PEGI rating board explains why it didn’t flag NBA 2K20 as gambling

It is no surprise that neither of the two big ratings agencies — North America’s ESRB and Europe’s PEGI — flagged NBA 2K20 for gambling, simulated or otherwise. PEGI nonetheless explained its reasoning to someone who complained.

The tl;dr is that PEGI says its gambling content descriptor doesn’t apply because the mini-games involved in NBA 2K’s MyTeam mode — whose promotional trailer on Monday was chock-a-block full of wheel spins and slot machines — don’t actually “encourage and/or teach the use of games of chance that are played/carried out as a traditional means of gambling.”

The reply from PEGI to the writer (Eurogamer confirmed with PEGI the reply is legitimate) goes into greater detail, and acknowledges that the agency had “seen the announcement trailer of NBA 2K20 and noticed the controversy it has caused.” However, the board’s representative noted that “the controversial imagery played a central role in the trailer, but it may not necessarily do so in the game, which has not yet been released.”

PEGI is correct that this isn’t gambling, per se, in that nothing is really wagered in the slot machine, wheel of fortune and pachinko mini-games, and whatever is won has value only as game content. These are basically drawn-out reveals of a dice-roll reward; the wheel/slot spins and ball drops are earned through gameplay and can’t be bought, so nothing is really “wagered.” PEGI’s only relevant content descriptor is “gambling,” and games with it are rated PEGI 12 or higher.

But for the ESRB, these mini-games aren’t even “simulated gambling.” In its rating summary for NBA 2K20, the game’s only content descriptor is “mild language,” as apparently the words “hell” and “damn” are in some dialogue (or the lyrics of a song). The ESRB could have, but didn’t, apply one of two descriptors for these minigames: Real Gambling and Simulated Gambling. Real means “Player can gamble, including betting or wagering real cash or currency.” Simulated is “Player can gamble without betting or wagering real cash or currency.”

While the ESRB is an independent unit, it’s also an industry creation (set up by the Entertainment Software Association 25 years ago next month, in fact). And the industry’s position, per the ESA, is that these kinds of card packs and mini-games in sports video games’ card collection modes, and loot boxes in other games, are not gambling because nothing of value is wagered and the rewards can’t (or aren’t supposed to) be exchanged for money. So when the industry here says these things are not gambling, the industry’s ratings board agrees that they’re not even simulated gambling.

It would be remarkable if the ESRB rated games more strictly against its parent organization’s position. But I’ve reached out anyway to see if someone has further explanation for how the board views NBA 2K20 whose video makes a rather blunt presentation of casino-style gaming. The other thing to consider is that NBA 2K is hardly the only sports series with randomized rewards tied to a specialized mode. So if the ESRB or anyone flagged NBA 2K20 for “simulated gambling,” Take-Two Interactive would not only fight it, it’d expect the same label to go on EA Sports’ games, and possibly MLB The Show and Pro Evolution Soccer for good measure. That’s four big publishers and a big can of worms to open over one trailer.

PEGI says as much: “We are very aware that it may get too close for comfort for some people, and that is part of an internal discussion that PEGI is having for the moment,” they wrote. “The games industry is evolving constantly (and rapidly in recent years). As a rating organization, we need to ensure that these developments are reflected in our classification criteria. We do not base our decisions on the content of a single trailer, but we will properly assess how the rating system (and the video games industry in general) should address these concerns.”

Interestingly enough, the trailer posted by 2K Games’ United Kingdom YouTube account has since been taken down. It’s still live on the main NBA 2K YouTube channel.

NBA 2K20 launches Friday, Sept. 6 on PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.


Mario Maker Contest: Pipes,Pipes And More Pipes

Mario loves pipes. He travels in them, jumps on them and leaps over them. As a plumber, pipes and Mario are forever linked together. So let’s celebrate Mario and his wonderful pipes.

Your Challenge This Week: Create levels that feature pipes!

Theme: Pipes

You can use any theme and game, just make sure your course has pipes in it. At least two pipes. But preferably more! They can be decoration, transportation or a combination of both. Try building artwork out pipes or entire stages. Whatever sounds good to you!

Next week I’ll pick some of my favorite courses and a winner.

How To Submit A Level — Instructions

1. Build a new course based on the challenge.

2. Name the level and please add “Kotaku AND / OR the theme this week into the name of the level. Once that’s done, upload it in Super Mario Maker 2 for the Nintendo Switch.

3. Then post the course ID into the comments, along with the name of the level and any other info you want to include. PLEASE include the name of the course in the comments.


Rewatch the Most Popular YouTube Videos From Exactly a Decade Ago Using This Site

Image: AFP / Staff (Getty)

I’m a sucker for those “On This Day” reminders from social media sites. Without fail, I’m delighted when Facebook resurfaces a picture I posted a decade ago of friends, and I like it when Instagram reminds me of a picture I posted a few years prior.

That said, I was also pretty excited to discover YouTube Decade this week, a site that resurfaces the most viewed videos exactly 10 years ago today.

On August 31, 2009, for instance, people were really interested in a video on how to tell if silver is real posted by Pawn Stars and were rocking out to Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina’s jam ‘Stereo Love’ which I’m fairly confident I had never heard until this morning when I was researching this post.

Videos are broken down by category on the site, and only the top video is shown for each category. Options include Music, Comedy, Entertainment, News & Politics, Sports, Gaming, and Pets & Animals.

Screenshot: YouTube Decade

If you hate today’s selections you an also move back in time to look at what was popular 10 years and some change ago. You can’t; however, move forward in time and look at what was popular 10 years ago tomorrow or next week. Spoiler proof!


Warframe’s Latest Update Adds Playable Guitars

Sometimes space ninjas want to take a break from shooting and killing. Instead, they want to create sweet music. The latest Warframe update gives players that ability, adding a fully playable guitar-like instrument into the game.

These new instruments are called Shawzin and they were added in the latest update that just hit PC this weekend. They appeared previously in the game as background items, but are now fully playable via an emote ability. Once purchased and equipped, players can start jamming almost anywhere in the game. Other players can hear your songs, or if you aren’t very good, they can be annoyed by your attempts to play music.

Already the Warframe community has embraced the new guitars and many players have released videos showcasing them playing popular songs, including Despactio and Through The Fire And The Flames.

The in-game controls for the instrument are more impressive than you might think, even allowing players to change scales or activate a metronome.

One crafty player has actually created a real-life guitar-shaped controller they can use to play the Shawzin in-game.

Players can also record songs and share song codes, which lets other players actually play though the custom song complete with Guitar Hero-like notes and scoring. So yes, this is basically becoming Guitar Hero in space.

Warframe has quietly become one of the most popular online games on the planet, thanks in large part to how often the game is updated with new features, modes, weapons, suits, and missions. The community is also active, often happily welcoming new features or items. Like filling their entire ships with robot vacuum cleaners after one was added into the game earlier this year.

Currently, the update and the sweet new guitar are only available on the PC version of the game.


Back To The Future With Only Half-Life Sound Effects Is Wonderful

The sound effects from the original Half-Life are burned into my brain after playing the game nearly every year since it came out back in 1998. So hearing these iconic sounds and voices inserted into famous scenes from classic 80s films creates a weird mix of nostalgia and humor. And surprisingly this mash-up actually works.

YouTuber TheMostUpset first uploaded a scene from Back To The Future featuring Half-Life sound effects, music, and voices a week ago.

It is impressive how TheMostUpset is able to use the somewhat limited sound effect and voice library from Half-Life to perfectly work with this famous scene. Well, except for the dog. Half-Life doesn’t have any dogs barking in it, so instead he uses a Houndeye chirp.

Another famous scene that was dubbed using Half-Life sound effects is the action-packed police station sequence from Terminator. A nice detail is how TheMostUpset adds the loud and shuffling footstep sound effect to characters as they move around. They sync up so well that I almost didn’t notice it.

TheMostUpset has since moved away from adding Half-Life sounds to only classic films and is starting to add the sounds to viral videos and more modern movies. These still work wonderfully, but I do prefer the classic films getting the Half-Life treatment. Something about The Terminator talking in the robotic announcement voice from Black Mesa just feels right.


Sudowoodo Is Loved By Millions Of Old People

Every Pokemon is interesting and worth talking about. I don’t play a ton of Pokemon, but I do enjoy the universe and I love learning more about the creatures in it. So, Here’s Another Pokemon! It’s Sudowoodo!

Sudowoodo Details

Type: Rock

Average Height: 3‘ 11″

Average Weight: 83.8 lbs.

First Added In Generation II

Sudowoodo is just a fun name to say. Some Pokemon names leave me confused or annoyed. They are hard to spell, feel weird to pronounce and aren’t fun to say. But Sudowoodo is easy to spell, feels wonderful to say and sounds funny. It is like a perfect name. Yet weirdly this Pokemon, which looks a LOT like a tree, is actually a rock-type Pokemon.

When I first saw Sudowoodo’s type on Bulbapedia I was confused. Was it a mistake? Was this the wrong image? Did my browser screw something up? But Googling around it became clear that no, this was, in fact, a Pokemon that looked like a tree but was a giant living rock. What a world! Now that I know this creature isn’t a tree Pokemon, but a rook type, the name makes a lot of sense! Sudowoodo…Pseudo Wood. Very clever.

According to Bulbapedia, Sudowoodo (Which is fun to type too.) disguises itself as a tree and hides amongst real trees. And this actually works, until wintertime. When the snow starts falling and trees start changing colors and losing leaves, Sudowoodo is exposed because its fake leave remains green all year. Maybe it should try hiding with some Evergreens?

According to Pokedex entries, Sudowoodo has a large fanbase of elderly folks. In fact, this fanbase is so large and active that they actually have an entire magazine devoted to the creature. They obsess mostly over its arms. Specifically the angle and length of them.

“Oh Jerry, look at the Sudowoodo. That is easily a 50incher on the right side of it and a 60incher on the left side. Wow!”

Favorite Fan Art

It should come as no surprise that a lot of people have drawn Sudowoodo as Groot, from Marvel. Some things are just too obvious and good to ignore.

Random Facts

  • Sudowoodo is very weak to water and as a result, is afraid of rain. Whenever it rains, Sudowoodo runs in fear and hides. Someone give Sudowoodo an umbrella.
  • Because it holds its arms up for long periods of time, pretending to be a tree, it has very strong limbs.
  • Some folks collect this Pokemon. They value the Sudowoodo who have larger green balls. Don’t we all.

Best Comment From Last Week

Those people who experimented with poop, are also the people who discovered that you can milk a cow.


The world needs people who are willing to do dumb and gross things. These people help us discover new foods, medicines, and materials. Sadly, I can’t imagine these discoverers have a long life expectancy.


The best movies of the summer

The summer is over. Let’s not get technical with the astronomical autumn start date of Sept. 23 — as soon as the first chill set in, the breezy beach days and poolside weekends were out the door. The fall is upon us, and all we can do now is look back at all the movies we missed because we really wanted to know what Marvel added to that Avengers: Endgame re-release.

Speaking of Endgame, the biggest movie of all time (without inflation) is not, by our May-through-August standards, a summer movie. The movie is a hell of a thing and a bottomless well of post-viewing entertainment, but you won’t find it on the list. Disney thought it had it all, but Endgame won’t qualify for our best of summer list, so in the end, the movie was a failure.

With the blockbuster to end all blockbusters out of the way, the season’s movies, big and small, are finally unobscured. Here are the ones we recommend catching up with as you drink your tea, pull on your sweater, carve a pumpkin, and, uh, rake leaves maybe …

shadow: a man in a flowing white robe twirls a deadly black umbrella in the underground caven under a palace Well Go USA

Shadow (May 3)

Wuxia master Zhang Yimou (Hero) is known for capturing color, from the crimson wash of Raise the Red Lantern to the eye-popping landscapes of House of Flying Daggers. In Shadow, a reminder that not even a bloated-but-gorgeous Hollywood effort like The Great Wall can keep him down, Zhang dials back the gradient to black and white, and the result is a politically tinged martial arts epic as mesmerizing and complicated as a Rorschach. After condensing the entire run of Game of Thrones into the first hour, Zhang goes on to stage blade-wielding combat and royal court clashes on par with his early work. Devoted fans will know what to expect, but unsuspecting newcomers may melt over the sheer vision on display in this contrast-heavy return to form. —Matt Patches

Rent on Amazon

Charlize Theron as Charlotte Field, the U.S. Secretary of State, and Seth Rogen as Fred Flarsky, throw up their hands and smile Philippe Bosse/Lionsgate

Long Shot (May 3)

A movie about Charlize Theron falling for Seth Rogen could have easily fallen into the “hot lady falls for scrubby dude” trope we see over and over. But Long Shot showcases some of the best romantic chemistry of the year. The relationship between the two leads feels real, and sizzles from the very first moment they interact. Out-of-work journalist Fred Flarsky (Rogen) reconnects with his high school babysitter Charlotte Field (Theron), who incidentally is now the U.S. Secretary of State. Looking for a speechwriter to make her more relatable, Charlotte hires Fred. Their relationship evolves from aspiring presidential candidate and speechwriter, to friends with real emotional connection, to something with hints of attraction. By the time they share that first shaky kiss, it’s absolutely electric. Add the intrigue of a secret relationship, political turmoil, and a dash of crude humor, and you get the oddly heartfelt, romantic, and sexy comedy that is Long Shot. Petrana Radulovic

Rent on Amazon

detective pikachu and his pals fall back on the ground in shock after a bunch of pokemon explode out of the ground Warner Bros. Pictures

Detective Pikachu (May 17)

Detective Pikachu brings Pokémon to life like never before. Every shot of the movie oozes with the loveable pocket monsters, showing off a world where they seamlessly live alongside humans. It knows just what it is about Pokémon that has made the game franchise endure for 20 years: Pokémon are cute, Pokémon are our friends, and everyone has at least one Pokémon they will go absolutely apeshit over. The directors made it a point to integrate Pokémon from every generation — from the classic Kanto region to Hawaii-inspired Alola — to make it clear that this movie is for all Pokémon fans, no matter which game they picked up first. The plot is pretty straightforward, with a twist we saw from a million miles away, but it’s unapologetically a kids movie first and foremost, and wears that title proudly. So relax, sit back, and let childlike whimsy take you straight into the Pokémon world. —PR

Rent on Amazon

Honor Swinton Byrne’s Julie sits across from her schlubby boyfriend Anthony during a tea at a fancy restaurant in The Souvenir Agatha A. Nitecka/Sundance Institute

The Souvenir (May 17)

The new film from Joanna Hogg (Exhibition) is a barn-burner of intimate proportions. Honor Swinton Byrne — the daughter of Tilda Swinton, and proof that on-screen grace is genetic — stars as Julie, an emerging film student who falls hard for the older Anthony, an upper-crust wannabe with dangerous amounts of charm. The romance between the two is real, and so is the damage; between toxic behavior and a taste for illicit substances, Anthony erodes Julie. Hogg’s journey becomes one of lust, identity, and survival, and the painterly frames bring dimension to a relationship that, in similar stories, has been overwrought. Martin Scorsese is an executive producer on The Souvenir, a stamp of approval for any skeptics worried the film get too far under their skin (which, it will, but c’mon, get serious!).—MP

Rent on Amazon

Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever hang off a pole in the middle of the road in Booksmart. United Artists Releasing

Booksmart (May 24)

Olivia Wilde’s feature directorial debut, Booksmart, deserves its comparisons to the seminal coming-of-age film Superbad, but manages to transcend them, too. After spending almost all of high school hitting the books and avowing partying, two friends (Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever) embark upon a quest to spend their last night of school doing everything they missed out on. Feldstein and Dever are perfectly matched (and believable as teenagers, as is the whole cast around them), and the film manages a perfect balance between humor and tenderness as these teenagers try to process the emotions that go hand in hand with growing up and moving onto a new phase in life. —Karen Han

Rent on Amazon

John (Egerton) in the middle of composition in Rocketman. Paramount Pictures

Rocketman (May 31)

There’s no need for Rocketman to be as good as it is. The Elton John biopic, with Kingsman star Taron Egerton playing the music legend, could have tried to coast on familiarity with John’s music, but instead focuses on crafting a story that, in the words of director Dexter Fletcher, “could have been about anybody.” Beginning with John entering into rehab before flinging us back into the singer’s adolescence and rise to fame, the film doesn’t rely on John’s music to win its audience over; rather, the singer’s tunes are the cherry on top of the cake, helping to propel the story along and showcase a remarkable performance from Egerton. —KH

Rent on Amazon

Jimmie Fails and Jonathan Majors walk down the street carrying a skateboard in The Last Black Man In San Francisco Peter Prato/A24

The Last Black Man in San Francisco (June 7)

One of the tenderest films of the year is Joe Talbot’s The Last Black Man in San Francisco, which is equal parts biography and love story. Jimmie Fails plays a version of himself in a tale based on his own life and obsession with his old family house. Jonathan Majors, as Jimmie’s best friend Monty, delivers an Oscar-worthy performance, capturing the character’s idiosyncrasies and the sometimes-whimsical tone of the film without ever pushing things into the territory of caricature. The film also touches upon the issue of gentrification and inherited trauma, wrapping it all up in the push and pull between Jimmie and Monty as it becomes clear that some things just can’t last. —KH

Rent on Amazon

Woody (Tom Hanks) and Forky (Tony Hale) on the road in the middle of the night. Disney

Toy Story 4 (June 21)

It’s become a Pixar tradition by now to focus each new movie around some sort of existential crisis, and the one at the center of Toy Story 4 is one for the ages. After being created by Bonnie at school, the newly sentient Forky (Tony Hale) repeatedly attempts to throw himself back into the trash from whence he came because he doesn’t understand why he’s alive. It’s a question that Woody (Tom Hanks) is forced to reckon with, too, as he keeps Forky from essentially committing suicide and tries to come to terms with his waning popularity with Bonnie. Things are complicated when he comes across his old flame Bo Peep (Annie Potts), who has spent the last several years living in the wilderness. It’s a joy to revisit these characters, and even more so to discover that the franchise hasn’t yet lost its edge. —KH

Currently in theaters

the leads of midsommar come upon a prismatic field of flowers and a group dancing around a maypole A24

Midsommar (July 5)

There’s a lushness to Midsommar, Ari Aster’s follow-up to Hereditary, that makes it just as wondrous as it is horrifying — not that the two are mutually exclusive. Florence Pugh’s performance as Dani, a grieving young woman whose trip with her neglectful boyfriend (Jack Reynor) and his louche friends does nothing to ease her pain, has all the force of a hurricane, especially as Midsommar ramps up in intensity. The Hårga community that they’ve chosen to visit are conducting a midsummer ritual, but all is not as it appears to be, and watching the characters’ emotional truths come bare under the pressure of the unfolding events is one of the greatest pleasures of the summer. —KH

Director’s Cut currently in theaters

Tom Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal shake hands as Spider-Man and Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home Jay Maidment/Sony Pictures

Spider-Man: Far from Home (July 5)

The latest Spider-Man movie may be the last we see of him in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but more importantly, it’s the epitome of the summer blockbuster. It’s got action, it’s got romance, it’s got charming performances all around, and it’s just low-/high-stakes enough to be fun the whole way through. Tom Holland’s future as Spider-Man may be unknown at this point in time, but if there’s anything that’s certain, it’s that he’s a joy to watch as the webslinger, especially as he tries to navigate his crush on MJ (Zendaya) and his duties as a superhero at the same time. It’s a high school movie, it’s a superhero movie, it’s a rom-com, it’s a coming-of-age movie — and it’s perfect. —KH

Currently in theaters

Casey (Jesse Eisenberg) stands toe to toe with a female student at the dojo in The Art of Self-Defense Bleeker Street

The Art of Self-Defense (July 12)

The latest from Riley Stearns (Faults) dunks hard on the American hypermasculinity complex with a devilish tonal attack that lands somewhere between Wet Hot American Summer and Fight Club. Jesse Eisenberg stars as Casey, a mild-mannered office drone who floats through life with a sweet little pup by his side. But after a gang attacks him on the street, Casey recoils into a state of paranoia over his manhood, and starts life anew in a local dojo that promises lethal training, drill-sergeant discipline, and a complete lifestyle makeover. Stearns plays Eisenberg’s fish-out-of-water entry into the extracurricular for laughs, but the chauvinism on display in the martial arts microcosm gives The Art of Self-Defense greater, urgent meaning. —MP

Currently in theaters

The gathered family in The Farewell. A24

The Farewell (July 12)

There’s not a single element of Lulu Wang’s The Farewell that rings false or out of place. It’s a remarkable feat, even more so when one considers that the story being told is one ripped directly from Wang’s own life. When her grandmother is diagnosed with terminal cancer, Billie (Awkwafina) is shocked to discover that the entire rest of the family has decided to keep the diagnosis a secret, gathering in China under the pretense of a wedding rather than telling her that she’s fallen ill. Wang gracefully addresses the question of whether or not it’s the right decision, as well as the divides between being Asian, American, and Asian-American. —KH

Currently in theaters

Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) listens to Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) tell a story as the two sit at a bar in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Andrew Cooper/Sony Pictures

Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood (July 26)

As expected, the latest film from Quentin Tarantino has stirred up a fair amount of controversy, but no matter what side of the argument you land on — whether it’s the argument about Sharon Tate, Bruce Lee, or Tarantino’s work in general — it’s hard to deny that Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood is a major work. Starring arguably the last two male movie stars, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, the film is a love letter to ’60s Hollywood, and surprisingly tender as far as Tarantino movies go. His love for the time — and for movies as a whole — is palpable throughout the tale of a washed-up actor trying to make a go of it in an industry that is passing him by. —KH

Currently in theaters

Surrounded by hospital staff, Fiennes (Jeff Goldblum) poses with an icepick held above a patient’s eye. Kino Lorber

The Mountain (July 26)

Fans of The Master and a certain strain of stoic cinema must seek out the latest film from Rick Alverson, which shifts gears from the hyper-irony of The Comedy and Entertainment to a historical rebuke with a more traditional structure. Jeff Goldblum stars in The Mountain as Dr. Wallace Fiennes, who, like his real-life inspiration Walter Freeman, travels from mental hospital to mental hospital “fixing” patients with lobotomies. After the death of his father, Andy (Tye Sheridan), whose own mother was institutionalized and lobotomized, joins Dr. Fiennes on his trip, a path full of devastating concessions to the romantic notion of “perfection.” Told in muted images straight out of the ’50s time period, Alverson dissects the American dream using two high-caliber actors as his surgical instruments. —MP

Currently in select theaters

a young evangelical girl prepares for her first snake handling ritual 1091 Media

Them That Follow (Aug. 2)

Set deep in Appalachia, Them That Follow revolves around a tiny sect of Evangelicals who practice snake handling: the belief that God will protect the righteous from harm by picking up venomous snakes during worship. The plot, following a preacher’s daughter who was impregnated by an excommunicated church member, is delightfully melodramatic, if a bit predictable — is there’s such a thing as Chekov’s snake? But Them That Follow is worth a watch for the stellar performances alone. Walton Goggins is equally magnetic and chilling as pastor Lemuel Childs. Jim Gaffigan gets to show off his dramatic acting chops. And Olivia Colman is just a perfect human being. I’m excited to see what writer-director team Britt Poulton and Dan Madison Savage do next, especially if they continue casting beloved character actors. —Emily Heller

Currently in select theaters

Grace (Samara Weaving) looks up a ladder, holding the first rung with her bloody hand in a shot from Ready or Not Eric Zachanowich/Fox Searchlight

Ready or Not (Aug. 21)

Like Cabin in the Woods meets Succession, horror-comedy Ready or Not is not subtle in its messaging: The 1% are cruel, selfish, and completely out of touch with reality. Protagonist Grace (in a star-making performance from Australian actress Samara Weaving) marries into an old-money empire, one that’s like if the Rockefellers made creepy board games. She soon discovers that this family practices some weird rituals that sometimes involve hunting down a bride on her wedding night. What follows is a deadly game of hide and seek ending in an explosive climax as Grace tries to escape her in-laws’ creepy old estate. (Special shout-out to Andie MacDowell, who seems like she’s having the time of her life as the catty, boozy matriarch.) While “rich people suck” isn’t an especially hot take in the year of our lord 2019, Ready or Not is, above all else, just a fun time at the movies. —EH

Currently in theaters


Reggie’s gonna teach in the Ivy League!

What’s Reggie Fils-Aimé doing now, six months after stepping down from Nintendo of America’s top job? He’s headed back to Ithaca, N.Y., where he’ll be teaching at Cornell University’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. Funny thing about that, Reg, my uncle teaches in the same school, too.

Fils-Aimé announced the news via Twitter on Friday. A 1983 Cornell graduate, he is returning to campus as Dyson’s inaugural Leader in Residence, and will give his first lecture in October. The Leader in Residence serves the school’s Leadership Program for students, which seeks to foster critical thinking, behaviors and skills expected of top business leaders.

His first lecture “will share principles for you to master so you can cultivate your own leadership capability,” says the syllabus. “The principles are applicable to any situation, including now while you are a student or in your future endeavors.”

We’re betting there are more than a few Nintendo fans among Cornell’s classes of business student. Let’s not forget that, before Nintendo, Fils-Aimé had tours of duty with Pizza Hut (Bigfoot!), the folks who make Guinness beer, and VH1, products and services also widely in favor with undergraduates.

Fils-Aimé joined Nintendo in December 2003, and was the president and chief executive of Nintendo of America from 2006 until this year. He was the western face of the console maker for more than a decade, and a video gaming fan favorite for the wholesome, upbeat demeanor, self deprecation and positivity that marked his E3 showcases and Nintendo Direct appearances.


Please Don’t Kill My Emoji Family!

Hello! This week we explore The Oldest House, yell about Fortnite, watch a weird wrestling match, listen to Claptrap, call Lovecraft a stupid child and kill our emoji family.

Great Kotaku Content From The Past Week

Like most weeks, Kotaku was filled with some great stories. Here are a few of my favorites!

Control is quickly becoming my favorite game of the year and I can’t wait to stop working and go back to playing it.

The past week or so has been filled with some very brave people coming forward with terrible stories of pain and abuse. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a bigger push to remove these abusive assholes from gaming.

I wonder what kind of update would make the community happy? What would be the thing Epic could do that would have fans cheering and crying tears of joy?

SonicFox is the best and I hope he keeps kicking ass in fighting games.


Killing children is terrible, but even worse is making their parents watch. You sick bastards, Google.

Jack Kirby was the best and honestly, I love the idea of anyone calling HP Lovecraft a stupid child. The dude was racist and sucked.

“Super Smash Bros night was a mistake.” – Vince McMahon


Trailers And Videos You May Have Missed

What basketball games really needed was slot machines.

Hey look, Borderlands is sort of on the Switch now.

Every time I see this game I want to just drop everything and play it. But with so many other games in my life that updating every month, I really can’t handle another live game.


Everything you need to know about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Walt Disney World

A second version of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is finally open at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios. After years of waiting, guests are streaming into the 14-acre land in Orlando, Florida for the first time. Luckily, we’ve already put its West Coast clone at Disneyland through its paces. Here’s our guide to everything you need to know before you land “on planet” to visit the world of Batuu.

The door to Oga’s Cantina at Galaxy’s Edge in Anaheim, California on opening day in 2019.

Black Spire Outpost

The planet of Batuu is home to the Black Spire Outpost, a seedy little spaceport on the edge of the known galaxy. The land is roughly divided into three parts, one controlled by the Resistance, another by the First Order, and a more cosmopolitan space in between. Themed shopping and dining opportunities are available in all three.

Be sure to dress accordingly. That means protecting yourself from the sun, but also knowing that you can’t wear a costume if you’re aged 14 years or older — not even the ones you can buy in the park.

Access to the land is expected to be available to any Disney World guests with tickets to Hollywood Studios. However, anticipate a kind of virtual queuing system to be put in place. Your best bet is to download the My Disney Experience mobile app. With that same tool you can also manage your FastPass+ rides, character experiences, and meals throughout your trip.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge - Millennium Falcon

Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run

Job one during your visit will be to hitch a ride on the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon. Don’t rush. In our experience the wait times have hovered around 60 minutes at Disneyland, and the extra capacity expected at Galaxy’s Edge in Orlando should help mitigate the wait. The in-line experience itself is worth the wait, including detailed props and a recreation of the iconic lounge area inside the ship itself.

Be sure to download and install the Play Disney Parks app ahead of time, since there’s an extensive quest that you can only complete while waiting in line. You can also earn points based on your performance on the ride itself that can increase your rank with the various factions around Batuu.

Inside Oga’s Cantina in Anaheim, California the back of the bar looks straight out of Mos Eisley, including tureens that look like the heads of IG-series droids — just like in the original movie.

Oga’s Cantina

Getting the opportunity to visit the cantina at Galaxy’s Edge may actually be a bit more dicey than riding Han Solo’s ship. We recommend keeping tabs on the Play Disney Parks app and watching the wait times for Oga’s Cantina like a hawk. There may also be opportunities to grab a FastPass+ for certain times of the day, including breakfast, which includes small portion meals and alcoholic drinks.

Spit-roasted ronto at Galaxy’s Edge in Anaheim, California on opening day in 2019. Galaxy’s Edge

Food and drink

Eating and drinking at Galaxy’s Edge is an adventure in and of itself, and includes just as much theming as other areas of the park. Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo is the place to go with a family, since it offers sit-down dining and a decent selection of food for the entire crew. For smaller groups on the go, hit up Ronto Roasters for a wrap. There’s also the Milk Stand, offering “imported” blue Bantha milk from Tatooine and green Thala-Siren milk from Ach-To. Don’t be surprised if it doesn’t quite taste the way you expect it to.

App-based food and beverage ordering was recently added to the My Disney Experience Mobile App, so use that system to your advantage to maximize your downtime waiting in lines or moving between attractions.

A view of the marketplace at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge on opening day in Anaheim, California. Moroccan-inspired lighting hangs overhead, mixed with technical baubles from the Star Wars universe.


The epicenter for shopping at Galaxy’s Edge is in the Marketplace. That’s where you’ll find open air stalls like the Toydarian Toymaker selling children’s toys and games, Jewels of Bith selling mugs and pins, and even the Creature Stall where you can purchase your own Kowakian Monkey-Lizard puppet. There are also themed shops and stalls in the Resistance and First Order areas of the park.

The main attraction, however, is Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities. Part museum, part high-end retailer, the shop is still worth a visit, even if you’re not looking to spend hundreds on screen-accurate lightsaber replicas. Check our our complete guide to Dok-Ondar’s for exhaustive details about the bits of lore hanging on the walls.

Chris Plante vamps with his new lightsaber inside the lounge of the Millennium Falcon during a special press preview of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Anaheim, California in 2019.

Savi’s Workshop

Speaking of lightsabers, we’ve already visited Savi’s Workshop and built our own. The small-group experience only manages to serve a few dozen guests every hour, so if you can grab a FastPass+ ahead of time you can save yourself a lot of trouble.

However, know that Savi likes to keep a low profile. Many park maps don’t even show where his workshop is located. Take our advice and start asking any cast members you can find where to get the best “junk” and they might be able to tip you off on where to find him.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge - building an R2 droid

Droid Depot

Another unique retail experience is called the Droid Depot. That’s where you can build your own custom R-series or B-series droids. The $99 units interact with the park itself, reacting to the different areas that you visit. So pick up a backpack and strap on your new little buddy so he can participate in the adventure all day.

Purple lights reflect from a TIE Echelon during a special press preview of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land in 2019.

Live shows

Speaking of participation, know that every single Disney cast member that you meet will have their own unique backstory related to Batuu. Spend your time in line chatting them up about their sympathies toward the Resistance or the First Order.

There aren’t any traditional character meet-and-greets inside Galaxy’s Edge, so don’t expect to spend time in line waiting to get your picture taken with Rey. Instead, look for characters like super spy Vi Moradi, Chewbacca, and Kylo Ren wandering the park and interacting with guests along the way. It’s all part of a canonical story set in the larger Star Wars Universe.

Be sure to check with the cast to learn when the twice daily shows — which include special effects like blaster fire and pyrotechnics — will be happening around the park. Expect to find them on stage in front of the TIE Echelon spaceship parked in the First Order area, and on top of the speeder garage.

an interior shot of Rise of the Resistance, which features an army of stormtroopers in a vast spaceship-like space
The first image, a photograph, released from inside Rise of the Resistance at Galaxy’s Edge in Orlando.
Photo: Joshua Sudock/Disney Parks

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Last, and definitely not least, know that the biggest attraction at Galaxy’s Edge hasn’t even opened yet. It’s called Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, and it’s reportedly more ambitious than any amusement park ride that’s ever come before.

Rise of the Resistance enlists guests as recruits fighting against the First Order. The journey begins when they board a transport shuttle in the wooded area of the land, similar to the one seen carrying General Leia Organa into the Battle on Takodana in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. As the ride progresses, the First Order captures guests and brings them aboard a Star Destroyer. At that point, they’re treated to a space battle raging outside a large hangar bay, complete with at least one life-sized TIE fighter in the foreground. But it doesn’t stop there. It’s reportedly four different rides in one, and by far one of the longest experiences that Disney has ever created.

Sadly, Rise of the Resistance doesn’t open in Orlando until December. Fans can experience the same attraction at Disneyland in January.

For all of Polygon’s coverage of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, including more tips and tricks as well as analysis and interviews, see our dedicated guide.