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Plugged In

John Belushi, Dick Clark to appear in social game

Plugged In

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John Belushi (AP/NBC)

John Belushi played several memorable roles in his too-short life: Blues Brother, killer bee, samurai short-order cook, frat house legend.

But he never played a character in a video game.

Social game maker Entertainment Games is changing that, as the man many remember as Bluto has been revived as a playable avatar in 'Retro World', a free-to-play game that lets players walk in the shoes of their favorite celebrity icons.

Belushi's hardly the only famous name and likeness the company has licensed. Elvis Presley's estate has also given the green light for the King to appear in the game, and others will be announced soon.

To further solidify the nostalgic appeal of the game, Entertainment Games has secured Dick Clark's likeness to act as the 'host' for the game's tutorial (Clark, who suffered a stroke in 2004, will not voice the character).

"The idea of using past images of myself to guide players through a current online social game is a very innovative approach that I found intriguing," said Clark.

The game itself is a series of episodic adventure games set in the '50s, '60s, '70s, and '80s — along with trivia and other mini-games. Ultimately, the company plans to offer classic Hollywood shows from these time periods as episodic adventure games.

While playing is free, using a celebrity icon as your avatar is going to cost extra. (The company hasn't yet said how much.) The game will debut on Facebook in November, and then quickly expand to Google+ and app stores everywhere.

It might not have the teen set excited, but that's fine with Entertainment Games. Retro World is being specifically developed for the over-40 crowd, a demographic the company has been chasing with casual games since 1992.

That's not a bad call, given the platform. Over 60 percent of the 40+ demographic uses social media, according to company research. There are over 60 million 40+ adults on Facebook -- with half of that group already playing social games -- and 17 million 40+ adults access the Internet on mobile devices.

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