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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Do Disney’s Recent Kids Shows Pull Punches on Important Issues?

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When Disney+ was introduced last year, it kicked the nostalgia of my adolescence into overdrive. With shows such as Boy Meets World, Lizzie McGuire, That’s So Raven and many others from my youth now at my fingertips (not to mention lots of spare time to view these shows due to the COVID-19 quarantine), I’ve been […]

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What’s New and Streaming for Families for May 2020

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It’s May 2020. And what a big, fat, hairy month it is. In fact, now that we’re in what seems like the third year of isolated coronavirus lockdown, big, fat and hairy are all very literal descriptors. So it’s only fitting that we give you a good-sized collection of less-than-hairy streaming family fare. Let’s get […]

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‘Whaddya Mean the Whole Season’s Cancelled?!’

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Well, it’s finally here: the NFL draft. For sports fans, it feels like Christmas in April, right? I mean, what’s not to love: Waiting breathlessly for our favorite teams to pick the impact player that we know—we just know deep in our bones—will lead our beloved team to Super Bowl glory next year. If, that […]

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How my life as a TV and movie critic has changed as a result of coronavirus

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Because of the coronavirus, all of our lives look different these days. We’ve all been forced to make plenty of changes. But some of us have had to make fewer changes than others. In my pre- (and hopefully post-) COVID-19 days at Plugged In, a typical workday for me included grudgingly waking up (what can […]

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What to Watch With Your Family While You’re at Home

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Paramount has silenced A Quiet Place II for the time being—pushing its March 20 release date to sometime in the indeterminate future. The latest chapter in the Fast & Furious franchise, F9, has been pushed to next April. No Time to Die, the newest chapter in the James Bond Franchise, was shaken all the way […]

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More Screen Time, Less Sleep Time?

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looking at phone while in bed

You wouldn’t think that a biography of 19th president Rutherford B. Hayes would keep one up at night. In truth, it was one of the reasons I was reading said biography. Can’t sleep? Rutherford B. Hayes’ mixed record on reconstruction will knock you right out. But there I was, still reading—an hour after I’d intended […]

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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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Hollywood’s Sex Scene Disconnect

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hiding eyes

Actress and director Olivia Wilde wants to make filming sex scenes safer for the actors and actresses involved. Specifically, she’s spearheading an effort to “make a better environment” for such scenes—i.e., enforcing a closed set that ensures only those who really need to be there are present. Sitting down with Katie Couric at the 2020 […]

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Culture Clips: Fascism … on the Hallmark Channel?

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shocked watching tv

It’s officially 2020, folks, and we all have our own hopes and dreams for what the new year might hold. But some of us have radically different hopes and dreams. For instance, I know that some folks may dream of watching Hallmark Christmas movies all year long. But Salon political writer Amanda Marcotte hopes that […]

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Introducing The Plugged In Show

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plugged In show

If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I wonder if Plugged In is ever going to do a podcast, because it seems like they should,” well, the wait is over. I’m thrilled to announce that we have recently launched The Plugged In Show! Each week, members of the Plugged In team will be joined by author, […]

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Musical Musings 2019: Adam Holz and Kristin Smith’s Year-End Pics

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best of music 2019

“Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togedder today.” Yes, yes, I know, I know. Those famous lines hail from the classic comedy Princess Bride. Nevertheless, they are what brings us “togedder” today, in a roundabout way, as we talk about the best music (both tracks and albums) of 2019. Why, you ask? Well, it turns […]

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Disney+ Streaming Service: What You Need to Know

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Snow White Disney+

Stand aside all you pesky streaming services because the behemoth of them all has arrived: Disney+. If your kids are Disney fans (or Star Wars fans or Marvel fans), you might have already purchased Disney+, thinking it would be something your kids would love. And chances are they probably do, but this streaming service is […]

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