Shared posts

28 Mar 00:00

Human colonization of the Pacific left piles of dead birds in its wake

by Allie Wilkinson
Fourteen species of moa were hunted to extinction in New Zealand. Joseph Smit

Human colonization of the Pacific Islands likely caused the extinction of nearly 1,000 species of large-bodied, flightless birds known as passerine landbirds.

A study of fossils from 41 Pacific islands found that two-thirds of bird populations on these islands went extinct in the period between the first arrival of humans and European colonization, or roughly from 3,500 to 700 years ago. Overhunting by humans, exacerbated by forest clearance, was a major cause of prehistoric bird extinctions.

Extinction rates between islands varied greatly but were higher for smaller islands and those with lower rainfall, which were more extensively deforested. Larger islands experienced lower rates of extinction, partially because they would have supported larger bird populations, but also because their diverse topography would have included forests in less accessible areas, making deforestation and hunting difficult.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

28 Mar 16:31

When Professionals Aren’t: The PAX East Tomb Raider Cosplay Harassment Story

by Jill Pantozzi

Convention harassment is just an off-shoot of regular, old harassment but seeing it invade your “safe space” can be tough to stomach. And some people have had enough. At PAX East this past weekend, a journalist (I use that term loosely) decided to interview a group of Lara Croft  cosplayers at the new Tomb Raider video game booth. What followed was not a professional interview of fans but rather a chance to treat women in costume not as people, but as sex objects. The Mary Sue spoke with one of the cosplayers involved as well as PAX management about the situation – a situation we’re hearing about far too often these days. 

We were alerted to the situation the day it occurred, Saturday March 23rd at PAX East in Boston. Meagan Marie, Community & Communication Manager at Crystal Dynamics (developers of Tomb Raider), tweeted, “Had a member of the press use the ‘Cosplay is Consent’ argument on me after asking a sexual question on film to a group of Lara cosplayers.”

This caught our attention because of a situation that occurred at New York Comic Con 2012 in which Black Cat cosplayer Mandy Caruso was harassed during an interview. She related her story on Tumblr, and while she never named the media outlet, there was considerable outrage about her treatment at their hands.

So what exactly happened at PAX East? We spoke with Lauren Wizemann, one of the Lara cosplayers involved in the incident. A frequent cosplayer and convention attendee, Wizemann decided to do a more casual costume for PAX.

“At other conventions I have done more revealing costumes like Rogue, Emma Frost, Huntress, and Wonder Woman. I had always liked the Tomb Raider game, the comics and the movies. I had played the demo in SDCC this past summer and was just blown away by the graphics and just how incredible it was. I decided on Friday to wear khakis, a grey tank top and my official Tomb Raider necklace to the Tomb Raider panel.”

It was at that panel Marie encouraged Wizemann to don the costume again the next day because Crystal Dynamics would be holding a cosplay event at their booth. And so she did. Wizemann was joined by several other women, making them a group of 15-31 year-old Lara Crofts. She said, “The other Laras all wore khakis, combat boots, grey tanks, had a bow and did some blood makeup. I think we were all pretty excited.  We were taking pictures in the booth and then we moved out towards the walkway so that people walking by could see a group of Lara Crofts. We took more pictures and then this guy comes up and asks if he could ask a few questions. His partner had a more professional looking camera and so I think all of us just shrugged and said ok.”

Wizemann had been interviewed in the past and said everything seemed normal. That is, until the interviewer asked his first question, “How does it feel to  be at a convention where none of the men could please you?”

In a post on her Tumblr, Marie wrote, “I couldn’t hear what he said over the hubbub of the show floor, but the confused and uncomfortable looks from the ladies indicated that it wasn’t what they expected, to say the least.”

I moved in closer and inquired “Excuse me, what did you ask?” with a forced smile on my face, so to give him the benefit of the doubt. He laughed and didn’t respond, moving a few steps away as I repeated the question to the group of women. Turns out he’d probed what it felt like “knowing that none of the men in this room could please them in bed.” Yes, I’m aware it’s a poor adaptation of a gag told by a certain puppet dog with an affinity for insults. Lack of originally doesn’t excuse this behavior, however.

My anger flared upon hearing this, and for a moment I almost let it get the best of me. I attempted to calm myself down before walking towards him and the cameraman, and expressing that it was rude and unprofessional to assume that these young women were comfortable discussing sexual matters on camera. I intended to leave the conversation at that, but his subsequent response escalated matters quickly and clearly illustrated that this ran much deeper than a poor attempt at humor. He proceeded to tell me that “I was one of those oversensitive feminists” and that “the girls were dressing sexy, so they were asking for it.” Yes, he pulled the “cosplay is consent” card.

At this point, as he snaked off into the crowd muttering angrily at me, I was livid.

Yes, sadly we still live in an age where people try and excuse inexcusable behavior because of how someone is dressed. Wizemann said, “Honestly, I couldn’t think of a less sexualized costume at the event, but I suppose anything worn by a woman can be ‘sexualized.’ I’ve worn outfits that were completely spandex and ones that have shown a lot of skin and yet out of the hundreds of people I have interacted with, I don’t think anything like this had ever happened to me while I was cosplaying before.”

“The fact that something like this still occurs regularly at conventions makes me sick, and that people try to justify away the behavior,” Marie wrote on Facebook. “I went to PAX with PR. The positive side to this story is that they took the issue incredibly seriously, and were apologetic for his behavior,” she wrote, also saying they handled the issue “with flying colors.”

We reached out to PAX for a comment from their point of view. Robert Khoo, President of Penny Arcade, Inc. responded:

Our media guests are expected to behave in a professional manner, and it was clear to us this particular individual crossed that line. We got in touch with the outlet and the individual during the show, and that particular journalist is no longer welcome at PAX. We want everyone at PAX to feel welcome and comfortable, and that includes those that staff the booths.

It’s great to hear an unfortunate situation was dealt with swiftly but we have to ask – when will this type of behavior stop? For Wizemann, it came as a shock.

“I’m pretty sure my initial reaction was one of those stunned chuckles, but I think I was too caught off guard to be angry or upset at the moment,” she said. “It wasn’t until later when the shock wore off and analyzing what happened that I realized how messed up the whole thing was. I’ve been victimized before and none of the times have I ever reacted immediately. I don’t know if it’s the way I’m programmed to just smile and accept or if it’s just a fear of making a scene.”

In her extremely poignent Tumblr post, Marie touched on this particular behavior – something she isn’t immune to.

When it comes to defending others, I’m fierce. I’m assertive. And I will hold my ground. One of the cosplayers tweeted me to praise my bravery and say they wish they had the courage to stand up too. The truth is my bravery doesn’t run that deep. When it comes to defending myself I’m a rug that is walked over repeatedly. This has to stop.

Similar behavior has been directed at me for years. Back in 2007 at my very first GDC, I was starry-eyed and overwhelmed to be in the midst of so many people I idolized. So when a drunken CEO of a then-startup pointed to my midsection and said “I want to have my babies in there,” I laughed. I did the same next year when another developer told me that he “didn’t recognize me with my clothes on” after meeting me the night prior at a formal event (to which I wore a cocktail dress). The trend continued for years, and I took it silently each and every time.

This is something we see a lot, and something you may have experienced yourself – being able to stand up for others but failing when negative behavior is directed at you. “I know it took a lot of guts for her to do what she did. And to have one of my peers feel the need to protect me, it was unsettling,” Wizemann told us. “I felt very guilty and shameful because there were young women in our group and I couldn’t do anything about it. Granted, no one should have to experience that, but it’s worse when it’s a kid or a teenager who might not have the personal tools and experiences to handle it. The least I can do is talk about it and help raise awareness that this stuff happens.”

Marie is of the same mindset. “I’ve got hope for change even if it is motivated by fear. In a social economy where one unprofessional tweet can ruin a career, I feel like the few unsavory industry personalities are becoming more aware of their words. My line in the sand doesn’t end there, though. I’m going to start holding commenters accountable for their actions too, even if I can only do so on my social spaces,” she wrote. “The situation this weekend at PAX made me question why I’m willing to stand up for others, but not myself. By allowing myself to be treated this way I’m perpetuating that this behavior is acceptable. And it isn’t. If I continue to stand by silently, I might as well sit on the sidelines and watch while other young women endure what I have.”

Whether it’s joking about harassment in a comedy video to teach a lesson or simply speaking up when it happens to you, talking about it is the key to change. As far as journalists are concerned, it should go without saying you should ask interview participants if they are comfortable speaking about the topic you want to talk about.

“I want to feel safe and valued as a member of this industry, whether I’m conducting an interview, talking to fans on a convention floor, or cosplaying. And I have a right to that,” said Marie. “I’m not afraid anymore. I’m angry.”

(Top image via LJinto)

Previously in Tomb Raider

Are you following The Mary Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, & Google +?

17 Mar 01:24

OK got this guy in not sure if it was an email or on the twitter...



OK got this guy in not sure if it was an email or on the twitter might’ve been both but either way at first glance he’s totally chillin out on a couch super relaxed and maybe second glance too but around the third or fourth glance it starts to look like maybe he’s faking the chillin part and is actually pretty tense and trying to look like he’s chillin.

UPDATE: probably unrelated but there’s a pretty angry looking slipper or something behind the dog.

31 Mar 14:00

Magicka: Wizards of the Square Tablet released for iOS and Android

by Dave Tach

Magicka: Wizards of the Square Tablet, developer Ludosity's cartoony take on the action-adventure game series, is available now for iOS and Android, according to a recently released launch trailer.

Check out the trailer above to get a glimpse of the fantasy world of Midgård, where players can play solo or across platforms in co-op matches that support up to four players. Be sure to keep an eye out for how players of Magicka: Wizards of the Square Tablet can surpass the game's "nefarious obstacles."

Magicka: Wizards of the Square Tablet is available for $1.99 in the iOS App Store and Google Play. For more on the game, you can also check out a gallery of screenshots released alongside the game's announcement earlier this year.

29 Mar 16:31

In Which I Am Pretty Darn Sure That Most Gamers Are Fine With Female Protagonists

by Becky Chambers

Last week, the Penny Arcade Report interviewed Jean-Max Morris, creative director of the upcoming female-led game Remember Me. After going into the game’s cyberpunk roots, Morris discussed the publishers who wanted nothing to do with a female protagonist. “We don’t want to publish it because that’s not going to succeed,” he paraphrased. “You can’t have a female character in games. It has to be a male character, simple as that.”

As the article made the rounds, I couldn’t help but notice what gamers were getting excited about elsewhere. Tomb Raider had just slipped to number two in the UK sales charts, after two weeks at number one. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm had already sold 1.1 million copies in its first two days. Indie developer Supergiant Games, the folks behind Bastion, announced their new action RPG, Transistor, which features a leading lady. Their booth enjoyed two hour lines at PAX all weekend. I’m told that the lines for Remember Me were comparable.

I don’t think it’s gamers who have a problem with female protagonists.

That disconnect is what’s been bugging me the most about that article, more than all the girls-have-cooties implications. I read these blanket statements about how male gamers are supposedly allergic to female protagonists, and it doesn’t mesh with my impressions of the gamer community at large. I’m not even talking about stances on gender issues here. I’m talking about why people buy the games that they do. I have a bias in this, I know, but even so, I can’t shake the feeling that the publishers who say these things are failing to understand why gamers actually play.

There are two components to my thinking on this — how I go about playing, and how the guys I know go about playing (spoiler: they’re basically the same thing). I’ll start with myself, even though I’m not the sort of player being considered by these publishers. My purchasing habits strike me as pretty standard for a long-time gamer. I play shooters, RPGs, action games, and anything else that tickles my fancy. My carefully planned monthly budget includes a portion for games. I preorder new titles. I buy DLC. Take away my gender, and I’m exactly the sort of gamer the industry wants.

I developed these habits despite a lifetime of playing heroes that, more often than not, don’t look like me. A male protagonist does not stop me from playing. A male protagonist does not prevent me from developing an emotional attachment to his character. Do I gravitate more toward female protagonists, when they’re available? Yes, if I’m interested in the game itself as well. But will I turn away from an enticing game just because I can’t play as my gender? Of course not. What draws me to a game above all else, regardless of whose story it is, regardless of if there are even any women in the game at all, is whether or not it looks fun. I may feel more at home with a female protagonist, but I’ve got no problem connecting to a hero with a beard and a gravely voice. Gents, correct me if I’m wrong, but seeing as how we’re all human beings here, I imagine that for the most part, you and I react to differently-gendered protagonists in much the same way.

But okay, I’m not the target audience. Perhaps my experiences are moot. I obviously can’t speak directly to what it’s like to be a male gamer, but for what it’s worth, I have spent the better part of my life interacting and socializing with them. We like the same sorts of games. We play with equal enthusiasm. We talk about talent trees and boss fights and weapon upgrades. We sit and watch E3 together. We send each other articles on game releases and industry news. And not all of the male gamers I’ve known or even befriended have shared my views on gender portrayal. I’ve debated these things plenty with people I’ve gamed with. I recall being part of a group that got in a somewhat heated squabble over the Jennifer Hepler debacle before we all sat down and played Descent together. Our opinions on such topics may differ, but set them aside, and we’re buying the same games, and playing in the same way. From a gameplay standpoint, we’ve got the important stuff in common.

So let’s talk gamers in general. You can split us into two groups: those who are drawn to game mechanics, and those who are drawn to story (and yes, there’s a lot of crossover between the two). For those who are keen on mechanics, the protagonist doesn’t matter much. The setting and the story may affect how devoted they become to the game, but these players can and will overlook just about anything if they love the mechanics. The guys of this sort that I’ve played with have no qualms about choosing a female character, so long as her abilities are what they’re after. They’re far more concerned with class than gender.

A story-focused gamer, however, is looking for one of two things: a good story about someone else, or a story in which they can be the star. The latter hinges upon character customization, which nowadays usually means variable gender protagonists. Everybody wins. But for gamers who are happy to play as a pre-defined character, what they don’t want is the same story they’ve seen a dozen times before. They want to experience something new. Otherwise, what’s the point? You can only go through the same narrative so many times before you get bored. These players won’t care what the protagonist’s gender is, so long as the story is engaging.

If we’re talking about courting core gamers (I dislike that term, but there it is), protagonist gender seems like a non-issue. I keep thinking back to Transistor, a game helmed by a dainty lady with a buster sword. The people at PAX weren’t lined up for her, or despite her. They were lined up because Supergiant Games makes great stuff, and because Transistor looks awesome. I’ll confess, seeing that the game had a female protagonist was a side bonus for me. You know what I was primarily excited over? Combat that allows you to stop time and plan out attacks. I had already started digging into that cake before I appreciated the icing. I think a lot of gamers go about choosing games in the same way. Again, I can’t speak for the guys out there, but I’d be very surprised to meet a male gamer who turned up his nose at a combat system that appealed to him solely because he had to play a female character. That seems like an uncommon mindset.

But what if these publishers aren’t talking about core gamers? What if the concern here is the untapped market? Appealing to non-gamers is indeed a consideration you see throughout the industry (for better or for worse). This has been said by others many times before, but if the goal is to interest as many new gamers as possible, how does it make sense to focus only on straight white men between the ages of 18 and 25 (not to mention, how insulting is it to imply that such people are incapable of relating to anyone other than themselves)? And I may be off base with this, but I tend to think that someone who has never bought a game before is probably not going to start with a new IP. They’re going to pick something that they’ve heard of, something recommended by a friend who already plays it. A gamer. A gamer who will be recommending the game for its mechanics, or its story.

I am sure there are some men out there who might be put off by a female protagonist, just as there are women who might feel similarly toward male protagonists, but in my experience, this just isn’t the case for most. Give a gamer — of any gender — a good game with a solid story and fun mechanics, and we’re happy. (That’s not to say that character gender doesn’t matter at all. That’s a whole ‘nother article.)

And as for those hypothetical men who would feel “awkward” about seeing a female protagonist “kiss another dude” — okay, putting aside how immature that notion is, I feel compelled to note that games make me feel awkward all the time. Every time a game puts me in skimpy chainmail without offering an alternative, every time the women in the game are only there to be rescued or ogled, every time a game imparts the message that women are weak or vapid or just not good enough, I am left feeling awkward. And yet, I love games anyway. I’m still here, going bleary-eyed over strategy guides and handing over my hard-earned cash. If I can remain this loyal after the onslaught of awkward that games have put me through, then trust me. The dudes will be fine.

Becky Chambers is a freelance writer and a full-time geek. Like most internet people, she has a website. She can also always be found on Twitter.

30 Mar 14:01

Rick Ross' Second 'Apology' Over Date Rape Rap Is Even Worse Than the First...

Justin.matich

fuck no :(




There are no words. Actually, there are far too many words that don’t add up to meaning. In case you don’t know, Ross is in some heat for the following lyrics that he spat on Rocko’s Gift of Gab 2 mixtape, which was released in January:

“Put molly all in her champagne / She ain’t even know it / I took her home and I enjoyed that / She ain’t even know it.”

From The Fader, emphases ours:

I know I’m a man, but I respect Women to the utmost, And Things like Date Rape shouldn’t be glorified…with that being said, I don’t think taking Rap lyrics as straight facts is ever the way to go. I mean that is really setting a president we do NOT want to set, then every rapper could be indicted for Drug dealing, Murder, etc, etc. Hip Hop is Art, and we have to look at it as art. Yes We want to see these artists as the realest people ever, but they are the Voice we want to hear when we want to know what’s going on out there, and in reality some people Do these things, And Shouldn’t it be brought to light so young Women can protect themselves?!?! This Is actually really good the conversation is going…Ross has actually helped to protect Our Women from the Creeps that would hurt them!!!!


Read and comment. From thedailyswarm.com.
29 Mar 16:07

LISTEN: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Under the Earth”

by selftitled
Justin.matich

more new YYY's

Yeah Yeah Yeahs @ Stubb's

As the Yeah Yeah Yeahs get ready to release their fourth record, Mosquito (due out April 16th through Interscope), they’ve granted a rare group interview to The New York Times. Set to run in the paper’s Sunday magazine and available to read now online, the piece explores just how awkward and anxious the trio still is after all these years.  As Lizzy Goodman writes, “What they have in common is a hypersensitivity to the world that borders on pathological—a near parody of the artist’s temperament. It sounds like a miserable way to live.”

Some of that tension emerges in “Under the Earth,” a song the band recently performed at South by Southwest that shimmers and shakes alongside manic keyboard melodies, stuttering vocal samples and a wobbly bass line. Check it out below, as premiered over at the Times… 

30 Mar 14:00

Review: DLC Quest

by Jim Sterling

Downloadable content is a touchy subject among the vocal game playing community. While I personally think such content has its place, the piecemeal selling of a game risks becoming a tasteless endeavor -- and videogame publishers have proven unafraid to exploit the practice to miserable extremes. 

DLC Quest is a vision of depths no company has quite yet sunk to, but the scary thing about it is just how plausible it is. Though it satirizes the ridiculous idea of a game so excessively monetized you can't even get character animations without paying, one can easily imagine rooms of suited executives, eagerly discussion such an idea. 

This spoof of the videogame industry is cute, and funny enough to raise a few smiles. Deep down, however, there's something very scary about it. One fears its ability to give some very rich men some very tacky ideas.

Review: DLC Quest screenshot

Read more...
24 Mar 18:30

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Hadoken, Baby Sloth Is a Tiny, Tiny Game

by Stephen Totilo
Justin.matich

@karma, second one might be good for Bookies?

Rock, Paper, Scissors is too simple for our modern times. That's why Margaret Robertson and her fellow game designers at Hide & Seek have created Rock, Paper, Scissors, Hadoken, Baby Sloth.

You could be playing it right now, if you have a friend nearby. Rock beats scissors, scissors beat paper, paper beats rock, Hadoken beats all of those, but baby sloth beats Hadoken (and loses to everything else).

RPSHBS is just one of 10 so-called Tiny Games—real-world games that can be explained in a few sentences and played just about anywhere—on display at PAX East in Boston this week. You can see me learn it and play it against Robertson in the video above.

Hide & Seek make Tiny Games for public festivals all the time, but they're hoping to release hundreds of them that you can play via a Tiny Games phone app. They've got a Kickstarter going to raise money to make the app (the funding window closes on April 13). For many more details about the project, take a look at their Kickstarter here. At the very least, you'll probably wind up getting some new ideas for games you can play at the park or in the kitchen.

And here are two more PAX East Tiny Games, which I really wish I'd had a chance to see people play:

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Hadoken, Baby Sloth Is a Tiny, Tiny Game<—Tiny Game.

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Hadoken, Baby Sloth Is a Tiny, Tiny Game<—Tiny Game.

27 Mar 22:26

The Video Game Based On The Fables Comics Stars Badass Bigby Wolf

by Luke Plunkett

In a smart move, Telltale's video game series based on the Fables comics won't try and adapt the overall arc of the modern-day epic. Instead, as the developer tells IGN, it'll focus on one character: Bigby Wolf.

Fabletown's resident detective will be the focus of an episodic series called The Wolf Among Us, and is set before the comic series.

It's due out this Summer on Xbox 360, PC, Mac and PS3.

Telltale’s Fables is Called The Wolf Among Us [IGN]

27 Mar 17:04

Amazing Castlevania map by Bill Mudron It comes in both...

by 20xx






Amazing Castlevania map by Bill Mudron

It comes in both black-and-white and full color, and i is just so incredible to look at. Think it would be appropriate for a baby room? Asking for a friend.

You can pre-order this now for $45. Mudron’s also working on an underworld map of The Legend of Zelda:

BUY  Castlevania: Mirror of Fate, upcoming games
28 Mar 10:30

Rain is another feather in Sony's cap of new IP

by Steven Hansen

Keeping in line with the offbeat and interesting games that come from SCE Japan Studio, we have Rain. It’s being developed by Japan Studio, Acquire (Tenchu, Sumioni), and PlayStation C.A.M.P. (Tokyo Jungle, Echo Chrome) for the PS3 through download from the PlayStation Store, and it’s just the sort of idiosyncratic change of pace that Sony seems to foster.

Rain is meant to evoke the feeling of fright and wonderment that you might have experienced being lost as a child in an unfamiliar place. It does so by putting you into the transparent shoes of a young boy who has faded into invisibility in a mysterious city. He is lost, as alien to this world as the player. Only in the rain can he be seen -- sort of like Ben Affleck’s vision in that terrible Daredevil movie.

Thing is, nasty beasties also lurk under the pitter patter of raindrops. Like Ben Affleck’s Daredevil. Or Elektra. Also, cool, intimidating monsters.

Rain is another feather in Sony's cap of new IP screenshot

Read more...
28 Mar 17:51

Taylor Swift To Guest Star On ‘New Girl’ Season Finale

by slansky
Justin.matich

@tim: stoked?

Taylor Swift is taking her comedic skills (she hosted Saturday Night Live, remember?) to a new platform: The country-pop superstar has been tipped to appear on the upcoming season finale of the FOX sitcom New Girl.

Entertainment Weekly reports that Swift will be playing an “important guest” (hmm) at the wedding of characters Cece and Shivrang. (This is ironic, since most of our wedding fantasies involve Taylor Swift perform a stripped-back rendition of “Mine” for an intimate crowd of friends and family.)

It’s a good fit for the show, where lead character Jess (Zooey Deschanel) is a self-professed Swift fan (as EW notes, she once moaned on the show, “I just wanted to listen to Taylor Swift alone”), and hopefully a good fit for Swift’s comedic chops, too. Will she sing? We can certainly dream.

[via Entertainment Weekly]

27 Mar 10:00

And Mulch More: Plants vs Zombies 2 Mere Months Away

by Alec Meer

Please don't make Tallnut a microtransaction

Happy face: PopCap’s Plants vs Zombies 2 will apparently arrive this Summer. I love PvZ. I want more PvZ.

Worried face: PopCap now belong to EA, who want to put microtransactions in everything they can. I’m crossing fingers, toes, unmentionables and internal organs that PvZ2 can somehow escape this disease and just be a lovely, complete little game of its own.
(more…)

27 Mar 21:30

Do You Smell What DrinkBox is Cooking? 'Guacamelee!' Announced for April 9

by MTV Video Games
Justin.matich

@tim: mad jelly?

by Joseph Leray

Sony's attempt to position itself as the console of choice for independent developers as we shift from one console generation to another is continuing unabated: in a post on the official PlayStation Blog, they announced the pricing and release date details for "Guacamelee!," the alebrije-inspired brawler-platformer-puzzle game from DrinkBox Studios.

Drumroll, por favor: as detailed in Sony's rest-of-the-year plan for indie games, "Guacamelee!" will be available under the cross-buy program for both the PlayStation 3 and Vita. It'll run you $14.99 and be available on April 9th.

Bankrolled by  the Canada Media Fund, Toronto-based DrinkBox Studios has been working on "Guacamelee!" (that exclamation point never gets old, really) since 2011. The game started off, as most do, with a bit of concept art and some spreadsheets, and DrinkBox first showed it off at GDC 2011 -- it's fitting that it's triumphant release would be announced at the same event two years later.

"Guacamelee!"'s bright, flashy visuals -- there's a reason it's nominated for an Excellence in Visual Design award at this year's Independent Games Festival -- are supported by the slick, Día de los Muertos-inspired alternate dimension puzzles and luchador combat illustrated by the game's launch trailer above. DrinkBox describes the game as a "Metroidvania brawler," which suggests sprawling maps and fair bit of exploration.

In any case, it all looks very polished and well-developed, but I have to admit I raised an eyebrow when I realized DrinkBox were Canadian, and it will be interesting to see how it handles its Mexican aesthetic. It's no surprised that the first comment on the trailer's YouTube page asked, "Why do all [people] think Mexico looks like this?"

[PlayStation Blog]

Related posts:
Gameloft's 'UNO and Friends' Coming To iOS, Android and Facebook In April
Firaxis Reveals A 'Haunted Hollow' Coming To iOS This Spring

--

Follow @MTVGeek on Twitter and be sure to "like" us on Facebook for the best geek news about comics, toys, gaming and more!

26 Mar 18:42

Watch: Yeah Yeah Yeahs ‘Sacrilege’

by Hussein Moses

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Yeah Yeah Yeahs will release their fourth album Mosquito on Friday April 12, and today we have the visuals for ‘Sacrilege’, the first single from the album that debuted last month on Zane Lowe’s BBC Radio 1 show. The clip features model Lily Cole and was directed by Megaforce who have previously worked on videos for Tame Impala, Dizzee Rascal, Kid Cudi and more.

27 Mar 21:00

Toys, Toys, Toys: We Want Toys

by [E]Coco Papy

[NSFW pictures after the cut] Children, one of the best things about writing a sex column is the perks. I don’t mean to humblebrag, but I get to write about historical vibrators, squirting, anal and not anal, and sex toys. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.

Sex toys is one of my favorite topics. We here have talk about sex toys often, whether it is me recommending that you give one a try,  the long-term care of your precious pieces, or tapping your creative bubble to make your own (stick with this article, kid, and you might not have to). Sex toys ain’t just recently hopping on into modern culture like Mr. Scalia believes “the gays” (™) did (just kidding, he doesn’t think that. But he does think this!) .Their expanse through history is much deeper than one would ever expect, ranging from upper-paleolithic dildos nearly 30,000 years old, to the “medical treatments” of a little thing called the vibrator . Once a taboo topic, we can thank the good folks of the ’60s and ’70s for bringing out  movements and conversations on sexuality and defying sex beyond pro-creation and “woman” and “man,” to the first inklings of culture becoming savvy of sex toys again. Hop to the ’90s, when adult toy companies, having been sued into making not so great toys, began revamping their materials and reputation of sex toys. Today, most folks if not own a sex toy, can at least talk to you about a sex toy, and whether it’s because you saw that one Sex and The City episode,  or you have strolled through your local toy shop, the sex toy is becoming more of a mainstream “okay,”  which, hell, if society were more okay with masturbation and sexual pleasure, maybe we won’t be so uptight and saying things like Mr. Scalia.

Now, I think everyone should own at least one nice little  toy — and we might be helping you with that, but we will get there in a moment. I’d like to highlight my top favorite toys for girls, boys, or whoever you are because fuck gender binaries! These are the toys that offer a space for both beginners and old-timers, pleasurable objects that are here for your needs.

Vibrator with a clitoral stimulator

Image copyright the Adult Toy Shop

The Rabbit: I swear by the Rabbit brand like some folks swear by certain types of flour. This model is known as the Bending Bubbly Bunny, a nice in-between piece for both those dipping their feet into the pool, and those who have been practicing for a while. I find that these style of rabbits are a bit softer than some of the waterproof models, as well as easier to clean. It also has a champagne vibrator, so you know.

The Rabbit is probably the best known vibrator brand (again, thank Sex in The City for sending hordes of bachelorette parties to your local store). The Rabbit’s whole idea was to modernize the vibrator, and creating a cute, if not incredibly successful clitoral stimulator that looked like bunny ears, as well as a dual action vibe.  The originalRrabbit was known quite literally as “The Original Jack Rabbit,” and  was designed and manufactured by California Exotic Novelties.

Curved vibrator

Image copyright The Adult Toy Shop

G-Spot Action: Remember how some scientist were all like, “There’s no such thing as a G-spot! Science!” Okay, well not only did they need to let Sara Gilbert get on that, we will casually ignore that sort of science for now and recommend  The G-Spot Arouser. This puppy is special, because not only does it curve back to hit the intended G-spot, it has just the tiniest little vibe in the front for clitoral stimulation. This is good for folks out there who have trouble with or aren’t loving penetration, as the shaft is thin and short enough to stimulate near the lower wall of the vagina, yet not “take up” all the room.

So, you know this famed squirting that we talk about a lot here, right? The power to squirt mainly comes from your G-spot. Not too long ago, a study referred to as the “The role of the Grafenberg Spot and female gushing in the female orgasmic response: an empirical analysis” (charming name), published in J Sex Marital Ther 15  (Davidson JK, Darling CA, Conway-Welch, C -Summer 1989) reported that when ladies ejaculate or squirt, there was no evidence of any urological problems, which many folks confuse when they do squirt or when they stimulate the G-spot and it feels like having to go to the bathroom. The study suggested that female ejaculation and coital incontinence are two distinct physiological events, although the similarity is not always distinguishable in a particular individual’s mind, depending on experience with squirting and ejaculation, and that G-spot stimulation is in fact, real.

Sleeve for masturbation that has a female figure embracing it

Image copyright The Adult Toy Shop

But What About The Men: Yes, yes gentlemen, I have not forgotten you, here on this predominantly women’s publication. Welcome into your life the Wrap Around Sleeve, aka, in layman’s terms, the pocket pussy. Personally, I picked this number because the little lady hanging out on top is actually quite nicely paired with the coloring, and dare I say, looks a little bit more like art than pocket pussy? Not that I have any issues with the pocket pussy, only that they are clearly not targeted at me for my masturbation needs, therefore, I get to highlight the one I think is pretty. Anyway, the wrap-around sleeve offers enough pressure and “feel” for the gents out there.

Which brings me to this point: if we as a society are going to be down with the acceptance of vibrators, we should give the masturbation sleeve just as much credence. I can’t tell you how many times I have been in a  sex toy shop and heard someone yammer on about vibrators for half and hour, and then pick up a pocket pussy like it was kryptonite and exclaim “ewwwwwwww.” Yes loves, I know the pocket pussy can look weird because it is a a little silicone vagina, but let’s give the same love and acceptance to male masturbation aides as we do vibes, shall we?

String of blue anal beads

Copyright the Adult Toy Shop

Anal Beads: These baby blue cuties are known as Colored Anal Beads — now available in pink, blue, and purple. I like these because the balls range in size, and if you are new to putting toys in your butt, it’s a great place to start, as opposed to some of the more intimidating butt plugs out there. Thirteen inches and balls that go up in 3/8 sections, it’s my recommended way to begin anal play.

So, my top tips about anal play? 1. Flared base : this shall save in the, let’s call it, awkward recovery department if that trip had to be made.Your ass, you may have noticed, has that involuntary muscle contraction I like to coin as “gulping”, meaning, when your sphincter tightens, it’s easy for something to get swallowed up in there. A flared base will make sure to keep your toy at surface level and save on any awkward conversations. 2. Lube: lots of it. Your anal cavity doesn’t really produce lubrication like a vagina does and the more lube, the less likely you are to experience discomfort, tearing, and bleeding. I swear by water-based lubes for most sex activities, but with your butt, you actually want to work with more silicone-based lubes, since water-based lubes tend to absorb into your body. If you don’t have a silicone-based lube, it just means you will be re-applying your water-based lube often during sex. Final note! Make sure your lubes match up with your toys-and if you aren’t sure, check out this primer.

Female mannequin with a large dildo strapped on.

Image copyright The Adult Shop

Double your pleasure: Last but not least, I’d like to highlight the strap-on. Cast-typed as the sex toy for lesbian couples everywhere, I’d like to suggest that the strap on is actually a pretty universal toy, whether you are in said vagina-based relationship, or if you are into pegging. Yes, pegging, AKA hitting your guy in the ass. The strap-on can be intimidating, but the Betty’s vibrating tends to be on the lighter side of things, for parties of all genders.

Now, here is the fun part. Care to take home one of these lovely little toys? Well aren’t you lucky that you scrolled down to read the entire article.


GIVEAWAY

We are giving away a $25 gift code to The Adult Toy Shop for one lucky reader! All you need to do is follow the directions in the Rafflecopter and you will be entered to win!

Rafflecopter giveaway

25 Mar 12:45

First look at Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag gameplay

by Jordan Devore

This first real look at Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag in motion is, at times, breathtaking. To some extent, that's to be expected given the setting, but wow -- this looks like a world I want to explore.

Although the Assassin's Creed series isn't exactly my cup of tea, sailing ships and swimming in the Caribbean sounds like one heck of a good time. I have to wonder how much Ubisoft will cater to the new audience that is merely in it for the pirate theme. I can't be the only one here.

First look at Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag gameplay screenshot

15 Mar 18:00

You Down Wit’ NPC?!

by Steve Napierski
Justin.matich

how I feel at work ;P

You Down Wit' NPC?!

Steve: Hi, my name is Steve.

Group: Hi, Steve!

Steve: And I used to be an NPC.

I think everyone has to start off as an NPC, before they can learn how to become an adventurer.

source: For Lack of a Better Comic
25 Mar 12:00

BioShock Infinite: Fun Statistics

by Steve Napierski
BioShock Infinite: Fun Statistics

Okay, these are actually some interesting statistics. Six hundred thirty-one miles of code? That’s pretty mind-boggling.

source: Twitter
25 Mar 14:21

22 Facts That Prove Tilda Swinton Is The World’s Most Fascinating Creature

by Nico Lang
Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

1. She is currently sleeping in a box at the MoMa as part of an art installation. She has no scheduled appearance times and she can come and go as she pleases. Called “The Maybe,” MoMA’s press release mentioned there will be “no published schedule for its appearance, no artist’s statement released, no museum statement beyond this brief context, no public profile or image issued. Those who find it chance upon it for themselves, live and in real — shared — time: now we see it, now we don’t.” When I go to sleep, it’s because it’s 9:00 P.M. on a Thursday and I happened to fall asleep to New Girl on the couch while eating hummus.

2. Cracked once described her this way: “What would you get if the exterior of a Star Wars Imperial Star Destroyer mated with Clay Aiken? Tilda Swinton. That’s what.”

3. Tilda Swinton’s house has a view of the Moray Firth in Scottish Highlands. You know what my last apartment had a view of? A gay meth den.

4. Rumors were that Tilda lived with the biological father of her children while she traveled the world with her partner. The father of her children looks like this.

5. The photo on Tilda’s partner’s website is by Mia Wasikowska, the incredibly talented young actress who was in Jane Eyre, The Kids Are All Right and Stoker, currently in theatres. The only person who tags photos of me is my mother, who doesn’t understand why infant photos of me without pants on are inappropriate for social media consumption.

6. As a child, Tilda once planned to kill her brother, but they’re okay now.

7. She went to school with Princess Diana. Obviously.

8. In her hometown, she held a film festival called the “Ballerina Ballroom Cinema of Dreams,” which featured a wide variety of beloved classics and obscure films from across the globe. If you couldn’t afford the ticket price, you could pay admission in cake.

9. Swinton wore a full-length fruit ballgown to the 2001 Cannes Film Festival. And to think, some people just wear pants. Fact: She also looks great in pants.

10. While at Cambridge, she was active in the Communist Party, which would surprise no one. However, she was also a Political Science major and the daughter of a Major-General. Her family is also one of the oldest families in Scotland and a pack of vampires — I mean, probably.

11. She claims that she didn’t speak for five years. This sounds fake, but it’s so real.

12. Quick quiz: If you had to guess which of the two people had a public feud with Quentin Tarantino and which one dated him, who would you pick? Your choices are Kathy Griffin and Tilda Swinton. Hint: Tilda Swinton, surprisingly, didn’t play rumpy pumpy with Tarantino. You’ll now be picturing the answer for the rest of your natural born life.

13. When asked about “acting” during an interview with The Independent, Tilda said: “I have nothing to say about it at all…I don’t know anything about it, and frankly I don’t care.”

14. On Patrick Wolf’s last two proper albums, Swinton was a major presence on many of the avant-garde indie rocker’s songs. But because she’s Tilda Swinton, she didn’t even sing. She spoke. When Tilda Swinton is on your album, it doesn’t even matter what she’s doing. If we ever recorded together, I would be happy to even have her as a featured lip syncher guest mime. Who doesn’t love a good mime solo?

15. Her favorite movies include Let the Right One In, School of Rock and Bruno, because there’s a clear through-line there. Can you picture Tilda Swinton watching Bruno? Me neither. But I’m glad this information exists in the world.

16. Tilda Swinton has mentioned that she feels she’s always playing herself. In her career, she’s performed onscreen as a sweating corporate leech, the angel Gabriel, the White Witch of Narnia, an Italian housewife, a character whose only name is “Social Services” (thanks, Wes Anderson!), another character whose identifier is “blonde” (that’s the Jarmusch talking), a woman who watches men poetically age backward while sipping tea with them, Muriel Belcher, Bill Murray’s ex, Dr. Shrink-Rom, a serial killer’s mother, the creator of a post-apocalyptic lucid dreaming program that helps rich dead people live out their fantasies and a Virginia Woolf character. She’s also going to be the face of Chanel. Does that mean she is Karl Lagerfeld?

17. Also, Tilda’s ex, Bela Tarr, looks a great deal like Bill Murray. Meaning that, if art imitates life (as Swinton has said), Bill Murray might be Tilda’s type.

18. Tilda was raised entirely around men, with her father and three brothers. Because of this, she claims to have been raised as a boy and became a girl when she went off to boarding school. Meaning that she actually is a Virginia Woolf novel.

19. 20 years ago, she claims to have gone into debt funding her own projects.

20. Tilda Swinton was originally supposed to play Bridget Jones in the film Bridget Jones’ Diary. Which would have been a very, very different film.

21. Tilda Swinton recently played David Bowie’s wife in a music video, even though they are the same person. Meaning Tilda married herself. Sounds about right.

22. Despite the account warning people that it’s NOT Tilda Swinton, Swinton’s fake Twitter was sometimes mistaken for the real thing. One of her last tweets from the account was “I’m still waiting for my gills to seal up for my journey home; I thank you for your patience.” Based on previous information, I can see how people might not know the difference. TC mark

You should like Thought Catalog on Facebook here.