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TagJanuary 12

Take Your Pick Of Two Popular Aukey Phone Vent Mounts

AUKEY Car Phone Mount | $6 | Amazon | Use code AUKEYHC5
AUKEY Cell Phone Holder for Car | $7 | Amazon | Use code AUKEYC38

Aukey is discounting two of their popular magnetic phone mounts today. Both clip into the vents in your car, while the super simple $6 model (with code AUKEYHC5) is very low profile, and the other $7 model (with code AUKEYC38) allows for more range of motion so you can angle it to just the right spot.


Vía https://deals.kinja.com/take-your-pick-of-two-popular-aukey-phone-vent-mounts-1822023982 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

Deadspin Bill Simmons Is A Fucking Embarrassment | The Slot No Shit, Donald Trump Is Racist | The Ro

Deadspin Bill Simmons Is A Fucking Embarrassment | The Slot No Shit, Donald Trump Is Racist | The Root The Caucasian Panthers: Meet the Rednecks Armed, Ready and ’Bout That Anti-Racist Life | Splinter Scenes From a Sanctuary City | Earther Oh Great, Now We Have to Deal With Ice Jams |

Vía https://kinjaroundup.kinja.com/1822041249 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

The 10 Best Deals of January 12, 2018

We see a lot of deals around the web over on Kinja Deals, but these were our ten favorites of the day.

Head over to our main post for more deals, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to never miss a chance to save. You can also join our Kinja Deals Community Facebook group to connect with your fellow deal hunters.

#1: anker battery pack

Anker PowerCore II 20000 | $36 | Amazon | Use code Y18A1260Edit image caption (optional)

Anker’s PowerCore line of battery packs have been our readers’ favorites since they debuted, and now you can get the new Anker PowerCore II 20,000 for $36 with enter promo code Y18A1260.

Cosmetically, the PowerCore II look very similar to the original PowerCores, but with more precise eight-dot charge indicators so you know how much juice you have left. But inside, they’ve been upgraded with Anker’s new PowerIQ 2.0 charging technology, which delivers the fastest possible charging speed to your devices, including Quick Charge-compatible phones. That speed works both ways, as the entire battery will recharge in five hours if you plug them into a QC wall charger.

#2: Humble winter game sale

Humble Store Winter SaleEdit image caption (optional)

Humble is discounting a ton of games as part of their Humble Store Winter Sale, including the likes of They Are Billions, The Witcher, Grand Theft Auto V and more. Unlike the normal Humble deals with pricing tiers, this is just a straight up sale with nothing too complicated. So what are you waiting for?

#3: raspberry pi kit

Raspberry Pi 3 Gaming Kit | $66 | Amazon | Promo code 45YOCHIQ | Add two-pack of SNES controllers to cart for $3.50 extra

There are a lot of reasons to own a Raspberry Pi, but anecdotally, I think somewhere north of 90% of people buy them to build retro game consoles. This combo kit is happy to indulge your gamer nostalgia with an included NES-style case, along with pretty much everything else you need to get started.

There are actually two promotions available here. First up, be sure to use promo code 45YOCHIQ at checkout to save $9 on the bundle itself. Then, if you need some game controllers to go with it, add this 2-pack of SNES controllers to your cart, and you’ll get them for $3.50 automatically as long as the Pi kit is also in your cart.

#4: amazon show

Echo Show | $180 | Amazon | Prime members only

In case you somehow missed out on all of its Black Friday deals, Amazon’s once again taking $50 off the impressive (though not currently YouTube-compatible) Echo Show, if you’re a Prime member.

#5: vent phone mounts

AUKEY Car Phone Mount | $6 | Amazon | Use code AUKEYHC5
AUKEY Cell Phone Holder for Car | $7 | Amazon | Use code AUKEYC38

Aukey is discounting two of their popular magnetic phone mounts today. Both clip into the vents in your car, while the super simple $6 model (with code AUKEYHC5) is very low profile, and the other $7 model (with code AUKEYC38) allows for more range of motion so you can angle it to just the right spot.

#6: roll-up drying rack

Dish drying racks take up a ton of space, especially if you don’t use them regularly, but this model from Veego rolls up for easy storage. Just unroll it across one side of your sink, and you’re ready do go. Use promo code TYK9EE7Q at checkout to save $3.

#7: snow thrower

If you spent way too long shoveling your way out of the bomb cyclone last week, you might want to take advantage of this all-time low $89 deal on a WEN electric snow thrower, so you’ll be better prepared for the next storm. This can clear nearly 8" of snow in an 18" wide path, and throw it up to 20' away into your neighbor’s yard.

#8: puma

Extra 20% off sale items | PUMA | Use code WIN2018

You’re probably thinking about working out in January, I know. You’re buying weights or running shoes or whatever, but what about looking like you’re working out when you’re not? PUMA is giving you an extra 20% off their entire sale section with the code WIN2018, so you can spend a lot less than you would on a gym membership and give the impression that you care about your health at the same time.

#9: braun shaver

Braun Beard/Hair Trimmer | $18 | Amazon

With fully 39 different length settings between 1 and 20 mm, Braun’s Beard & Hair trimmer is perfectly suited for, well, both your beard and your hair. It even comes with a free Gillette Fusion ProGlide razor with FlexBall to tidy up your edges. Normally selling for $30, today’s $18 price tag is matching its all-time-low price.

#10: clorox

Clorox Disinfecting Wipes and Clorox Disinfecting Wipes | $11 | Amazon | Clip 20% off coupon

As you know, the flu is out to get you this year, so you might as well prepare as best you can. Amazon is offering 20% off this 3-pack of disinfecting wipes, bringing it down to just $11. You can thank us later.


For the rest of today’s deals, be sure to check out our main post.

Vía https://deals.kinja.com/the-10-best-deals-of-january-12-2018-1822039346 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

The 10 Best Deals of January 12, 2018

We see a lot of deals around the web over on Kinja Deals, but these were our ten favorites of the day.

Head over to our main post for more deals, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to never miss a chance to save. You can also join our Kinja Deals Community Facebook group to connect with your fellow deal hunters.

#1: anker battery pack

Anker PowerCore II 20000 | $36 | Amazon | Use code Y18A1260Edit image caption (optional)

Anker’s PowerCore line of battery packs have been our readers’ favorites since they debuted, and now you can get the new Anker PowerCore II 20,000 for $36 with enter promo code Y18A1260.

Cosmetically, the PowerCore II look very similar to the original PowerCores, but with more precise eight-dot charge indicators so you know how much juice you have left. But inside, they’ve been upgraded with Anker’s new PowerIQ 2.0 charging technology, which delivers the fastest possible charging speed to your devices, including Quick Charge-compatible phones. That speed works both ways, as the entire battery will recharge in five hours if you plug them into a QC wall charger.

#2: Humble winter game sale

Humble Store Winter SaleEdit image caption (optional)

Humble is discounting a ton of games as part of their Humble Store Winter Sale, including the likes of They Are Billions, The Witcher, Grand Theft Auto V and more. Unlike the normal Humble deals with pricing tiers, this is just a straight up sale with nothing too complicated. So what are you waiting for?

#3: raspberry pi kit

Raspberry Pi 3 Gaming Kit | $66 | Amazon | Promo code 45YOCHIQ | Add two-pack of SNES controllers to cart for $3.50 extra

There are a lot of reasons to own a Raspberry Pi, but anecdotally, I think somewhere north of 90% of people buy them to build retro game consoles. This combo kit is happy to indulge your gamer nostalgia with an included NES-style case, along with pretty much everything else you need to get started.

There are actually two promotions available here. First up, be sure to use promo code 45YOCHIQ at checkout to save $9 on the bundle itself. Then, if you need some game controllers to go with it, add this 2-pack of SNES controllers to your cart, and you’ll get them for $3.50 automatically as long as the Pi kit is also in your cart.

#4: amazon show

Echo Show | $180 | Amazon | Prime members only

In case you somehow missed out on all of its Black Friday deals, Amazon’s once again taking $50 off the impressive (though not currently YouTube-compatible) Echo Show, if you’re a Prime member.

#5: vent phone mounts

AUKEY Car Phone Mount | $6 | Amazon | Use code AUKEYHC5
AUKEY Cell Phone Holder for Car | $7 | Amazon | Use code AUKEYC38

Aukey is discounting two of their popular magnetic phone mounts today. Both clip into the vents in your car, while the super simple $6 model (with code AUKEYHC5) is very low profile, and the other $7 model (with code AUKEYC38) allows for more range of motion so you can angle it to just the right spot.

#6: roll-up drying rack

Dish drying racks take up a ton of space, especially if you don’t use them regularly, but this model from Veego rolls up for easy storage. Just unroll it across one side of your sink, and you’re ready do go. Use promo code TYK9EE7Q at checkout to save $3.

#7: snow thrower

If you spent way too long shoveling your way out of the bomb cyclone last week, you might want to take advantage of this all-time low $89 deal on a WEN electric snow thrower, so you’ll be better prepared for the next storm. This can clear nearly 8" of snow in an 18" wide path, and throw it up to 20' away into your neighbor’s yard.

#8: puma

Extra 20% off sale items | PUMA | Use code WIN2018

You’re probably thinking about working out in January, I know. You’re buying weights or running shoes or whatever, but what about looking like you’re working out when you’re not? PUMA is giving you an extra 20% off their entire sale section with the code WIN2018, so you can spend a lot less than you would on a gym membership and give the impression that you care about your health at the same time.

#9: braun shaver

Braun Beard/Hair Trimmer | $18 | Amazon

With fully 39 different length settings between 1 and 20 mm, Braun’s Beard & Hair trimmer is perfectly suited for, well, both your beard and your hair. It even comes with a free Gillette Fusion ProGlide razor with FlexBall to tidy up your edges. Normally selling for $30, today’s $18 price tag is matching its all-time-low price.

#10: clorox

Clorox Disinfecting Wipes and Clorox Disinfecting Wipes | $11 | Amazon | Clip 20% off coupon

As you know, the flu is out to get you this year, so you might as well prepare as best you can. Amazon is offering 20% off this 3-pack of disinfecting wipes, bringing it down to just $11. You can thank us later.


For the rest of today’s deals, be sure to check out our main post.

Vía https://deals.kinja.com/the-10-best-deals-of-january-12-2018-1822039346 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

This Weasel Is The Key To Hearthstone’s Hottest New Deck

Every once in a while, a formerly crappy Hearthstone card finds its place in a deck and works so well that it starts to look like it might actually be good. A while back, that card was a Hungry Crab. Today, it’s a fedora-wearing rodent called Weasel Tunneler.

If there’s one thing you should know about today’s Hearthstone metagame, it’s that most of the popular decks you’ll see in competitive games run a lot of high-quality cards. These cards either kill you really quickly, or they continually apply pressure until you simply can’t beat their minions and you’re forced to tap out. From quick and efficient “Tempo” Rogue decks, to the obnoxiously consistent “Cube” Warlock decks, it’s a massive struggle to try and make a deck that can either outlast or outpace these common archetypes, since they’re already so well-optimized.

Luckily, there’s a new deck in town that can actually beat some of these decks, and on top of that, it’s a blast to play. Invented by the streamer Janne “Savjz” Mikkonen, “Weasel Priest” doesn’t look to beat the enemy deck outright. Instead, it looks to water down the enemy deck until it’s so bad that it becomes beatable.

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The star of this deck is the Weasel Tunneler, an extremely weak little ratty dude with a lazy eye, a creepy smile, and a very strange effect: When it dies, it gets shuffled into the opponent’s deck.

In the past, cards like the Priest spell Excavated Evil have exhibited similar “shuffle into the opponent’s deck” mechanics—but Weasel Tunneler is a much weaker card than Excavated Evil was, so it has the potential to really mess up the enemy’s game plan. Since you can only run a maximum of two copies of a card in a deck, the trick to Savjz’ Weasel Priest is that it makes copies of Weasels and then resurrects the ones that have already died in order to toss as many Weasels as possible into the enemy card pool.

The legendary card Herald Volazj can make copies of every Weasel you have on the field, while a card called Carnivorous Cube will kill your Weasel (shuffling it into the enemy deck), then respawn two more once it dies. Another card called Mirage Caller will instantly make a copy of a weasel, while cards like N’zoth, The Corruptor and Twilight’s Call will revive your dead Weasels. If you play it right, by the time you get to later turns, the enemy deck has more Weasels than Redwall.

https://kinja.com/ajax/inset/iframe?id=youtube-video-_rj9Fyhr5_Y&start=0

The Weasel Tunneler mechanic has been around since 2016’s Mean Streets of Gadgetzan expansion, but up until now, there haven’t been enough copy/resurrect cards, and it’s been too weak to spend the early turns watering down the enemy deck. After all, you can’t copy your Weasels if you’re dead at turn four.

To boost survivability, the Weasel Priest deck runs a Quest card from the Journey to Un’Goro expansion called Awaken the Makers that can increase your max health over time, giving you more time to build up Weasels.

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Even this might not have been enough to make the deck work, but recent changes to Hearthstone’s metagame have made a Weasel strategy even more viable: Most of today’s popular decks take a handful of turns to get rolling, so you’ve got even more breathing room to get the Weasel engine up and running before your enemy starts doing damage.

Watching someone win with Weasel Priest is like watching a child win the Indy 500 by tossing marbles onto the track: It’s crude, it’s slightly unfair, and it’s pretty damn funny. Will it become a top-tier competitive contender and the new deck that’s so OP that everyone hates it? Maybe not. But as Savjz and others, like popular streamer Thijs Molendijk, have demonstrated, Weasel Priest can stand paw-to-paw with some of the best decks in the game, and rat’s enough for me.

Want to run Weasel Priest for yourself? Here’s the code for Savjz’ deck: AAECAa0GCJ8D7QXgrAKKsAKWxALPxwKQ0wLD6gILigH7AbW7AuW8AsPBAtHBAtXBAujQAovhAqniAurmAgA=

Vía https://kotaku.com/this-weasel-is-the-key-to-hearthstones-hottest-new-deck-1822035486 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

Overwatch Player Uses Doomfist To Obliterate Pharah And Mercy From Orbit

Doomfist may not be able to fly, but he sure can fall with style.

Even in the techno-magical cartoon world of Overwatch, what goes up must come down. Player wahw_ow, however, decided that the laws of gravity needed assistance in grounding a pesky Pharah/Mercy combo, and, in the heat of a gridlocked team fight on Lijiang Tower, they thought of the perfect way to help.

https://gfycat.com/ifr/BlindWarmBluet

They use Doomfist’s ult not to crash down on nearby enemies, but rather to catapult themselves all the way to the top of the tower, an area that players normally never touch. From there, they launch themselves at Pharah and Mercy, timing a punch combo perfectly to interrupt a meteoric descent that otherwise would have spelled their own doom. After dispatching Pharah and Mercy with a handful of well-placed shots, they then punch their way back to safe land. All of that happens in mere seconds. A masterpiece.

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It’s such a good play that even Chipsa, considered the best Doomfist player in the world by some, was impressed.

https://clips.twitch.tv/embed?clip=EnchantingTangentialOkapiCclamChamp&autoplay=false&tt_medium=clips_embed

“Holy fucking shit, dude,” said Chipsa after seeing the clip. My thoughts exactly.

Vía https://kotaku.com/overwatch-player-uses-doomfist-to-obliterate-pharah-and-1822039668 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

Lone Echo Lets Me Experience A Beautiful Zero-Gravity Friendship 

With an interesting deep space setting, a clever zero-gravity movement system and plenty of hands-on interaction, Ready At Dawn’s Oculus exclusive Lone Echo ticks all the technical boxes required to be an excellent virtual reality game. But its greatest feat is making me believe a woman could ever love an unfeeling robot like me.

It’s a sad day aboard the Kronos II mining station orbiting Saturn. Captain Olivia “Liv” Rhodes, the station’s sole human occupant, is being transferred, leaving behind her faithful companion, a service android named Jack (AKA the player) to run things once she’s gone. Liv is obviously heartbroken over the news, and Jack doesn’t seem too thrilled either. Fortunately, a strange spatial disturbance suddenly appears, disrupting systems and kicking off one final ship maintenance-filled mission for the star-crossed couple.

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Jack and Liv aren’t lovers, but it’s pretty clear the self-aware android and United Solar Navy captain have formed a strong connecting during their time aboard the Kronos II. As the pair clamber about the ship they trade playful banter. When the player as Jack makes a mistake, the computer-controlled Liv gently chides him. And when the android finds himself in dangerous situations—it’s what he was built for—the captain shows genuine concern. It’s sweet.

Jack caresses Olivia’s cheek before donning a thruster pack and heading out into the depths of space. My heart will go on.

I wasn’t expecting this sort of touching interaction from Lone Echo. Hell, I wasn’t expecting to play Lone Echo at all. It was released last summer as an Oculus Rift exclusive at a time when all I had hooked up was my HTC Vive. And it’s from the Ready at Dawn, the studio that made The Order: 1886, so I wasn’t in any rush. If not for Kirk Hamilton’s gushing recommendation and the fact that I’d hooked up the Rift for VRChat, I might never have played Lone Echo.

https://kinja.com/ajax/inset/iframe?id=mcp-3467246&sponsored=false&platform=web

I downloaded the game yesterday, launched it around 10:30 PM, and when I finally took the headset off I was surprised to discover it was 12:30 AM. Two hours isn’t a long play session in terms of traditional games, but two hours in a VR headset is a marathon.

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I guess I fell a little in love with Jack and Olivia. It helps that Jack is voiced by Troy Baker (he’s so dreamy). British actress Alice Coulthard does a fine job in the captain’s seat, and Ready at Dawn’s facial animation really drives her performance home.

Dialogue choices let the player steer the narrative somewhat.

When Liv looks at Jack, it really feels like she’s seeing him. Or me. Or the player. She reacts to hand motions like finger guns, thumbs up and peace signs. If she jostles me as we move about the ship, she’ll say something. If I grab her arm to stop myself from floating through the zero gravity environment and hold on too long, she’ll jerk it away from me.

This is a robbery. Stealing your heart. I am a robot.

Without the interaction between Liv and Jack, Lone Echo would still be a great virtual reality game. The locomotion system is brilliant, having the player maneuver by grabbing the environment and pushing off in the direction they wish to travel. It’s the perfect movement method for a device that gives players virtual hands but no virtual feet.

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The engineering problems Jack must solve aren’t so much puzzles as they are tests of virtual reality manipulation and maneuvering. It’s always pretty clear what the player is supposed to do, but the tools they are given are incredibly cool. Hand-mounted propulsion jets, a laser cutter under one wrist and object scanner under the other—Jack’s got a whole toolbox in his hands.

But Jack’s biggest asset in Lone Echo is Liv. She is his rock, if ever an android needed such a thing. Stepping out of the airlock after spending an hour and a half by her side repairing damage done to the station by the spatial disturbance, I felt genuinely anxious leaving her behind. As the situation grows more dire and the sinister secrets of the anomaly begin to unravel, I’m worried about the pair losing each other. It’s that sort of emotional resonance that makes sitting in my office chair for two hours with my vision and hearing compromised totally worth it.

Vía https://kotaku.com/lone-echo-let-me-experience-a-beautiful-zero-gravity-fr-1822039267 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

My Hunt For The Mysterious Man Or Machine Controlling The Blizzard Arena’s Light-Up Halo

The Blizzard Arena halo fills with golden light as Seoul Dynasty maintains their hold.

The Blizzard Arena stage has a massive light-up halo on the ceiling that serves as a progress bar for Overwatch objectives. As a team captures a point, the halo fills up with that team’s colors. It’s an impressive illustration of who’s winning. And it’s all manual. Or so I’ve been told.

The other elements on the Blizzard Arena stage update automatically, such as the massive screens above each team that show which in-game characters have died, as well as which characters have their Ultimate attacks charged. Just like those screens, the halo helps show the audience who’s winning, but unlike the rest of the stage, the halo requires one very important human to pay close attention to what’s going on during every Overwatch match.

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I found out about the all-important halo operator due to being in the wrong place at the right time.

One of the lounges near the skybox at the Blizzard Arena (image via Blizzard Entertainment)

When I arrived at the Blizzard Arena on Overwatch League opening day, I picked up my media bracelet and got escorted into the venue by an event staffer. That staffer later told me that she and many of her colleagues had been brought on last-minute to account for the huge influx of reporters covering the event. That could explain why she took me to a tiny press lounge in a hallway next to the Blizzard Arena skybox seating, as opposed to a much larger media lounge downstairs, where the rest of my colleagues ended up.

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When I saw Overwatch League commissioner Nate Nanzer walking into the skybox along with other people I didn’t recognize, I thought to myself, “Am I in the right place?” But my room had a sign on it that said “press work office.” Perhaps, at future Overwatch League matches, that small room will be where the reporters end up. During OWL Opening Day, though, every other person around me had a badge that said “Backstage Pass.” I didn’t.

I didn’t see anybody else with a bright orange media bracelet like I had, either. I asked three Blizzard Arena staffers where the rest of the reporters had gone, and none of them seemed to understand my question.

Inside the “press work office” at the Blizzard Arena.

I hung out by the skybox, watching Nate Nanzer and his pals watch Overwatch, and soon a dozen people gathered nearby. A tour guide had just begun a backstage tour of the arena. I edged to the back of the tour and tried to look nondescript.

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The tour guide told us all a story—the story of the halo. He explained that many people who’ve seen the halo in action have praised its use of Blizzard’s API, or application programming interface. In other words, viewers believe that the halo’s lights respond according to cues sent by Overwatch in real time. But, the tour guide laughed, it doesn’t do that at all. It’s operated by a member of the Blizzard Arena production team. Thanks to the common assumption about who really does his job, that employee has earned the nickname “API.”

So, yes, Blizzard’s API does make the halo light up. As in, a guy nicknamed API literally cranks up the halo lights according to what’s happening in the game, live, as it happens.

The tour guide and his group walked out of the skybox area. I knew from talking to the venue staffers that if I left this area, I wouldn’t be able to get back in without an escort. Nate Nanzer’s skybox looked crowded, anyway, and I wanted to ask around to see if anybody else knew about the halo’s mysterious operator. Was it just a fun anecdote told by a tour guide to entertain investors and high-rolling attendees? Or was it true?

Okay, so, which of these controls the halo? (Image of the Blizzard Arena control room, via Blizzard Entertainment)

I left the skybox behind, never to return, since no other escort wanted to let me back in there (and yes, I did ask). I went into the arena to watch the halo in action, and I also asked three Blizzard employees about the halo operator. The first two employees told me they didn’t think the halo operator could be real, and that the halo had to be automated. The third employee thought so, too, but he knew who to ask: the head of production backstage.

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At 3 a.m. that night, long after Overwatch’s successful opening day had wrapped up with Seoul Dynasty and Dallas Fuel’s thrilling match-up, I got a text message from that enterprising Blizzard employee: “Can confirm it is run by someone on our production team, affectionately nicknamed API.” Who has the honor of performing this job? “Let’s keep it anonymous.”

The Blizzard Arena staff could be pulling my leg. But I’m pretty sure it’s real. The same Blizzard employee even seemed a little wary, asking “how this would be used,” and telling me he thought the story would be better as a tweet than an article. Plus, none of the other Blizzard employees I spoke to had heard of the halo operator, suggesting that the job truly is secret, even internally.

Or maybe that’s all part of the bit. Maybe I only saw what Blizzard wanted me to see, after all. Maybe Nate Nanzer is reading this article right now, laughing at my naiveté. They always put one rube in the skybox at OWL matches, every time. It’s all for show.

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I choose to believe in API. Just like Quasimodo at Notre-Dame, or Dunkin Donuts’ Fred the Baker (“Time to light the halo!”), this mysterious but all-important person single-handedly ensures that the Blizzard Arena’s huge glowing ring illuminates with just the right team colors at just the right time. Perhaps, someday, that job will get automated after all. But until then, it’s one more magical element of watching Overwatch live in the arena. You get to look up and see the work of the unsung API.

Vía https://compete.kotaku.com/my-hunt-for-the-mysterious-man-or-machine-controlling-t-1822037250 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

What Are You Playing This Weekend?

The weekend is for trying to find a bar in NYC showing Overwatch League. I think I found one but I have to call to confirm. I feel weird phoning a sports bar to ask about video games, but my colleagues’ writing about seeing it live is getting to me. Also, video games.

I’m going to try to get back into Subnautica this weekend, to check out what’s changed gearing up for its official launch later this month. I liked it a ton when I played it last year, so I’m excited to revisit it.

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Because I couldn’t leave this post without a Witcher reference, I’ve started reading the Witcher books. I’m almost done with The Last Wish and I like it OK. I get to picture bathtub Geralt, which is a nice way to spend a commute.

What about you? What are you playing?

Vía https://kotaku.com/what-are-you-playing-this-weekend-1822038425 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

What Are You Playing This Weekend?

The weekend is for trying to find a bar in NYC showing Overwatch League. I think I found one but I have to call to confirm. I feel weird phoning a sports bar to ask about video games, but my colleagues’ writing about seeing it live is getting to me. Also, video games.

I’m going to try to get back into Subnautica this weekend, to check out what’s changed gearing up for its official launch later this month. I liked it a ton when I played it last year, so I’m excited to revisit it.

Advertisement

Because I couldn’t leave this post without a Witcher reference, I’ve started reading the Witcher books. I’m almost done with The Last Wish and I like it OK. I get to picture bathtub Geralt, which is a nice way to spend a commute.

What about you? What are you playing?

Vía https://kotaku.com/what-are-you-playing-this-weekend-1822038425 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

What Are You Playing This Weekend?

The weekend is for trying to find a bar in NYC showing Overwatch League. I think I found one but I have to call to confirm. I feel weird phoning a sports bar to ask about video games, but my colleagues’ writing about seeing it live is getting to me. Also, video games.

I’m going to try to get back into Subnautica this weekend, to check out what’s changed gearing up for its official launch later this month. I liked it a ton when I played it last year, so I’m excited to revisit it.

Advertisement

Because I couldn’t leave this post without a Witcher reference, I’ve started reading the Witcher books. I’m almost done with The Last Wish and I like it OK. I get to picture bathtub Geralt, which is a nice way to spend a commute.

What about you? What are you playing?

Vía https://kotaku.com/what-are-you-playing-this-weekend-1822038425 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

Ask Dr. NerdLove: My Girlfriend’s Friends All Hate Me

Image via Shutterstock.

Hello all you florescent death antelopes, and welcome to Ask Dr. NerdLove, the only dating advice column to win that coveted chicken dinner.

This week, we’re tackling the drama that friends can bring to our relationships. What do you do you do when your relationship is amazing, but your girlfriend’s BFF’s hate you? How do you handle things when you and your best friend cross the platonic-friend line and things get awkward?

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It’s time to bail out of the plane and get into the thick of it. Let’s do this thing.

Hi Dr. N,

I am 51 and have found genuine, true, deep, and abiding love for the first time. It’s been almost two years. I think we are perfect together. She thinks we’re perfect together. Her family thinks we’re perfect together. My dog loves her dog, and vice versa. Really, it’s perfect.

Except….her two closest friends do NOT think we’re perfect together. So much so that they’ve basically ghosted her. Because of me. I know this sounds like high school stuff, so let me say again: I am 51. My girlfriend is 47. This isn’t high school, but it sure feels like it.

I know there are valid reasons why a good, protective friend might not like the boyfriend. Going down the possible list: I’m not an addict or a drinker. I’m not and never have been in trouble with the law. I’ve never declared bankruptcy. I don’t have a ton of money, but I do okay. I love my dog. I love her dog. I love her family. I essentially have no temper, and I have a pretty decent sense of humor, I think. I was once a professional athlete, pretty much still have that body, and all my hair. I’m no model, but, well, actually, when I was in grad school at NYU, I was asked to do some modeling. This is just to say that it doesn’t appear that I’m hideously ugly or anything.

I’ve got that master’s degree and have written two well-received books. I say this only to note that it’s not like I’m a guy who never left his hometown and has no ambition. I understand that someone who lacks self-awareness would fail to see their own flaws. I don’t think I’m perfect. But I don’t think this reaction is justified.

There is a hint: apparently, one of them told my girlfriend she was worried that ‘we didn’t want the same things.’ This was after we’d been dating just a few months. I kind of suspect that refers to the fact that I’ve never been married, nor had kids. But my girlfriend had been married for 12 years, does not want to marry again, and has never wanted kids.

I don’t take any of this too personally. I barely spent any time around these two before they decided we weren’t right for each other. I’ve spent lots of time around her family, who are very high-quality people, and they seem to think everything is great. But I don’t know what to do.

My girlfriend is devastated. She is deep, thoughtful, and sensitive, and this rejection hurts her deeply. She cried in my arms last night, saying “I didn’t do anything wrong! You didn’t do anything wrong! Why are they doing this?” It broke my heart. But the lines of communication are shut. They simply won’t talk to her. My guess is, they both feel she has rejected their advice, and therefore (somehow) their friendship.

I know I can’t fix these broken friendships. I want to know what I can do for my girlfriend. She is hurting. It hurts her even more when I try to take the blame for what has happened, so that doesn’t help. Deep down — or, really, not so deep down — I think these two were never really great friends. One of them is a bully, and the other is a sycophant, so they work great together, but not in conjunction with anyone else.

Is there anything I can do? Is there anything she can do?

Many thanks,
Hurtin’ in NC

Y’know, HiNC, sometimes I think one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves is that high-school bullshit gets left behind in high school. Sadly, it doesn’t, because… well… frankly, for some folks, high school was an instruction manual for life. And while a lot of times those people are easy to avoid, sometimes you don’t find out that there’s a Mean Girls wannabe in your life until they’ve put you in the crosshairs.

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But let’s talk about the dynamics of friendships, and how they can interact with our relationships before I get to what to do about this. One of the continual tensions in life is the careful balancing act between our platonic friendships and our romantic and sexual ones. Both are incredibly important parts of your life, and giving them the right place and right priority is actually crucial to the long-term success of your romantic endeavors.

There’s always a question of just which relationships get priority; do you prioritize your platonic friends, especially when they’ve seen your lovers come and go while they’ve been there for years? Or do you focus on your partner, since they’re the person you want to share your life with—even if not your whole life, at least a significant part of it?

(The answer is both, actually. Your partner can’t be all things to you, and trying to put all your emotional and social needs on them is a great way to stress everyone out and sink the relationship.)

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While we always hope that our lovers will mesh smoothly with our social circles, sometimes they just don’t. And when that happens, where do you turn? Whose side do you choose? The friends who’ve known you for years, or your partner, who you’ve given your heart and other bits? How do you decide which is the correct path?

It can also be tough for people on the outside, looking in. It can be frustrating, for example, when someone gets caught up in the highs of a new relationship and basically ditches their friends. Doubly so when it seems like your friend has gotten fuck-drunk with yet another asshole and started the timer on a drama bomb that’s going to explode, messily and all over the place. Or, worse: has taken up with someone who’s abusive, yet doesn’t yet recognize it.

Even under the best of circumstances, when we can assume good faith on all sides, the tension between friends and lovers can be tricky at best. But then we have the other breed of friends. The frenemies. The Mean Girls and Douchebag Boys. The toxic friends who ask for your favor with one hand and stab you in the back with the other. The people who like you best when you’re a self-destructive mess with no self-esteem.

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These are the “friends” who are invested in keeping us under their thumbs because they like having someone they can fuck with. They’re the ones who will do their damndest to drag us away from anything good and positive in our lives because it means we may finally outgrow them and recognize their bullshit for what it is. They’ll subtly insult your hopes and dreams and tell you how you’re just going to fail at the thing you’re trying, so why bother? They’ll insult you to your face, then tell you it’s just a joke and they love you, really.

Some of what you describe sounds like toxic friends plying their drama. Toxic friends will rarely be up front about what they’re trying to do. They’d much rather drip poison in your ear, subtly prod your insecurities and doubts and let your own anxieties slam the fist down on the relationship self-destruct button.

The nebulous “I don’t think you want the same things” is a great example of that. That’s an incredibly vague objection, and it’s vague by design. After all, if there was something concrete to point to, your girlfriend could push back with concrete counter-arguments. But vague, concern-trolling is harder to refute. It wraps the manipulation in the drag of “a friend who’s looking out for your best interests”. It gaslights the victim into not being able to trust their own judgement. And if done correctly, it plants the seed of doubt into a bed of confirmation bias that will eventually fracture the relationship like a tree growing out of a sidewalk.

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Cutting ties without warning is another way they’re trying to damage the relationship between her and you. It’s like the “freeze-out” technique that pickup artists teach; cut off contact and let the fear of your disapproval pressure the other person into giving in. Do it for long enough and the question becomes which will give out first: her affection for you or her desire to have her friends back. It’s needlessly cruel, and a damning indictment of the people who use it.

It may help her get some closure to ask her to interrogate her friendships with these people. Were they always giving her “playful” insults? Were they supportive of her goals, or did they keep reminding her to “be realistic”? Were they prone to giving ultimatums and the silent treatment? Did she feel drained after hanging with them for very long? Answering those questions may help her recognize the nature of those friendships.

Unfortunately, though, there’s not really anything you can do here. Your girlfriend has suffered a loss, and she’s going to mourn. Even if her friends were toxic asshats and her life will be better by kicking them to the curb, losing a friendship hurts. The best thing that you can do is love her and support her as she mourns the end of this friendship. Be the shoulder that she can cry on and the arms to hold her, the voice to remind her of how amazing she is. Encourage her to find her team — reconnecting with old friends or finding new ones — who can support her as well.

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At the end of the day, all that will heal your girlfriend is time. Just be there to loan her the strength she’ll need, when she needs it. As much as things hurt now, this will pass.

Good luck.

Hey-o, good doctor!

I’ve been having quite a emotional roller coaster lately with my best friend.

I divorced my wife of four and a half years around September last year. We left each other on very good terms and without any hard feelings. But ever since then I’ve been really missing the intimacy and closeness you get from a relationship, things like long walks with our dog, holding hands, snuggling, etc. I’ve been having hard time learning to love the single life.

In comes my best friend. We’ve always been really close, even before I met my ex-wife. I even used to have a crush on her. Her boyfriend passed away unexpectedly over a year ago and we’ve been giving each other a lot of support over these feelings of loss. I would at least once a week invite her over, cook some nice food for her (I’m a really passionate chef, although not a professional) and we would talk about things that have been bothering us for hours . She’s quite open with her sexuality and has started having quite a lot of one night stands during the last few months and we would talk about those sometimes. I thought that it was a good thing that she’s been able to have new relationships since her boyfriend’s death, I thought it was a clear sign of her moving on. The problem was that I started developing feelings for her once again, I think because it felt so good being close to someone again and having some company.

Last Thursday, we decided to go watch the Last Jedi, after which we went for a pint, and then I invited her over to my place. After some food and wine I happened to confess to her about my feelings, and she responded that she has a crush on me too. Next thing I know we’re making out, but I tell her that I don’t want to have sex with her just yet because I wanted to be careful. I ask her if she wants to stay the night because it was late and she lives on the other side of the city. She decides to stay and invites me to share the bed with her. You can probably guess that the “no sex” rule didn’t hold.

Now we’ve been processing what happened that night, and she says she doesn’t want to start a relationship with me because she still wants to be free for now and that she thinks what happened was a mistake. She even said that she considers me as someone she shouldn’t have touched, kinda like a brother (her exact words). That made me feel kinda awful, I don’t think anyone likes to be told that being with them was a mistake. I’m already really bad at approaching women and I don’t have a lot of confidence, so that left a dent on my self-esteem.

Still, I don’t think I would want a relationship with her either, because I’m still processing my divorce and I don’t think we would be very compatible. For one, she clearly has a very different relationship to sex than I do. She doesn’t really mind having one night stands and just having sex for the fun of it, but I’m a bit more old fashioned and sex has a lot of feelings attached to it for me.

The main issue that we have is that we don’t want to lose our friendship because we’re so important to each other. We provide each other a lot of support and I would feel awful losing her over this stupid mistake. While I do have other friends, none of them are as close as she is. She’s told me that meetings with me have helped her immensely. I don’t wanna take that from her.

I would very much appreciate your thoughts on our situation.

Best regards,
Crossing The Streams

There’s a lie that we tell ourselves as a culture — one that I hate with the fire of a thousand suns — and that’s the idea that friendship and sexual attraction are antithetical to one another. It’s part of the same toxic morass that leads to ideas like being in “The Friend Zone”. Being interested in somebody sexually doesn’t mean that you can’t also be their genuine friend, nor does it mean that attraction has to be acted upon.

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However, emotions are tricky things. Humans are bad at understanding why we feel the way we do, and intense emotions tend to lead to decisions we might not make otherwise. The idea that there’s a thin line between love and hate isn’t wrong — passion is passion, after all.

Grief is another emotion that can cause people to act in ways they might not normally. When two people are feeling intense loss — even if that loss wasn’t recent — there’s a natural instinct to seek comfort and to push back against the void. Sex, in some ways, is the antithesis of grief; it’s a celebration of life and connection at a time when you’re feeling the opposite. Which is no small part of what happened here.

You two have a close friendship, some intense emotional processing and some mutual attraction. Putting that all together can blur lines that seem otherwise clear-cut. Throw in a little booze and… well, that’s how you end up doing things that seem like a great idea in the moment and you regret in the cold light of sobriety the next morning. But one intense night and a kind of awkward morning after doesn’t mean the end of the friendship.

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Here’s the thing to keep in mind: she doesn’t think that you are a mistake. It’s clear that she cares for you deeply and values you as an important part of her life. The mistake was getting caught up in an intense moment and crossing a line that clearly has meaning for her.

While sex and friendship may not be antithetical, there are people who prefer keeping certain aspects of their lives separate. Many people appreciate having someone they can be close to without a sense of “will we/won’t we” and worrying whether things will get weird and awkward afterwards. Others worry less about how they would feel after tumbling into bed than about how their partner would feel. As you said: sex and love are pretty intertwined for you. Catching feels that she doesn’t return would run the risk of damaging the closeness and intimacy you two have, and that would be a shame to lose.

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But y’know, shit happens, decisions were made, and now it’s a question of what to do. The good news is that your friendship is almost certainly strong enough to hold up… as long as you don’t panic, like so many people do. It helps the two of you are on the same page here; you may love each other as friends but you both think a relationship would be a bad idea.

What you both need to do is not to make more of this than actually happened. It’s not a referendum on your relationship, so much as “well, maybe we shouldn’t get drunk around one another.” kind of thing. Losing your inhibitions and needlessly putting yourself in temptation’s way is how you end up with fun nights followed by incredibly awkward mornings.

But you also don’t want to pretend that it didn’t happen. It’s better for the two of you to sit down and at least say, “Hey, so that was a bit awkward, and I want to know where your head’s at now that we’re not in the immediate aftermath.” Tell her what you told me: you like her but you don’t think the two of you could work as more than friends because you have different views on sex. And then see what she has to say. Odds are, she’s more or less in the same place you are.

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Then have a laugh about it, resolve not to drink so much together (and one of you gets the couch if they stay over) and then carry on like you did before. And if you still have those flare-ups of “Well, I kind of have feels for her”… just feel the fuck out of them and let them pass through you on their own. It’s fun to have crushes, even when you know they can’t go anywhere.

Just remember: this is only a friendship killer if you two let it be one. Shit happens and sometimes friends have one-night stands they probably shouldn’t have. Focus on the core of affection, respect and support you have for one another, and you should be fine.


Did your relationship get caught up in friend drama? Have you had an awkward encounter with a good friend? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments. We’ll be back with more of your questions in two weeks.


Ask Dr. Nerdlove is Kotaku’s bi-weekly dating column, hosted by the one and only Harris O’Malley, AKA Dr. NerdLove. Got a question you’d like answered? Writedoc@doctornerdlove.com and put “Kotaku” in the subject line.

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Harris O’Malley is a writer and dating coach who provides geek dating advice at his blogPaging Dr. NerdLove and the Dr. NerdLove podcast. His new dating guide New Game+: The Geek’s Guide to Love, Sex and Dating is out now from Amazon, iTunes and everywhere fine books are sold He is also a regular guest at One Of Us.

He can be found dispensing snark and advice on Facebook and on Twitter at @DrNerdLove.

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Pre-Order This Bayonetta Bundle For Just $51 

Bayonetta 2 + Bayonetta (Digital Download) – Nintendo Switch | $51 | Amazon | Prime members save another $3

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Man Arrested For ‘Swatting’ Call That Led To Murder Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter

Tyler Barriss, 25, appears in extradition court in Los Angeles, CA. Photo: Irfan Khan/AP

Twenty-five-year-old Tyler Barriss was charged today in Kansas for involuntary manslaughter and two other counts in the wake of a swatting call that led police to kill an unarmed 28-year-old at his home. The maximum sentence varies but if found guilty, Barriss could face a hefty fine and years in prison.

Police say that Barriss had called police to report a hostage situation, telling officers on December 28, 2017 that he had his family at gunpoint and had doused the house with gasoline. He then gave them an address for 28-year-old Andrew Finch, who was shot and killed by an officer when he answered the door. That officer is now on paid administrative leave.

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Barriss reportedly made the call after an argument between two Call of Duty players led to one giving the other an address. That player then reportedly gave the address to Barriss, who was known in the community for swatting—making false police reports in order to get officers to show up at an adversary’s house. The address turned out to be unrelated to anyone involved with the dispute, however, and instead led police to Finch.

Barriss was also charged with giving false alarm and interference with law enforcement. His bond is set at $500,000.

Via Sedgwick County inmate records

As Rolling Stone points out, Barriss is also being charged for a swatting incident in Calgary, Canada in late December. Nobody was hurt in that case.

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