Culture
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What it's like to attend Girls Make Games, the all-girls game dev summer camp

Yesterday we met Laila Shabir, the founder of Girls Make Games, the girls-only game development summer camp. It's a three week experience that, since its April inception, has taken off with 14 international locations from Los Angeles to Dubai. Today we'll talk with one of the members of The Negatives, the first GMG team to have their game funded through Kickstarter. "On the first day of camp," says Serena Rusboldt, "we couldn't decide on a team name. At all. And everybody kept choosing what [one of the camp counselors] said were terrible names. "So we decided that we would be called The Negatives." Rusboldt says that the team of eight girls, ranging from 10 to 16 years old, bonded after that. Over their first lunch together they turned their pessimism around for the better. It all...
Culture
62 Comments

Twitter can fix its harassment problem, but why mess with success?

Twitter is an amazing set of golden handcuffs for people working in creative fields. As a service it allows you to share your work, talk with other like-minded people and engage directly with your audience. It's impacted the language we've adopted; Twitter is a powerful enough force that we say words like "engage." If you create any form of "content" it can be hard, if not impossible, to operate without using Twitter in some way. If you're a woman or a minority, on the other hand, it's also impossible to use the service without putting up with a daily drip-feed of hateful slurs, rape and death threats or people sharing your personal information, up to and including phone numbers and home addresses, as a means of intimidation. On many days it becomes a flood. For popular targets those...
Culture
13 Comments

Here's Warner Bros.' plan to make a lot more Harry Potter

Warner Bros. Entertainment is ensuring we will see more of Harry Potter, according to Variety — a lot more. The studio has assembled a creative and business strike squad called the Harry Potter Global Franchise Development team. Based in London and Burbank, the group will control the vision for Harry Potter — "and its ancillary brands" —moving forward. The move to expand upon Harry Potter is part of Warner Bros.' creative partnership with author J.K. Rowling, the fruits of which were most recently seen in Diagon Alley, an expansion to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida. According to Variety, the team will oversee development for "new film series in 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'; the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London — The Making of Harry...
Culture
38 Comments

Deadpool's Hollywood screen test begins with Gwen Stefani, ends with a decapitated head

Deadpool showed up in the final moments of the first stand-alone Wolverine movie, complete with a mouth that was sewn shut. It was an odd design choice for a character who is literally called "the merc with the mouth."Deadpool is known for understanding the fact that he's in a comic book, he's hyper-violent and seems to be invulnerable. In some ways, he's the Joker mixed with the Wolverine. The character is, to put it bluntly, frickin' awesome. Some leaked footage from what was meant to be a standalone Deadpool film has been released online, and it features everything fans love about the character. It's funny, people die and Ryan Reynolds does a pretty great job with the voice. It's a teaser that begins with Deadpool singing Gwen Stefani and ends with him playing with a decapitated...
Culture
4 Comments

We knew Dark Souls 2 was missing something (it's Rocky)

Dark Souls 2 is about overcoming impossible odds, rolling with the punches, training towards perfection, until one day the underdog climbs the steps of Majula and raises his or her hands as the heavyweight champion of Drangleic. Dark Souls 2 isn't the obvious candidate to be a Rocky simulator, but watching this video by YouTube user SomaVlog, I see the similarities. The combat, in which the player learns and exploits enemies' attack patterns, has long drawn comparisons to arguably the best unofficial Rocky game of all time, Punch-Out!!. And the player undergoes the arc similar to the world's favorite tomato can, getting pulverized by life and a bevy of oddball antagonists. I don't know about you, but I'm inspired to return to Dark Souls 2 as a brawler. Then immediately quit after...
Culture
9 Comments

Bit Bash might be the next great indie game festival

Bit Bash is a free independent games festival being held in Chicago on September 6. It's the pet project of Jamie Sanchez, a creative professional who lives in the city, as well as other indie game developers and other members of of the Indie City Collective, a game development association and co-working space on Chicago's North Side. Sanchez says that the Chicago indie game scene is in need of better local as well as international promotion. With Bit Bash, she hopes to light a fire in the city and help promote the work of the growing enclave of developers there. "I had been hearing rumblings in Chicago for the need for more community gatherings," Sanchez told Polygon. "The need to get people, the public, interested. Involved. Educated on some level about indie games. "But we also...
Culture
18 Comments

You can pre-order this beautiful $365 Metroid statue starting today

First 4 Figures, a maker of fine collectibles, opened pre-orders for one of its best-looking statues today, a one-quarter scale Samus Aran wearing her light suit from GameCube game Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. The price tag for this LED-lighted work isn't cheap: $364.99. The Samus statue, which stands 20 inches tall, is the first in a new series of Metroid Master Arts resin statues from First 4 Figures. The company has already released statues of Samus wearing her gravity suit, varia suit, phazon suit and zero suit, as well as recreations of her gunship. The light suit Samus is available in two options, the less expensive standard version ($339.99) and the "exclusive" light up version ($364.99). The standard version is limited to 2,500 pieces and the exclusive version is limited to 750...
Culture
11 Comments

This Sonic and Cammy fan-film only gets weird after the S&M scene

Sonic and Cammy, a two-part video series by YouTube user David Orel, looks like yet another generic work of Sonic slash-fiction — so far as slash-fiction involving a talking hedgehog and a leotard-wearing British martial arts expert can be generic. But after a weird S&M gag — I can't believe I'm writing this — the story becomes a road movie, overloaded with wacky hijinks and soapy melodrama. The story twists and turns by the minute, adding and abandoning genres. One minute, Cammy adopts a cat. The next minute, everyone's in space. The next minute, there's a funeral. For milleniums, drama has relied on the three and five act structures; Sonic and Cammy operates on the infinite act structure. That this video went relatively unseen for over a year is proof YouTube must hire someone to...
Culture
17 Comments

Girls-only game dev camp going global with support from publishers

Laila Shabir's Kickstarted game is nearly 10 months overdue. But it's not because she mishandled the budget. No one left the project. In fact, everything had been going extremely well until April.That's when she got distracted. Quite unexpectedly, Shabir realized that helping young girls learn to make their own games was more important. So she put her own company's game aside in order to help Girls Make Games become a reality. Learn District is Shabir's indie educational game studio. Its game, Penguemic, is a quirky vocabulary-builder that raised just over $50,000. It was on its way to a scheduled June release when, around April of this year, Shabir wanted to hire a developer to begin working on the team's next title. "I really wanted it to be a girl," Shabir says, "because currently...
Culture
5 Comments

This ATM won't give you any cash, but it will drop you 'Knee-Deep in the Dead'

It has become a bit of a meme: Doom runs on everything. It's been played on an LED billboard, the Vic-20, a calculator, smartphones (and yes, computers). But these Australian hackers managed to tear down an automated teller machine and mod it to make the first-person shooter run using the machine's input keys. Step two: Slip it into a convenience store and wait for the chaos to ensue.
Culture
7 Comments

Watch The Last of Us: One Night Live right now (update)

Update: The performance is over, but you can watch the entire show above. The Last of Us: One Night Live is live, right now, right here. It's streaming live right now, from PlayStation's Twitch channel, from now until 10pm Pacific (1am eastern). For more on The Last of Us, read our The Last of Us Remastered review here.
Video
6 Comments

Scientifically Accurate Sonic is everything you never wanted to know about hedgehog poop

Hedgehogs are more weirdly scatological and cannibalistic than the Sonic the Hedgehog series has led us to believe, as clearly and cartoonishly illustrated by the latest episode of Scientifically Accurate from Fox's Animation Domination High-Def. In the incredibly catchy yet informative video, we learn about the least appealing traits of actual hedgehogs, which include creating a poopy froth and then rubbing that mixture on themselves to the bewilderment of science. The Scientifically Accurate Sonic video touches on the real-world relationship between hedgehogs, foxes and echidnas — and which of Sonic the Hedgehog's friends has the most unique penis. In light of the feces eating, hedgehog-on-hedgehog violence and cartoon genitalia under discussion in the above video, let's call this...
Culture
31 Comments

Here's a first look at Agent 47 in the upcoming movie 'Hitman: Agent 47'

The next proper Hitman game likely won't be out for a while, but in the meantime, 20th Century Fox is working on a film reboot, Hitman: Agent 47, and the company recently released the first images from the movie of Agent 47 himself. This time around, Rupert Friend (Homeland) stars as the bald, barcode-bearing, genetically engineered assassin. Friend replaced the late Paul Walker, who was originally cast as Agent 47 in the film when Fox announced the project in February 2013. Hitman: Agent 47 is a reboot — the first film based on IO Interactive's stealth franchise, 2007's Hitman, starred Timothy Olyphant (Justified) in the title role. During its panel at Comic-Con International 2014 this past weekend, 20th Century Fox debuted the first footage of Hitman: Agent 47. According to a S...
Culture
176 Comments

Tonight, a nation's favorite game will award a human prize

Tonight Andi Dorfman, the former Fulton County, Georgia Assistant District Attorney at the center of this season of The Bachelorette, who in the past few months has whittled down her male suitors from 25 to two, will make the final decision of who will be allowed to propose for her hand in marriage. Yes, the bachelorette chooses a man to propose to her, and yes the man can still be rejected, as happened in Season 2, when Jen Schefft turned down "winner" John Paul Merritt. Having endured plenty of these season finales, I'm comfortable assuring you tonight's episode will be morally questionable and highly watchable. Millions of people will tune in, but I'm bummed knowing the audience that can best appreciate this show's odd existence will miss out. The Bachelorette — the entire Bachelor...
Culture
11 Comments

'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' teaser thick with Smaug

Today Warner Brothers released the teaser trailer for the last installment of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy. In what looks to be an epic conclusion to the saga, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies teaser shows Thorin Oakenshield rallying troops to his banner, while Bard the Bowman heads up a column of gold-clad elves. The film's release is slated for December. In the mean time, check out our deep dive on why you should be looking out for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.
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