Unreal Engine 5 Changes the Game (in Ways You Might Not Expect)

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If you look up the term “game engine,” you see it defined as the “basic software of a video game.” But in reality, it’s more. A game engine is much more like a place; a software-development space or environment where gamemakers build their games. I start with that definition, because Epic games just revealed their […]

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Culture Clips: Putting the Olympic Flame on Hold

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Everyone knows that the sports world has screeched to a halt for now because of the coronavirus. Professional basketball and hockey seasons have been suspended. Baseball’s Spring Training is on hold. Golfers are stuck at home, polishing their five-irons. ESPN has no idea what to do with all of its airtime. It’s gotten so bad […]

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Everything Right and Everything Wrong With Gaming Culture

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This past week, I reviewed Apple TV+’s newest show Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet for Plugged In. The show piqued my interest for a couple of reasons. Namely, because as someone who spends some free time playing video games, I want to see a broader representation of the modern-day gamer beyond the stereotypical “cute and lovable […]

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Pop Culture’s Top 10 Movers and Shakers (2019 Edition)

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Movers and shakers 2019

The year 2019 was a year of goodbyes. We said farewell to sitcoms (The Big Bang Theory) and television serials (Orange is the New Black); rappers (Juice WRLD) and Disney stars (Cameron Boyce); writers (Toni Morrison) and superheroes (no spoilers here) and even a Grouch (as in Oscar and the voice that brought him to […]

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Game Goods 2019: Bob Hoose’s Year-End Picks

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Yes, it’s December and time for Plugged In to wheel out its end-of-the-year “Best Of” lists. And in the gaming category, that’s not an easy call—not because there’s too little to choose from, but too much: I reviewed a pretty heavily populated crowd of fun games this year. But fear not, we’ve culled the crowd […]

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Culture Clips: Alone … With Our Screens

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culture clips alone with screens

Plugged In reviewed a strange little video game last week called Death Stranding. Our own Bob Hoose calls it part shooter, part adventure game, part building game and all weird. While dark and bloody, the game has also earned the most nominations this year from the Game Awards (an awards “show” that was watched by […]

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When Videogames Go to School

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video games go to school

It wasn’t that long ago that everybody from parents to clergymen to U.S. senators were all aflutter about the kid-destroying characteristics of videogames. These days, however, its not so much parents screaming at the kids to turn off the videogames as it is parents urging them to sharpen their button-mashing skills. You know, so they […]

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Culture Clips: The Black Hole

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black hole

Last week, Culture Clips noted that Epic Games was being sued because its wildly popular online game, Fortnite, was allegedly as addictive as cocaine. You’d think that Epic might have a vested interest in saying, “Nah, you’re overreacting.” Instead, the game maker seemed to set out to prove just how right that little ol’ lawsuit […]

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Online “Swatting:” A Prank That’s No Laughing Matter

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swatting

We don’t often think about gaming and online shenanigans leading to anything truly dangerous. But it turns out that in the right situation, those pursuits can lead to jail time and even someone’s death! Say what? NBC News recently reported on a terrible and deadly event that involved something called “swatting”—the tactic of contacting police […]

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