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by Sabrina Rojas Weiss via SheKnows

How are all my fellow WFH parents doing today? Taking care of kids at home while working is just a walk in the part, isn’t it? We should probably all get second jobs just to fill our time when we’re not learning how to bake bread. Naturally, this dad who went on Reddit to complain about his wife nagging him to do the laundry when he really wants — nay, deserves — to play video games absolutely has our support, doesn’t he?

Kidding, in case your mind-numbing exhaustion has eliminated your ability to read sarcasm. We’re so amazed at the boldness of this man-child daring to ask if he’s the asshole in this scenario. While his wife works full-time from home and also takes care of their two children following stay-at-home orders, he works out of the home and says he is “physically tired when I get back.” The division of labor they agreed upon years ago is that he takes out the trash, cleans the bathrooms, and does the laundry; she cooks, does dishes, makes the beds, sweeps and mops, and has the minor duty of “keeping up with the kids.”

On the evening in question, the wife asked him to wash the towels, and he seemed to think there was no urgency in the matter. He takes his video games very seriously, and she should understand. Also, she should be grateful that gaming is his vice instead of cheating.

“It might not be that second, but I’ll get it done,” he explained of his laundry procrastination. “Especially since she’s been home all day, I didn’t think it’d be an issue for her if she did them. Tonight, I was on the game in the middle of a conversation with my buddies. She asked me again to take care of the towels and I simply told her, ‘I’m in the middle of a game.’ She took a towel from the washing machine, threw it at me, and stormed off, slamming a door. I said something along the lines of ‘You’re always bitching.’ ”

The fight escalated to the wife declaring she wants a divorce. Even after typing all of this out, the husband wonders if there is some other reason she might want out.

Kieran@pegler_k

https://www.reddit.com/r/AmItheAsshole/comments/g9f7dz/aita_for_playing_video_games_while_my_wife/ 

Dude’s gonna have a whole lot more time for gaming in his near future.

AITA for playing video games while my wife chooses to do house chores?

Throwaway as my wife is often on Reddit… Married for 4 years, 2 children. We always argue. We both work, but when I get home I’d like to be able…

reddit.com

I have scrolled through almost all of the 1,200 responses to this post, for which commenting is already closed, and I have yet to see a single person voting in his favor. Big surprise there. So, rather than recap any kind of debate, my service to you will be in the form of choosing some of the best insults hurled at him:

 

“You [may] have 2 kids, but your wife has 3.”

“The chores he has are the chores you give your 13-year-old who wants to earn a little pocket money.”

“Move back in with your mom if you want to be babied that badly. You obviously aren’t ready to live in the real world.”

“Not the asshole. I’d say you’re the soon-to-be-single man.”

“There are 171,476 words in the Oxford dictionary but that’s still not enough to describe what a huge gaping prolapsed anus you are.”

“YTA, what’s her @ though?”

“I’m 14 and have more chores than you.”

For a more cathartic laughs at this guy’s expense, head over to Reddit. Also, enjoy this past story of a husband who woke up in the wrong decade and doesn’t understand that men need to do housework.

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‘Ghost of Tsushima’ is moving back a few weeks to mid-July.

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by Kris Holt via Engadget

The Last of Us Part II, fingers crossed, will at long last make its way to PS4 on June 19th. Sony and Naughty Dog had originally planned a February 21st release date, but they pushed the sequel back to May 29th. Earlier this month, they delayed the game indefinitely to better coordinate a global release strategy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As it turns out, you’ll only need to wait an extra few weeks for the next chapter of Ellie’s story.

News of the new date arrives just after major spoilers about The Last of Us Part II seemed to emerge in leaked videos. Footage showing cutscenes, gameplay and menus appear to be doing the rounds, but at the very least, you know how much longer you’ll have to dodge spoilers if you’re eager to play on release day.

To give Naughty Dog’s latest opus some breathing room, Sony has also pushed back another upcoming major title by a few weeks. Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima was scheduled for June 26th. Instead, the hotly anticipated samurai adventure will be out on July 17th.

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by Brian Womack via Dallas Business Journal

GameStop Corp. is cutting back on pay amid the challenges with COVID-19 – with the bigger cuts earmarked for the higher-ups.

The troubled Grapevine retailer (NYSE: GME) is temporarily reducing the salary of CEO George Sherman by 50 percent, the company said in a statement. There is a 30 percent reduction for CFO Jim Bell and the remainder of the executive leadership team.

“Certain other employees” across its units also will get cuts of between 10 percent and 30 percent temporarily. GameStop offered “certain” corporate support staff the option to temporarily furlough or take a reduced work week or pay program.

GameStop is looking for ways to find traction amid the onslaught of COVID-19 and the restrictions that have been put on its sites under shelter-in-place rules.

Since the company closed stores to the public on March 22, it retained more than 90 percent of planned sales volumes in the two thirds of the stores conducting curbside operations. Still, comparable store sales for the nine-week period ended April 4 dropped about 23 percent.

“We believe our aggressive focus on expense, inventory and capital expenditure reductions will help preserve our financial health as we work to ensure readiness and ramp up operations as soon as conditions allow,” Sherman said in a prepared statement. “The situation remains very fluid and a great deal of uncertainty remains, however, we entered into this time with a strong balance sheet and believe that we have sufficient cash and liquidity for the foreseeable future.”

With retail under pressure, the company did not make a portion of certain lease payments and remains in discussions with landlords.

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by Mike Feibus via USA TODAY

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – About a month ago, the internet started to list.

Up to that point, online activity flowed more or less in balance, with work traffic relegated mostly to the business side of the ship. Then social-distancing directives forced much of the serious stuff over to the starboard side. Which is where we watch Netflix.

As it happens, the country’s internet infrastructure has proven robust enough to handle the wholesale shift. Unfortunately, it’s a different story for many homes with older Wi-Fi routers that weren’t equipped to handle the onslaught.

If your work videoconference is struggling to keep pace because it’s crowded out by your spouse’s team meeting and the kids’ virtual classes, then take heart. Help is on the way.

Tomorrow, the FCC is expected to approve a new lane for Wi-Fi traffic, something it hasn’t done in more than two decades. It spans the 6GHz frequency range, which means it’s much faster than both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi. Plus, it’s more than twice as wide as both those bands combined. Which means that 6GHz-enabled smartphones and tablets will have plenty of elbow room for all your family’s left-boat and right-boat activities.

You can’t buy electronics with 6GHz Wi-Fi yet. When devices do become available, they’ll be marked with the Wi-Fi 6e designation, which means they support the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard with radios that can communicate on the new band as well as the older, more crowded frequencies.

Expect to start seeing 6GHz devices – as well as routers to connect them – in time for what I’ll call the back-to-homeschool shopping season this summer.

A spectrum that can keep up

It’s not so much the skyrocketing volume of traffic borne out of social distancing that’s stressed older networks so much as the type of traffic. Even before work-from-home directives, Wi-Fi 4 and older-generation routers often had trouble keeping pace in the evening, when family members simultaneously played online games, engaged in social media and streamed videos.

Daytime internet traffic during social isolation has proven to be even more challenging, with multiple family members logged into high-bandwidth videoconferencing sites, with real-time activity flowing in both directions. Wi-Fi 6 laptops and smartphones are built for that. They’ll perform even better on 6GHz spectrum, where they will be free of interference from smart doorbells, thermostats and older tablets, PCs and phones.

These new network demands that Wi-Fi 6e addresses aren’t fleeting. They’ll remain in place long after the current stay-at-home directives are lifted. For one thing, health experts predict we’re in for more social-distancing initiatives over the next year or two in response to the ebb and flow of COVID-19 infections. But even when we’re not trying to flatten the curve, education and productivity are retooling for a future with more homebound activity than before. For one, school boards are expected to incorporate video into classrooms so kids can participate virtually when they’re home sick. With younger children, that likely will force at least one parent to stay behind and work from home.

As well, some professions are already rethinking how they approach face-to-face communication. In healthcare, for example, coronavirus is turning the emerging telemedicine industry on its head. Rather than examine people remotely who aren’t sick enough to go to the hospital, clinicians increasingly are tapping the technology to maintain safe distances between them and contagious patients.

I also believe that America’s culture of showing up to work sick will suffer collateral damage from the coronavirus crisis. We’ll still work, contagious or not. But going forward, we’ll probably do it from home.

Although it wasn’t planned that way, the new 6GHz spectrum couldn’t come at a better time. Because while the hull of our internet infrastructure has proven to be sound enough to handle the stress of an all-hands call to the home side of the deck, older home wireless networks have been exposed.

The upcoming 6GHz Wi-Fi, or Wi-Fi 6e, has the raw bandwidth, range and networking intelligence to run smoothly what we want to do and what we need to do. You might call it the new Wi-Fi for the new normal.

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I’ve been seated in this exact position for roughly a month now. (Image: Dan Howley)
by Daniel Howley, Technical Editor, Yahoo Finance

The majority of Americans are currently under some form of stay-at-home order, meaning we’re all spending a whole lot more time getting reacquainted with our couches. And with that extra down time, more people are turning to video games — especially as they look to distract themselves from the tragedy outside their doors.

Look no further than the record number of people simultaneously using Valve’s massive Steam gaming platform for proof that gaming is offering people a needed outlet to pass the time and stay in contact with friends and family.

But what if you’re new to gaming, and don’t know what to start with? Or are looking to get back into gaming after a hiatus? Then you’ve come to the right place. Because I’ve got a list of new titles that offer something for everyone who needs to take their mind off the outside world.

‘Final Fantasy VII Remake’ – PS4

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‘Final Fantasy VII Remake’ is, well, a remake of the classic JRPG with dramatically improved visuals and a far larger story. (Image: Square Enix)

Oh, mamma! “Final Fantasy VII Remake,” is, well, the long-awaited remake of the quintessential JRPG (Japanese role-playing game), “Final Fantasy VII.” Originally released for the PlayStation back in 1997, “FFVII,” as it’s known, is one of the most influential games in history thanks to its fantastic story and addictive gameplay.

Fans have been pining for “FFVII Remake” for years, and with the game finally available, it’s the perfect time to jump on it. Packing stunning graphics and a new real-time combat system, the game is a major technical upgrade.

The remake only goes through the first 4 to 5 hours of the original “FFVII” story, but expands it to 40 hours by adding a dump truck load of new content. Square Enix, the game’s developer, will be releasing additional chapters of the game in the future.

‘Doom Eternal’ – PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch

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‘Doom Eternal’ is the follow-up to 2016’s ‘Doom’ and features more over the top demon-crushing awesomeness than you can handle. (Image: Bethesda)

Good, old-fashioned demon-destroying mayhem. That should be the tagline for “Doom Eternal,” the follow-up to 2016’s outrageous reboot of the “Doom” franchise. What should you expect from this first-person shooter game set in a world overrun by demons?

How about a nonstop heavy metal riff-powered mad dash through stages of some of the most punishing combat you can imagine. We’re talking about running chainsaws through Possessed Soldiers, pulling the eyes out of Cacodemons, and blasting the limbs from Hell Knights.

Everything about “Doom Eternal” takes the franchise’s demon-slaying insanity, cranks it up to 13, and tosses the dial into a hell pit. “Doom Eternal” isn’t just nonstop craziness, though. The game offers smartly designed levels, and the controls are airtight for the kind of fast paced combat the title is known for. It’s a challenging few hours that are time well spent.

‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ – Switch

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‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ is one of the most relaxing, easy going games you can play. As long as you can get your hands on a Switch. (Image: Nintendo)

From stomping demon skulls to one of the most relaxing games to launch this year, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” for the Nintendo (NTDOY) Switch is, at its heart, a world-building game. But the world you build — a deserted island that transforms into a luxurious destination drawing celebrities like crooner K.K. Slider — is so cute and inviting that you feel compelled to keep playing.

You’ll do everything from build essential tools like shovels, axes, and fishing rods, to filling a museum’s exhibit halls with dinosaur fossils, constructing roads, sculpting the landscape itself, and decorating your own home.

With “New Horizon’s” online connectivity, you can even fly off and spend time on your friends’ islands, selling your own wares, and buying items not found on your little bit of paradise. I’ve been playing this game for weeks, and I still instinctively grab my Switch every time I plop down on the couch so I can check up on my townspeople.

‘Persona 5 Royal’ – PS4

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A favorite in my home, ‘Persona 5 Royal’ is an enhanced version of the 2017 original, and features new characters and bosses. Prepare to lose more than 100 hours of your life. (Image: Atlus)

I’m admittedly biased in including “Persona 5 Royal” on this list, because my wife and I are massive fans of the original version of this game, “Persona 5,” released in 2017. “Persona 5 Royal” adds quality-of-life changes to this 100-hour plus JRPG focused on high school students going to class, getting after-school jobs for spare cash, and fighting demons in a parallel dimension called the metaverse.

“Royal” also brings along a new character who teams up with your group of teenage vigilantes. These teens are seeking justice against adults whose desires for wealth, power, and control over others have poisoned their hearts. That’s where you and your friends, The Phantom Thieves, come in.

You’ll battle it out across various dungeons, capturing demons, or personas as they’re known in this game, before you reach your final battle to stave off a worldwide catastrophe. Think of it as a high school melodrama with a ton of addictive gameplay, lovable characters, and a dash of “Pokemon”-style collecting, and you’ve got a decent idea of what “Persona 5 Royal” has to offer.

‘Call of Duty: Warzone’ – PS4, Xbox, PC

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Drop into a 150-player free-for-all with ‘Call of Duty: Warzone.’ I’ve been playing this almost every night to stay in touch with my friends, and, my god, it’s fun. (Image: Activision Blizzard)

I’ve been spending a little too much time with this title as of late. “Call of Duty: Warzone” is a free-to-play battle royale title in which you and 149 other players battle it out across a massive map using everything from pistols to rocket launchers until just one of you is left.

The game, which launched March 10, already has more than 50 million players, and with the team of developers at Infinity Ward and Raven Software continuing to tweak the experience with new game modes and additional weapons, it’s clear this title will have staying power.

Similar to games like “Fortnite” and “PlayerUknown’s Battlegrounds,” you parachute out of a plane over the enormous game map, before diving to the Earth and scrounging for anything you can use against your competitors. The twist, however, is that when you die, you’re sent to what’s called the Gulag for a one-on-one gunfight. The winner is then sent back into the game to fight on, while the loser calls it quits.

I play this game several times a week with my friends, and it offers the opportunity to socialize with them, while blowing stuff up. What more could I ask for?

‘Ori and the Will of the Wisps’ – Xbox, PC

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‘Ori and the Will of the Wisps’ is a gorgeous side-scroller of a game that will challenge you, and may even bring a tear to your eye. (Image: Microsoft)

Looking for more of a traditional side-scroller? “Ori and the Will of the Wisps” might be the right option for you. Though, be warned, this title isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a challenging game that will require you to restart areas over and over again until you can master the controls and timing needed to move forward.

The sequel to the beautifully told “Ori and the Blind Forest,” “Ori and the Will of the Wisps” puts you in the role of Ori, a guardian spirit, who must find his lost friend Ku. This is the kind of game you not only play, but fall in love with thanks to its detailed level design and gorgeous visual styling. And there’s a decent shot you’ll end up tearing up a little at the end.

All you can play options

If you’re not sure whether these games are the right fit for you, you’re in luck, because both Microsoft and Sony offer all-you-can-play services that give you access to hundreds of games for a set monthly fee.

Microsoft’s (MSFTXbox Game Pass costs $9.99 per month, $4.99 to start, to play on PC; $9.99 per month to play on your Xbox One console; or $14.99 per month to access games on both PC and console, and lets you play more than 100 games as often as you want.

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Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass gives you unlimited access to more than 100 games for a flat monthly fee. (Image: Microsoft)

PlayStation Now

PlayStation Now is Sony’s (SNE) answer to Game Pass and starts at $9.99 per month, $24.99 for 3 months, or $59.99 for a year, giving you access to hundreds of games that you can download to your PS4, or stream to your PC.

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Sony’s PlayStation Now is another all-you-can-play option worth checking out. (Image: Sony)

Both options are an outrageous value, and well worth checking out if you’re searching for something to scratch that gaming itch while you’re stuck inside.

Happy gaming.

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by Rudie Obias via Yahoo Life Shopping

Video games are a fantastic way to pass the time, but they’re pricey. If you want to start playing without paying, we’ve got great news: The live-streaming service Twitch is dropping games that are free for Amazon Prime members.

Not a Prime member? Amazon offers a 30-day free trial for new users—sign up here. After the trial is over, you can get Amazon Prime for $13 a month or $119 a year. You have to be a Twitch member to join Twitch Prime, but it’s free to sign up.

Twitch Prime is a perk for all Prime members. Every month, users get five free games—worth more than $100 in total—to keep (even if you cancel the service), plus level-up options for characters, skins, boosts, upgrades, and more free of charge.

To start playing, you’ll need the Amazon Games app or the Twitch Desktop app for Windows 10, macOS, and iOS. It’ll work with iPadOS, Android, Fire TV, Chromecast, PS4, Xbox One, Apple TV, and more. Check out a full list of compatible devices here.

Scroll down for this month’s free videos:

Earthlock

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Released in 2016 by indie developers Snowcastle Games, Earthlock is a role-playing combat game following Amon, an adventurer and scavenger who gets caught up with the ruling Suvian Empire on Umbra, a planet that stopped spinning after a cataclysmic event.

Etherborn

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Etherborn is an award-winning puzzle game that breaks all the rules of gravity and physics. You play as a body with no voice in search of a voice without a body, as you shift and comb through big and small Rubik’s Cube-like structures.

Lightmatter

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You know that kid’s game “the floor is lava?” Well, Lightmatter works the same way, but in this case shadows are lava and light is safety.

Through a series of puzzles, you have to position your light sources (a lamp and an orb) in such a way that no shadows appear in your pathway, while you navigate an empty building after a catastrophic event. Terrifying…but fun.

Kathy Rain: A Detective is Born

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Kathy Rain: A Detective is Born is a point-and-click game that’s set in the ‘90s. It follows, you guessed it, Kathy Rain, a journalism major who comes home to investigate the mysterious death of her grandfather. It plays like a graphic novel with lots of hidden details, secrets, and twist-and-turns.

Turok

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This is the HD remastered version of the 1997 shooter video game Turok: Dinosaur Hunter. It follows Turok, a time-traveling warrior who protects the Lost Land (a world inhabited with aliens and dinosaurs)—as he pieces together the Chronoscepter, an ancient artifact designed to defeat an evil overlord called The Campaigner.

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We spoke with the creators of Sinfeld Chronicles to figure out what the hell is going on with this game, which is basically Silent Hill in the Seinfeld universe.

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Sinfeld’s rendering of Jerry’s apartment. Somehow, from this angle, with no one inside, it’s actually really scary.

by Dom Nero via Esquire

Remember the early days of YouTube? Before all the ads and sponsored content, when you could start on a video of a dude falling off a trampoline and end up on something brilliant (and insane) like “Yummy Yummy Pizza” by Tonetta? Today, because of streaming television, there’s really no need for me to go cave diving on YouTube anymore. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss that novel joy of exploring uncharted—and strange—frontiers on the internet with friends. A few weeks ago, I got to recapture that old feeling, thanks to a game called Sinfeld Chronicles on Dreams for PS4.

Sinfeld Chronicles is a horror game set in the Seinfeld universe. You play as Donathan, an original character who claims to be Jerry Seinfeld’s nephew. He’s trapped in his uncle’s apartment building, alone—and he’s very scared. Something bad is happening in the Upper West Side. There’s a demon floating in the hallway. Kramer’s apartment has a haunted little doll inside it with a knife (Mr. Marbles!). Dead FBI agents lie in Jerry’s bathroom, and the world outside Jerry’s apartment near Monk’s diner is, well…I won’t ruin it for you.

Sinfeld was built completely on Dreams for PS4. Released in mid-February, Dreams is a video game that gives players the tools to create their own video games and then share them for anyone to play for free (if you own Dreams and an internet-connected PS4). Unlike make-your-own-game games like Rollercoaster Tycoon or Super Mario Maker, Media Molecule’s new title doesn’t do the work for you. If you want to build a house, you can’t just pick from a few templates. You have to make the walls yourself, texture them, paint them, and find a place for a door. This degree of control is unprecedented. And because you can really do anything—and everything—we’re finally seeing what video games look like when they’re made by players, not development studios.

Of course, like Sinfeld, the games on Dreams are every bit as forward-thinking and rambunctious as you’d expect. The Dreamiverse is full of mischievous little shit posts like Wario Dies in a Car Accident (legitimately funny), but I’ve found some stunning experiments like Sonic Dreams Adventure Zero, an unauthorized Sonic platformer that actually manages to get the 3D speed thing right in a way that Sega hasn’t really achieved yet.

But for my money, Sinfeld is the game to play on Dreams. I tracked down the creators of Sinfeld because, honestly, I just wanted to know why this thing exists. Turns out, the game is being developed by Austin and Colton Stock, the two brothers behind Rare Bird Interactive. They’re the outfit who made Lil’ Stevie Wanders, a bizarre animated web show that came out of the Channel 101 network (co-founded by Dan Harmon of Rick and Morty fame). “People always ask us, ‘how did you come up with this?’” Austin, the L.A.-based director and animator who voices Donathan, told me (fun fact: this guy was the video editor on Titanic 2). “We watched Seinfeld pretty much all the time. Since we’re Canadian, we’d have to drive up in an RV to Edmonton, and we would collect box sets of the DVDs, and we would watch the same episode over and over again.” He says Seinfeld is ingrained in their D.N.A.

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The outside world in Sinfeld is like something out of The Shining.

But just being fans of a snarky ‘90s sitcom doesn’t really explain how a game like Sinfeld came to be. Like that Tonetta video I mentioned earlier, there’s something strikingly dark about itIn one sequence, you’re forced to perform stand up for a vacant studio audience, and if you tell the wrong jokes, you die. In another, a disembodied voice guides you through the halls from the speaker on your controller. It also implies that Kramer went on a murderous rampage in the apartment building. (As of now, there’s no real “point” to the game other than exploration, but the guys told me there’s a lot more to come.)

“We’re huge fans of Hideo Kojima,” Austin says. The game is obviously influenced by Kojima’s Silent Hill spinoff title, P.T.where players wander around haunted passageways in the first person with a flashlight. “When [Kojima] made P.T., my first thought was, ‘Oh, this would be perfect for Seinfeld.’ There’s an apartment, there’s a hallway, it’s an entire playground.” Austin says the built-in awareness—and curiosity—we have for this place makes for a perfect video game setting. He’s right. I’ve always wanted to know what the inside of Kramer’s apartment looks like. What the hell is he hiding in there? A haunted doll, apparently. I almost wish I hadn’t looked.

Colton, the other half of Rare Bird, studied game design and programming along with film at USC. Working mainly in the Unreal Engine, a pretty ubiquitous tool for game developers these days, Colton said the Dreams toolkit came easy to him. Both of the guys have backgrounds in game development, animation, and film—they’re currently working with folks at Adult Swim on a full-fledged Lil’ Stevie series. But you don’t need a degree in game design, a background in visual storytelling, or anything, really, to build stuff on Dreams. “I think that companies need to look at what Dreams is doing and see that if you make a user interface that’s easy to use and fun to use, people will gravitate around it and they’ll actually want to use it,” Colton says.

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I would not recommend going into the bathroom at Monk’s diner.

When I first tried out some Dream Creation of my own, I found the process a little overwhelming—especially because it’s all done on a PS4 controller, no keyboard or mouse allowed. But Colton says, once you customize your settings a bit, things are smooth sailing. “At first I thought it’d be insane to work a program like that with a controller,” he told me. “But what’s really cool is I can go from flying around the level to clicking and typing things in without using my hands and thumbs too much. I can do a lot with the controller.” And most importantly, he says Dreams unlocks game development tools for players at less than a tenth of the normal price. “If you want to get a decent computer [for game design] that will last you the next five to 10 years, it’s about $3,000 when it’s all said and done.” Dreams isn’t even a full price video game. It’s $40.

The guys behind Sinfeld said they realized the potential for Dreams very early on. “It’s going to be a great stepping stone for people who are getting into programming or learning logic,” Austin told me. “The idea of opening a door was so daunting to me. But when I cracked open the logic it was like, ‘Oh, I get it. Player walks into trigger zone, presses square, and this happens.’ It teaches you the basic language of programming. If you start with Dreams as a kid, you could easily transition into Unreal Engine.” Apparently, the feeling of the early days of YouTube isn’t just experienced by the audience. Austin said Dreams reminds him of the “ground floor of YouTube,” those blissful few years when creators were flocking to the site to share their creativity just for the love of it. “Now,” Austin says, “we have a way for us to express our love for games.”

In the case of Rare Bird, that love manifests as the truly deranged Sinfeld Chronicles. I mean it when I say the game, which Austin and Colton told me will be periodically updated indefinitely (they’re adding combat! a story line! Ghostbusters stuff!) is already a Game of the Year contender for me. And Rare Bird is fundraising for a full-on interactive horror comedy game made on the Unreal Engine called “New York Simulator The Game: 1994 Edition.” Who knew wandering the halls of Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment could make for such a horrifying video game. And we haven’t even gotten the chance to visit Newman’s place yet.

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by Steven Petite via Digital Trends

Unless you are a serious collector, at some point, you’ve probably thought about getting rid of a few (or many) dusty old games. Whether you’re running out of shelf or closet space, getting ready to move, ready to acknowledge that you realistically won’t play them all, or want to fully embrace digital game libraries, there are plenty of avenues available.

Not all of them are great options, however. For games that still have some monetary value, most would like to maximize their return. Time is money, too, so convenience matters. For games you literally can’t give away, there is a way to dispose of them properly, rather than tossing them in a dumpster.

Let’s take a look at the best methods for getting rid of your old video games for profit, convenience, and eco-friendliness.

Sell ’em back: Yes, GameStop is still your best bet

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Sure, you’ve probably heard people complain about GameStop’s trade-in values in the past. While the business can justify sometimes marking up games 3x more than trade-in values (Mario, Zelda), it’s also understandable why this bothers some people. The bottom line, however, is GameStop generally offers a higher price per game than other major retailers.

Companies like Best Buy, Target, Amazon, and Walmart now buy and sell used games, but no one beats GameStop on the one metric that counts. GameStop is also the only major retailer offering cash for used games — all the rest offer store credit. You get 20% less if you take GameStop’s cash route rather than store credit, but even then, you’ll most likely wind up right around what you would receive for a pile of games at any of the other major retailers.

While selling your old games and consoles to GameStop won’t maximize your dollars, the convenience factor at least partially makes up for it. While we recommend using GameStop for convenience, that’s not to say that the company always gives the best value on every game. If you are only trading in one or two games, it’s best to do some research before choosing a place to sell your old games. GameStopWalmartTarget, and Best Buy list their trade-in values for each accepted game online. Amazon trade-in values are listed on product pages.

If you are selling older games from the pre-Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 era, GameStop is the only major chain that accepts “classic” titles. That being said, if you have a bunch of classic games to sell, you may want to consider our other options listed below, as you might possess, unwittingly or not, a rare title or two.

By and large, when selling used games to major retailers like GameStop, it’s best to bring in games for more modern systems like PlayStation 4Xbox OneNintendo Switch, and Nintendo 3DS.

Don’t forget about local retailers

Chances are, you probably live near a GameStop or big-box retailer that will buy your old games. There’s also a chance you live near a local retailer that specializes in multimedia products, like used games and DVDs. Not everyone has an independent game shop in their area, but if you do, these shops want to buy your old games for more money than what big-box retailers offer. Local retailers are also more likely to take older generation games and cartridge-based games off your hands.

Eliminate the middle man

If you don’t need to unload your unwanted games right away and you are willing to put a little extra effort into the process, becoming the seller yourself will almost always get you the best price.

In terms of online secondhand marketplaces, the first two that come to mind are eBay and Amazon. Both venues let you set your own prices, but you are responsible for packaging and shipping. For some, this may be more hassle than it’s worth. However, there is a considerably more convenient option that still allows you to set your price.

If you’re on Facebook (who isn’t?), sell your used games on Facebook Marketplace. Just create the listing, add photos, set the category, set your price, and publish.

You can also join a Facebook group dedicated to buying, selling, and trading. Given the local nature of each group, you can talk on Facebook, agree to a price, and meet up to exchange cash for games. You don’t endure nearly as many steps as it takes to list games on Amazon, let alone eBay. Facebook groups are also less sketchy than making deals via Craigslist. Always meet in a public space, however.

If you’re moving, perhaps it’s time to Decluttr

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Sometimes you don’t want to haul games to your local store and sell them. Sometimes you just want to box them all up and send them on their way. We get it. That’s where Decluttr comes in. It’s particularly useful when you are preparing to move, when you already have moving boxes and plan on downsizing other personal items as well, like books, DVDs, Blu-rays, electronics, and more.

Using the Decluttr app for iOS or Android, you can scan your games’ barcodes, print out a free shipping label, and send them off. When your games are received, the quoted amount for your lot is deposited into your bank account the following day. How much money can you expect per game? We found that while Decluttr doesn’t give the best rates for newer games (compared to GameStop), older games tend to fetch comparable amounts.

While we know Decluttr works well, there are other online options that may work better for you. NextWorth, which specializes in a wide array of electronics, is a reputable alternative that pays you via check or PayPal roughly a week after receiving your games. NextWorth doesn’t have a quick and breezy app, but if you aren’t selling a large collection, you may be able to get a few extra dollars, depending on which games you sell.

Another site, Cash For Gamers, also pays via PayPal or by check through the mail and offers hit or miss rates that sometimes exceed those found on Decluttr or Nextworth.

Donate and recycle

Let’s say you want to part with games that have little monetary value, or maybe you just want to clear some space, and don’t mind whether you get money back or not. In these situations, you may be tempted to just toss unwanted games in the trash or relegate them to a dark corner in the basement. Fear not: There are better options available.

First, if your games, consoles, and accessories are in working order, consider donating them to your local Goodwill. You can either visit a store to make donations or deposit your games into one of Goodwill’s many donation bins. There are also a growing number of gaming-focused charities that supply consoles and games to communities in need. These include Gamers Outreach, which donates consoles and games to children’s hospitals, and Operation Supply Drop, which sends consoles to men and women serving in the U.S. military overseas.

Your other alternative, if you so choose, is to simply throw away your games. We think it’s always better to find a new home for your collection, but if they really aren’t worth anything or they’re defective, throwing your games away is the logical conclusion.

As previously stated, throwing them in a dumpster — or even your recycling bin — isn’t great for the environment. If you want to dispose of your games properly, we recommend a few different options.

First, check e-Stewards, a company that has a high standard for recycling electronic products for both consumers and corporations. Look to see if there’s a recycling location near you that follows e-Stewards’ guidelines. Unfortunately, compliant locations aren’t found in every state, so there’s a chance that you won’t find one near you.

You can also recycle old video games and consoles at Best Buy. Bring them (or any electronics) to a local store, and they will discard them in an environmentally friendly way.

We’d also be remiss if we didn’t mention Nintendo’s free Take Back program. Nintendo accepts used consoles, games, and accessories for recycling. Nintendo will even recycle competitors’ consoles, as long as you have proof that you previously purchased a Nintendo console. That’s pretty cool.

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by Crystal Mills via Benzinga

As quarantine continues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are diving into video games in order to stay busy.

With movies, television, and sports leagues falling behind with postponed events and premieres, gaming has remained resilient.

Sports leagues such as the NBA, NHL, NASCAR, and Formula One have all transitioned into esports in order to help fill the void left by event cancellations. The number of viewers have skyrocketed, and so has the number of players.

Steam User Numbers Grow By Millions

The number of concurrent players on Steam skyrocketed in March. More than 20.3 million people were using the service. Out of these, 6.2 million were actively playing games.

Valve’s “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” was one of the titles to hit record numbers. The game hit 1 million players — the first time the game hit this record since its launch. Steam beat its own record just a week later, reaching a concurrent user number of 22.6 million.

“Steam just achieved a new peak concurrent user record of 22 million, one day after reaching 21 million and six days after reaching 20 million,” Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad said on Twitter.

“Global lockdowns and self-isolation due to COVID-19 has led to at-home gaming becoming a safe form of entertainment to pass the time.”

The numbers have continued to rise.

Xbox, PlayStation, Niantic React To Higher Traffic, Pandemic

The surge of players didn’t just affect PC services. Microsoft’s MSFT 0.01% Xbox Live suffered downtime due to an increased number of users.

“Usage is up on almost everything. Thanks go out to all the Ops/IT teams at all the companies that are working hard to keep everything running smoothly with all going on around them,” Xbox boss Phil Spencer said in a tweet.

Sony Interactive Entertainment SNE 0.79% also had to make changes due to a large influx of use on PlayStation. The company began slowing download speeds in an attempt to preserve bandwidth. New releases like “Final Fantasy VII Remake” have been unlocked for download as much as a week before their release date.

Niantic’s “Pokemon GO” has also made changes to help prioritize “features and experiences that can be enjoyed in individual settings.”

Trainers can see more Pokemon nearby to prevent the need to travel, and items like incense packs are available at a 99% discount. Incubators, which normally are powered by the number of steps a trainer takes, are now more effective.

“Trainers can hatch Eggs twice as fast,” Niantic told Polygon. With settings being revamped to encourage solo play, Niantic said it hopes to continue providing an accessible experience that promotes safety.

“While we’ve made these updates based on the current global health situation, we also encourage players to make decisions on where to go and what to do that are in the best interest of their health and the health of their communities.”

Gaming To Flatten The Curve

More companies are promoting gaming in order to encourage people to stay home. Amazon’s AMZN 0.01% Twitch livestreaming service and Activision Blizzard ATVI 1% are joining forces in a campaign called #PlayApartTogether.

“It’s never been more critical to ensure people stay safely connected to one another. Games are the perfect platform because they connect people through the lens of joy, purpose and meaning. We are proud to participate in such a worthwhile and necessary initiative,” Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said in a press release.

Even the World Health Organization, which classifies game addiction as a disease, is promoting gaming as a safe form of entertainment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ray Chambers, the WHO ambassador for global strategy, said he hopes the gaming industry can “reach millions with important messages to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

The need for at-home entertainment has attracted a surge of new gamers and players who haven’t touched a controller in years.

Consoles like the Nintendo (OTCPK: NTDOY) Switch have been selling out at major retailers like Best Buy BBY 2.37%, GameStop GME 14.39% and Walmart WMT 0.04%.

Third-party prices have skyrocketed on sites like eBay Inc EBAY 2.48% and Amazon. For those who were lucky enough to buy one, the Switch has been a vital resource during quarantine.

Anna Thomason, a Tennessee resident, is a self-titled casual gamer who lost the time to dive into gaming due to her college and work schedule.

Since the pandemic began, Thomason said she has been using video games to stay connected with friends.

“Most of my life I’ve played on a PC or handheld. I don’t have the patience to build a good PC rig and I’m not about to buy one. Plus my friends have [Nintendo Switches], so I bought the Switch Lite to get back into gaming and hang out with my friends since it’s not safe to see them right now.”

Coronavirus may have crippled traditional avenues of entertainment, but video games appear to be immune.

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Naughty Dog’s highly anticipated sequel won’t hit its May 29 release date.

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by Jonathon Dornbush via IGN

The Last of Us Part 2 is no longer set to be released on PS4 on May 29, Sony and developer Naughty Dog announced today.A tweet today from Sony confirmed “Update: SIE has made the difficult decision to delay the launch of The Last of Us Part II and Marvel’s Iron Man VR until further notice. Logistically, the global crisis is preventing us from providing the launch experience our players deserve.” The company followed the statement with “Currently, there are no other delays to report, but we’ll keep you updated.”

Naughty Dog also released a statement on Twitter about the delay, which you can read in full below:

As you’ve likely just seen, the release of The last of Us Part II has been delayed. We’re sure this news is just as disappointing to you as it is to us. We wanted to reach out to all of you in our community to give you a little more information.

The good news is, we’re nearly done with development of The Last of Us Part II. We are in the midst of fixing our final bugs.

However, even with us finishing the game, we were faced with the reality that due to logistics beyond our control, we couldn’t launch The Last of Us Part II to our satisfaction. We want to make sure everyone gets to play The last of Us Part II around the same time, ensuring that we’re doing everything possible to preserve the best experience for everyone. This meant delaying the game until such a time where we can solve these logistic issues.

We were bummed about this decision but ultimately understood what’s best and fair to all of our players. We’re hoping that this won’t be a long delay, and we’ll update you as soon as we have new information to share.

We wish you all, your families, and your friends the best of health. Thank you for being amazing fans and your continued support.

Stay safe!

The Last of Us Part 2 first received a release date of February 22, 2020 late last year, coupled with a story trailer and our first chance to go hands-on with The Last of Us’ long-awaited sequel.

Shortly after, Naughty Dog announced a delayed Last of Us Part 2 release date to May 29, with Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann saying “We realized we simply didn’t have enough time to bring the entire game up to a level of polish we would call Naughty Dog quality.” And recent reports have alleged that The Last of Us Part 2 led to sustained crunch at Naughty Dog rather than alleviating development crunch. 

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The Last of Us Part 2 was also supposed to have its first public hands-on at PAX East 2020, but due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19, Sony pulled out of PAX East.

Sony and HBO also recently announced that a The Last of Us TV show adaptation is in the works, set to air on HBO with Druckmann and Chernobyl executive producer Craig Mazin behind the series. (And the TV show will replace The Last of Us movie that was in the works.) No casting has been announced, but we’ve offered plenty of suggestions for who should play Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us TV show.

For more on the upcoming sequel, we spoke to Druckmann about Joel’s role in The Last of Us Part 2why The Last of Us Part 2 isn’t an open world game, as well as how dogs affect stealth and combat in The Last of Us sequel.