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Recently, sentiment has been growing that smartphones aren’t as exciting. To a certain extent, that’s true. Smartphones have been getting faster, their cameras have gotten sharper, and their displays have gotten bigger, but at the same time, they are more or less the same rectangular pocket computers we’ve been using for the last four or five years.

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Welcome to the Gaming Shelf, our new roundup of tabletop gaming news, releases, updates and interesting Kickstarter campaigns — focusing on sci-fi and fantasy games, with the occasional exception of course (Machi Koro is too cute to ignore!).

Seeing as we’re on the heels of GenCon, board game companies have been showing off some of their best and brightest stuff over the past few weeks. Even as we head into mid-August, there’s still a lot of great scoops and news. Here’s a few of the highlights we spotted for this week.

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The future of Star Wars is very busy right now. Rumours have been swirling for months that Disney and Lucasfilm stopped production on some or all of the Star Wars Story spinoff films as they focus on the new franchises from Rian Johnson and the guys behind Game of Thrones.

Lucasfilm insiders have denied this, but a Star Wars production designer confirmed that he was working on a project that’s been put on hold. A spinoff that included Luke Skywalker’s home planet Tatooine.

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Using the kulap seed (also known as the matchbox bean or QLD Bean), Kulap is a game that has been played forever on the Torres Strait Islands. Now, Kulap is being used to teach kids how to code.

This is a first for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander game, but it won't be the last - with the first Indigenous Game Jam set to be held in November.

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I won’t lie, when AMD’s new 16-core monster CPU, the Ryzen Threadripper 2950X, arrived, I ran around the office showing off it and its accompanying air cooler to anyone who would make eye contact with me. The thing is enormous—easily twice as large as a standard desktop CPU from Intel.

The air cooler, saddled with the goofy name Wraith Ripper and festooned with LED lighting, is larger than most power supplies, and if dropped, it could do damage to floors, feet, and small woodland creatures. Even people who know nothing about computers were suitably impressed by these enormous pieces of PC. Then they’d ask how much the Threadripper 2950X cost.

And that’s where I’d lose them.

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There are currently over 100,000 board games listed on Board Game Geek, the tabletop world's equivalent of IMDB. That's a lot to choose from. Wandering into your local department store is going to give your some truly disappointing choices and browsing your friendly local game store can be overwhelming. Here are some great board games that anyone from veteran to rookie can enjoy.

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Fortnite Battle Royale, one of the most popular battle royale games around, is finally on Android. And you get first dibs with the beta if you own a Samsung device — a list that includes its flagship Galaxy S9 / S9 Plus (and its predecessors, the S8 / S8 Plus); the Note8 (and the just-announced Galaxy Note9, when it arrives later this month); as well as the Galaxy S7, S7 Edge and Tab S3.