December 5, 2010

Sinterklaas Flash game “Zwarte Piet”

Filed under: Gaming,General by Branko Collin @ 11:57 am

Tonight’s pakjesavond, when Saint Nick visits the homes of many a European child to deliver presents.

I realise many of you won’t be sharing in the fun because you have fallen for the trickery of the Arctic imposter. Fret not, though. With Wiering Software’s video game Zwarte Piet you can experience the gift delivery process as if you were here in person.

Guide Black Peter across rooftops, collect the delicious pepernoten (lit. ‘pepper nuts’) and shove them together with gifts down chimneys. Mike Wiering has been producing new versions of this game every year, so if you don’t like this particular version, try another. Tip: “Klaar! Zoek de uitgang” means “Claire! Find the exit”.

UPDATE: We are very aware that many Dutch folks now consider Zwarte Piet a racist stereotype.

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October 12, 2010

Dutch trucker invents hit board game

Filed under: Design,Gaming by Orangemaster @ 10:55 am

In his spare time, hidden away in his tool shed, 66-year-old trucker Ad Bruynzeel has been coming up with board games for ages. And finally, after decades, he invented a game called Wobble, which now is an international hit and means that work is soon to be his hobby.

Dutch gamemaker Identity Games signed him up just like that, and although already in Europe, you’ll be seeing Wobble in North America soon as well.

I like the catchy ‘Roll to the Hole’ as a slogan. This game looks like a grandpa with grandchildren kind of hit. “The goal of the game is to get the ball in the right hole by moving or replacing the discs on the edge of the board.”

Check it out:


October 9, 2010

iPhone app developer catches iPhone thief using his app

Filed under: Gadgets,Gaming by Branko Collin @ 2:30 pm

A thief stealing an iPhone got caught after logging into the online game Merchant, Bright reports.

The phone belonged to Merchant developer Richard Osinga who kept an eye out for his phone’s IP number, and sure enough the dumb thief decided to try out the game and inadvertently handed himself in that way.

Osinga’s blog does not mention what data he collected to be able to find the thief. It took the police half a year to catch the criminal, but last Thursday they finally could report to the victim that they had got his iPhone back.

(Photo: Merchant.)

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August 17, 2010

Netherlands wins world champion Stratego

Filed under: Gaming,General by Orangemaster @ 1:30 pm

Out of four countries represented — the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and England — the Dutch won this year’s Stratego World Championships, held in Maastricht. With six victories and four draws Pim Niemeijer of The Netherlands became the new individual Stratego World Champion. Last year, Steffen Annies of Germany won the Stratego World Champion of 2009, the year before, Pim Niemeijer had won it.

And then we also wrote about a women’s championship, also won by a Dutch woman in Kiev back in 2008.

There are also Computer Stratego World Championships held around the world and there’s also my co-blogger’s time-old classic of placing all five of his bombs around his flag.

Stratego is a Dutch game published by Jumbo that was distributed internationally by Milton Bradley, giving the impression that the Americans came up with it, if you read Wikipedia. Read more about Stratego history with pics galore on Ed’s Stratego Site.

(Links:, isfstratego)

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August 10, 2010

The battle to outlaw poker rages on

Filed under: Gaming,General by Orangemaster @ 10:57 am

Back in July, an organiser of a Texas Hold’em poker game in The Hague was found not guilty, as his tournament was considered a game of skill rather than a game of chance. This, of course, irritated the Attorney General who wants to outlaw these poker games and is appealing the decision. Since the government has a monopoly on games of chance, it is missing out on this poker money.

In the mean time, while the Dutch have been months without a government (we had elections, but the parties can’t agree who will form the coalition), a café in the town of Glane in Twente is playing poker to its heart’s content. The current (‘demissionary’) Minister of Justice told the café to stop, but the court ruling is still on the café’s side: poker is currently considered a game of skill and not a game of chance.

So, the question still stands: will poker games be outlawed or will the appeal work? First, a new government and then we’ll see.


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July 28, 2010

Underaged boy re-enacts film with mom’s car

Filed under: Automobiles,Film,Gaming,Weird by Orangemaster @ 3:09 pm

First there was our world-famous story about a man causing a blackout in a hospital, thinking he was playing horror video game Silent Hill, now there’s a 17-year-old boy in Veenendaal who re-enacted the movie ‘The Fast and the Furious’ by driving his mom’s car into someone’s yard.

Legal driving age is 18 here, so he borrowed mom’s car illegally. Not only did the boy trash someone’s yard, he also drove the car home, parked it, and pretended nothing happened. He got caught by the cops because a licence plate fell off in said yard. Damn. His excuse to the police was that he had watched ‘The Fast and the Furious’ and wanted to try out drifting, a driving technique “where the driver intentionally oversteers, causing loss of traction in the rear wheels through turns,” and “make smoke come out of the tires”.

Watch how it’s done on British television show Top Gear with cool Japanese guys:


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July 19, 2010

World record consecutive gaming in Dutch hands

Filed under: Dutch first,Gadgets,Gaming by Orangemaster @ 3:35 pm

Dutch gamers in Rotterdam have scored a Guinness world record for the most hours of consecutive gaming: 50 hours playing Red Dead Redemption. The old record was held by Chirantan Patnaik from India at 40 hours 20 minutes, according to the print version Dutch daily De Pers.

The attempt to break the record was organised by Dutch company Vogel’s Products that wanted to promote a Sony PlayStation 3 controller.

(Link:, Photo of a PlayStation controller 2 by blindfutur3′, some rights reserved)


July 3, 2010

Poker considered game of skill by court

Filed under: Gaming,General,Sports by Branko Collin @ 2:15 pm

Against heavy odds, a poker tournament organiser was declared not guilty by the criminal court of The Hague last Friday, Algemeen Dagblad reports.

Earlier judgements, including one of the Dutch High Court had, held that poker is a game of chance. The defendant, who had organised a Texas Hold’em tournament in The Hague in 2006, argued successfully to the contrary.

The three judges weighed expert opinion, the opinions within the poker community (the prosecution had claimed that poker was generally considered a game of chance), and the opinion of the defendant. The court also held that a general principle of law such as presumption of innocence had to be adhered to: the prosecution was expected to show scientific evidence that poker is not a game of skill.

Finally when looking at the little scientific evidence available, the court favoured the research by Peter Born and Ben van der Genugten (2009) over psychologist W.A. Wagenaar’s study. The latter argued that whether a poker game is a game of chance also depends on the individual players’ perception of the game. The judges felt that this made Wagenaar’s model unsuitable for predicting whether a specific game or tournament is a game of chance.

In the Netherlands, the government has the monopoly over games of chance.

Are there any lawyers in the house willing to predict what this verdict will mean for future poker tournaments in the Netherlands?

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May 1, 2010

Queen’s Day 2010: friendly and fun

Filed under: Food & Drink,Gaming,General,Literature,Photography by Orangemaster @ 11:07 am

Queen’s Day in Amsterdam’s West and Old South districts was not too crowded and full of excellent finds on the outdoor market. I thought people were a tad friendlier than usually, it could be this crisis is bringing us a bit closer, who knows. It was also nice to run into friends as well, some selling, some buying and some joining us for food and drinks.

Although it was a bit rainy during the day and cold (10 degrees when the day before was 20), the sun finally popped out and 24oranges went out to enjoy the day and prepare our annual Queen’s Day photo report. First, the lady at the bakery pointed out that the Dutch eclair-like cakes as well as her ‘tompouces’ here above were made by hand.


The city’s major park, Vondelpark, is traditionally overrun by children selling and buying as well as playing music for coins and doing tricks and the likes. And after years of watching hordes wear those inflatable crowns, I finally walked by the people on the street of the lottery company who hands these things out and scored me one too.


Although quickly pointed out as a traditional Dutch game, sjoelbak is apparently of British origin, but the Dutch have their own take on it.


There were people selling all kinds of stuff: the usual houselhold knickknacks, darkroom equipment, clothes, records, books, you name it. And that’s still not the best part. At the end of the day, people place a lot of unsold items on the kerb for rubbish and then it’s free digging time, which can even be better than the stuff you bought during the day.

We saved some LPs and books from destruction this year and we noticed that so much was properly cleaned up, due to the city’s street cleaners’ strike. Maybe that has do to the classier neighbourhoods we were in as well.

In this last picture of women checking out handbags, you can play spot the 24oranges blogger.

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October 28, 2009

Man found not guilty after blacking out hospital

Filed under: Gaming,General,Health by Branko Collin @ 8:58 am

Jan H. thought he was playing the Silent Hill video game when he shut down the electricity at the Sophia hospital in Zwolle last Queen’s Day.

Last Tuesday a court found him not guilty, simply because he had no idea of the true consequences of his deeds. H. has volunteered to undergo treatment.

Telegraaf reports that the 35-year-old was suffering a psychosis when he stepped into the hospital’s basement. By pulling levers and switches, he thought he could win a tooth brush. The power was down for 45 minutes during which patients in the intensive care unit had to be respirated manually and lifts got stuck. No patients suffered any lasting consequences, according to RTV Oost.

Silent Hill is a survival horror game, a sub-genre of the action adventure.

Update 30-10: added a link to the verdict.

(Photo of the old building of the Sophia hospital (1884) by Wikimedia user Arminiuzz, some rights reserved)

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