Friday, January 31, 2020 January 31, 2020 at 04:24AM - Nintendo has "no plans" for new Switch model in 2020

2020 will see PlayStation launch PS5 and Microsoft launch Xbox Series X - but it won't see Nintendo release a new Switch model.

Nintendo broke the news in a presentation to investors today, telling them not to expect any new model over the next 12 months.

The company will instead focus on further extolling the virtues of Nintendo Switch Lite, its handheld-only Switch model which launched last year and is off to a strong start.

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from January 31, 2020 at 04:00AM - Five of the Best: Console startup screens

Five of the Best is a weekly series about the bits of games we overlook, those poor old things. I'm talking about crowds, potions, mountains, hands - things we barely notice at the time but can recall years later because they're so important to the overall memory of the game.

Now is the time to celebrate them - you and me both! I will share my memories but I'm just as eager to hear yours, so please share them in the comments below. We've had some great discussions in our other Five of the Best pieces.

But this week we're all about...

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from January 31, 2020 at 03:00AM - Space is incredible, but too many games are missing the point

I only really noticed this recently, but I am big into Neptune. I'm into a lot of planets, to be honest, because I just think planets are pretty interesting, but there's something about Neptune - above the big, beige, sickly '70s kitchen swirls of Venus, Jupiter and Saturn, or the slightly threatening blankness of Uranus, or Mercury (boring), or Mars (old news, too many dead robots) - that makes Neptune stand out.

I think a lot of it is how it's pictured, which itself is obviously a lot to do with just how far away it is. We've only ever sent one spacecraft (Voyager 2, in the '80s) far enough out there into the abyss to actually capture images of Neptune up close. It's the only planet in our solar system so far away that it can't be seen without a telescope. The only one, as a result, the world's ancient civilizations never discovered - and doesn't it look the part? It feels like every image of Neptune is the same: deep, magnetic, hungering blue with the odd streak of white, stark against pure black. Massive, terrifying. I love it because it just seems so completely unknowable. If I think for too long about what it would be like to see Neptune in person I start to feel a little sick, like vertigo, or a sort of inverse claustrophobia. The same sense of cloying panic only from being so totally overexposed and far away, cut off and adrift, not just from Earth and home and people but from everything. From infinity! Eugh.

Anyway, I got to thinking about Neptune because I was, first, thinking about why some recent space-faring games - that I promise I want to love - have been so good at putting me off. Journey to the Savage Planet is the obvious one, but there's also The Outer Worlds which, to someone who has no desire to play any more of either, might as well be the same thing. The trend in these sorts of space games, it seems, is to use that setting's infinite opportunity for invention to make slightly wet, slightly clunky, slightly (but not entirely) self-aware London Underground poster jokes about capitalism and consumer culture - and to ignore all the actual space stuff.

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from January 31, 2020 at 01:48AM - Look at this gorgeous Animal Crossing-themed Switch

I've already spent all my pocket money on a limited-edition Pokémon Switch, but if I could, I would almost certainly splash out on the new Animal Crossing console.

Last night Nintendo unveiled the new Nintendo Switch bundle - which is themed around the upcoming Animal Crossing: New Horizons - and it's fair to say the internet has fallen in love. It's got an island full of Nooks on the dock, a cute pattern on the rear of the Switch, and soft pastel-coloured joy-cons with white backs. Oh, and a download code for New Horizons is included.

If that's not enough for you, an additional Animal Crossing-themed carrying case and screen protector set is also being released, which has some lovely leaves emblazoned on it.

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from January 31, 2020 - The Double-A Team: Worms 2 ruled on campus

The Double-A Team is a feature series honouring the unpretentious, mid-budget, gimmicky commercial action games that no-one seems to make any more.

You can catch up with all of our Double-A Team pieces in our handy, spangly archive.

"You, I reckon, are definitely a roper." I had known Aidan for about twenty minutes by the time he made this judgement. It stung a little. How could he be so certain after such a short period? How - augh! - could he be so right?

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Thursday, January 30, 2020

Is There a Proper Way to Fire Two Guns at Once?

Phillip G. asks: What’s the best way to fire two guns at once?

If you’ve ever seen pretty much any action movie involving a badass spy or member of law enforcement, you know a common trope in the industry is to have the protagonist firing away at the bad guys with a gun in both hands. But is this ever actually done in real life and, if so, what’s considered the proper method for such badass looking weapon wielding?

To begin with, there are indeed many accounts of people in history wielding two guns at once as a fighting tactic despite it being decried by basically every firearms expert on the planet today. In fact, historically matchlock pistols, among others, were often built and sold in pairs with some even being specifically designed to be held in either the left or the right hand.

As you might have guessed from this, there was a time when duel wielding was an excellent tactic to use, and in more modern times there is even one group of soldiers who seem to have used it in actual combat and outline the most effective way to do it, which we’ll get into shortly.

First, going back to the early days of hand guns, these weapons could only be fired once and then needed reloaded, which was a rather time consuming process; they also often had a tendency to not fire at all. Thus, choosing to hold two of the guns at the same time allowed you to increase the odds of getting at least one shot off and, in the best case, allowed two shots without needing to take the time to draw a second weapon or reload.

Not just for firing at multiple targets, this was a much better tactic for firing at one, as these guns were also notorious for their inaccuracy, even at relatively close range. Thus, firing two inaccurate weapons at a single target, potentially at more or less the same time, actually significantly increased your chance of hitting it.

As for documented accounts of people duel wielding historically, we have many. For example, many pirates seemed to have not just resorted to dual wielding for this purpose, but also often carried many more guns on their person when attacking or being attacked allowing for potentially multiple rounds of duel wielding. For example, notorious pirate Edward Thatch, aka Blackbeard, seems to have carried as many pistols as he could comfortably put on his person during attacks, allegedly upwards of 6-12 at a time.

Moving on to the late 18th century, we have this account from a June 16, 1772 letter recounting the attack on the HMS Gaspee, “Duddingston with his two Pistols in his hands, jumped up upon deck, went forward & hailed them. They answered they wanted Him & by God they would have Him dead or alive. He ordered them to keep off on their Peril. They continued to advance & he fired his Pistols amongst them, which hurt nobody. They returned the Fire immediately, shot the Captain in the Arm, & wounded him in the Body, of which it’s thought he will die.”

Another account of duel wielding can be found in this report of the exploits of lawman Bat Masterson, as accounted by one Dr. W.S. Cockrell:

W.B. Masterson… shot seven men dead within a few minutes. While in a frontier town, news was brought to him that his brother had been killed by a squad of ruffians just across the street. Taking a revolver in each hand, for he shoots readily with both, in this manner [Dr. Cockrell demonstrated by crossing his wrists to form an X], he ran over to avenge his brother. The murderers became terror-stricken when they saw him coming, and hastily locked the door. Masterson jumped square against the door with both feet, bursting it open at the first attempt. Then he sprang inside, firing immediately right and left. Four dropped dead in a shorter time than it requires to tell it….

Perhaps the most famous case of duel wielding of all is that of gold rush prospector and army veteran Captain Jonathan Davis. On December 19, 1854, Davis and two companions, James McDonald, and Dr. Bolivar Sparks, were walking on a trail in El Dorado County, California, when they were ambushed by a large band of outlaws. Said outlaws subsequently downed the good doctor and McDonald, leaving Davis to face the eleven bandits alone. Given the number of attackers firing at him simultaneously, he pulled out both of his Colt revolvers at once, stood his ground and emptied them.  When the guns were spent on both sides, their were four remaining bandits, meaning Davis had managed to down 7 moving targets with 12 total rounds.

Three of the remaining attackers then drew their Bowie knives and one reportedly a sword. Davis, who was noted as being an extremely good fencer, drew is own Bowie knife, managing to kill the first, disarm the second, lopping off one of his fingers and the guy’s nose in the process, and then dispatched the remaining two.

When the dust settled, seven of the bandits were dead and the remaining four would later die of their wounds. McDonald was also dead, but Dr. Sparks was still alive at this point, though later died of his wounds. As for Davis, he suffered only a few holes in his clothes and some minor flesh wounds from shots that had barely missed.

If you’re thinking maybe given that Davis is the only one who survived, he may have embellished his actions, it’s noted that beyond the Doctor living for a bit after to recount what happened, a group of miners nearby witnessed the firefight and would later corroborate Davis’ story.

Of course, it should be noted that it does seem in the vast majority of cases at this point in history most people had switched to favoring single wielding of their firearms for the simple reason that they now were using relatively reliable and accurate firearms that could hold multiple rounds, and in most cases you weren’t finding yourself out in the open under the attack of far more assailants than a single pistol could handle.

Further, while there is a bit of a time penalty in drawing a second weapon later in single wielding firing, some were exceptionally fast at it. For example, consider this account of Wild Bill Hickok,

He shot six times so quick it startled me, for his 6 was in his Holster when I said “Draw” I was looking directly at him and only saw a Motion & he was firing. No use to ask how he drew. I don’t know. I only saw his arm was not straight & stiff. There was a perceptible Curve to his arm, but very slight- every shot was in the paper and two in the spot, but all of them within one inch of an up and down line like this.

And speaking of ambidextrous shooting, while Hickok apparently did not typically dual wield as it was almost never necessary at this point, he was apparently prodigiously skilled at ambidextrous shooting, with the account going on,

We put up another paper and Bill tried his left hand with the result that all were in the paper but none in the spot but all of them on the up and down line (6 inch). Each almost over the other or in the same hole. I said Not quite so good Bill- He said, “I never shot a man with my left hand Except the time when some drunken Soldiers had me down on the floor and were trampling me and then I used both hands.”

And just as a pro-tip for those wanting a big target but slightly lower chance of death than aiming higher up, especially in more modern times with antibiotics and medical facilities and expertise, in this account, Hickok also states, “Charlie I hope you never have to shoot any man, but if you do, shoot him in the guts near the navel. You may not make a fatal shot, but he will get a shock that will paralyze his brain and arm so much that the fight is all over.”

Of course, modern guns are typically exceptionally accurate and some hold an amazingly high number of bullets, further skewing firearms experts against the practice of duel wielding, especially as depicted by Hollywood of firing at multiple targets at once, which is a sure fire way for most to not hit anything, though a select few can pull it off.

Exhibit A: a man considered by many to be “the greatest shooter of all time”, competitive shooter and many world record holder Jerry Miculek, who has a video you can go watch of him firing two guns at random targets popping up from about 7 meters away. He also did the same thing with just one gun for comparison. The results?

In the single weapon test, out of 26 shots, 24 found their marks on the randomly popping out targets. In the duel wielding test, 48 of the 52 shots found their mark, meaning he maintained the same 92.3% accuracy on both tests, but with one had twice as many bullets to work with.

However, beyond of course being one of the greatest gun wielders in history, it’s noteworthy here that he was standing completely still, unlike what is often depicted in movies with the characters running, jumping, flipping and firing at the same time. Further, Miculek was only firing one weapon at a time and explicitly noted the extreme difficulty in doing it this way versus single weapon firing, even though in the end his success rate of hitting the targets was the same in both tests.

And if you’re curious, while timing wasn’t an explicit thing being measured here, with the random popping out timing particularly potentially affecting results, for what it’s worth, we measured and the single gun fire took 36 seconds, or 1.38 seconds per shot, and the dual firing took 1 minute and 16 seconds, or a rate of about 1.46 seconds per shot- actually slower. But, again, Miculek wasn’t trying for speed here and the timing of the popouts wasn’t being regulated between the two tests. Rather, each test finished when he’d emptied the guns, with, in the case of duel firing, a couple instances of him not able to focus and fire at all before a target popped out and then disappeared.

It would be interesting to see him re-run the demonstration but specifically designing a test to see if he could be faster at hitting random targets with two guns compared to one. Or if his ability to adjust targeting with one gun is actually faster than his ability to refocus back and forth between weapons, as may be the case from this demonstration.

For another example, this time with timing factored, former army special operations officer Dave Royer managed to fire at 6 targets in 2.81 seconds with dual firing. However, despite both he and the targets being stationary, this resulted in just two solid hits, one mediocre glancing hit, and he missed three of the targets completely. In contrast, when he fired using only a single gun, while it did take almost a second more to fire at all six targets (3.73 seconds in this case), all but one of the hits was right on target, and the one that wasn’t was only barely off.

While they concluded from all this that duel firing was not effective, in fact, when he duel fired with both guns pointed at a single target, he was able to maintain his accuracy with both weapons, effectively allowing for a doubling of the rate of fire, should he so choose, while also doubling the number of bullets at his disposal without reloading or drawing another weapon.

Further, even with his non-optimal technique in the video of more or less stabbing at the target with each shot, rather than stabilizing both hands together in front with his only real movement being his trigger fingers, this at least pretty clearly demonstrated duel firing can be useful in some scenarios, similar to historic examples; just not necessarily when trying to fire at multiple targets simultaneously in most cases, with exceptions such as the aforementioned account from Wild Bill Hickock when his attackers were quite literally on top of him. When the attackers are that close, it’s hard to miss and aiming at two people at once can potentially be of benefit and practical.

This all brings us to the recommended way to duel fire to try to take advantage of the benefits the technique offers, while minimizing the potential decrease in accuracy. Royer aside, firearms experts we observed doing this almost universally recommend holding both weapons close together in front, such that your hands are more or less pressed together for added stabilization and ensuring both guns are mostly locked on the same target. You then use one of the gun’s sights for targeting, and ignore the other’s.

That said, there is a slightly more sophisticated way to do this recommended by the former Soviet counterintelligence agency called SMERSH, with the end goal here to add a tiny bit more stabilization.

Founded in 1942 and disbanded in 1946, SMERSH’s official duties, beyond making people chuckle over their name, which Stalin came up with as a portmanteau of two Russian words that more or less meant “Death to Spies”, involved routing out counter revolutionaries and eventually attempting to capture Hitler. It is this group who originally found Hitler’s body after Hitler bravely, and with no regard for his own personal safety, managed to infiltrate the Führerbunker and took himself out.

Going back to firing two guns at once, SMERSH agents were trained to press their hands together out in front of them as many other duel shooters recommend, but in addition they would also wrap their thumbs around each other in sort of a looping X hook for added stability.

Noteworthy here is that it’s believed that a similar tactic was used by the Soviet NKVD, of whom SMERSH were an offshoot because their standard sidearm, the Nagant M1895, was a revolver that only held 7 rounds. Firing in this manner then allowed them to fire 14 rounds with only a minor decrease in their overall accuracy, if any.

Of course, in all of this, modern weapons with their extreme accuracy, reliability, and often high number of bullets they hold, combined with the absurdly rare cases where one would actually need to double the number of rounds in their hands at a given moment makes it so seemingly no firearm expert today recommends anyone bother with practicing duel wielding. And certainly the way it’s depicted in film with the protagonists practically doing a gymnastics routine, sometimes even firing at targets on opposite sides of them simultaneously, is a surefire way for even the world’s best shooters to hit absolutely nothing unless the targets are right next to them or the size of Mount Everest.

If you liked this article, you might also enjoy our new popular podcast, The BrainFood Show (iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, Feed), as well as:

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The post Is There a Proper Way to Fire Two Guns at Once? appeared first on Today I Found Out.

from Today I Found Out
by Karl Smallwood - January 29, 2020 at 07:05PM
Article provided by the producers of one of our Favorite YouTube Channels!
- January 18, 2020 at 06:41AM - This South Korean... January 18, 2020 at 06:41AM - This South Korean apartment block looks like a Minecraft house | | @WitWGARA, #GamersUnite, #gaming, #indiewatch, #nerdy, #News, #OurMischief, #WitWGARA,, gaming, nerdy, N…
January 30, 2020 at 07:30PM

via Tumblr January 30, 2020 at 08:53AM - Farming Simulator 19 now free on Epic Games Store

It's time to rev up your tractors, as Farming Simulator 19 can now trundle its way onto your PC for free via the Epic Games Store.

Users have until 6th February to grab a free copy, before the freebie-baton is passed to Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride and Pandemic, all of which will be available from the 6th to the 13th. It's interesting timing for the latter, given the Coronavirus outbreak in China.

Farming Simulator 19 is a pretty nice-looking game, and last year even launched an esports league for those gifted in competitive hay bale stacking. Now you can get practising without needing to plough any money in.

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from January 30, 2020 at 08:15AM - Atari is turning RollerCoaster Tycoon into a match-3 game

Were you having a good day? If so, apologies in advance for this - a trailer which will feel like any remaining happy memories of RollerCoaster Tycoon have been plastered over once again by vomit, like a paving slab at the exit of a particularly inhuman loop-the-loop.

What is there to say? Atari has taken the RollerCoaster Tycoon brand and turned the actual game into a series of interactive loading screens wedged inbetween rounds of match-3 gem tapping as you earn coins and tickets.

The gems are on rollercoaster tracks. That's it.

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from January 30, 2020 at 07:24AM - The Witcher's animated film is all about Vesemir

Today we finally have some information on what the recently-announced animated Witcher film is all about: and it's Geralt's father figure Vesemir.

A short description for The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf has appeared on Netflix's website, and reveals the film takes place "long before" Vesemir mentors Geralt. It sounds like it will focus on the start of Vesemir's journey as a witcher, having been claimed by a mysterious character called Deglan via the law of surprise. Yes, that pesky rule is back again.

So, who will play Vesemir? After Mark Hamill publicly expressed an interest in playing Vesemir in the main Netflix series, Witcher fans have been practically campaigning for him to get the role - particularly as Hamill has ample experience as a voice actor. Regardless of who plays Vesemir, I'm Luking forward to it.

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from January 30, 2020 at 06:58AM - The Outer Worlds blasts onto Nintendo Switch in March

We've finally got a date for when The Outer Worlds will touch down on Nintendo Switch. It'll arrive on Friday, 6th March.

This version of Obsidian Entertainment's sci-fi role-player comes via established port house Virtuous. It'll cost £50/$60/€60, either via the eShop or as a boxed version containing a download code.

The Outer Worlds (not to be confused with indie darling The Outer Wilds) originally launched for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One last October. (It's also available on Xbox Game Pass, if that's a tad more commercially acceptable to your wallet.)

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from January 30, 2020 at 05:00AM - Overpass is sort of a strategy driving game

As far as games are concerned, it's been a good few years for fans of looking at the ground. That's if you consider three games to be a good outcome. I love looking at the ground, so I'll take what I can get. Spintires, Death Stranding, and now Overpass: I'm happy.

All three games are sort of similar, it seems to me now. Spintires was bold enough to ask: what if driving games were all about getting stuck in the mud and maybe moving a couple of feet every hour? It turned out this was thrilling. Death Stranding asked: what if walking simulators really tried to simulate walking? What if the worst thing the post apocalypse could offer was a nasty tumble with a lot of boxes clamped to your back? And now Overpass asks: what if getting stuck in the mud and stuck on rocks was really exciting, and while you did all that stuff a counter was ticking along in the corner driving you into a frenzy?

Overpass tasks you with getting all terrain vehicles over terrible hurdles. There's mud! Such beautiful, churning mud. There's slippery rock and shifting sand. There are boggy patches and bracken, and there's also all manner of man-made stuff. Honestly, one of the worst things I have ever encountered in a game - and by worst I mean you get that strange thrill of dread that only games can conjure - is a series of concrete pipes half-buried in the earth. Or a bunch of logs laid lengthways and piled into wobbly ziggurats. Oh god!

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from January 30, 2020 at 04:10AM - Nintendo Switch passes 50m sales milestone

Nintendo's hugely-successful Switch console has now sold 52.48m units worldwide since release in March 2017.

Switch sales in the nine months ending 31st December 2019 were 17.7m (up 22.5 per cent year-on-year), fuelled by the launch of the Switch Lite model. Switch games have also been selling like hot cakes.

In all best estimates, this means Switch has now pipped the hardware sales total of Microsoft's Xbox One, which launched in November 2013.

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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The Absolutely Badass First Female U.S. Presidential Candidate

In this episode of The Brain Food Show, we start by looking at the first woman in the United States to cast a political vote who for reasons we’ll get into did it with her feet…

We also have a brief message from a sponsor, Skillshare. Help support this show and learn a lot of interesting new skills, as well as TWO MONTHS FREE using the following link

Up next we get into the meat of the episode about one of the most badass and colorful women in American history who rose from a childhood of poverty to becoming, among other awesome accomplishments, the first female stock broker on Wall Street and most notable to the story at hand today, also the first woman to run for President in the United States.

On another note, if you could do us a huge favor and rate and review this show in whatever podcasting platform you’re using (including hopefully giving us some feedback related to the new format), we would be extremely grateful. Thanks!

(You can also discuss this episode and view references on The BrainFood Show forum here.)

Don’t miss future episodes of this podcast, subscribe here: iTunes | Spotify | Google Play Music | Stitcher | RSS/XML

You can also find more episodes by going here: The BrainFood Show

The post The Absolutely Badass First Female U.S. Presidential Candidate appeared first on Today I Found Out.

from Today I Found Out
by Daven Hiskey - January 29, 2020 at 09:41PM
Article provided by the producers of one of our Favorite YouTube Channels!
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January 29, 2020 at 03:30PM

via Tumblr January 29, 2020 at 08:26AM - Nintendo's mobile games reach $1bn in lifetime revenue

Player spending in mobile games can be a rather lucrative business - and true to form, it's been seriously profitable for Nintendo, as the company's made over $1bn (£769m) in lifetime revenue from player spending.

The data provided by Sensor Tower shows Fire Emblem Heroes is the main earner for Nintendo, bringing in $656m (£505m) all by itself. After that comes Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Dragalia Lost, Mario Kart Tour and Super Mario Run - with poor Dr. Mario World in last place with $4.8m (£3.7m). Which is still a lot.

The most popular game, somewhat surprisingly, is Super Mario Run with 244m downloads (54 per cent of Nintendo's 452m mobile downloads total), while Mario Kart Tour has been downloaded 147m times (32 per cent). Another intriguing stat shows that despite earning the most money, Fire Emblem Heroes only accounts for four per cent of Nintendo's total mobile downloads. In other words, that's an average revenue-per-download of $41 (£31.54).

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from January 29, 2020 at 07:16AM - Dirt Rally 2.0 is getting a Colin McRae-themed DLC pack

The frankly wonderful Dirt Rally 2.0 is going back to where it all began, with the imminent introduction of the Colin McRae: Flat Out pack.

Codemasters' off-road series has its roots, of course, in the Colin McRae Rally series that started back in 1998 before becoming Dirt in 2007 (although McRae's name was still attached to the first two games in that particular series).

The Flat Out pack picks some of the highlights of McRae's career via some 40 new scenarios - and of course featuring his iconic Subaru Impreza S4 Rally, as well as the introduction of 12 new routes that wind their way through Scotland's Perth and Kinross.

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from January 29, 2020 at 04:13AM - Twitch Prime is offering a heap of Destiny 2 exotics

Destiny 2 owners with a Twitch Prime subscription will be fed a six-month diet of exotics.

The first four rewards launch today, 28th January, with a further four legendary and exotic gifts to follow every month over the next six months.

24 items will be gifted in total, including exotic guns such as Destiny 1 staple Suros Regime and Destiny 2 breakout star Prometheus Lens. A range of cosmetic Ghost Shells, emotes, ships and Sparrows will also be on offer.

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from January 29, 2020 at 03:32AM - Half-Life: Alyx more than doubled Valve Index sales in 2019

Looks like Valve's decision to make the next Half-Life a VR title is already paying off, as Valve Index headset sales more than doubled in 2019 following Half-Life: Alyx's announcement.

According to stats from SuperData, Valve Index sold 46k units last year prior to Q4, but after Alyx was announced in November, that figure jumped up to 149k. That means 103k headsets were sold between October and December - more than double what had been sold for the rest of the year.

The stats are impressive (particularly considering the hefty price of a VR kit, currently £919) - but they could have been ever higher, as nearly every package of the headset sold out worldwide by 15th January (via Road to VR). Those hoping to buy an Index are still greeted with an out-of-stock message on the official store page, and are instead prompted to sign up for email notifications.

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from January 29, 2020 at 02:00AM - Syd Mead's artistic legacy lives on through video games

Having played a critical role in the production of 1982's Blade Runner, illustrator Syd Mead was asked what title he'd like to appear as in the film's end credits. "Visual Futurist" was his reply. Now there's a job role you'd enjoy explaining to people at parties. Mead was a modern-day farseer, using his skills as an industrial designer and concept artist to build the worlds of tomorrow. What's more, his visualisations have had an immeasurable impact on video games and the many artists working within the industry.

It's often said that games draw from an awfully narrow set of cultural and artistic touchstones. Never mind seven basic plots, there are only really two: sad man fights robots and space marines shoot aliens. Blade Runner, Aliens, Blade Runner again. Syd Mead, who died just a few weeks ago on the cusp of the new year, aged 86, is the artist behind the dominating aesthetic of an entire industry. His energy, spirit, DNA, spread out across games like ashes thrown to the wind.

In the 80s, Mead helped develop his fair share of theme parks and laser tag arenas, even a few casinos (pleasure hubs with as many flashing lights as any cyberpunk alley). It was always going to be natural for Mead to make the jump to games. He worked on a fair few: Cyber Speedway for the Sega Saturn was one of his earliest, making use of his famed vehicle-design skills. But he also returned to work on the lightcycles in Tron 2.0, designed the spaceships in Wing Commander 5, and even worked with Westwood Studios' on their Blade Runner game. Much of this work was early concepting, sketching out hover cars and so on. Other times it was consultation. Most recently, Mead consulted on Aliens: Colonial Marines, fleshing out what he'd started all those years ago on the James Cameron film. In some respects, we're unfortunate. An artist so talented, and willing to work in our space, who never found his 'big' game. But I don't think it matters - there are so many indebted to him, shot through with his style, infected with his imagery.

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from January 29, 2020 - Someone should make a game about: Soufflés

Hello, and welcome to our new series which picks out interesting things that we'd love someone to make a game about.

This isn't a chance for us to pretend we're game designers, more an opportunity to celebrate the range of subjects games can tackle and the sorts of things that seem filled with glorious gamey promise.

Check out our 'Someone should make a game about' archive for all our pieces so far.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2020 January 18, 2020 at 04:20AM - Ubisoft is trying... January 18, 2020 at 04:20AM - Ubisoft is trying to make its games more varied | | @WitWGARA, #GamersUnite, #gaming, #indiewatch, #nerdy, #News, #OurMischief, #WitWGARA,, gaming, nerdy, News, OurMischie…
January 28, 2020 at 01:00PM

via Tumblr January 28, 2020 at 08:47AM - Pokémon Go's Battle League launches preseason trials this week

Pokémon Go's long-awaited player-versus-player Battle League rolls out this week via a preseason trial. As expected, it's a semi-regular tournament with in-game rankings and rewards.

By earning wins against other players and levelling up your rank, you'll earn Stardust, items and Pokémon encounters. The higher the rank, the better your rewards. Pikachu Libre - a wrestling-themed Pikachu seen in various other games - is one of the prizes, along with various themed avatar items.

We also now have confirmation of how the feature will be monetised. To begin with, you'll get five matches for free. After that, you can earn five more matches by walking 5km - which you can do a total of three times a day.

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from January 28, 2020 at 08:47AM - Pokémon Home's premium plan will cost £15 a year

Pokémon's long-awaited official storage and transfer service, Pokémon Home, has finally been fully detailed, and we now know that its premium features cost up to £15 a year. There's also a free Basic version too, but that's, well, basic.

Pokémon Home - available on Switch and as an app for mobile devices - will take the form of a cloud-based National Pokédex, growing as Pokémon from compatible titles are placed in its Boxes. At launch, Pokémon from Sword and Shield, both Let's Go games, and Pokémon Bank can be transferred to Home. Pokémon Go compatibility is "coming soon".

The Pokémon Company notes the Pokédex will register Mega Evolve and Gigantamax forms, and that users can obtain in-app stickers by completing challenges or Battle Points for use in core Pokémon games on Switch simply by using Home.

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from January 28, 2020 at 06:00AM - I bought Puma's £80 esports shoes so you don't have to

Just before Christmas, sportswear giant Puma announced its first products designed explicitly for esports. Called "Active Gaming Footwear", these lightweight socks cost $105/£80 and are designed to be used indoors and in esports arenas, providing the comfort, support and grip that professional gamers need to compete at the highest level. This sounds to me like complete bollocks - and that's why I knew I needed to buy them.

You see, people have been selling utterly useless "pro gaming" gear for absolutely ages. Even in the early days of esports, when Twitch was still called and StarCraft 2 was the biggest game in the scene, professional players would be hauled in front of a camera to shill stuff like oversized, overpriced racing chairs or piss-yellow gaming glasses that made wearers look like off-brand rent-a-cops. Delivering their lines with the clumsy charisma of a professional footballer asked for their opinion on the Iran-Contra crisis, these folks would swear up and down that you too could make it to the big leagues if you plonked down $199 for a XtreemPro 360 gaming towel with extra sweat rivulets and an inner lining made from Mongolian yak hide.

I knew that it was all nonsense, but a small part of me still wanted to believe there was a grain of truth behind the marketing - that maybe you could find that critical one per cent of extra performance from an unexpected source. Now, I had the perfect chance to disabuse myself of that ridiculous notion once and for all - by ordering these shoes and actually testing them in-game.

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from January 28, 2020 at 05:51AM - While away the hours with huge discounts on these massive RPGs

Looking for something to occupy you through these cold winter nights? Well, how about 100s of hours of RPG goodness? Better still, what if you had to pay very little for them?

That's exactly what I have for you right here! And while I'm not advocating judging a game's value based on the number of hours of entertainment you get for your money, you've got to admit that there are some spectacular deals on offer.

Let's start with the Nier: Automata Game of the YoRHa Edition for only £13.99. A cult favourite and popular game of the year pick from 2017 (how has it been three years?), it's absolutely something you need to try for yourself.

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from January 28, 2020 at 03:58AM - Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales takes a seat on Nintendo Switch

Gwent-related The Witcher spin-off Thronebreaker has dropped onto Nintendo Switch today, priced £17/$20.

It's a nice surprise, as less than 18 months ago developer CD Projekt Red was adamant it had no plans to bring Thronebreaker to Nintendo's platform. Plans change!

Already available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Thronebreaker is sort of a spin-off of a spin-off. It's a story-centric experience based off the Gwent card game, which is its own standalone thing and also something you'll play in The Witcher itself.

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from January 28, 2020 at 03:40AM - Atari announces plans for chain of themed hotels

Work has begun on a chain of Atari-themed hotels, which will look like something out of Cyberpunk 2077.

Eight hotels are initially being planned across the US, with construction on the first due to begin this year in Phoenix, Arizona. Further sites will then follow in Las Vegas, Denver, Chicago, Austin, Seattle, San Francisco, and San Jose.

Some will include venues for esports events, as well as "the latest in VR and AR" experiences, restaurants, bars, meeting rooms, gyms and a bakery. Oh, and rooms to sleep in.

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from January 28, 2020 at 01:09AM - Torchlight Frontiers is now Torchlight 3

Action role-playing game Torchlight Frontiers launches as Torchlight 3 on Steam this summer, its developer has announced.

This change amounts to Frontiers returning to the premium model of Torchlight 1 and 2 with a new focus on linear progression and the classic act structure.

So, you can play online or offline, with access to all playable content. Torchlight 3 ditches the shared, persistent and dynamically generated world Frontiers was set to offer, as well as the in-game real-money store.

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from January 28, 2020 - Deathtrap Dungeon doesn't get the most out of its star actor

Eddie Marsan was brilliant in the BBC adaptation of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, playing the conservative magician bringing magic back to 19th century England. He has a fearsome intensity under his mousy appearance. Watch it, you'll like it - or better yet read the book it's based on, it's even better.

I mention Marsan because he's popped up in a video game - he's the star attraction. He's the narrator in Deathtrap Dungeon: The Interactive Video Adventure. He's the guy in a big leather chair who tells you the story. And as this is an adaptation of a Fighting Fantasy, choose your own adventure book, he has everything to do.

He's a great signing! He certainly turned my head. But in motion he's surprisingly underwhelming, careful and measured. It's as if he's sight reading, like he could only be afforded for the day, and, as there was so much text to get through, retakes weren't an option.

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Monday, January 27, 2020 January 27, 2020 at 03:56PM - The Terminator is coming to Ghost Recon: Breakpoint this week

Fearsome time-hopping robo-hunter The Terminator is, for reasons, making its way to Ghost Recon: Breakpoint in a new live event later this week.

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Breakpoint - The Terminator Event, for those wishing to refer to it in full, begins this Wednesday, 29th January, and there is, in truth, little else to add at this point.

Everything we know about the event at present can be found in Ubisoft's newly released teaser trailer, which scoots about a moonlit copse, delivers a brief spot of pyrotechnics, and then wraps things up before showing even a glimpse of a Terminator.

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from December 12, 2019 at 06:12PM - The next… |... December 12, 2019 at 06:12PM - The next… | | #OurMischief, WitWGARA | ⠀ December 12, 2019 at 06:12PM - The next Xbox… | | #OurMischief, WitWGARA | ⠀…
January 27, 2020 at 03:00PM

via Tumblr January 27, 2020 at 10:00AM - Blizzard prototyped a VR version of Hearthstone

While Hearthstone as we know it is mostly a game spend staring in furrow-browed concentration at a card-strewn digital tabletop, Blizzard, at one point, dabbled with a VR version, enabling players to stand up, stretch their legs, and more.

That's according to Hearthstone's lead effects artist Hadidjah Chamberlain who, in conversation with PowerUp, revealed two Blizzard developers have previously taken a stab at bringing the card battler to VR as part of the company's annual hackathon-like Free Your Mind event.

As Chamberlain recounts, the VR version enabled participants to take a stroll around Hearthstone's cosy tavern and settle down at a table in order to take on fellow players.

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from January 27, 2020 at 08:19AM - Metro Exodus' second and final expansion has a release date

Metro Exodus will drop the second and final DLC in its Expansion Pass on 11th February, for PC, PlayStation 4, Stadia and Xbox One.

Titled as Sam's Story, this new slice of story tells the tale of a former US marine (he's called Sam) exploring a large "sandbox survival" level filled with new faces, guns and enemies. And that's more or less all the detail we have, alongside these new images:

"Far from just another map-clearing game, Metro's first above-ground outing is an atmospheric, characterful voyage across a ruined Russia," Edwin Evans-Thirlwell wrote, recommending the main game in Eurogamer's Metro Exodus review.

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from January 27, 2020 at 07:48AM - A 5TB Western Digital external hard drive is now only £71

If you've been looking to bulk up your console's storage capacity - or pick up an external hard drive for any other means - then you'll absolutely want to snap up one of these 5TB HDDs while they're massively reduced.

You can head over to Amazon UK right now to get a 5TB Western Digital My Passport for only £70.99. That's a huge 43 per cent off the usual price and only £2 more than the 2TB version for over double the capacity. Even other similar-sized drives are currently significantly more expensive.

You can absolutely use this drive to expand you PS4 or Xbox One hard drive space. Admittedly, it may be a little overkill for this purpose - unless you absolutely need to have everything you own and every PS Plus game installed at once. Careful, as you may end up overbearing yourself with choice if you take this approach!

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from January 27, 2020 at 06:37AM - Patapon 2 Remastered launches this week

Stylish 2D rhythm game Patapon 2 will be reborn on Thursday, 30th January when it arrives for PS4 via the PlayStation Store.

Originally launched back in 2008 on PSP, this sequel remaster now features crisp 4K visuals. It was first announced back in 2017 for a release the following year - so it's been a while coming.

The gameplay is just as you remembered it, however - beat drums to marshall your troops through side-scrolling spaces, building up an army able to take down enormous boss creatures.

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When Did Having a Prisoner’s Last Meal Be Anything They Want Start?

Johnny Pope asks: Why do people on death row get whatever meal they want right before they die?

If you happen to ever find yourself slated to have society as a whole decide it would be best if they killed you, the silver lining is that in many parts of the world where this is still a thing, the last meal you ever eat is likely to be significantly better than the ones you’ve been consuming up to that point in prison. So how did this rather odd meal tradition come about and is it actually true death row inmates can get anything they want to eat?

To begin with, while it’s commonly stated that the whole idea of the last meal request came about due to Christ’s famed last supper, there doesn’t seem to be any direct evidence of this.

So how did the tradition actually start?

While history is absolutely littered with various cultures having feasts associated with death, such as the public feast for Roman gladiators the night before their potential date with death, called the coena libera, it wouldn’t be until slightly more modern times where we start seeing those being executed widely granted such a courtesy en masse. Once this did start to become a thing, in the early going, while wealthy individuals slated for execution, as ever, could generally request whatever they wanted any time, and were even often allowed servants to attend them as they awaited their execution, common things granted to the poor before their execution seem to have been at best a swig of some alcohol or the like.

Things began to pick up steam considerably on this front around the 16th century, however. Or, at least, things appear to have. It is entirely possible that such courtesies were widely granted before this to even the poor, with documented evidence of it simply not surviving. On that note, things like the printing press’ invention in the 15th century began making documented history of rather mundane events like the executions of random Joe Citizens more, well, documented. Thus, it may or may not be coincidence that accounts of such courtesies started to pop up more and more around the 16th century and progressing from there.

Whatever the case, by the 18th century, particularly in places like England, such practices were definitely around and relatively common. For example, in London it was common to allow the condemned to enjoy a meal with various guests, generally including the executioner, on the eve of the execution. Further, there is record of Newgate Prison death row inmates being allowed to stop at a pub on their march to their death at the Tyburn Fair gallows. At the pub, they would typically share drinks with their guards and executioner.

Over in Germany, perhaps the best documented case of the food practice around this time was that of Susanna Margarethe Brandt of Frankfurt. On January 14, 1772, Brandt, a poor servant girl, was executed for allegedly killing her newborn child. Eight months before this murder, she’d become pregnant by a journeyman goldsmith who she never saw again after they had sex. She subsequently successfully hid her pregnancy all the way to the eighth month when she gave birth secretly and alone in a laundry room on August 1, 1771. Unfortunately, when the baby came out, whether because newborn babies are insanely slippery or she just failed to realize it was about to drop, it fell from her and smacked its head against the stone floor. The child then, according to her, wheezed momentarily and then ceased to breathe. Brandt subsequently panicked, hid the baby in a stable and fled the scene. However, having no money or means to support herself, the next day she returned to Frankfurt where she was eventually arrested for murdering the child. Whether she did or not, and even if it would have survived anyway given it was premature, is a matter of debate even today, but she was nonetheless convicted of the murder and sentenced to death.

Shortly before her execution, however, she was the guest of honor at what has been dubbed the “Hangman’s Meal”- a rather large feast prepared for the condemned and various officials who had condemned her. If you’re curious, the meal in this case supposedly was “three pounds of fried sausages, ten pounds of beef, six pounds of baked carp, twelve pounds of larded roast veal, soup, cabbage, bread, a sweet, and eight and a half measures of 1748 wine.” Of course, the young Susanna reportedly ate none of it, merely drinking a little water as the officials feasted around her. Not long after, her head was lopped off.

Moving over to the United States where the idea of the “last meal” is perhaps best known today, it would appear this tradition did not initially jump across the pond when Europeans began setting in the Americas. Or, at least, surviving accounts of executions don’t seem to mention such courtesies, with some exceptions usually having to do with drink or something to smoke. For example, in 1835, the New York Sun reported shortly before his execution, murderer Manuel Fernandez requested and was granted a bit of brandy and some cigars, courtesy of the warden at Bellevue prison.

As the 19th century progressed, this sort of thing became more and more reported, as did eventually the practice of granting last meal requests, which by the early 20th century became quite common.

This all leads us to why. Well, as far as more historic cases, such as the early known instances in Europe, it’s generally hypothesized that people did it as a way for officials and executioners to more or less say to the prisoners “We’re going to kill you, but it’s nothing personal.” In essence, offering a bit of kindness to the condemned before their death with the prisoners themselves seemingly appreciating the courtesy, at least when it came to the alcohol.

On that note, it’s widely reported from this that the practice was instituted as a way to ensure the ghosts of the executed would feel friendly towards their condemners and executioners and thus not come back and haunt them, but we couldn’t find any primary documentation backing such a notion.

Whether that’s true or not, moving on to more modern times, the underlying reason why prison officials started doing this is not any better documented and there doesn’t ever seem to have been any laws requiring it, for instance. It’s just something people did on their own and the idea spread, presumably thanks to the media’s then love of reporting everything about the last hours of those being executed, and the general public eating it up across the nation.

Whatever the case, law professor Sarah Gerwig-Moore, co-author of Cold (Comfort?) Food: The Significance of Last Meal Rituals in the United States, posits of all this,

Last meals may be an offering by the guards and prison administrators as a way of seeking forgiveness for the impending execution, signaling that ‘it’s nothing personal.’… There are standard operating procedures that put up a wall between guards and prisoners, but nevertheless, there is a fondness between them… The last meal as a tradition is really a way of showing humanity between the caregivers of people on death row who are completely powerless and who come to care about these people — they feel complicit, and conflicted. The last meal is a way to offer, in a very, very small way, a show of kindness and generosity.

On this point, she also notes from her research, “The most generous meals correlate to the states that execute the most people — except for Texas…”

Texas, of course, having executed about 1,300 people in the last two centuries and trending the opposite of everyone else- actually increasing the number of executions in recent decades. For reference here, they’ve conducted 562 executions (almost half their couple century total) since 1982- apparently doing their best to adhere to the supposed 13th century Papal decree at the Massacre at Béziers, “Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.” This translates to, “Kill them. For the Lord knows those that are His own.” Or to put it in the form that is apparently Texas’ state motto- “Kill ’em all and let God sort ’em out.” (Joking asside, Texas’ state motto is actually the single word- “friendship”, owing to the fact that the name of the state derives from the Caddo word for “friends” or “allies”.)

On the note of Texas, last meals, and being friendly, in 2011 Senator John Whitmire very publicly pushed for an ultimately got the special meal requests for those about to be executed abolished, at least officially. He noted of this, “It is extremely inappropriate to give a person sentenced to death such a privilege… enough is enough… If you’re fixing to execute someone under the laws of the state because of the hideous crime that someone has committed, I’m not looking to comfort him… He didn’t give his victim any comfort or a choice of last meal.”

That said, proponents on the other side of that argument generally state that part of the point of offering such courtesies is to demonstrate that while the state is killing someone on behalf and with the express consent of the public as a whole, if it’s not done in a humane way, the public and the state are no better than the person being killed. As Professor Kathy Zambrana of the University of Florida sums up, “It comes down to how do you treat one human being when you’re about to take someone’s life.”

History professor Daniel LaChance of Emory University further chimes in, “These last meals — and last words — show the state is democratic and respects individuality even as it’s holding people accountable. As horrible as the deed they’ve been convicted of [is], the person still has some kind of dignity that we’re acknowledging.”

As to what drew the ire of Senator Whitmire to come against the then almost century old Texas tradition of the last meal, it was the meal request of death row inmate Lawrence Russel Brewer, who was sentenced to death for taking part in the rather horrific and senseless racially motivated murder of James Byrd Jr in 1998. So what did Brewer ask for? A couple chicken fried steaks, a triple decker bacon cheeseburger, a beef and cheese omelet, fried okra, a full pound of BBQ, a half loaf of bread, three fajitas, and a meat lover’s pizza. For dessert, he requested a container of Blue Bell ice cream and peanut-butter fudge. To wash it all down, he asked for three root beers.

When the time came, however, he ultimately ate nothing.

This all brings us to whether inmates can actually request and receive basically anything they want. While the media widely reports this is the case, including with this specific example of Brewer, this isn’t correct at all. In fact, in the vast majority of cases where inmates request something elaborate like this, what they actually get is just a simple, one-person version of it.

As famed “death row chef” Brian Price, who prepared well over 100 such meals, states, “The local newspaper would always say they got 24 tacos and 12 enchiladas, but they would actually get four tacos and two enchiladas… They only get items in the commissary kitchen. If they order lobster, they get a piece of frozen pollack. They quit serving steaks in 1994. If they order 100 tacos, they get two or three.”

That said other states and prisons sometimes do it differently. For example, in nearby Oklahoma, they allow the meal to be purchased from a local restaurant if desired, though capping it at $15… Other states that allow similar, such as Florida, are more generous, allowing for a budget of $40.

Of course, as you might have guessed from all we’ve said so far, those actually involved in making or acquiring the last meal may or may not pitch in if they so choose to go beyond. For example, in Cottonport, Louisiana, when one unnamed death row inmate requested lobster, the warden at the Angola prison, Burl Cain, went ahead and paid for a full lobster dinner, with Cain then dining with the inmate. You see, much like many historical instances of this sort of thing, before Cain’s recent retirement, he would always extend an invitation to the condemned to have their last meal with him and sometimes other select guests.

Of course, as with Susanna Brandt and Lawrence Brewer, it’s quite common for death row inmates to forgo eating their “last meal”, as the whole impending death thing generally leaves many without an appetite. To try to get around the problem, the so-called last meal is sometimes not actually the last meal at all, with it generally designated the “special meal” by prison officials. Even when it is literally the person’s last meal, it is usually scheduled far enough ahead that they might still be able to eat, but not so far away that they’ll have to go an extended time without eating before their execution. For example, in Virginia the rule is the meal must be served at least four hours before the execution. In Indiana, they go even further with the special meal often coming a few days before the big show, in a time when the person can actually enjoy it on some level.

For those who don’t have an appetite, they often share. For example, in places like Florida, in certain cases family or friends may be allowed to enjoy the meal with the condemned. Some inmates instead donate it to others. For example, in 1951, Raymond Fernandez, one of the “Lonely Hearts Killers” along with his lady love Martha Jule Beck, made a request that his meal be given to another inmate to enjoy.

On a similar note, in the early decades of this tradition in Texas, it was relatively common for the condemned to order and be given large portions of food for their special meal precisely so they could have enough to share with every other inmate on death row in the prison. This extra food request was usually honored by prison officials because it was seen not just as a mercy, but something that helped keep all those on death row in line directly before executions.

That said, not all inmates have trouble eating. Perhaps the most famous case of this was murderer Rickey Ray Rector. After committing two rather senseless murders, he attempted to kill himself by shooting himself in the head. However, he ended up living through the ordeal owing to shooting himself in the temple- a common way to kill one’s self in the movies, but in reality very survivable if medical aid is nearby, with the person effectively having just given themselves a lobotomy.

Despite his rather deficient mental faculties as a result of the whole bullet through the brain thing, Rector was controversially sentenced to death. The issue became even more of a media sensation after the fact when it was learned that while he happily ate his last meal, he chose not to eat the pecan pie that he got with it. Why? He told the guards he was “saving it for later.”

Once again showing the humanity of the guards involved, they went ahead and saved the piece of pie just in case there was a last minute stay of execution.

This all brings us to what prisoners actually usually request for their last meal. While exact fare is rather diverse (for example in one case a person simply requested a “jar of pickles” according to the aforementioned Brian Price), if categorizing this into groups, it often comes down to either things you’d find at McDonald’s or KFC (or literally McDonald’s or KFC meals in many cases), something fancy, or a favorite home cooked meal from the person’s childhood or the like.

As for the first two categories there, it’s noted that the vast majority of death row inmates come from rather impoverished backgrounds, and thus often go with favorite food items they are accustomed to and haven’t gotten while in prison- things like fried chicken, cheeseburgers, french fries, and soda, or the like. That said, some go the other way, picking foods they couldn’t really afford when in the land of the free, or may have never even tried at all, like lobster or filet mignon. As for favorite home cooked meals, the aforementioned Brian Price states when he prepared these meals, he always did his best to make it just as the inmate described, or even potentially getting a specific recipe from the condemned’s loved ones.

Regardless of what camp one goes with, some choose their last meal not on what they necessarily intend to eat, but rather to make a statement.

As for such statements, going back in time a bit in 1963, murderer Victor Feguer requested nothing more than a single solitary unpitted olive for his last meal. He then requested the seed be buried with him in the hopes that it would grow an olive tree as a symbol of peace and rebirth.

On a similar note, one Jonathan Wayne Nobles, who apparently had been on drugs since he was 8 years old living in foster homes, as an adult murdered two women while high on a cocktail of substances. In prison, however, he got off the drugs and became a devout Catholic and, not just model inmate, but model person. As one example, at one point he attempted to save the life of a random woman he heard about who was dying from kidney failure. However, while he did successfully find a doctor willing to perform the procedure to take one of his kidneys out and give it to the woman, it ultimately turned out the pair were did not have matching blood types and the woman died. Doubling down, Nobles later attempted to have all his organs donated after his execution, but this request was denied as Texas did not allow death row inmates to donate their organs. Going back to his last meal request, he simply asked for the Eucharist (communion).

To end on a lighter note- well… relatively speaking…- in the 1940s Wilson De la Roi, who murdered a man while in prison, was slated to be killed via a somewhat newly minted poison gas chamber in San Quentin. When asked what he wanted for his last meal, he merely requested a bunch of indigestion tablets. When asked why, he stated that he felt sure he was soon to have rather severe case of gas…

If you liked this article, you might also enjoy our new popular podcast, The BrainFood Show (iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, Feed), as well as:

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The post When Did Having a Prisoner’s Last Meal Be Anything They Want Start? appeared first on Today I Found Out.

from Today I Found Out
by Daven Hiskey - January 27, 2020 at 06:15AM
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- January 27, 2020 at 04:18AM - Pokémon Go's latest event is off to a bumpy start

Pokémon Go's Lunar New Year event launched last Friday, but so far has left some players feeling rather unlucky.

One of the event's key features - a boosted chance of trades resulting in Lucky Pokémon - was apparently not activated over its first 24 hours.

Lucky Pokémon are those which, after trading, become considerably cheaper to power up and are likely to improve their stats. Pokémon Go's recently-added Trade Evolution mechanic, as well as the arrival of top-tier Fighting-type Timburr, meant players had plenty to trade.

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from January 27, 2020 - 198X is one of the most stylish games you can get for the Switch

I'll admit to being a bit sniffy at first about 198X, which first came out on PC last year and has just recently made its way to Nintendo's Switch. It's another 80s-inspired coming-of-age tale that leans heavily on what's now a very well-worn brand of nostalgia - a mish-mash of Spielbergian sweetness, on-the-nose references and a synthwave soundtrack. So yeah, I was cynical, but good lord would you just look at this thing.

198X just drips with style, a style that's carried through from the cutscenes that tell the story of 'The Kid' through to the five pitch perfect pastiches of arcade classics that make up the bulk of play. I'm not entirely convinced by the story (maybe that's in part down to this being the first part of a planned series, so in the hour or so it takes to see 198X through it's only really just found its feet, or maybe it's a narrator who manages to sound both bored and melodramatic at once), but it's certainly well told - these are cinematics with a proper cinematic flair. There's plenty of Spielberg, of course, but also a dash of Ozu in glimpses of the everyday that feel like a welcome lift of the Japanese master's pillow shots.

Oh, and the games! They're the most assured part of the whole package, where the style you'll find elsewhere is matched by some deep understanding of the greats of yesteryear. Beating Heart takes on Streets of Rage and does a fine job of it, Out of the Void is an R-Type alike that is over all-too-soon, The Runaway is a moody spin on OutRun while Shadowplay is a Shinobi-esque action title. It's all capped off by Kill Screen, an RPG where the themes of the story are most closely connected to the play.

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Sunday, January 26, 2020

Review: Aldiva Snack Pretzel

This bag contained smallish knotted pretzels from Turkey, with a lighter color than most pretzels, and without the shiny surfaces. ...

from Snack Reviews
by January 26, 2020 at 03:00PM January 26, 2020 at 10:07AM - Report: Konami has two new Silent Hill games in development

Konami is reportedly reviving the Silent Hill series with not one but two new instalments.

According to Twitterer Aesthetic Gamer - who has accurately shared Capcom leaks in the past - publisher Konami "reached out" to developers a couple of years ago, inviting pitch ideas to bring the series to life once more. One game is thought to be a "soft-reboot" of the franchise, whilst the other is rumoured to be an episodic adventure similar to Until Dawn.

"In other news while I'm dropping this stuff, and I think I can talk about this, I'll mention there is a couple new Silent Hill games in the works," Aesthetic Gamer stated. "Konami about two years ago reached out to various developers to pitch ideas for two Silent Hill games, one a soft-reboot of the franchise, the other an episodic TellTale/Until Dawn-style game to go alongside the reboot. I don't know anything more than that though, but I sure do hope Konami's given it the appropriate budget and found the right developer to make those games succeed.

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from January 26, 2020 at 07:02AM - Birds of Prey might be Fortnite's next big crossover event

As we gear up for the second season of Fortnite Chapter 2, it seems Epic Games, the creators of the world's biggest game, Fortnite, has dropped a little tease as to what the theme of the battle royale's next crossover event will be: Birds of Prey.

Warner Bros. recently tweeted a video of the upcoming movie's cast. So far, so what, right? However, it's the tweets that followed that most pique our interest.

In response to the video, the official Fortnite Twitter account replied with a simple: "See you soon Harley!", to which Warner Bros. sent back "Can't Wait" with the emoji of a lipstick kiss. Hmmm.

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Saturday, January 25, 2020

How twisted is your mind? Was it the Internet was done it? Or is...

How twisted is your mind? Was it the Internet was done it? Or is it all the true you?
January 25, 2020 at 07:03PM

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