Max Bograd

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5 Hot Trends in Indie Gaming That AAA Game Studios Need to Learn

Independent game development has gone from a rare, curious thing in the 1990s to a burgeoning part of the game business in the 2010s. The shining …

One Of Our Most Popular Special Effects Originally Came From Anime

If you've been near a theater in the last few years, you've seen it happen: Somewhere deep in the middle of a bustling city an ill-defined ball of …

Books That Inspired The New Dungeons & Dragons

The fantasy role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons is inevitably (and frequently) linked to J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy <i>The Lord of the Rings.</i> It’s no mystery why: Frodo and his fellowship are the most famous fantasy characters in the world, thanks to a series of massively popular films. But the truth is …

'Super Smash Bros.' and exchange rates help keep Nintendo in profit

Nintendo's slow and arduous journey back to financial prosperity continued today with the release of its latest financial results. The company posted a second consecutive quarterly profit in its financial Q3, which counts sales from September through to December. Revenue was 271 billion yen …

Studio Ghibli Up Close: The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness

Reading Time: 1 minute<p>Studio Ghibli is the Japanese animation studio, founded by Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, behind movies like My Neighbor …

Emma Watson’s UN Makeover

The United Nations makes its latest move to transform the ‘Harry Potter’ alum turned goodwill ambassador into the next Angelina Jolie.<p>The United …

'Attack on Titan' statues devour tourists at Universal Studios Japan

The bumbling, humanoid Titans in hit anime "Attack on Titan" may be the stuff of nightmares -- but stick them in a theme park and they're an instant hit.<p>Statues depicting the grisly monsters, which regularly chase down and devour the human protagonists of Wit Studio's popular series, have been …

Hillary Clinton Has Deep History With Latinos And There's Not A Lot The GOP Can Do About It

A forgotten detail about 2008: Hillary Clinton beat Obama 2–1 among Latinos in their primary and it wasn't all name recognition — but big challenges still lie ahead to maintain huge Latino support for Democrats. One other one: the looming possibility of Jeb Bush.<p>Republicans are keenly aware that …

Microsoft's Fix: Run, Don't Walk, To Windows 10

It’s been way too long but Microsoft has finally gotten around to fixing Windows 8.<p>As spelled out by Microsoft on Wednesday, Windows 10 corrects the company’s clumsy attempt to be all things to all people, i.e., simultaneously a touch and desktop operating environment. In short, Windows 10 promises …

Rapper Tiny Doo facing long prison sentence over lyrics

<b>(CNN) —</b> Song lyrics that glorify violence are hardly uncommon. But a prosecutor in California says one rapper's violent lyrics go beyond creative license to conspiracy.<p>San Diego-based rapper Tiny Doo has already spent eight months in prison, and faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted under a …

Music

“No, it doesn’t work like that!”: Inside the mind of Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

<b>Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (Reuters/Mike Segar)</b><p>Controversial rabbi talks Alan Dershowitz, Palestine — and his much-criticized call for a “Million Muslim March”<p>Elias Isquith<p>January 23, 2015 1:30pm (UTC)<p>After Thursday’s news that both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry would forgo …

Attempting To Understand How On Earth Sony Has Sold 18.5M PS4s

Sony just released its latest set of hard numbers for sales of the PS4, and those looking for signs of a slowdown won’t find it here. After reporting 10 million consoles sold to consumers in August 2014, Sony’s new figures have them selling 18.5 million PS4s. And yes, that’s still sold to …

From Spider-Gwen to “The Multiversity”: The best comics of 2014

The past year has brought breakthroughs in female superheroes, meta-comics, and comics etched on beer bottle labels<p>Mark Peters<p>January 7, 2015 12:24am (UTC)<p>This was a spectacular year for comic books, with strong original series being launched all over the map. If you like comic book characters on …

Graphic Novels

Ubisoft Wants To Know If The Next 'Far Cry' Should Have Cowboys, Vampires Or Dinosaurs

Now that Ubisoft has scored a hat-trick the past three years with Far Cry 3, 4 and Blood Dragon in between them, it’s clear the series is the latest franchise to ascend to unequivocal triple A status. By Ubisoft standards, that means more games, more frequently, and they’re already looking toward …

Did Jon Snow just drop a major Game of Thrones spoiler?

This is a post about <i>Game of Thrones</i> that is inherently a discussion about a spoiler. If the headline didn't give that away for you, this introduction should.<p>You've been warned. Do not read anymore, there is a potential spoiler ahead.<p><b>Spoiler</b><p>io9 points out that Kit Harrington, the actor who plays Jon …

Video games helped ruin Jimmy Fallon's chances with Nicole Kidman

Jimmy Fallon didn't know it at the time, but he had a shot with Nicole Kidman — if only his weak snack game and his love for video games hadn't gotten in the way.<p>Kidman appeared on <i>The Tonight Show</i> last night, but as she and Fallon explained, it wasn't the first time they'd met. Years ago, a mutual …

No quick fixes in a broken system: Mandatory reporting won’t solve our campus rape crisis

<b>(Anton Bielousov / Shutterstock.com)</b><p>When it comes to policy approaches to sexual violence, good intentions aren’t enough. “Solutions” won’t come easy<p>Katie McDonough<p>January 7, 2015 6:47pm (UTC)<p>The Virginia General Assembly doesn’t officially reconvene until next week, but lawmakers have already made …

'The Interview' rakes in $31 million

Weeks after canceling and then un-canceling "The Interview," Sony Pictures is taking a victory lap.<p>The controversial Seth Rogen comedy has been rented or purchased a total of 4.3 million times since its online release on Christmas Eve, Sony (SNE) said Tuesday.<p>The total streaming revenues so far: …

Adorable fan-made mashup delivers twice the Chris Pratt

<b>(CNN) —</b> More Chris Pratt equals even more awesome.<p>The "Guardians of the Galaxy" star appears in an adorable fan "pop culture mashup" You Tube video of two of his projects, "Parks and Recreation" and the upcoming "Jurassic World."<p>Scenes with Pratt's "Parks" character Andy Dwyer are spliced into the …

Why are Republicans so obsessed with their Keystone pipe dream? For 35 jobs?

The 114th Congress is officially underway, and in a move that speaks volumes about the Republican leadership’s agenda, the first order of business in the House and Senate is rubber-stamping the Keystone XL pipeline. The GOP is doing a big favor for Canadian oil interests by trampling the …

Climate

TV networks swing the ax

View this list of TV shows to see which ones have gotten the ax.

First trailer shows Ant-Man has a big hill to climb

Ant-Man,Film,Culture,Paul Rudd,Edgar Wright,Joe Cornish,Comedy,Marvel,Superhero movies,Science fiction and fantasy,US news,Comedy,World news<p>After all the negative buzz surrounding director Edgar Wright’s exit, the diminutive superhero played by Paul Rudd needs more prerelease muscle than this weedy …

Another crisis for McDonald's Japan after plastic found in McNuggets

McDonald's Japan is facing yet another food safety scandal after two customers found pieces of plastic in their Chicken McNuggets.<p>The first discovery, made on Saturday, spurred McDonald's Japan to pull all 956,925 nuggets made by a Cargill unit in Thailand on the same day, in the same …

Why hasn't Japan banned child-porn comics?

<b>Japan's comics and cartoons - known as manga and anime - are a huge cultural industry and famous around the world. But some are shocking, featuring children in sexually explicit scenarios. Why has Japan decided against banning this material?</b><p>It's a Sunday afternoon in Tokyo and Sunshine Creation is …

Manga

GOP’s coming horror show: Why new Congress may be even worse than you think

<b>(Reuters/AP/Jonathan Ernst/Chris Usher/Kevin Lamarque)</b><p>Get the popcorn ready. GOP House on GOP Senate action — and why the establishment is <i>really</i> so worried<p>Heather Digby Parton<p>January 7, 2015 11:58am (UTC)<p>If there is one thing on which I wish I'd laid a bet over the past few years it's that despite …

'Dragon Ball Xenoverse' Trailer Exceeds Its Power Level

One of the more problematic gaming tie-ins in Japan is often that of Akira Toriyama’s wildly popular Dragon Ball series. This is mainly because the protagonists display huge feats of combat potency and replicating that within the fixed ruleset of a game is by no means easy.<p>This hasn’t stopped …

North Korea's Nukes Are Scarier Than Its Hacks

While the world’s attention focuses on North Korea’s cyberwar with Sony, the Hermit Kingdom is rapidly increasing its stockpile of nuclear weapons …

Why American Jews Eat Chinese Food on Christmas

A lack of dining options may have started Jewish Christmas, but now it's a full-fledged ritual.<p>If there’s a single identifiable moment when Jewish Christmas—the annual American tradition where Jews overindulge on Chinese food on December 25—transitioned from kitsch into codified custom, it was …

Sony will release 'The Interview' at limited number of theaters on Christmas

<b>Wednesday morning update:</b> our newest story about "The Interview" release is over here.<p><b>Original Tuesday story:</b>"The Interview" is not over, after all.<p>Despite threats from hackers, Sony (SNE) Pictures is making the controversial Seth Rogen comedy available at a limited number of theaters starting on …

Go away, Bill Kristol: Face of privilege spouts confusing mess on race in America

<b>Bill Kristol (AP/Janet Van Ham)</b><p>Polls show Americans think racial problems are worse since 2008, but that’s because they’re reckoning with reality<p>Joan Walsh<p>December 23, 2014 6:44pm (UTC)<p>There are few ideas more specious than the notion that the election of President Obama marked the transition to a …