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The Top 100 Video Games, According to Time

Earlier today, Time unleashed its list of the All-TIME Top 100 Video Games. “Whether you’re into video games or not, they’re an integrally important part of our culture,” the magazine says in the introduction to the list. Organized by release date, the list is full of beloved retro games, like Pong and Space Invaders, and more recent hits—World of Warcraft, Wii Sports, and The Sims. Each entry includes a brief history of the game and why playing it was so much fun.

It’s hard to argue with putting Oregon Trail—a game that, for members of my generation, triggers both fond nostalgia and heated arguments about who was better at hunting bison—on the list. (Though based on this poll, some Time readers disagree.) “[Oregon Trail] was actually developed in 1971 by three student teachers at Carleton College in Minnesota as a teaching tool,” Doug Aamoth writes. “The game was refined and updated and eventually found its way to the Apple II in the early ’80s, where it gained in popularity before continuing on to multiple platforms between the ’90s and today.” If you're jonesing for an Oregon Trail fix, there are many options available to you: A slick update of the game for your phone, a zombie mash-up game called “Organ Trail,” and, with the right plug-ins, the original Apple II version is available on your new MacBook.

I also agree with the inclusion of SimCity 2000 (was there anything sadder than laboring over your city, only to have it destroyed by an alien monster?); Sonic the Hedgehog; and Super Mario Bros./Megaman/and every other NES game on the list. But where is StarTropics? SimAnt? Or my favorite game ever, Life and Death 2: The Brain, which confirmed that I should never, ever be a brain surgeon?

Do you agree with the Time list? What did they leave out? And what are your all-time top five favorite video games?

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History
The Queen of Code: Remembering Grace Hopper
By Lynn Gilbert, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Grace Hopper was a computing pioneer. She coined the term "computer bug" after finding a moth stuck inside Harvard's Mark II computer in 1947 (which in turn led to the term "debug," meaning solving problems in computer code). She did the foundational work that led to the COBOL programming language, used in mission-critical computing systems for decades (including today). She worked in World War II using very early computers to help end the war. When she retired from the U.S. Navy at age 79, she was the oldest active-duty commissioned officer in the service. Hopper, who was born on this day in 1906, is a hero of computing and a brilliant role model, but not many people know her story.

In this short documentary from FiveThirtyEight, directed by Gillian Jacobs, we learned about Grace Hopper from several biographers, archival photographs, and footage of her speaking in her later years. If you've never heard of Grace Hopper, or you're even vaguely interested in the history of computing or women in computing, this is a must-watch:

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Google
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Animals
Watch Christmas Island’s Annual Crab Migration on Google Street View
Google
Google

Every year, the 45 million or so red crabs on the remote Australian territory of Christmas Island migrate en masse from their forest burrows down to the ocean to mate, and so the female crabs can release their eggs into the sea to hatch. The migration starts during the fall, and the number of crabs on the beach often peaks in December. This year, you don’t have to be on Christmas Island to witness the spectacular crustacean event, as New Atlas reports. You can see it on Google Street View.

Watching the sheer density of crabs scuttling across roads, boardwalks, and beaches is a rare visual treat. According to the Google blog, this year’s crabtacular finale is forecasted for December 16, and Parks Australia crab expert Alasdair Grigg will be there with the Street View Trekker to capture it. That is likely to be the day when crab populations on the beaches will be at their peak, giving you the best view of the action.

Crabs scuttle across the forest floor while a man with a Google Street View Trekker walks behind them.
Google

Google Street View is already a repository for a number of armchair travel experiences. You can digitally explore remote locations in Antarctica, recreations of ancient cities, and even the International Space Station. You can essentially see the whole world without ever logging off your computer.

Sadly, because Street View isn’t live, you won’t be able to see the migration as it happens. The image collection won’t be available until sometime in early 2018. But it’ll be worth the wait, we promise. For a sneak preview, watch Parks Australia’s video of the 2012 event here.

[h/t New Atlas]

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