Summary of “‘Heroin for middle-class nerds’: how Warhammer conquered gaming”

In 2017, the same company was the publicly traded British stock that outperformed every other: Games Workshop, a high-street retailer of science fiction and fantasy miniatures, now carries a market capitalisation of more than £1bn. But how did a company founded 40 years ago with one shop in Hammersmith, west London, become so successful? The answer lies in Warhammer 40,000 – 40k, as it is usually known; a sprawling tabletop conflict game in which two players fight with collectible armies, including the space marines of the fascist human Imperium and the ancient fallen angels of the Eldar, using rules found in a library of 30 or so source books.
The first is the motto of Warhammer 40,000: “In the grim darkness of the 41st millennium, there is only war.” In other words Games Workshop is a serious business, but it is not to be taken seriously.
Warhammer Fantasy Battle, a goblins-and-gnomes war game, and Warhammer 40k are ridiculous, over-the-top pastiches, created by people who were bored and angry under Margaret Thatcher, and channelled that rage into worlds where everyone is the villain, and hope has been extinguished for millennia.
That’s because the second thing to know about Games Workshop is, as Gillen says, that Warhammer was what middle-class nerds did instead of heroin.
Whose latest book, Die, is loosely inspired by his own experience playing the Warhammer role-playing game in his teens, says things have changed.
In 2015, the company abruptly discontinued its oldest game, Warhammer Fantasy Battle – even publishing in-game fiction that destroyed the world.
As well as the core Warhammer games, it has been releasing spin-offs at a steady clip.
Games Workshop had its own answer, in an FAQ it published before the launch of the latest edition of Warhammer 40,000.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Steven Adams is the NBA world’s strongest man”

Actually, Steven Adams loves the sow-nah, which is how he makes sure to pronounce it, overemphasizing his Kiwi accent.
There’s no “NBA’s Strongest Man” contest where players lift Jumbotrons or heave backboards onto the upper concourse, but among peers and people around the league, Adams is widely considered the NBA’s strongman, a walking concrete wall of power and physicality.
Russell Westbrook fouls Willie Cauley-Stein on the way to the basket, but the two then jaw at each other, resulting in two technical fouls, including one for Steven Adams.
It’s all about angles and opportunity, and taking advantage of a lost art in the NBA. “One of the reasons I’ve found a little bit of success down low is no one plays low-post defense anymore,” Adams says.
Adams draws a distinction in opposing strong players in the current NBA. There are “Strong” players and there are “Heavy” players; Nene is a strong, Marc Gasol is heavy.
Then-Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph punched Adams in the face and was suspended for Game 7, but no one knew about the hit because Adams never reacted to it.
Adams has noticed his big man contemporaries stepping out beyond the 3-point line.
Spacing is the rage in modern basketball, but while the NBA tries to play farther from the basket, Adams wants to get as close to it as he can.

The orginal article.

Summary of “From Uncharted to Obra Dinn: Lucas Pope dishes on his illustrious game-dev career”

SAITAMA, Japan-Return of the Obra Dinn, the latest video game from designer, programmer, artist, writer, and musician Lucas Pope, revolves around a massive cast of characters.
If you didn’t know Pope’s pedigree-as one of the best independent game makers in the world, and the one-man shop responsible for Ars Technica’s 2013 Game of the Year Papers, Please-you might think that premise sounds humdrum.
As I came to learn, the modern classic only happened after Pope had mastered enough game development tools to tell his most singular story yet within a video game.
“Pope alleges that getting hired at established game studios-namely, Realtime Associates in 2003 and Naughty Dog in 2007-stemmed from his passion for developing custom toolsets for game design. Pope offers a list of”lesser” game-development needs: “To get scripts into the game.
“Some game programmers don’t like to work on that, players don’t see in the end game. But for me, that kind of work involves user interface, design, programming, and some art-all the things I love. I love making a tool that solves a really difficult task needed to get something into your game.”
Pope offers an example at a hypothetical game studio: a complicated, unsexy task comes up for a single staffer, and the company’s response is to tell said staffer, whose “Time is cheap,” to figure it out him or herself.
“My thinking is, write a tool that makes it super easy, so anybody can do it. Then they actually enjoy doing it. The quality of the stuff they produce that gets into the game is way better, because you’re not wasting your time with bullshit, rote things that the computer can do well. Computers are great at that sort of thing! The fact that I’m interested in that means that I’m already different from most programmers in the game industry.”
In other words: it’s something that sounds like a behind-the-scenes computer tool, used to make game design more efficient, becoming an addictive, drama-filled video game.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Long Toss: Stories of Patrick Mahomes II’s Awe-Inspiring Passing”

The second is that we cannot rule out the possibility of Mahomes actually throwing it out of the stadium.
Mahomes is a rare combination: He can come up with throws that few have thought of, yet has practiced them enough that they work in a game situation.
I ask Mahomes whether teammates find this role challenging considering how long he throws.
“He’s just warming up, but he’s going to throw into you because he’s throwing it as long as he can throw it.” Cook wanted Mahomes to stretch out his arm because he believed in taking a big, downfield shot early in the game and needed the quarterback’s arm ready.
“To be able to throw the ball the way he throws it? I haven’t seen it. No. I saw Aaron Rodgers do a lot of throws, but the way Patrick throws it-he’s special,” Houston says.
He taught his son that the long toss is not about seeing how far you can throw, but about consistency and getting your arm used to throws you’ll make in a game.
“Long toss gives the arm a full range of motion. You throw the ball incrementally, you start throwing with minimal effort, start adding effort and there’s more of a state of relaxation. The angles get higher, you’re gradually throwing more uphill, and you’re giving your arm and your auxiliary muscles the time to open up or stretch out. It gives it optimal freedom in the arm.”
Catching passes from Mahomes is an adventure, because he is capable of anything and can throw from any arm angle.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Destroying myths about eight 2018 NFL playoff teams in divisional round”

After 18 weeks of football, it’s incredible to think there are still unknowns and mysteries surrounding the remaining playoff teams.
Let’s destroy one myth for each of the eight remaining playoff teams, starting with what happened Sunday.
The Saints were actually better on the road, outscoring teams by 10.4 points per game away from home and 8.5 points per contest in New Orleans.
Throw out the Panthers game and the Saints outscored visiting teams by 12.4 points per game, which is better, but a 1.0-point home-field advantage would still be well below the league average.
I have a whole list of Patriots myths I want to evaluate in a column one day, but one classic trope surrounding the Belichick-era Patriots is that they bend without breaking, giving up easy yards before shutting down opposing teams in the red zone.
Why would a team want to just let a team move the ball into field goal range? If it were something the Patriots were doing, wouldn’t Bill Belichick want them to stop teams earlier in possessions and get the ball back in Brady’s hands? Belichick certainly preaches the value of stopping opposing teams in the red zone, but so does every other defensive coach in football.
With a big lead, teams can play prevent and allow teams to rack up yardage as long as they burn clock.
They were only 24th in the NFL in keeping opposing teams out of their red zone, but once inside, they held opponents to 4.6 points per red zone trip, which was a more impressive 13th. Can the Rams beat the surging Cowboys with field goals and big plays? Will Gurley be back to his old tricks? We won’t know until we see the star back with the ball in his hands Saturday night.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The inside story of Bandersnatch, the weirdest Black Mirror episode yet”

Only two people really understand how “Bandersnatch” – the latest episode of Black Mirror – actually works.
It is utterly unlike any episode that has gone before it and yet is unmistakably part of the Black Mirror universe.
Although most of the people behind the episode refer to it as a film, Weeks, who programmed computer games earlier in his career, likens it to a video game.
For Todd Yellin – the Netflix VP who first floated the idea of an interactive Black Mirror episode – getting the terminology around the episode right is of critical importance.
At the opposite end, Yellin says, indicating his right hand, you have a normal Black Mirror episode.
An episode that lets viewers pick their own route through an episode naturally subverts the idea that film-makers have the final say over how a film will be viewed or understood.
The huge file sizes involved in streaming multiple versions of the same scene, by the way, are why the film isn’t available for download.Brooker says the first time he watched the completed episode of “Bandersnatch” was as close to profundity as he ever gets.
If Netflix’s bet is right, and it also works for viewers, then this episode of Black Mirror might open the floodgates to a whole new era of film-making.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Reddit detectives are hard at work decoding Black Mirror: Bandersnatch”

Early in the morning on Friday, December 28th, Netflix slipped its viewers a late Christmas present: a new episode of Charlie Brooker’s technological-dystopia anthology series Black Mirror, in the form of an interactive movie called Bandersnatch.
Bandersnatch may not have been designed specifically for decoding in the same way as those puzzles, but it’s still exactly the kind of complicated project the Reddit secret-miners thrive on dissecting.
Just like a game with save points, or one of those CYOA books, Bandersnatch lets the audience jump back to those branch points and choose a different option than they chose the first time.
Reddit users are busy at work hunting down the answers.
Another thread is digging into the subtle Black Mirror episode crossovers, references, and Easter eggs hidden in Bandersnatch.
Like so many previous attempts at interactive movies, Bandersnatch borrows heavily from games’ story-tree methodologies, where many choices are meaningless, others lead back to the main path for the sake of story economy, and still others lead to abrupt endings.
The Reddit users’ maps are effectively just a collaborative game walkthrough, and “Let’s play Bandersnatch” videos on YouTube and Bandersnatch-watch videos on Twitch may be the logical next step.
Reddit has yet to turn up any cheat codes for the movie, but given the episode’s video game theme, its openly meta storyline, and the self-referential ouroboros of an interactive story about a man trying to design an interactive story, who knows? They may actually be in there.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Fortnite was 2018’s most important social network”

Fortnite became the better game by leaning into goofiness.
The game’s real achievement is subtler, though.
Epic Games managed to produce a hit, sure, but the genius of it is how it’s rewritten the idea of what hanging out online can be.
Fortnite is a game, but it’s also a global living room for millions of people, and a kind of codex for where culture has gone this year – it’s a cultural omnibus that’s absorbed everything from Blocboy JB’s shoot dance to John Wick.
The game is both free to play and available on every device-consoles, computers, even phones.
That’s created a kind of lingua franca, a base level of understanding among a large group of people about the experience of playing the game.
The game is mostly played by teenagers, but even I’m not immune.
Sure, the game is silly; more intimate than a game about being the last person alive on an island has any right to be; it’s certainly always surprising.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Ringer’s 45 Favorite Sports Moments of 2018”

There were three seconds left in the game, and the score was tied; less than two minutes earlier, Notre Dame had been down by five; less than a quarter before that, Notre Dame had been down by 15; and in the semifinal game, against a Connecticut team that was supposed to have broken Notre Dame’s jaw on the way to another title, Ogunbowale hit a game-winner, and so everyone figured that she’d used up all of the magic that the universe had afforded her.
Max Muncy Walks Off a World Series Fever Dream Craig Gaines: Midway through the second epoch of the third game of the 2018 World Series, a dinosaur appeared in the Prince.
Belgium Beats Japan With a Perfect Counterattack Shaker Samman: This summer’s World Cup was filled with moments that elicited pure elation, but none were more emblematic of the best version of the beautiful game than Belgium’s game-winning strike that completed a comeback win over Japan in the round of 16.
Shuster’s team started the 2018 Games 2-4, with losses to Italy and Japan.
Team USA needed to sweep the final three games of the round-robin tournament to make the medal round, including a game against Canada, which had won the past three gold medals.
Donte DiVincenzo Goes Supernova Danny Chau: The 31 points Donte DiVincenzo dropped in the 2018 NCAA men’s basketball national championship game puts him in a tie with Danny Manning and Glen Rice for the ninth-most points ever scored by a single player during the final round.
You’re still sad. But as it just happened, 2018 was the Nats’ turn to host the All-Star Game.
Fergie Sings the National Anthem at All-Star Weekend Daniel Chin: Watching Fergie perform the national anthem at the 2018 NBA All-Star Game was a surreal experience for those watching at home, those watching in the stands at Staples Center, and those standing on the court mere steps from the “Fergalicious” singer.

The orginal article.

Summary of “My life with ‘Super Smash Bros.'”

If gamers must insist on being taken seriously, their arguments dissolve when talking about Super Smash Bros.
The original Super Smash Bros., released in 1999 for the Nintendo 64, featured 12 playable characters; Ultimate, released last Friday for the Nintendo Switch, and the fifth game in the series, features 76 for now.
Franchise has remained the most prominent game throughout my life.
Unlike more sprightly video game protagonists, Arthur moves sluggishly, forcing you to appreciate the game’s thousands of interlocking ambient details.
In the same way one buys new books even though they have a stack of unfinished ones on the nightstand, I’m sure to distract myself with other games – for example, Super Smash Bros.
Exploring the massive fictional world of a game like Red Dead Redemption 2 can be fun, in a sense, but many of these labyrinthine games, several of which are released every year, lack the narrative propulsion required to keep going instead of meandering and crapping out.
The same randomly generated, repeatable element fuels the success of online games like Call of Duty and Fortnite, but unlike those Smash Bros.
Though it’s fundamentally a kid’s game – again, Mega Man vs. Pikachu – these inherent traits make it an ideal fit for the unpredictable schedule and winnowing time slots of adult life, as well as a reassuring presence considered how wildly unforgiving some newer games can feel to those who aren’t willing to log the dozens of hours required to learn the mechanics.

The orginal article.