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HSN Gets Playful With Online Viewers

HSN wants to turn its online shoppers into gamers -- and vice versa.

The TV and online retailer on Wednesday expects to launch HSN Arcade, a section of its website that will let users play 25 games for free while they watch the network's live HD feed online.

HSN Arcade players can win prizes, including the "Today's Special" product or a gift card, by being the fastest to complete the daily "Today's Special Jigsaw Puzzle" and receiving the best score. Other games include "Lights! Camera! Subtraction!" -- in which users spot the differences between images of HSN celebrities and partners -- as well as crossword puzzles, word search, mahjongg, Sudoku, treasure hunt and blackjack.

Users also will be able to participate in tournaments with HSN's celebrity guests, hosts and other players for the chance to win other prizes. In addition, HSN Arcade will provide links to Facebook, to let users share scores, product info, rankings and badges with their friends.

"The launch of HSN Arcade is a strategic move to further differentiate the HSN shopping experience... by combining what people currently do online more than any other activities: shopping, gaming and sharing," HSN executive vice president of digital commerce Jill Braff said in a statement.

HSN engaged entertainment agency WME to provide consulting services to evaluate vendor proposals. The retailer picked New York-based games developer Arkadium, whose other clients include ABC, Lifetime and Discovery Communications, to create HSN Arcade.

HSN said it will launch additional games based on audience feedback. HSN's linear channel is distributed to 96 million U.S. households. Its website features more than 15,000 product videos.