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Trump and GOP blame recent mass shootings on video games, internet

President Donald Trump held a national address Monday morning to discuss the mass shootings that transpired over the weekend, outlining future legislative moves and priorities to better tackle what has become a countrywide crisis. And, like some Republican leaders who discussed the issue over the weekend, the president partially placed the blame on video games.

Over a period of less than 24 hours, the U.S. saw two horrific mass shootings: one at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, where 20 people were killed and 26 were injured, and in Dayton, Ohio, where nine people were killed and dozens more were injured.

“We must stop the glorification of violence in our society,” Trump said on Monday. “This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace. It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence. We must stop or substantially reduce this.”

Trump also took the time to discuss how the internet has played a part in disseminating violent and hurtful beliefs.

“We must recognize that the internet has provided a dangerous avenue to radicalize disturbed minds,” he said, likely in reference to the fact that the El Paso shooter apparently shared a manifesto on the forum 8chan before the shooting. Cloudflare, a service that reinforces website security, announced that it will stop servicing 8chan, following widespread criticism that the company was not doing enough to deter hate groups on its service.

The national address also saw Trump vowing to act with “urgent resolve” to help the increase in mass shootings, and denounced white supremacy as well as domestic terrorists. The president promised increased governmental support and investigations from the FBI for victims of recent tragedies, and said he wanted to do a better job of detecting early signs of violent bigotry. The government will apparently start working more closely with social media companies to achieve this. Trump called for a reform of mental health policies and treatment, and also expressed interest in forming new legislation that would give the death penalty for mass murderers.

Trump’s comments about video games follow a wider trend among top Republican leadership, who have recently used video games as a scapegoat for mass shootings. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick both made comments this weekend that mentioned video games as a factor contributing to mass shootings. Patrick said that the El Paso shooter referenced Call of Duty in his manifesto, while McCarthy implored the government to do something about the video game industry.

“How long are we going to let, for example, and ignore at the federal level particularly, where they can do something about the video game industry?” McCarthy said on Fox News.

Fox News itself came under fire this weekend, as an anchor speculated that the El Paso shooter likely spent a lot of time playing things like Fortnite. Fox News commentators said that video games helped “dehumanize people” through mechanics like headshots.

These comments, while unwarranted — studies show no links between video games and real-world violence — follow a larger trend. Video games have long been a go-to subject following large-scale acts of violence, if not used as a moral panic bogeyman. Last year, Trump sat down with members of the video game industry after the tragic Parkland shooting, and while no legislation followed, his thoughts on the medium painted a negative picture.

“The video games, the movies, the internet stuff is so violent. It’s so incredible,” Trump said at the time. “I see it. I get to see things that you would be — you’d be amazed at. I have a young — very young son who — I look at some of the things he’s watching, and I say, ‘How is that possible?’”

Source: Polygon.com

Avengers: Endgame’s time travel suits, and MCU canon, challenged the design team

Pinning down the nature of time travel in Avengers: Endgame was a design challenge even after working out the narrative kinks. Endgame’s time travel was confusing at times and left us wondering about the fates of characters like Captain America, Loki, and Gamora. It required not only some clever writing but also thoughtful design choices that reflected both the themes of the film and existing technology within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The time travel equipment in Avengers: Endgame was primarily rooted in Ant-Man tech, from the design of the suits to the crucial mechanic of passing through the Quantum Realm in order to travel backward in time. However, complicating both the design and implementation of the suits — which were never produced, but computer-generated in post-production — was the fact that both Infinity War and Endgame were filmed back to back with overlapping production schedules.

black widow, nebula, and tony stark walk in their time travel suits in avengers: endgame Marvel Studios

“There was a gap in sort of shooting the two films where were working in pre-production on everything sort of at once,” Ryan Meinerding, head of visual development at Marvel Studios, told Polygon. “We didn’t get to the team suits until near the end of pre-production. But those visuals were important for [Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige], so we were trying to cram them in even knowing that they were going to be essentially visual effects.”

The decision to CG the suits in later was essentially a function of time management more than anything else. The visual team worked to get the designs to a point where directors Joe Russo and Anthony Russo, along with Feige, were ready to sign off, which took place nearly a year in advance of actually shooting Endgame. The suits were added in during post-production. “It’s just a matter of the fact that there’s so much to do and we’re just trying to get through as much as we can as early as possible,” Meinerding said. “Some things just end up getting done a little bit later in the process as well.”

The suits themselves needed to be both visually cohesive but also in line with the technological constraints of the MCU. In designing the suits, the visual design team drew inspiration from Ant-Man’s costume, Stark nanotechnology, and the holographic space suits from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. This recombination and invocation of previous MCU tech was part of the thematic message of the suit.

“The idea is that time travel is so challenging that unless these different sets of really unique technologies hadn’t come together, this would be impossible,” Meinerding said.

This technological line of thought also carried over to the production design side of work on the film, particularly concerning the nature of the time travel device itself.

“We did a lot of work with the studio about trying to see what this thing was,” Endgame production designer Charles Wood told Polygon. “Was it a little black box in a room or was it a mechanical thing? [Should we] add some shape and scale to it because [time is] such an unending thing?”

Avengers: Endgame quantum time jump hands in Marvel Studios

Pinning down the exact nature of time travel itself within the film was the primary design challenge, along with ensuring that there was a kind of cohesion between the costumes’ behavior on the actors’ bodies and their interaction with the set itself.

“It was a difficult task given the whole time travel thing — sort of did my head in a little,” Wood said. “There are a lot of theories on what it should and shouldn’t be … we explored what [the technology] could be, what it should be.”

Past the technological logic, the suits also had to feel right, given that they were essentially the first Avengers “uniform” across the MCU thus far. Not only were they tied to their in-universe function, but they were also a unifying visual signifier. “Kevin really said that so much of the value of what we do is in the characters and the costumes,” Meinerding said. “I think the idea of putting them in the same suit is part of the process.”

Avengers: Endgame is currently available for digital purchase and will be released on 4K Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and DVD on Aug. 13.

Source: Polygon.com

The new Guilty Gear looks gorgeous

Developer Arc System Works is making a new, untitled Guilty Gear game. The new Guilty Gear will be released sometime in 2020, according to a teaser trailer shown at Evo 2019 on Sunday.

That teaser features series mainstays Sol Badguy and Ky Kiske — who are sporting new looks — battling it out in a flashy sword fight. The teaser appears to hint at one new feature coming to the next Guilty Gear: stage transitions. The video also hints at a menacing new character who sports thick dreadlocks and a skull-like helmet. Beyond that, Arc System Works hasn’t specified a firm release date or platforms.

The most recent entry in the Guilty Gear franchise is Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator, which was released in 2016 and received a major update, Rev 2, in 2017. That game is based on the 2014 release, Guilty Gear Xrd Sign. Arc’s fighting game series will have its 22nd anniversary next year.

Source: Polygon.com

Tekken 7 adding Zafina, new character Leroy, and … Solid Snake?

Tekken 7’s next season is shaping up to be a wild one. At Evo 2019, Bandai Namco revealed first details about season 3, revealing that Tekken 6’s ancient martial artist Zafina will return for Tekken 7, and that the game is getting a brand-new fighter, Leroy Smith.

But perhaps the biggest reveal may be that Metal Gear Solid’s Snake might be coming to Tekken.

Following a match between Tekken 7 players Knee and Anakin, a very brief video of a Metal Gear Solid-style codec communication appeared on screen — that video did not appear on the official Evo stream. In that codec, Snake said to Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada, “That was some good-ass Tekken.” According to commentators Mark “MarkMan” Julio and Aris Bakhtanians, that clip was “only for the people that were here [at Evo 2019].”

While Bandai Namco hasn’t officially confirmed Snake’s appearance in Tekken 7 yet, based on the teaser — and Snake’s appearance as a fighter in the Super Smash Bros. series — we may see the character included as part of the game’s season 3 pass. Bandai Namco has locked down some impressive guest characters, with Street Fighter’s Akuma, Final Fantasy 15’s Noctis, and The Walking Dead’s Negan appearing as Tekken 7 fighters. (The company also landed The Witcher’s Geralt and Samurai Shodown’s Haohmaru for Soulcalibur 6.)

Two characters are confirmed so far for season 3 — Zafina and kung fu master Leroy Smith — and two more will arrive by spring 2020, according to a new trailer. Season 3 of Tekken 7 also promises a new feature and a new stage, among other free updates.

Source: Polygon.com

Soulcalibur 6 adding Cassandra, Samurai Shodown’s Haohmaru

Bandai Namco confirmed two new characters coming to Soulcalibur 6: series veteran Cassandra Alexandra and Haohmaru from SNK’s Samurai Shodown franchise. The two characters and a second season of downloadable content were announced on Sunday at the Evo 2019 grand finals.

Cassandra, the younger sister of Soulcalibur fighter Sophitia, first appeared in the weapons-based fighting game series in Soulcalibur 2. Her most recent mainline playable appearance was Soulcalibur 4. She’ll be available in Soulcalibur 6, along with her arsenal of weapons and a new story mission, on Aug. 5. Cassandra is included as part of the game’s season pass.

Soulcalibur 6 is also getting a second season of content, which will include four additional characters and four sets of character customization items. One of those new characters will be a guest fighter: Haohmaru, the protagonist of Samurai Showdown. Bandai Namco released a brief teaser for Haohmaru today:

Soulcalibur 6 is available now for PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One. A release date for Haohmaru and season 2 was not announced.

Source: Polygon.com

Valve apologizes for spoiling Street Fighter’s roster reveal

Valve has formally apologized for a publishing error that outed the next three fighters coming to Street Fighter 5’s roster. “We are fans of Street Fighter ourselves and we’re sorry for the error,” the company says.

Last week, a video went up on Steam revealing that fan favorites Poison, and E. Honda are coming to the game, along with newcomer Lucia. This weekend is Evo 2019, the time of year when Capcom and other fighting game publishers save their big announcements. After the slip-up earlier this week, Yoshinori Ono, the longtime producer and public face of the series, seemed genuinely wounded by the spoiled reveal.

Valve promised that it’s put safeguards in place to keep this sort of thing from happening again. Retail errors are a common source of industry leaks, but it’s rare for them to be acknowledged like this. Anyway, the fighters are available today.

Source: Polygon.com

Rainbow Six Siege’s newest operators look like Indiana Jones characters

Rainbow Six Siege is about to embark on the third season of its fourth year since launch, and according to concept art fans have found recently, the two new operators players will meet look like a couple of treasure hunters straight from an Indiana Jones flick.

Concept art for the new characters slipped out over the weekend and ended up on the game’s subreddit. Skeptical players there aren’t sure that the images really fit the idea of a Siege fighter, but when they’re taken in with some hints previously revealed by the game’s support roadmap, it seems plausible. Me personally, I’m captivated by the female character depicted, who looks like a straight-up tribute to Marion Ravenwood.

Reddit user Eevim

I mean, right?

Lucasfilm ltd./Paramount Pictures

How she fits into a tactical, teamwork shooter like Siege, I dunno, but as Ubisoft Montreal has found its stride with the game, characters with unorthodox backstories have joined the action. In the leaked concept art, the new fighter seems to be paired with this hombre, who resembles either Recondo from G.I. Joe or Tom Selleck from Quigley Down Under, not sure.

Screenshot via Reddit

Ubisoft’s latest guidance is that the newest operators will hail from Peru and Mexico, which doesn’t necessarily mean their ethnicity or national origin, they could be just popping in after dodging a boulder at the Hovitos dig.

Anyway, Rainbow Six Siege is about to embark on a new season so we will find out for sure soon enough. These two heroes will be followed at the end of the year by two more operators, from Kenya and India.

Source: Polygon.com

Twitch Prime’s latest freebie mends a Hall of Famer’s beef with EA

Twitch Prime’s latest loot freebie delivers movie star, lacrosse standout and Syracuse University alumnus Jim Brown to your Madden NFL 20 Ultimate Team roster. This is noteworthy because only three years ago did he and Electronic Arts settle a lawsuit over the unauthorized use of his likeness in Madden NFL 09.

Brown’s legal action was somewhat related to the mess that ended the NCAA Football series. In the days before Ultimate Team, Madden would include unlockable classic NFL teams from yesteryear, but “scrambled” the rosters the way EA’s college game did. So Brown showed up for the 1964 Cleveland Browns as “RB#32.” Officially but unofficially a part of the video game, in other words.

Brown alleged that EA’s licensing team actually approached him about formalizing his appearance in the game, but the two sides could come to an agreement. Then, lo and behold, a player with his same physical attributes appeared in the game anyway. His original lawsuit in federal court was dismissed, but he appealed, and in 2016 he and EA settled up.

If you’re not familiar with Jim Brown, he was basically Bo Jackson for your dad’s (or granddad’s) generation. Brown was an NFL all-pro in nine of his 10 seasons for the Cleveland Browns, and in 1963 became the first player to gain more than 2,000 yards from the line of scrimmage in a single season. Brown did so against a 14-game schedule (it’s 16 today). The next year, he and Cleveland won the NFL Championship — yes, such a thing happened within our nation’s living memory — destroying Baltimore 27-0.

Brown retired from pro football in the summer of 1965, when he was in London filming The Dirty Dozen with Telly Savalas. He went on to a 30-year acting career that included roles in several 1970s blaxploitation flicks, NBC primetime series like The A-Team and Knight Rider, and most notably Keenan Ivory Wayans’ 1988 breakout hit I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, in which he and Isaac Hayes run a rib joint.

As a running back, Brown combined ferocious straight-ahead power with exceptional breakaway speed, just like Jackson. In Madden NFL 20, players will get him with the “freight train” x-factor trait, which means he’ll run over someone in front of him. The bottom line, Jim Brown is finally, legitimately in a video game, and we can feel good about trucking the hell out of a linebacker with him.

Source: Polygon.com

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s biggest nostalgia trip is the original Spider-Man

Me and Dad went to the movies on Tuesday and saw Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the flick everyone’s talking about right now. Highly recommended, by the way. We stayed through the credits, and I’m glad we did. Otherwise I never would have known Spider-Man was in this movie.

“Nicholas Hammond?” I blurted out. And I felt like I was a kid again, back in the old composing room of the newspaper Dad published, rolling up the TV listings before going to baseball practice. Saturday afternoon on WFMY channel 2, a TV movie double feature: A Matter of State and Photo Finish. Nicholas Hammond is Peter Parker, a college student and photojournalist who solves crimes with his extraordinary powers. Marvel’s flagship hero had a three-year run on CBS in the late 1970s, and some of those episodes were later recycled into TV movies that filled space for the affiliates on the weekend.

Well before the Marvel Cinematic Universe became a zillion-dollar force of nature, Stan Lee was trying his ass off with TV adaptations of the comics group’s major characters. Most folks remember Bill Bixby and The Incredible Hulk but Spider-Man and Captain America also got shows in the late 1970s. It was such an affirmation, watching a comic book superhero tumble across the TV screen in prime time. We didn’t take those things for granted back then.

Almost 50 years later, in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Hammond portrays Sam Wanamaker, director of a western in which Leonardo Di Caprio’s character, the actor Rick Dalton, takes an off-the-shelf bad guy role at the end of his career. Rick somehow gets his shit together and turns in a tour de force, ad-libbing his way back to relevance. Wanamaker has tried to costume Rick in such a way that no one will know this TV cowboy has-been is in the picture, but at the end of the scene, he is practically groveling in front of Rick, praising his genius and authenticity.

Nicholas Hammond’s first big role came in 1965 as Freidrich von Trapp in The Sound of Music. His acting breakout came in 1977 as The Amazing Spider-Man, a short-lived drama on CBS. The old Spider-Man show didn’t have much super-hero action. Hammond spent most of the time covering routine car wrecks and other back page incidents as the Daily Bugle’s ace lens. But then Peter Parker would realize there was actually a pattern to these crimes, and he’d swing into action as Spider-Man. On TV, that meant scrambling up an apartment building’s wall and making off with some case-cracking piece of evidence.

Spider-Man actually used his web maybe once every other episode. Special effects were expensive to film 45 years ago, what can I say. But the fact remains, Nicholas Hammond is the first Spider-Man, the same as George Reeves is the first Superman. So his name, that credit will always excite me, no matter the role. As old as I am, I will always be an excited little boy in the company of the super-heroes.

Source: Polygon.com

Hitman’s heat-seeking briefcase is officially a weapon in the next update

Hitman 2 has, or had at one point, a glitch in which Agent 47 could fling his briefcase overhead and it would home in on a target, even around corners or behind walls, and knock someone’s Eurotrash ass out. It was a lot of fun, but quickly patched out by IO Interactive. Now they’re embracing it, and bringing back the homing briefcase as goofy, officially usable gadget.

It’s part of the Best Case Scenario Challenge pack, which is coming Aug. 8. “Is it a bug? Is it a feature? No, it’s an unlock!” IO says. “This physics-bending briefcase is designed to induce fear and terror in whoever gets in its way.”

The briefcase weapon was discovered shortly after Hitman 2’s launch in November, and the homing-missile/luggage was quickly patched out when IO was alerted to the goof via social media. Fans still ROFL’d and loved the fourth-wall breaking nature of the weapon, especially in the context of something as stylish and sleek as a Hitman job. In that spirit, it’s back.

I mean, face it, 47 is gonna finish the job by whatever means are available in the moment, right? A helicoptering briefcase is the same as a meat hook in a Romanian fetish party or a blowfish rotting on a Yakuza’s kitchen table. It gets results, in other words, and 47’s bidness is a the ultimate results-driven enterprise.

Hitman is at its best when you pull off a contract and it looks like some badass shit that would actually go down in a movie. But sometimes, for the sake of moving the story along, it has to get messy, and the whirling briefcase respects that. Thank you, IO Interactive.

Source: Polygon.com