This Week in Geekery

21 Feb
You're TEARING ME APART, Titan!

You’re TEARING ME APART, Titan!

With this post, we are introducing a new (and hopefully regular) segment to go over recent news in the world of Geekery. The plan is to start with one of these a week, and then go from there.

So, what has been happening recently?

In gaming news, the Titanfall beta launched on consoles and the PC. Think Call of Duty with jetpacks and giant robots. In other words, the game destined to aggravate my tendonitis from excessive controller use.

I did not have the opportunity to play the game personally, but between the oodles of Twitch gameplay footage and the positive buzz it’s been generating, my thumbs are already aching in anticipation. Ow.

Irrational Games – the game studio behind the incredible Freedom Force and Bioshock Infinite, closed it’s doors this week. Ken Levine will continue on at Take-Two, and the parent company will (most likely) continue producing content in the Bioshock universe, but most of the Irrational staff was let go. Hopefully they latch on elsewhere in the game industry very soon.

Over on Twitch, the social experiment otherwise known as Twitch Plays Pokemon – where a bot executes commands from chat in the streaming game – has attracted so much attention that the Twitch server for it is apparently struggling with the load. So many people are trying it out that not much is actually happening in the game at this point. In a bizarre play on this, Revision3 games streamed Twitch Plays Sessler – where the chat stream controlled a live-action Adam Sessler in the Rev3 office for an hour. I’ve been a fan of Adam since his X-play days, and it was fun to watch his goofier side come out – be it wrestling a chair to the ground or walking around with a banana in his pants.

In the “See? Games are good for you!” department, two articles came out recently touting the benefits of playing. In one, action games have been found to improve visual abilities. In another, tetris was found to actually curb hunger cravings. If only World of Warcraft had the same effect – I’d be a svelte man today.

In movie news, earlier this month James Franco purchased the rights to produce a movie based on The Disaster Artist, a hilarious book written by Greg Sestero that looks at the making of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room. I can’t wait to see what Franco and Seth Rogan can do with that material – I only hope Wiseau himself is in it somehow.

Marvel has released the trailer to its upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie. It remains to be seen if a talking racoon can hold off the camp factor over two hours, but with Marvel’s recent string of films I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt. For me, the bigger issue might be with the human character – I can’t get rid of the thought that it’s Andy Dwyer playing Star Lord.

Finally, the documentary Free to Play is coming out next month. The movie chronicles several professional players as they get ready for a million dollar e-sports tournament. E-Sports are starting to take off in popularity – with Twitch streams for games like DOTA2 or League of Legends getting more than 100K viewers at times. This documentary looks to take a peek at the lives of some of those pioneering players and the obstacles they face at home as they make the switch from mere hobby to career.

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