"Augs Lives Matter": Black Lives Matter co-opted for a scifi game, but creators claim coincidence

When you've been caught appropriating that hottest of cakes—the name of a contemporary political movement—one has two fair options: either (1) take your work seriously and make a case why it's clever/smart/funny/interesting, or (2) apologize and fuck off. But Andre Vu, the "global executive brand director" of forthcoming sci-fi videogame Deus Ex:Mankind Divided, thinks he has a third way out: to claim it's a coincidence.

A back-and-forth with BioWare designer Manveer Heir led to Vu’s comments and other defenses of the campaign slogan. Vu chalked up widespread interpretations of "Augs Live Matters" as piggybacking on the similarly named social media movement to an out-of-context "hate wagon."

"You are criticizing our integrity and the fact we try to abuse of recent event when it isn’t the case," Vu wrote in response to Heir’s criticism that the ad was "a bad look... These words were thought in our game way before the current events," Vu said. "Unfortunate coincidence for sure."

How on Earth does he expect to be taken seriously?

The game, which tackles issues of segregation in a futuristic dystopia, already raised eyebrows after the company making it put out a bizarre statement reassuring players that 'Deus Ex: Mankind Divided’s portrayal of government-mandated segregation is presented "as neutral as possible,"' as if apartheid itself were a subject upon which neutrality was a reasonable position.

Looking forward to Deus Ex:I Love My Augness, And Yours and the sequel Deus Ex:Oh My God JC It's A Bomb Read the rest

Fantastic DIY miniature Nintendo Entertainment System

Daftmike made a fantastic miniature Nintendo Entertainment System that's 40% the size of the original. It consists of a Raspberry Pi inside a 3D-printed case that he designed and a selection of mini-cartridges containing NFC tags that are read by the Raspberry Pi. Beautiful work!

NESPI (daftmike)

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8-Bit Cinema: great films reimagined as classic video games

We've featured David Dutton's 8-Bit Cinema many times over the past 8 years, but this astounding showreel demonstrates that his canon is wider, deeper and cooler that you might realize. Read the rest

Card Caddy: a card-game box that's also a discard pile

Card Caddy is a cool invention: a $6 snap-lock case that holds your card-game cards securely in your bag, but unsnaps and reconnects to form its own discard pile; a hole in the case lets you tell at a glance which game you have in it. Read the rest

Dungeon Morph: make an infinite role-playing dungeon with dice

Each face of a Dungeon Morph die features an interlinking section of dungeons, caves, wilderness or medieval city: simply push a set of five together and remove and re-roll as needed to create a never-ending map for your adventures.

DungeonMorph Dice Adventurer Set [Amazon link; see also the other sets]

They also come in the form of a square deck of 90 double-sided cards.

There's something about this sort of thing that throws a hook into my brain and reels me in. Read the rest

Olympics to companies: mentioning "Olympics" in social media is a trademark violation

The US Olympics Committee has sent a letter to companies that sponsor athletes but don't sponsor the games, warning them that mentioning the Olympics in social media is a trademark violation. Read the rest

Young man reiterates need for "Trump in America" after in-game defeat

In this homophobic NSFW rant, a young gentleman who had lost a game of NBA 2K16 explains to his team-mates why the outcome demonstrates the need for Trump in America.

Illustration: Veciits

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Watch language evolve as little sims wander around a grid of islands

Language Evolution Simulation is exactly that, showing words changing little by little as time passes in a tiny world with three islands. It's agent-based, which is to say that it models little computer folk interacting with one another to simulate the little mutations that add up over time.

Rules

If an agent intersects with another, selects a word from the own vocabulary and tells that. The neighborhood receives and adds that word into its vocabulary as

- Mutation of a vowel sound with 0.1 probability

- Mutation of a const sound with 0.1 probability

- Compounding with another word with 0.1 probability

- Without any mutation

There's nothing to do but watch words change, but it feels like the underpinning of a very strange computer game about culture.

I love agent-based models; check out this simulation of political cliques I made. It randomly generates several personalities, who then go around and bicker or flatter one another. It's very bland and primitive, made in Flash, and the "next turn" text is rather fiddly to click. But I've always had plans on expanding it into a more fully featured game. Read the rest

Cosplay at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con International: 10 amazing fan portraits

San Diego Comic-Con International has concluded for 2016, but these amazing photos of dedicated cosplayers at the event will live on.

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Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space

Osprey Publishing, the UK-based military history publisher beloved by wargamers and toy soldier nerds for their amazing Men at Arms series (which lovingly details the uniforms and accoutrements of war), has been expanding into gaming in a big way recently. They've been responsible for the increasingly popular skirmish-level dungeon-delving miniatures game, Frostgrave, the hugely popular Bolt Action (which they distribute through a publishing partnership with Warlord Games), and a growing number of excellent miniature rules sets covering everything from historicals to fantasy, sci-fi, and horror.

Another notable thing they've been doing is re-vamping existing games that had a lot of promise but had some rules problems, or component issues, or some other crippling flaw that limited their appeal on their first release. They've been re-doing these games in gorgeous new editions. One such game is Odin's Ravens, which I previously reviewed here. They also recently released a lovely, revamped edition of the very trippy The Ravens of Thri Sahashri, a Japanese cooperative card game where players enter the mind of a character and try and repair her memories and guide her to safety before she goes insane with ravens eating her mind. Another notable example of this revitalizing of a promising title is their recent "Ultimate Edition" of Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space.

The lovely and unusual components and packaging of Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space.

Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space is a card-based hidden movement, hidden identity game of deception and bluffing. Read the rest

Marc "Half-Life" Laidlaw's gonzo cyberpunk is back in DRM-free ebooks

Marc Laidlaw, the cyberpunk pioneer who went on to serve as writer on some of Valve's greatest video-game titles -- the Half-Life series, Portal -- has just posted his entire backlist to Amazon as $3, DRM-free ebooks, including his debut novel Dad's Nuke (think Fallout, but with religious extremist militants who subsist on "Host on a shingle," this being the cultured recovered foreskin tissue of Jesus Christ on fortified crackers) and Kalifornia, a brilliant and prescient novel about media, cultural disintegration, and celebrity. Read the rest

Humanitarian organization warns Pokemon Go players to stay out of Bosnian minefields

Posavina bez mina, a humanitarian organization that works to defuse landmines in the former Yugoslavia, has posted a warning to its Facebook page saying that they've been told that Pokemon Go players are venturing into active minefields to catch virtual critters, and warning people not to go into minefields to catch Pokemon, which is very good advice. Read the rest

Pokemon Go players: you have 30 days from signup to opt out of binding arbitration

Like most other online services, Pokemon Go's terms of service are a reboot of the Book of Revelations, full of bizarre horrors, each more grotesque than the last. Read the rest

"This Male-Designed Female Character Just Loves To Flaunt Her Sexuality"

Point and Clickbait posted an amusing take on the adolescent fantasy that if you give a crudely-objectified female character a sword and sexuality she becomes proof that feminists just hate sex.

Critics of the game have suggested that Sexblade is “astoundingly sexist” and “terrible in every way”, but Farmer argues it’s wrong to suggest that Sexblade is sexist.

“Isn’t it shaming female sexuality to attack Sexblade like this?” he asked. “Sexblade is a fully-fleshed out and real character with strong, believable motivations which drive her to do things like moan orgasmically when she takes damage.”

“It’s the people who want to put a stop to that — they are the real sexists.”

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NES Classic Edition looks like great fun—but will it hack?

Nintendo's miniature re-release of the NES is, it seems, another one of those several-games-in-one nostalgia toys. But it's a good one, with 30 classic titles, the same great design in miniature, and compatibility with modern wireless controllers. It'll be out November 11 for $60. Read the rest

A General 'Pokemon Go' Guide: How to master and have fun with the Nintendo game craze

“I made a guide with some general tips for PoGo,” says redditor Lastminuteguy. “This guide doesn't state the basics, but rather gives information on elements of the game that aren't immediately obvious.”

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'I renamed all my Pokemon whatever my 2 year old called them'

“For your mild amusement, I renamed all my Pokemon whatever my 2 year old called them,” says IMGUR user June1920. Sort of jealous they caught a Claws Parrot.

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