At a very pleasant dinner last Tuesday with Matt Locke, Tim Wright and Martin Trickey, someone mentioned Barcode Battlers, handheld games with barcode scanners. You collect monsters by scanning groceries – real groceries, see Campbell’s soup might be the coolest monster – and then you can battle your friends’ scanned barcodes. Isn’t that weird? I actually thought it sounded kind of cool in a surreal way, but this merciless sendup of the packaging, backstory, and well, everything about the game, set me straight. It seemed someone (unsuccessfully?) tried to revive the Battlers with a copycat game called Scannerz – which in fact, was reported on Boing Boing just two weeks ago. Circles, circles, circles.

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