Cybertainment

App turns acquisitions, mergers into a role-playing game

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The high stakes world of mergers and acquisitions isn't often thought of as fun. But a new app turns it into a challenging game and lets people pretend they're corporate high rollers while they're waiting for the bus. Thankfully, no actual money is involved.

The ansarada M&A Game is a role-playing game that pits players against other bidders and sellers. Each player creates an avatar and then tries to amass a fortune by buying, selling and merging companies. They build a team of investment bankers, lawyers and accountants and can experiment with different techniques to cut their deals, including flattery, haggling and bullying.

The game comes from ansarada, an Australian company that hosts and builds virtual data rooms for clients involved in the merger and acquisitions business in the real world.

M&A is a free iPhone/iPad app.

ansarada.com/mandagame

Radio host Howard Stern has been off-limits for years to listeners who don't subscribe to SiriusXM, but anyone with Internet access will be able to listen to the live stream of "Howard Stern's Birthday Bash" next Friday. The satellite radio company has opened up the live broadcast to everyone -- regardless of whether he or she is a Sirius XM subscriber. Mr. Stern turned 60 earlier this month.

The event will stream live on siriusxm.com next Friday, starting at 4 p.m. with a preshow, followed by the main event at 6 p.m.

Jimmy Kimmel will host, and guests will include Jon Bon Jovi, Louis C.K., John Fogerty, David Letterman and others.

Sirius XM subscribers can catch the show later with a rebroadcast 6 a.m. Feb. 3 on Sirius XM's Howard 100 channel and on the Sirius XM website. After that, it will be available on SiriusXM On Demand on the website and through the SiriusXM Internet Radio App.

siriusxm.com

In November, the intriguing interactive film/game Fort McMoney launched online. It involved players in decisions that pitted economic benefits against environmental responsibility.

Fort McMoney is a strategy video game in which players gather information and make decisions that will determine the fate of Fort McMoney, a fictitious Canadian oil boom town based on the energy center at Fort McMurray in Alberta. The game went live for four weeks starting in November and drew more than 350,000 site visits.

Players in round one steered the fate of Fort McMoney to a very different outcome than its real world counterpart. They decided to cut production, which in turn reduced greenhouse gas emissions. However, the population was decimated, annual income fell dramatically, and the town was left with an unemployment rate of 28 percent.

The second round of the game launches Monday and will be online for four weeks. The second version will have new missions for players to follow and includes feedback from round one players.

Fort McMoney was launched by the National Film Board of Canada and multiplatform production company TOXA.

fortmcmoney.com


Adrian McCoy: amccoy@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1865.

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