Summary of “The Twenty-Five-Year Journey of Magic: The Gathering”

“You spend a lot of time on your own.” Magic gave her nerdy friends something to talk about in the schoolyard, a “Common language.” The next year, Mirage, a set of Magic cards with African fantasy elements, came out.
For especially dedicated players, Channel Fireball, a Magic event organizer that takes its name from a devastating two-card attack, puts on some sixty “Grand Prix” tournaments every year in countries across the planet, from Japan and Poland to Australia and Brazil.
A number of Magic fans I spoke to told me that top-level players like Williams, Jon Finkel, Melissa DeTora, and Reid Duke, known as the Gentleman of Magic, brought them into the game in the way that middle schoolers join Little League to be like the Astros’ José Altuve or Mookie Betts of the Red Sox.
A couple of hours later, at the birthday dinner Magic threw for its twenty-fifth anniversary, Josh Lee Kwai, a Magic YouTube personality, introduced me to the N.F.L. defensive end Cassius Marsh, a frequent guest of Lee Kwai’s popular video series “Game Knights.” Lee Kwai wanted to show me that Magic players come in all shapes and sizes.
In a Tumblr post recently resurfaced by two Magic players, Rosewater told fans dismayed by these gender disparities that, although Wizards wanted its player base to change, Magic was male-dominated, and the art simply followed “The current natural gender skew of the game.”
Eventually, he came to realize that he wanted the Magic world to reflect not just the Magic community but the world at large, and he and his colleagues began to insure that the cards had a more equitable gender split.
Despite the existence of digital platforms like Magic Online and the soon-to-be-released Magic Arena, many of them said, it was, at heart, a game done with paper cards at a table in physical space.
In Las Vegas, on the final day of the tournament, I watched Rosewater, the new de-facto face of the game, holding a microphone and standing in shorts and a vintage Magic T-shirt beneath a statue of Serra Angel, a sword-wielding winged woman who has been illustrated and re-illustrated on different cards since the dawn of Magic.

The orginal article.

Summary of “20 Years of ‘Pokémon’ in America”

These are joined by a host of other games developed beyond Game Freak’s walls, from 1999’s Pokémon Snap and Pokémon Stadium for Nintendo 64 to 2016’s blockbuster Pokémon Go, created by mobile developer Niantic.
Twenty-two years after the first Pokémon game debuted in Japan, and 20 years after the elaborate stateside launch in Topeka-as-Topikachu, Red and Blue composer Masuda, 50, is still thinking about the battle cries of different Pokémon.
Tajiri later asked Masuda to score one of the fledgling company’s earliest games, the arcade puzzle Mendel Palace for NES. Tajiri’s childhood memories of catching bugs inspired the game that eventually became Pokémon’s first edition, Pokémon Red and Green.
Nintendo passed on Tajiri’s first Pokémon pitch, so the project idled in the background for six years.
“Take the Kanto region from the original Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue games,” he says of the first generation of 151 Pokémon.
Counterfeiters swooped in to try to capture some of the craze: During the last six months of 1999, U.S. Customs officials seized more than $20 million worth of counterfeit Pokémon merchandise.
In 2014, The Pokémon Company-the Tokyo-based entity eventually incorporated to keep track of the myriad licensing ventures leading out of Game Freak, Nintendo, and the developer Creatures, which has collaborated on non-Game Freak Pokémon games like Pokémon Stadium and Detective Pikachu-launched a global orchestral tour, with symphonies playing live renditions of Pokémon music as the corresponding game sequences played out on a screen above them.
The augmented reality-infused Pokémon Go, which sucked in a dizzying 300 million players in the weeks after its July 2016 release, was written off by many as a short-lived “Mass-consumption nostalgia product” for millennials-but two years on, the game still has 60 million active players and, as of July, had raked in nearly $2 billion.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The A’s Changed Baseball Once. They May Be Changing It Again.”

After winning 42 of their last 58 games entering Friday, the A’s have cut that deficit to 1.5 games, and they now have an 89 percent chance of advancing to the postseason and a 22 percent chance of winning the AL West.
Oakland has the game’s eighth-best run differential, at +94 runs, and has seen the greatest improvement in FiveThirtyEight’s team rating since the start of the season.
The A’s meteoric rise Major league teams by change in Elo from the preseason and the All-Star Game, as of Aug. 22.
The A’s have instead pursued different paths to become one of the better teams in the major leagues despite opening the season with the game’s lowest payroll.
According to WPA, Treinen has been the most valuable pitcher in baseball this season – ranking ahead of aces Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom and Aaron Nola.
Without a legit ace – or even a household name – the A’s rank second to the Red Sox in pitching WPA. Signed to a one-year, $1.5 million contract in the winter, Cahill has become one of the biggest bargains in baseball in part by reducing the use of his fastball and generating more swing and miss with his slider, more than doubling its usage.
Cahill had once been heavily dependent upon his sinker, but he told FiveThirtyEight that the A’s have given him “Weighted pitch” data, which he’s used to diversity his overall pitch mix.
The makeshift pitching staff is also aided by one of the best infield defenses in the game.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘I Find It Very Difficult’ to Watch: Why MLB Greats Think Baseball’s in Trouble”

“I try to watch a baseball game, and I find it very difficult to be able to watch today.”
As recently as 10 years ago, in 2008, there were 75 complete games in the AL and 61 in the NL. Ten years before that? AL pitchers fired 141 complete games, and NL pitchers checked in with 161.
The shifts in strategy, many brought on by the increased use of analytics in the game, have come fast and furious over the past few seasons, to the point where Commissioner Rob Manfred seems to have an ongoing, open dialogue regarding what he calls these “Organic changes” and whether he should move to ban shifts, limit the number of relief pitchers teams can use each game and even corral the amount of time chewed up by waiting for replay decisions.
“There is a growing consensus among ownership that we need to have a serious conversation about whether all of those organic changes are good for the game over the long haul,” Manfred said at this year’s All-Star Game in Washington, D.C. “I think we are at a point of time where we need to begin to manage that change.”
Now, as baseball fights for its slice of the sports landscape among the ever-popular NFL and an NBA that fast-breaked right past it in popular culture years ago, MLB turns its games over to anonymous relievers by the middle innings.
Many of the game’s former greats say the issue not only is one of process but of personnel, as well.
“Over the last five years, we have seen more changes to the game than in the years prior,” Tony Clark, the players’ union chief, said at the All-Star Game.
Exists? The game has been sturdy enough to withstand the test of time for more than a century, and with baseball at a crossroads now, that’s about the only thing that’s reassuring.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Latest News, Videos and Highlights”

Cambage can’t afford it personally either-not playing in the WNBA, where salaries range from a minimum of $41,202 to maximum of $115,500.
Cambage leads the league in scoring and is second in rebounding in her first season back in the United States after playing for the Tulsa Shock in 2011 and 2013.
Cambage is already looking ahead, as she signed to play in China.
As Cambage moved on to play in Zhejiang, China, her depression deepened.
After 48 hours of being on suicide watch, back in December 2016, Cambage decided to move back home with her mom.
“You gotta give your respect when you see somebody like Liz going hard, hard, hard, never backing down,” says Sylvia Fowles of the Minnesota Lynx, who is often matched up against Cambage.
Sometimes Cambage thinks about the fans on sidelines at road games in Minnesota and Phoenix screaming at her, “We hate that you’re on the other team, but we love having you back!” The parts of her that are hard, that are rough, soften.
Cambage missed two games because of the neck injury she suffered against the Sun.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The true story of how a mystery football injury inspired a community”

It would be ignorant to suggest football had nothing to do with what happened to Bailey, but it’s equally true that no obvious event could have either foretold it or prevented it.
Lewis delivered a final message: “If we’re going to play for Bailey, then we’re going to play like Bailey.”
“If we’re going to play for Bailey, then we’re going to play like Bailey.”
Bailey and Sage would watch every possible football game from Thursday night through Monday night.
Every Friday, Tara would post a photo on Facebook of Bailey holding up a sign that read “Go Huskies.” The student body voted Bailey homecoming king, and the mounted jersey rode through town in the parade and took the field at halftime with Haley Benbow, the homecoming queen.
It’s remarkable how closely Bailey’s recovery paralleled the Huskies’ run through the playoffs.
What if the friend didn’t persuade Bailey to complete the summer credits? What if the dad didn’t instill a love for football in his son?
Benbow lets go of Bailey’s elbow and walks ahead. Bailey climbs the stairs alone, slowly but with determination, his body listing a bit to the left.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Cruel to be kind: should you sometimes be bad for another’s good?”

If positive encouragement doesn’t work, you might reverse strategy, making your friend feel so bad, so worried, so scared, that the only strategy left is that he starts studying like mad. Sometimes, the only way to help someone seems to be a cruel or nasty approach – a strategy that may leave the ‘helper’ feeling guilty and wrong.
Numerous studies of interpersonal emotion regulation – how one person can change or influence the emotions of another – emphasise the value of increasing positive emotions and decreasing negative ones.
Prior to play, participants were asked to read a personal statement ostensibly written by their opponent about a painful romantic breakup.
After practising alone for five minutes, participants were asked to decide how the game should be presented to their opponents.
Our study shows that the tendency to make another feel bad to help him succeed is far more prevalent when the provocateur feels empathy.
The participants’ actions were absolutely altruistic: they chose to induce emotions that they knew would be beneficial for their opponents to perform well in the games, while reducing their own chance of a prize.
Finally, what are the limits of affect-worsening – and can even the most well-meaning, altruistic person end up doing harm? It might be that being cruel is not necessary, and that we are mistaken to think that the other person needs to feel bad in order to achieve long-term wellbeing.
Even if cruelty is effective, is it really the most effective strategy of all? In our original study, participants did not have the option to induce positive emotions in the ostensible opponent.

The orginal article.

Summary of “E-sports leagues are starting to look a lot like the NFL and NBA”

Now, some of the biggest professional e-sports leagues in the world are starting to look a lot like the NBA or NFL. That includes big-money owners, a structured schedule, and things like minimum salaries and other benefits for players.
Even the NBA has launched its own league, partnering with publisher Take-Two on the 17-team NBA 2K League.
By having permanent teams that fans can become attached to and owners can invest in for the long-term, these leagues are hoping to build something that can eventually compete with more established professional sports leagues.
For many of these owners – who reportedly paid a $20 million fee to be part of the league – the familiar structure of a traditional sports league like the NBA was comforting, in large part because the business model is proven, something that’s not true for many e-sports leagues.
If Blizzard can make good on translating the global, inclusive nature of Overwatch to the players in the Overwatch League, it could represent a significant advantage over the traditional sports leagues it’s aiming to compete with.
“It’s a really fascinating case study that a lot of leagues will look to to learn about the idea of regional teams, and building strong brands within cities,” says Hopper.
Last February, game publisher Take-Two announced a partnership with the NBA to launch a new professional league based on NBA 2K, one of the best-selling sports games in the world.
The NBA has long been one of the most forward-thinking sports leagues in North America.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Gaming’s toxic men, explained”

How did we get here? Gaming has attracted many angry young men who are comfortable with harassing and abusing women.
There’s an often promoted belief amongst certain people within the worlds of gaming and tech that technology is naturally, even biologically, the domain of men.
Why are objectionable opinions so common in gaming spaces? Gaming’s toxic men are often keen to display offensive opinions about women and people of color.
Why is online gaming chat rife with overt and casual racism? People of color who venture into gaming spaces are often assaulted with vile insults or tired cliches.
If you look at gaming circles and the gaming industry, it is a fairly white industry – both in development and publishing, and press.
Why are gaming’s toxic men so enraged? Women and people of color are beginning to appear in games as powerful characters with their own agency.
“For these people, white male is the default mode for humanity” Why do so many men in gaming exhibit a persecution complex? White male gamers often defend their own toxic behavior by claiming to be marginalized.
How can real change be effected? Gaming’s toxic men are often hostile to progressive change and inclusion.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Here’s How Fortnite ‘Hooked’ Millions”

The wildly popular online battle game has amassed over 125 million players and hosts more than 3 million concurrent players.
The average Fortnite player spends between 6 and 10 hours per week on the game.
What makes Fortnite so engaging? To understand why players keep coming back, you need to understand the game’s Hook.
The game allows players to invite friends, chat with them, and lets them enjoy watching them play even after their own character loses and can no longer participate.
The main rewards Fortnite offers is the uncertainty around each session: you have no idea who your opponents will be, how well they play, what terrain you’ll end up in, or what loot you might find once you get there.
Investment in Fortnite primarily occurs when players pay to personalize their characters.
Investment in the form of personalization is a key component of why players keep coming back to the game, and of course, is how the game makes gobs of money.
Although Fortnite is designed to maximize player engagement, that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad thing – quite the opposite in fact.

The orginal article.