stab at it, check out the Retail Alphabet Game (http://www.isy.vcu.edu/~jkatzen/consumer/alpha/). The object of the game is to guess which company logo each letter comes from. Here's an easy one: The G is from the Gap. The rest are up to you.

Please send site suggestions to cutting.edge@latimes.com.

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