Zynga Strikes Out On Its Own, Streaming Sports, ‘Tiger Eyes’ Gets Movie Treatment

Zynga's New PlatformZynga is launching a stand-alone platform on Zynga.com (for fans that want to play its games outside of Facebook. The move isn’t a complete break from the social media giant, though — users will still buy in-game items using Facebook credits. In an interesting twist, it’s also inviting other game developers to build games for the site, in hopes that it will turn the platform into a social gaming destination. In other Zynga news, social gamers can snag free virtual goods for use in FarmVille, CityVille, and CastleVille when they buy certain Frito-Lay brands) (NY Times, reg required) (Mashable) (SF Gate)

Even sports aren’t impervious to the streaming media trend (with young fans in Europe more likely to watch their favorite teams online than on TV. TV still wins over the Web in the U.S., but the shift is on as more leagues embrace streaming media options) (MediaPost)

We can’t wait for one of our favorite Judy Blume coming-of-age stories (to make it to the big screen. “Tiger Eyes” is the first Blume novel to get the movie treatment, and will star Willa Holland of “Gossip Girl” fame as a teen reluctantly uprooted to New Mexico with her mother and brother. In other movie news, here’s the latest roundup of “Hunger Games” clips, including a new song from Arcade Fire, “Abraham’s Daughter,” a dramatic and very un-pop song from the indie rockers. If you’re in the mood for something a little lighter, take a listen to Big Time Rush’s soundtrack for their “Big Time Movie”) (EW) (WaPo) (Slate) (Just Jared Jr.)

Disney is bending to public pressure, officially shutting down (its new “Habitat Heros” website and indefinitely delaying the opening of the matching EPCOT space. The program was designed to fight childhood obesity by teaching children to be active and eat healthy, but it came under criticism because some perceived it as shaming children who are overweight. Really?! While critics say it’s not okay to push overweight children to consider healthy alternatives, we wonder how it’s okay not to teach them about how to live a healthier life…) (Minnesota Public Radio) (USAToday)

Millennials may spend a lifetime as renters (rather than homeowners, even though the real estate market favors buyers at the moment. That will of course have a trickle-down effect for a number of industries, and will also impact future generations, who will grow up in rentals instead of homes owned by their parents) (Forbes)

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We were amazed by the skills of this teen who turned her Lego Friends play set (into a robotics laboratory! This reminds us that the purpose of the toy is in the eye of the beholder — Lego has been criticized for its first attempt at girl-targeted toys relying too much on gender stereotypes, but how some girls play with them is anything but stereotypical) (Wired)

And finally for a little Friday fun… (Here’s a charming story about children learning to make their first consumer inquiries. Encouraged by their parents to learn some lessons about retail, they call up a bookstore, nervous and not sure what to say, to ask if it carries a specific title…) (Publishers Weekly)

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