TIME Gaming

Blood-Sucking Video Game Pulled From Kickstarter

The game would have extracted blood when you lose a point

A video game that sucks players’ blood has been pulled from Kickstarter for unspecified reasons.

“Blood Sport” is a project designed to “raise the stakes” of gaming, so that whenever a player gets hit in the video game, they lose blood in real life. Instead of the normal “rumble” that indicates an avatar has suffered a blow, Blood Sport players would be hooked up intravenously to their consul, so that blood could be taken out of their arteries.

“All we’re doing is hacking a pre-existing blood collection machine to take your gaming experience to the next level,” the creators wrote on their Kickstarter page. The technology is equipped with a feature that determines how much blood a player can lose without passing out.

The gaming technology could be used to stage “blood donation gaming events,” they said.

The Kickstarter was suspended Monday, for unspecified reasons. It had already raised almost $4,000 of its $250,000 goal.

TIME Video Games

Microsoft’s Black Friday Xbox One Deals Will Blow You Away

Visitors At The Eurogamer Expo 2013 For Gamers
A logo sits on an Xbox One games controller during the Eurogamer Expo 2013 in London, U.K., on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. Matthew Lloyd—Bloomberg / Getty Images

The Xbox One is about to get $50 cheaper

Microsoft is slashing the price of its Xbox One gaming console by $50 price and offering further discounts for select game titles for the Black Friday holiday weekend.

The Xbox One will retail for $349 at participating retail stores — or, for gamers who don’t care to be trampled under a Black Friday stampede, the console can be had at Microsoft’s online store.

A package deal that includes a Kinect and one free game from the popular Assassin’s Creed series will start at $449.

Further Xbox-related markdwons will be unveiled on Microsoft’s website as soon as this giant doomsday clock counts down to zero.

 

TIME apps

Tinder CEO Sean Rad Is Stepping Down

TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2014 - Day 3
Tinder Co-Founder and CEO Sean Rad speaks onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt at Pier 48 on Sept. 10, 2014 in San Francisco. Steve Jennings—Getty Images

IAC plans to replace Rad with “an Eric Schmidt-like person"

Tinder’s CEO Sean Rad is out of the top role at the dating app that he helped to found over two years ago, a report says.

The side-swiping application is majority-owned by Barry Diller’s IAC, which has plans to replace Rad with “an Eric Schmidt-like person,” reported Forbes. Rad will remain on Tinder’s board and will act as president once the new CEO comes on board. Until then, he will stay on as the acting chief executive.

Rad has faced a tumultuous year, despite helping the dating service log 600% growth over the past 12 months. A sexual harassment lawsuit that led to the ouster of Tinder Chief Marketing Officer Justin Mateen also cast a pall over Rad’s leadership.

Whitney Wolfe, a co-founder of the app who was forced out, accused Rad and Mateen of sexually harassing her. The suit was settled in September, but not before Mateen resigned.

Rad’s demotion comes as Tinder launches an aggressive new monetization initiative for the dating service. The premium service will be an option on top of the otherwise free application and is the company’s first attempt to generate cash flow from the service.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME Gaming

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Will Have a Zombie Mode

AUSTRALIA-IT-INTERNET-GAMES-CALL OF DUTY
A shopper poses with the newest instalment of the "Call of Duty" videogame at a midnight launch of per-ordered copies of the game in Sydney on Nov. 3, 2014. Saeed Khan—AFP/Getty Images

But it isn't planned for launch

Until now, it was only a strong rumor that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare would include the zombie-killing mode that’s become a popular sideshow in the series since first appearing in Call of Duty: World at War. However, Activision is now confirming a Zombie Mode is in the works for the new title, to be available at some later date as paid downloadable content.

Activision confirmed Advanced Warfare’s Zombie Mode after this email from GameStop was sent to people receiving updates on the game. However, the email was inaccurate in that Zombie Mode isn’t available for Monday’s Advanced Warfare launch and it won’t require players to get the $49.99 Season Pass to play Zombie Mode.

“This just in, Zombies are back as part of the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare season pass! Stop by any GameStop to pick up one of the most anticipated games to launch this year, along with 4-multiplayer map packs, Atlas Gorge, and yes – ZOBMIES,” read GameStop’s email. “All this is available for purchase today GameStop as part of the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare season pass for only $49.99.”

Previously leaked trailers for Advanced Warfare seemed to reveal the game’s zombies will be more 28 Days Later and less Dawn of the Dead in that they’re faster and they can jump, though little else is known at this point.

TIME Television

Watch Anita Sarkeesian School Stephen Colbert on GamerGate

She even declares Colbert a feminist

The maker of a feminist video game who has faced vitriol from some members of the “GamerGate” online movement stopped by The Colbert Report on Wednesday and handily schooled the host’s fake gamer persona.

“I’m saving the princess, and I’m supposed to let the princess die? Is that what you want?” Colbert asks Anita Sarkeesian incredulously.

“Well maybe the princess shouldn’t be a damsel and she could save herself,” Sarkeesian replies, drawing cheers from women in the crowd. (“I didn’t know you brought a posse,” Colbert jokingly responds.)

The GamerGate movement, named after the Twitter hashtag that has fueled its growth, purports to challenge poor ethics in video-game journalism. But it has also unleashed a wave of sexist comments and threats against women in the overall gaming industry.

Sarkeesian, who has publicly criticized video-game culture for its portrayal of women, canceled a talk at Utah State University earlier this month after the school received an email threat of a shooting massacre. While the school considered it safe for the talk to continue, Sarkeesian decided to pull out of the event because the school was barred by state law from disallowing legal guns on campus during the event.

“They’re lashing out because we’re challenging the status quo of gaming as a male-dominated space,” Sarkeesian says. By the end of the interview, she even declares Colbert a feminist after he asks if he’s allowed — as a man — to be one.

See the full interview below:

TIME Gadgets

Google Unveils ‘First-of-its-Kind’ Android TV Streaming Device

Nexus Player Google

Nexus Player will stream movies, music and in a "first-of-its-kind" twist, online games

Google announced a “first-of-its-kind” device on Wednesday that will stream content from Android TV to home television sets, marking the search giant’s latest push to make televisions a little more web savvy.

The Nexus Player is a hockey-puck shaped device that will stream movies, music and videos through Android TV, which includes partnerships with Netflix and Hulu. The player comes with a spare, voice-controlled remote that can take verbal search commands for movie titles or names of performers.

What separates the device from rival set-top boxes such as Roku or Apple TV is its ability to double as a gaming system. A gamer can switch seamlessly from playing on the television to any other Android-compatible tablet or smartphone, though the game controller is sold separately.

 

TIME Gadgets

The Best Small Android Tablet

The Nvidia Shield has a beautiful display, blistering performance, a light, comfortable and good-looking design and a clean interface, making it the best small-screen Android tablet.

Nvidia ShieldShopping for a smaller tablet can be daunting, thanks to the sea of 7- to 8-inch Android devices available. It would be simple if most of the low-cost models were easily dismissed, but Android tablets are getting lighter, slimmer, faster and more powerful while simultaneously getting less expensive.

To find the very best tablets, I looked for four key elements: a bright, vivid, pixel-dense display that looks great at any angle; a lightweight design that’s comfortable to hold in one hand for long stretches; a powerful CPU coupled with a good amount of RAM for smooth, speedy multitasking; and an interface that’s easy to understand and navigate even if you’re not tech-savvy. Price was also a consideration — a great small tablet shouldn’t break the bank.

That narrowed the field down to three standout tablets: the Asus Memo Pad 8 ($129 on Amazon), the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 ($389 on Amazon) and the Nvidia SHIELD Tablet ($299 on Amazon). In the end, the Shield Tablet is my ultimate pick for best small tablet based on its balance of price point and feature set.

Made for Gamers, Great for Everyone

Nvidia designed the Shield Tablet primarily for gamers, so its long list of impressive features includes things like superfast gaming performance and the ability to wirelessly stream PC games from the computer to the tablet. The same elements that make this a great gaming tablet make it a great all-around tablet as well.

The Tegra K1 processor inside isn’t just quad-core; like most tablets, it has 192 graphics cores. That translates into a smooth experience no matter which app or game you’re running, and it ensures the tablet will be able to keep up with Android apps well into the future as they grow more complex and resource-hungry.

The Shield Tablet’s 8-inch, 1920 x 1200 resolution display creates deep colors and crisp details that don’t wash out or distort when you hold the tablet at an angle. Whether you use the Shield to read an e-book or a web page, its high pixel density means that small fonts stay sharp.

The Shield’s display doesn’t pop as much as the display on the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 (2560 x 1600 Super AMOLED), and if you look closely, the difference in resolution is noticeable. If you want the very best display, the Tab S has it. But side by side, the Shield Tablet stands up quite well to this competition — especially impressive since it costs about $100 less.

Another notable difference between the two tablets is weight. The Tab S 8.4 is incredibly thin and light for its size, weighing 10.4 ounces versus the Shield’s 13.7 ounces. The Shield is still light enough to hold with one hand during long reading sessions or with two for longer gaming sessions without making your wrists ache.

Bonus: Stylus

On top of its sweet gaming features, the Shield Tablet offers one more extra that makes it enticing: a stylus. Just like the stylus for Nvidia’s last tablet, the Tegra Note 2, the Shield’s stylus is a step above the kind of capacitive styluses that work on any tablet, but it’s not the same technology used in active digitizer pens like those with the Galaxy Note series. Active pens are more desirable because they’re accurate and precise, making it easy to reject input from a palm or finger. They achieve this through wireless communication between the pen and the display, which makes the tablets more expensive.

Coupled with the processing power of the Tegra K1, the Nvidia DirectStylus 2 software emulates this functionality in the Shield’s pen, even though it’s not an active digitizer. You still get a very thin, precise tip, and there’s even some pressure sensitivity and (even more impressive) palm rejection — all without expensive hardware.

Nvidia has included a handful of note-taking and writing apps that take advantage of the pen, including Evernote, Write and a handwriting recognition keyboard. The company also developed a neat drawing app called Dabbler that emulates several different types of drawing and painting environments, including wet watercolors.

Outside of last year’s Galaxy Note 8, this is the best stylus experience available in the 8-inch tablet range.

Android and Interface

Most popular Android tablets come with an interface skin over the base operating system that changes the look and some of the functionality of the operating system. Google Nexus tablets and, now, the Shield tablet are major exceptions to this rule. Although Nvidia did a ton of work on the back end to give the tablet some gaming chops, the company didn’t mess much with how Android 4.4 KitKat operates, preserving the stock look and feel.

I’ve praised well-designed skins on tablets from Samsung, ASUS and other companies in previous reviews, and in truth, I prefer them since they smooth over some of Android’s rough edges and make executing some actions more efficient. However, KitKat is Google’s most polished version of Android to date, and if you prefer to take customization into your own hands, the Shield Tablet offers the same blank canvas that Nexus devices do.

You’ll find a few Shield-specific tweaks, such as the Shield Hub interface/menu for easy navigation while connected to a TV and using the game controller. (More on this later.) There’s also Console Mode for streaming full HD video or games to an HDTV. Otherwise, it’s Android business as usual.

Media

The same hardware that makes the Shield Tablet a gaming beast also makes it a great little machine for watching video, showing off pictures and listening to music. Between the beautiful display and the high-end graphics, you’ll enjoy smooth playback of full HD and 4K movies from the device or via streaming. The latter is possible thanks to a dual-band, 2×2 MIMO wireless antenna that connects to the strongest signal available to receive and send data at super-fast speeds.

The Shield sports a pair of speakers on the front, flanking the display. It’s no surprise, then, that the Shield’s audio quality is well above average — and not just because the sound blasts directly toward you. The sound quality is the best I’ve heard on a tablet, well rounded in the mid-range with actual bass. It bests the Galaxy Tab S 8.4’s sound without trying (although it doesn’t take much to earn that distinction, since most tablet speakers aren’t great). Still, it’s still a nice touch that means that you won’t need headphones to get a good audio experience.

Aside from Shield-optimized games in the Shield Hub, you won’t get any special or exclusive content sources beyond what you can find in the Google Play store.

Cameras

The Shield is singular in that it has 5-megapixel cameras on the back and the front. Both take above-average pictures for tablet cameras and are supported by a robust camera app that makes it possible to tweak settings for better images. The high-quality front camera is a bonus not only for people who love selfies but anyone who likes to video chat.

Gaming

nvidia-shield-controller
Nvidia

As I said at the start, you don’t need to be a gamer to appreciate all the great things about the Shield Tablet. But since it is designed for gamers, you’ll appreciate several features and accessories that only add to this device’s value.

First and foremost is the optional game controller ($60 at Amazon), designed to be just as comfortable and robust as an Xbox or PS4 controller. It communicates with the tablet wirelessly over Wi-Fi, not Bluetooth, managing lag so minuscule you’ll never notice it when playing. All of the games available via Nvidia’s Hub work with the controller out of the virtual box; for others, a mapping app lets you use it with almost any game.

The most impressive software feature is GameStream, a technology that makes it possible to play the high-end games stored on your PC using the tablet. Currently, GameStream only works when the computer and tablet are on the same wireless network — so just in the home — and with specific hardware on the PC side (not to mention some suggested routers). That said, being able to play a game meant for a computer on a tablet is really cool. And when you’re in console mode and connected via HDMI, you can play those same games on a big-screen HDTV without having to move the computer away from your desk.

Gamers love sharing gameplay with friends (bragging rights are important), so Nvidia has built in a sharing option that allows you to record game play for sharing or streaming to gaming video site Twitch.

The only drawback for gamers is that the $299 model only includes 16GB of internal storage. There’s a microSD card slot to hold media and some app data; however, this version of Android severely restricts moving and running apps from SD cards.

Games tend to take up more space than other apps, so you’ll need to keep a close eye on available space.

A 32GB model is available, although it comes with an additional element: LTE. The extra storage and antenna make for a $100 price bump.

Good Reviews Across the Board

At release, the Shield impressed pretty much every reviewer who got their hands on one.

PCMag praised it as “one of the most powerful mobile devices available right now,” calling Nvidia’s success at fitting so much power and flexibility into an 8-inch tablet “genuinely impressive.”

CNET sums it up nicely: “Even if you don’t take advantage of its gaming prowess, the Nvidia Shield Tablet is one of the most versatile — and affordable — high-performance 8-inch Android slates you can buy.”

The Best Small Tablet: Nvidia Shield Tablet

The Shield Tablet has all the elements of a great tablet: a beautiful display, blistering performance, a light, comfortable and good-looking design and a clean interface. It adds some sweet gaming features and a surprisingly excellent stylus on top of that, all for the relatively low price of $299.

Even if you don’t care about gaming, this tablet’s closest competition is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4, which costs almost $100 more. While the Galaxy Tab does have a lighter design and a brilliant display, the Shield is more than competitive on both fronts. That’s why it’s my top pick.

Runner-up: ASUS Memo Pad 8

Asus Memo Pad 8The $129 ASUS Memo Pad 8 is the tablet you want if you’re looking for something under $200. It used to be that tablets in this price range were either very limited in functionality or poorly built. That’s no longer true, and the Memo Pad line in particular has exemplified how low cost can be done right.

The 8-inch IPS display has a relatively low resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, but the quality of the screen itself is quite good. No matter what angle you hold it at, the vivid colors stay true and don’t wash out or distort. The screen gets pretty bright too, although it’s a bit reflective even at 100 percent brightness.

The Memo Pad is lightweight yet feels well-built and sturdy, not cheap. It runs on a quad-core Intel Atom processor, a decently powerful and speedy CPU for an Android 4.4 device, able to handle any basic app with ease. However, the Memo Pad’s relatively small amount of RAM (1GB) means that resource-hungry apps may choke. If your needs are simple — email, browsing, a few casual games — then you won’t have problems.

Asus has created a custom UI skin to go over Android called ZenUI. While it does add some functionality and change up the operating system’s menus a bit, this skin is mostly a light touch.

The closest competition in this price range is the Amazon Fire 6 ($99 on Amazon) and Fire 7 ($139 on Amazon) as well as the ASUS Memo Pad 7 ($125 on Amazon), the 7-inch version.

The Fire 6 is the most tempting of the bunch due to its $99 price. However, Amazon’s newest tablets continue to suffer the same challenge as always: a limited Android experience. With the Fire, you can only run apps from Amazon’s store. The company has a vast library, but it’s not as deep as Google Play.

The 7-inch Memo Pad is almost identical to the larger version both inside and out, and it’s the next generation of the very impressive Memo Pad HD 7 from last year.

Unfortunately, this year’s model doesn’t have as nice a display or as good a set of cameras. Unless you really want a 7-inch tablet instead of an 8-inch one, the larger version is worth the extra money.

This article was written by K.T. Bradford and originally appeared on Techlicious.

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TIME Gaming

Angry Birds Maker Rovio Plans to Cut Up to 130 Jobs

The Toy Fair
Angry Birds plush toys on display at the Toy Fair 2011 at Olympia Exhibition Centre on Jan. 25, 2011 in London, England. Tim Whitby—Getty Images

This represents 16% of the Finnish company's workforce

Rovio Entertainment, the company that brought Angry Birds to smartphones, toy stores and theme parks, said on Thursday it plans to cut up to 130 employees, or 16% of its workforce, “towards a simplified organization.”

Cue puns of the Finnish gaming company’s clipped wings and prematurely counted chickens.

Rovio announced in March that its 2013 net profit dropped by 50% from the prior year and, in August, the company replaced its chief executive.

“We have been building our team on assumptions of faster growth than have materialized,” Rovio said in a statement Thursday. But, maintaining a light tone, Rovio added, “as we consider these painful measures, we keep our eye on always delighting our fans with products they love.”

TIME gambling

Report: U.S. Gaming Industry Generated $240 Billion Economic Impact in 2013

Dustin Dunn
A man looks at a gambling machine at the Aristocrat booth during the Global Gaming Expo Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, in Las Vegas. John Locher—AP

Study published just as Massachusetts weighs whether to welcome casinos

The U.S. commercial and tribal gaming industries generated more than $240 billion in economic impact and employed some 1.7 million people in 2013, according to a new report from the American Gaming Association.

The sum includes the $38 billion that the gaming sector said it paid last year in local, state and federal taxes, the Associated Press reports.

The report, presented at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas on Tuesday, is the first to include commercial casinos and their Native American–run counterparts in the total figures, the Las Vegas Review-Journal says.

Oxford Economics, which complied the number, found that the two gaming industries, plus the manufacturers of the games inside, took in about $87.1 billion in total revenue in 2013.

In Massachusetts, voters will go to the polls in November to decide whether to allow three casinos and a slot parlor to set up shop in the state. A vocal anti-casino lobby there has expressed wariness over developers’ promises that their operations will earn billions of dollars in benefits for the state and local, hard-up towns.

Massachusetts casino opponents often point to the closure of multiple casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey’s gaming hub that had once seemed adherent to Newton’s law of motion — where the good times would never stop rolling.

Many experts have pinned the city’s troubles on an oversaturation of the gaming market, and some in Massachusetts say the casinos already studding New England and the mid-Atlantic coast bode ill for the Bay State’s flirtation with gaming.

The American Gaming Association said in a recent release that “while the Atlantic City gaming market faces challenges today as it adapts to increased competition,” casinos there nonetheless generated more than $241 million in tax revenue in 2013.

TIME Macau

Trouble Is Brewing in the World’s Biggest Gambling Hub

Gaming Workers Stage Labor Protest Against Casino Operators
SJM gaming workers protest in front of the Wynn Macau casino resort in Macau on Aug. 25, 2014 Bloomberg/Getty Images

The Chinese gaming city of Macau generates seven times the revenue of Vegas, but in the shadow of the casinos it's been a long, hot summer of discontent

Like gambling enclaves everywhere, Macau is awash in neon light. But if the lights seem to shine just that bit brighter here than elsewhere, that’s because this Special Autonomous Region of China — made up of a small peninsula, two islands and a chunk of reclamation on China’s southern coast — is the world’s richest gaming hub by far, and looks set to get even bigger.

Macau is the only place in China where casino gambling is legal (horse racing on a lavish scale takes place just across the Pearl River estuary in Hong Kong). That makes this onetime Portuguese colony the darling of international gaming juggernauts: it has 35 casinos in just 29.5 sq km (11.4 square miles). Last year, gaming companies, including global heavyweights Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts International, took in more than $45 billion here, about seven times more than they did in Las Vegas.

Naturally, all the trappings of money are here, or will be — from designer boutiques to expensive Russian prostitutes to what will be the world’s largest fleet of Rolls Royce Phantoms, destined for a high-roller hotel that will open in 2016 with a presidential suite priced at $130,000 a night, and invitation-only jewelry stores where items will start at $1 million each.

But where there are a few people with a lot of money, there tend to be many discontented others without it, and Macau is no exception.

Among ordinary Macanese, widespread dissatisfaction with how the enclave’s government has handled numerous social issues — from income inequality to lagging rights for casino workers — has fueled a yearning for a government that is “accountable to us,” in the words of Jason Chao, the president of a fledgling pro-democracy group, the Open Macau Society.

Over the past few months, Macau has fairly rumbled with discontent, witnessing an unprecedented number of protests that signal what some observers believe is the beginning of a slow revolt against the status quo, where Beijing holds all the political cards.

“People are beginning to realize that the government is depriving them of the rights they deserve,” said Chao. “We are still in the early stages of change, but change is happening.”

Macau returned from Portuguese to Chinese sovereignty in 1999, and, like China’s other Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, is governed under the so-called “one country, two systems” principle.

The “two” part allows Macau’s citizens considerable freedoms not available in China. But the “one” part grants Beijing lordship over Macau’s political affairs, including the vetting of members of the committee that elects the city’s leader — a mayor-like role that bears the fittingly corporate title of Chief Executive.

So, on Aug. 28th, Macau’s 400-member electoral committee, comprising mostly Beijing loyalists, re-elected Fernando Chui as Macau’s Chief Executive. The ballot only had his name on it.

Macau’s democratic camp would like a Chief Executive directly elected by universal suffrage in 2019 — but in a town of reckless gamblers, nobody’s betting on it. Macau’s miniconstitution, known as the Basic Law, neither promises universal suffrage nor does it even guarantee election by committee. Beijing, if it wants, can sidestep the whole pseudo-election process and simply conduct local “consultations” to appoint a Chief Executive, the law says.

Unsurprisingly, democrats are poorly represented at the political level. The current 33-seat legislature (only 14 of which are elected) has just two democrats and two independents.

“The rule of law is not very good in Macau,” is how Bill Chou explains the historic weakness of the opposition. Chou is the vice-president of the New Macau Association, the city’s leading opposition group and a former political-science professor at the University of Macau. His contract was not renewed this summer after he faced disciplinary action for allegedly imposing his views on students. (The university denies Chou was sacked for his political beliefs and says it supports academic freedom.)

“In order to do business, and in order to have a career, you have depend on the goodwill of the government,” Chou says. “So people are very reluctant to take on the government. They don’t think they are powerful enough to challenge it.”

But things do seem to be changing. This spring, some 20,000 people protested a law that would have heaped lavish benefits on government retirees, while significant infrastructure issues in Macau went unaddressed. It was the largest demonstration in Macau in years and forced Chief Executive Chui to postpone consideration of the bill.

Then, in August, activists organized an unofficial referendum on prospects for democracy: Do you want universal suffrage in 2019, participants were asked, and, do you have confidence in the government? The government condemned the poll as illegal, detained the organizers, including Chao, and shut down the polling stations. (Polling continued online, however, where almost all of the 8,688 Macanese who took part supported universal suffrage and a huge majority declared their lack of confidence in the Chief Executive).

Meanwhile, almost a dozen protests have been held this summer by casino workers protesting low wages and benefits packages. About a quarter of the workforce is employed in the gaming sector: white croupier shirts can be seen drip-drying on the washing lines outside many a Macanese apartment.

“People are just starting to complain because they can see all this wealth that Macau is making, and, of course, it doesn’t trickle down to the population,” says Eric Sautede, a former professor at Macau’s University of St. Joseph, who was fired in June over his antigovernment views. “Macau is very successful, but there are problems.”

Those problems are mainly related to Macau’s transformation into a place that belongs to visitors, but not to the more than 600,000 people who live here. Macau has just one public hospital and a miserable public-transportation system. Though casino employees’ salaries have doubled since 2003, such an increase seems meager against casino revenues that are 11 times higher than they were a decade ago, says Lei Kuok-keong, vice president of the Forefront of the Macau Gaming, an independent labor union founded two years ago. Meanwhile, the average price of housing in Macau rose to $12,202 per sq m in June, up more than 29% from a year earlier, according to government statistics.

“I’m pretty sure that the central authorities [in Beijing] are aware of these inequalities and know that they could translate into something that could really grow out of hand,” said Sautede. “Macau’s government has this habit of dragging, of waiting. It has no courage. If it continues to do nothing, it could precipitate some kind of opening for change.”

Before Macau elects its next Chief Executive in 2019, the city will have squeezed in at least two new casinos: in three years, SJM Holdings, the oldest casino operator here, will open the Lisboa Palace, a Versailles-themed casino connected to three hotels, including one designed by Karl Lagerfeld; meanwhile, Louis XIII Holdings Ltd., of the Rolls Royce Phantoms, is also building an eponymously named casino resort promising “unsurpassed levels of luxury.” Both Sands and Wynn resorts, which already have sprawls in the territory, also have plans to add new hotel-casino complexes.

In August, Chui’s acceptance speech struck a contrite tone — perhaps betraying an awareness that social unrest here is growing. “In retrospect, many social problems could have been resolved more expeditiously and effectively,” said Chui. He also promised to “resolve the social injustices caused by the domination of a single industry,” according to the South China Morning Post.

But frustration has so far continued.

Last weekend, hundreds of casino workers gathered near the Grand Lisboa, an SJM casino and a skyline hog that bears an unusual resemblance to a prize-winning vegetable, overgrown to misshapen proportions. Protesters, shouting and carrying pickets, wore black T-shirts and demanded better wages and benefits. Across the public square, Calvin Klein models straddled each other on a billboard.

Alex Chan, a 29-year-old protester and SJM casino worker, hovered in the crowd, standing next to a mural of the Statue of Liberty. He was fed up with the casino, he said. But more than that, he said, he was fed up with government lassitude.

“The government always stands with the casino companies,” said Chan, who last month voted online for universal suffrage in Macau. But, he said, “I don’t think that the government cares about the people.”

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