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Tag: November 13

GAMES

When Overwatch Goes Punk

Like they did with underwear, and then formal evening wear, Overwatch cosplayers have once again taken their favourite characters and put a little spin on their outfits. This time, the theme is punk.

These costumes were all on show at this year’s BlizzCon, with most of the shots below taken by Mineralblu.

Cosplay by Maid of Might Cosplay | Photo by Mineralblu
Cosplay by Diana Nomster | Photo by Mineralblu
Photo by Mineralblu
Cosplay by Elizabeth Rage | Photo by Mineralblu
Cosplay by Vivid Vivka | Photo by Mineralblu
Cosplay by Milynn Sarley | Photo by Mineralblu
Cosplay by Milynn Sarley | Photo by Mineralblu
Photo by Dave Yang
Photo by Martin Wong
Cosplay by Vamplette | Photo by David Ngo

Vía https://cosplay.kotaku.com/when-overwatch-goes-punk-1820420406 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

All the Best Deals from Microsoft’s Black Friday Discounts

Microsoft

Thanksgiving is almost here, and that means Black Friday is looming as well. And if you’ve been holding out for a better deal on that new laptop or gaming console, now’s the time to browse for deals.

Microsoft just announced a slew of discounts starting on Thanksgiving—that’s Thursday, November 23—through Cyber Monday, November 27. Here are the best Black Friday deals the company has to offer.

Save Big on a Surface Pro Bundle ($329 off)

If you’re looking for a tablet-laptop hybrid, Microsoft has you covered. The company has been iterating on its sleek-yet-solid Surface lineup for years, and the latest Surface Pro offers one of the best experiences around. That includes a high-quality touchscreen and a powerful processor, though the Surface Pen stylus is no longer included in the box for some reason.

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This year, Microsoft is offering $329 off the price of the new Surface Pro with 256GB of storage space (normally $1,299) when you buy it with the black Type Cover keyboard (currently currently $93.98 from Microsoft on Amazon), which you’ll need if you want to use it in laptop mode. So the final discounted price should come to $1063.98.

You can also pick the cheaper 128GB Surface Pro ($999) with the Type Cover and save $299 instead. In that case, the final price should be $793.98.

Get Microsoft’s Invoke Smart Speaker For Free—When You Buy a Surface Laptop ($1,299 and up)

Last month, Microsoft dove into the smart speaker wars with Invoke, a high-end Bluetooth speaker with Cortana voice controls. 30 days later, the company is giving away the Invoke for free when you pick up a Surface Laptop for Black Friday.

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That deal covers either the 256GB Surface Laptop with Intel’s i5 chip ($1,299) or the i7 model (starting at $1,599). If you’re not interested in a pricy new laptop, you can also grab Microsoft’s Invoke speaker on its own for $100 off, dropping the price down to $99.95.

The Best Deal Ever on the Xbox One S ($189)

Microsoft just released the ultra-powerful Xbox One X, but if you’re looking or something a little less expensive that will still work with your 4K TV , the company is knocking $60 off the Xbox One S, dropping the price to a new all-time low of $189 over Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

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The temporary bundle also includes one free game of your choice (presumably from a pre-selected list), 14 days of Xbox Live Gold for online gaming, and a month of Xbox Game Pass, which offers unlimited access to over 100 older Xbox titles.

If you need a new gaming console this is a solid deal, but if your current system still works, you may want to hold off. We have a feeling the Xbox One S will continue to drop in price now that it’s been succeeded by the Xbox One X.

Vía https://lifehacker.com/all-the-best-deals-from-microsoft-s-black-friday-discou-1820399903 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

Pro Gamers Should Use Their Real Names 

Me and my friends, Josh, Ricky, Steve, and Gary playing games. Photo credit: AP

Here’s some helpful advice from me, a guy with a surface-level interest in esports, to you, the pro gamer: Use your real name instead of some gamer handle.

I’m sure that you have heard this before, from some jerk looking down his nose at you, but let me assure you that I do respect games and gamers. Yes, it does sound pretty silly when a Smash commentator has to say “Dr. PeePee” many times in a serious voice…

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… but that is not why I want you to abandon your handle. I want you to leave it behind because I want you to humiliate your opponents.

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Imagine this: You, an Injustice 2 pro, are in the middle of a hotly contested match against your fiercest rival, the man known as xTraP, or some shit. You pull off an incredible victory, at which point the broadcaster, overcome by the moment, screams, “And it’s all over! xTraP has been defeated by Greg!”

Greg: That’s you. Why are you going by Greg in this Injustice 2 tournament? Because imagine how much it must sting to be xTraP and know that you just got wrecked by a guy named Greg.

Imagine how sad QuantumRa7 will be when he is felled by Brad. Krullxxx89 will be bereft when he loses to Steve. Will I4Q7 even be able to keep playing after she is defeated by Rachel?

I think you see my point.

Vía https://compete.kotaku.com/pro-gamers-should-use-their-real-names-1820408835 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

Today’s selection of articles from Kotaku’s reader-run community: Monster Hunter Is About So Much Mo

Today’s selection of articles from Kotaku’s reader-run community: Monster Hunter Is About So Much More Than Just Hunting Monsters Remembering Ultimate Muscle– A Quirky Series w/ History Back to the Seventies Jet Set Radio’s Sense of Place


You’re reading TAY, Kotaku’s community-run blog. TAY is written by and for Kotaku readers like you. We write about games, art, culture and everything in between. Want to write with us? Check out the Beginner’s Guide to TAY and join in.

Follow us here.

Vía https://tay.kinja.com/1820419764 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

Ready For Anything

Won Bin Lee is an artist from South Korea.

You can see more of Lee’s work at his ArtStation page.


To see the images in their native resolution, click on the “expand” button in the top-left corner.

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Fine Art is a celebration of the work of video game artists, showcasing the best of both their professional and personal portfolios. If you’re in the business and have some concept, environment, promotional or character art you’d like to share, get in touch!


Vía https://kotaku.com/ready-for-anything-1820378663 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

The Versatile Logitech Harmony Hub Basically Comes With a Free Echo Dot Right Now

The Logitech Harmony Hub is one of the best Alexa-compatible accessories out there, and it basically comes with a free Echo Dot right now.

If you aren’t familiar, the Harmony Hub is a little puck that blasts out RF signals like a TV remote to control all of your devices (Logitech’s database has nearly 300,000; it’s pretty comprehensive). Normally, this would work with a Harmony remote to control devices that are hidden behind cabinet doors, but it’ll also work with just your voice if you own an Alexa device.

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So, for example, you could say “Alexa, turn on the TV” to turn on your TV, change to the correct input, turn on your cable box, or whatever else you programmed it to do. The same holds true for your smartphone; just open the Harmony app, and you’ll have full control over your entire home theater.

The Harmony Hub costs about $90 on Amazon (though it’s sometimes bundled with a barebones remote for about $70), but right now, that same amount of money will get you the Hub and an Echo Dot to control it. Or, if you already have all the Echoes you need, just give the Dot away as a holiday gift, and keep the Hub for yourself.


Vía https://deals.kinja.com/the-versatile-logitech-harmony-hub-basically-comes-with-1820413755 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

Pokémon Fans Are Losing Their Minds At The End Of The New Movie

There is a weird thing about the new Pokémon movie that is kind of a spoiler, so if you’re sensitive to that stuff, look away. If you’re not, here is a room full of adults losing their shit over what happens at the end of the newest movie in the series, I Choose You!

As we told you back in July, Pikachu doesn’t just say “Pikachu” a lot in this movie. He can talk. Which is clearly news to a lot of people seeing the movie for the first time, going by these reactions:

Here’s a longer version including the scenes that follow:

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Yes, it is extremely fucking weird.

Vía https://kotaku.com/pokemon-fans-are-losing-their-minds-at-the-end-of-the-n-1820415266 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

Streamers Reacting To Speedruns Of A Game They Just Rage-Quit Is 👌

Last week, I wrote about popular streamers rage-quitting Getting Over It, a game about climbing a junk mountain that represents digital content and probably also Hell. Now for the flipside of that coin: people being extremely good at the game… being watched by people who are extremely bad at it.

Getting Over It’s speedrunning scene is something else. Already, people have managed to finish this twisted, black-hearted vampire of a game in just over three minutes. For normal players, it can take tens of hours, if they even manage the feat at all. Speedruns by folks like Lumonen and Bao Bao have left streamers, some of whom previously rage-quit the game, slack-jawed.

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In this clip, Sodapoppin is left largely speechless, only interrupting his awe-induced reverie to occasionally yell “WHAT.”

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“I don’t even want to play the game anymore, man,” he says after the speedrun ends. “I beat it, in my mind. Fucking Christ.”

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“Holy shit,” says Lirik while watching a world-record 3:13 speedrun in the above video. “I fucking suck at games, dude.” However, after the speedrun ends, he sings a different tune. “I’ve never felt so accomplished before,” he says. “That was amazing.”

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Mitch Jones reacted to a four-minute speedrun with literal disbelief. “Are you serious?” he exclaimed. “People are already farming this game, and I couldn’t even get past the fucking first shit?”

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“Wait, is this tool-assisted?” he asked a handful of seconds into the run. “This must be tool-assisted. Like a bot or something. There’s no way a human could be doing this.”

He’s right about one thing: speedrunners clearly aren’t human. They’re better.

So now you’ve seen streamers rage-quit Getting Over It, other people speedrun it, and streamers watch those speedruns and rage-quit anew. The digital content snake has eaten its own tail and then some, all thanks to Getting Over It, a game laced with pointed commentary on digital content. I strongly suspect this was the point all along.

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GAMES

The Challenge Of Designing Two Of Persona 5’s Best Characters

Persona 5's art book, now available in English, has some…interesting things to say about the design of a couple of the game’s best characters, Takemi and Kawakami.

The book—which is incredible, by the way—is full of developer commentary, explaining the design process behind everything from the Phantom Thieves to the game’s boss battles.

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A lot of this is good background info for fans of the game, but there are two passages in particular that stood out to me reading through it yesterday. One concerns Kawakami, the hapless homeroom teacher who you can, for reasons that’ll take too long to get into here, sleep with later in the game.

If you thought she looked plain and kinda boring for a game where everyone else looks so wild and stylish, that’s the point. And also one of the biggest challenges an art team can face.

“While not completely hopeless, she isn’t exactly gifted, either, and the idea when designing her was to make her into a ‘normal’ person”, the book’s “Creator Commentary” explains of her design. “We didn’t put any effort into making her clothes cool or fashionable or adding anything to her that really stood out.”

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“Rather, we purposely went for a normal person who appears to be missing something. We didn’t do that to cut corners. We actually had to put a lot of thought into what a thirty-something, normally clothed woman who seems to be missing something would looks like. Fans could probably cosplay as her at minimal expense, but others might not even realize they’re cosplaying.”

Brutal. But also weirdly understandable. Video game artists spend so long dreaming of the fantastic that when asked to produce the mundane, it must be a stretch!

The other passage I thought was worth a look was the one explaining the design of Takemi, aka “Hot Doc”, both for how she ended up looking in the game, but also for the revelation that there was a guiding principle behind the design of most women in Persona 5.

“We originally made her look extremely unapproachable, with the eyes of a killer”, Takemi’s commentary section reads. “However, we received a request from Director Hashino that ‘all female characters should basically be on the cute side’ and eventually softened the design. I suppose we probably overdid it a bit in the beginning [laughs]”

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I kinda would rather have seen this more psychotic version of Takemi? Persona 5 isn’t afraid to show its men in all shapes and sizes, would have been nice to see the same principle applied to more of the women as well.

Vía https://kotaku.com/the-challenge-of-designing-two-of-persona-5s-best-chara-1820412666 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

The Best Use For Microsoft’s HoloLens Is Playing a Star Trek: TNG Game That Nearly Killed the Crew

When you think about the early days of virtual reality, you either think of the movie The Lawnmower Man, or that episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where the crew gets addicted to an augmented reality game that almost kills everyone. Which, by the way, you can now play on Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset.

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Lovingly recreated by Robert Burke, his version of “The Game” is also controlled by relaxing your mind, but lacking the advanced mind-reading technologies of the 24th century, it instead uses a handheld galvanic sensor to measure your stress based on how much you’re sweating. One advanced technology we do (mostly) have now is voice recognition, so if you find yourself too stressed to play, you can instead use voice commands to get the flying discs into the cones.

[YouTube via Nerdist]

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GAMES

The Best Lord Of The Rings Video Games

I haven’t been enjoying Shadow of War as much as others, partly for its diversions from Tolkien’s tone/universe, a take which has got me thinking about Lord of the Rings video games I do like.

Younger readers may think of the series in recent years as being all about making friends with orcs, or for those with slightly longer memories about under-appreciated RTS games and cancelled epics.

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But Tolkien’s influence on video games stretches much further back. Fans have been playing games based on The Lord of the Rings (and The Hobbit) for almost as long as there have been video games, and for every misguided flop there has been a game that has been surprisingly OK for a licensed product. And in some cases much better than that.

Here are five of the best of them:

THE HOBBIT

Australian studio Beam Software made a number of LotR games, but their first remains the most important. The Hobbit, released in 1982, is an absolute adventure game classic that helped push the genre forwards in a number of ways, from its inclusion of illustrations to a complex text-entry system that let users string together long sentences (instead of just typing “open door”). It even had a primitive physics system.

THE RETURN OF THE KING

The second of EA’s brawlers based on Peter Jackson’s film trilogy was the better game. It married a competent action system with fantastic recreations of the movie’s key scenes, and (for the time) had some incredible voice acting, including appearances by key actors like Ian McKellan and John Rhys Davies. It was also one of the best-looking games of 2003.

THE THIRD AGE

Yes, I mean it. This game has one of the dumbest boss battles of all time, but that tends to overshadow everything that came before it. This is one of the best Final Fantasy clones around, even if it is a bit simpler, and its alternate telling of the saga is one that still feels at home within Jackson’s take on the novels. And like most of EA’s other Lord of the Rings game, the production values helped really sell the license and make more of an impact on fans than the game might have were it to have been set in some random other universe (with more zippers).

BATTLE FOR MIDDLE EARTH II

The massive battle scenes of Lord of the Rings were always going to lead to strategy games, but the question was how those were ever going to stretched out over entire singleplayer campaigns. EA found the answer in using hero units to let players act out smaller moments from the trilogy, while still allowing the scale to fight battles like Helm’s Deep. Both BFME games are good, but the second might be slightly better thanks to a campaign that didn’t have to skew as closely to the main storyline, and could thus engineer some better mission design.

SHADOW OF MORDOR

By far the better of WB’s two Lord of the Rings games (to date), Shadow’s focus is much tighter, its nemesis system more refined. I’m not the biggest fan of WB’s take on the license—it feels more like its own IP dressed in a veneer of Lord of the Rings—but the thrill of its stealth murder and orc friendship system makes up for this.

SPECIAL MENTION: THIRD AGE: TOTAL WAR

This is a mod, not a standalone game, so I couldn’t officially include it on the list. But here’s a shout out for it anyway, because nothing has ever captured the scale and fury of the series’ biggest battles like this Total War conversion, which transforms Medieval: Total War 2 into the ultimate Middle Earth combat experience.

The Bests are Kotaku’s picks for the best things on (or off) the internet.

Vía https://thebests.kotaku.com/the-best-lord-of-the-rings-video-games-1820380737 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

The ‘Free’ CS:GO Skin Industry Is Booming, Following Gambling Crackdown

Collectskins.com

Gambling for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive skins is so 2016. Now, there’s a burgeoning new industry giving them out to players for free. Well: “free.”

For years, CS:GO players have bought and sold virtual weapon skins in Steam’s marketplace. They’re cosmetic finishes players can paste on top of guns. As time went on, rarer skins’ market valuations would surpass the thousand-dollar mark. That’s when some savvy gamers had the idea to build websites that let users gamble using CS:GO skins instead of money. In July 2016, news broke that two CS:GO YouTubers who’d regularly brag of their impressive earnings off CSGOLotto.com in fact owned the site—and had not disclosed that in their videos in which they encouraged their fans to start gambling. 23 skin-gambling sites received cease and desist letters shortly thereafter.

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Exposed for its gray-area legality (even in places where it might have been legal for adults, there was nothing to stop kids from using it, and they did), the CS:GO skin gambling industry momentarily buckled under pressure from Valve, publisher of CS:GO and the company behind Steam. But the $5 billion industry built on its back didn’t evaporate, though; it disseminated. Now, dozens of sites are offering free Counter-Strike skins in exchange for doing online tasks—anything from watching an endless stream of ads to completing the trial of a dumb mobile game to buying twelve chocolate strawberries.

A few months ago, I was queued up for a Rocket League match when the game pitted me against a strange opponent. Hovering above their car where a username would have been was a scramble of letters and numbers. Somewhere in this jumble, I could make out a URL: collectskins.com. Lots of gamers use their tags to express themselves, to assert some sense of identity and ownership over their avatar; and here’s this guy just shilling for a Counter-Strike site. What gives?

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Curious about what made Collectskins.com compelling enough to advertise, I entered the URL into Chrome. After clicking around a little, I found what I was looking for on a tab reading Free Skins: Players could receive more points toward CS:GO skins for adding “collectskins.com” to their Steam nicknames.

But that was the tiniest fraction of the site’s business model. Scrolling down the side of the page was a live feed, and every few seconds, it updated with something like this: “|Neo Trox| ^^ CollectSkins.com Earned 0.56 on AdscendMedia,” “PDFlow CollectSkins.com earned 0.58 on AdscendMedia.” These were some of the hundreds of thousands of users, like my friend in Rocket League, who were grinding away their time earning credits toward Counter-Strike skins.

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“If you tell people you can get free Counter-Strike skins, I think they’d respond that ‘Nothing in the world is free,’” Jacob, who owns Collectskins.com, told me. Jacob is a 21-year-old college economics student in Denmark who, last year, learned of the bustling online industry of “Get Paid To” or “GPT” sites. You’ve probably seen banners for them online at one time or another: “Get paid to complete surveys” and the like. Traditionally, users perform a startlingly broad array of online tasks and are paid out small sums in their PayPal accounts.

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Collectskins.com works like that, but instead of money, users get points toward CS:GO skins. Once users earn points, they can obtain skins from Jacob’s stock, which he purchases from third-party CS:GO skin sites that buy the skins off users at a price-point cheaper than Steam’s official marketplace. Jacob says his site attracts about 10,000 active users a week.

Chris, another college student who owns another “free” CS:GO skins site called Earn.gg, attracts 120,000 active users a month. He moves 1,000 Counter-Strike skins a day and brings in $120,000 a month. Over the last year, free CS:GO skins sites earned the attention of ad networks like Adscend Media, which connects sites to revenue streams. A representative from Adscend reached for comment by Kotaku estimated that she works with a couple dozen free CS:GO skins sites. Over the last year, she said, the industry has ballooned.

“Users spend time on stuff and get something in reward,” Collectskins.com owner Jacob explained. “It’s not ‘for free,’ but it’s ‘free’ in that you don’t have to get your credit card out.”

CSGOpoints.com

Collectskins.com and much of its kin are reactions to the CS:GO gambling crackdown. Jacob, who used to gamble for CS:GO skins, didn’t like how opaque the process was, not to mention the questionable legality. Now, he says, he can offer users stable, reliable skin gains in exchange for internet tasks—anything from completing the tutorial for a mobile game to filling out some consumer surveys for big brands.

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At Earn.gg, one of the site’s developers had close ties with the gambling scene, but jumped ship after Valve sent out cease-and-desist letters in July 2016. “They chose the free CS:GO scene since it was something they were familiar with, at least audience-wise,” said Earn.gg owner Chris. The decreased chances of getting sued were a big bonus, too, Chris told me, adding that although it’s less lucrative than skin-gambling, it comes with less risk and more stability.

While the free-skins market, at least on its face, seems to be on the legal up and up, neither of the site owners I interviewed knew whether it was kosher from Valve’s perspective, though. The company did not return a request for comment. “We’re probably against Steam’s Terms of Service,” Chris said. “But it doesn’t look like they care. We haven’t had any issues with them yet.”

Vía https://kotaku.com/the-free-cs-go-skin-industry-is-booming-following-gamb-1820410636 ʕ ᴖᴥᴖʔ Subscribe to me here on Youtube!

GAMES

Adequate Man How Not To Make Coffee | Jezebel Megyn Kelly Today, Today: Things Get Unexpectedly Tens

GAMES

The 10 Best Deals of November 13, 2017

Before you head out for the day, check out the 10 best deals we found today from around the web.

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: A Bunch of Anker Charging Gear

Anker makes basically all of our readers’ favorite charging gear, and a bunch of it is on sale today for 20% off or more, no promo codes required.

The PowerPort 2 can charge two devices simultaneously at 2.4A, or the same speed as a 12W iPad charger, and it would make a great stocking stuffer at $13.

There’s also a 4-port version for $21, if you travel with more than two USB-powered devices.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an Anker sale without savings on a big USB battery pack.

If you’re a dedicated iPhone user, they sell a car charger with a built-in Lightning cable, in addition to a USB port.

And you can never have too many cables, so pick up a couple of nylon-wrapped USB-C cables for under $10, or a 10' PowerLine II Lightning cable (complete with a lifetime warranty) for an all-time low $12.

#2: Contigo Water Bottles

Contigo’s Autoseal West Loop travel mugs are a longtime reader favorite, but the similar SnapSeal Byron is marked down to all-time low prices, today only on Amazon.

You get to choose from 16, 20, and 24 oz. models in for this deal, in a variety of colors. When we post deals on these mugs, it’s usually the West Loop model, but the Byron’s a little bit different. Unlike the West Loop, the Byron’s lid doesn’t open and close automatically, though many reviewers say it’s easier to clean. The Byron also includes a rubberized non-slip sleeve, which is a nice touch, especially at these prices.

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Just remember that this is a Gold Box, so be sure to lock in your order before this deal cools off.

#3: Front Pocket Wallets

Continuing in the grand tradition of Kickstarter wallets, the FOCX Everyday Wallet packs a ton of cards into a clever, minimal package.

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The FOCX is basically split into two compartments: One that loads from either side, and another that loads from the top, with a pull-tab to get your cards back out. The idea is that your most-used cards and cash go into the former, while up to 10 other cards can squeeze into the latter, but you can arrange things however you want. Most of the wallet is made of elastic to hold everything in place, but it’s accented by a wide strip of leather to lend it a more premium feel than, say, a TGT wallet.

There’s only about a week left in the campaign, but you can still order a FOCX for about $28, with estimated delivery in February.

#4: Sperry Boat Shoes

Boat Shoe season may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage of Sperry’s deals. Right now, grab some shoes made for the open seas for just $60. Select boat shoes (and sneakers that are somehow being classified as boat shoes) are discounted when you use the code MONDAY at checkout.

#5: Knife Keychain

If you’re the type to carry around a blade on the daily, you’ll be happy to know your options just got even more portable. Like, keychain levels of portable. Snag the excellent WESN Titanium Microblade for 40 bucks with a Kickstarter preorder.

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The WESN has already sliced and diced its funding goal many times over, and also acts as a bottle opener and screwdriver.

#6: Soda Stream

SodaStream Source, $47 after $15 coupon

Update: There’s now a $15 coupon you can clip, which brings it down to $47. I think I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve seen a SodaStream for under $50.

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Some people can’t live without their coffee, but for me, it’s fizzy water. While supplies last, you can get a SodaStream Source from Amazon for $62, complete with a small starter CO2 canister, and a mail-in rebate for a free full-sized starter canister. If you regularly buy soda or carbonated water at the store, it’ll pay for itself.

#7: Cowin Headphones

You don’t need to sell a kidney to afford noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones; these 4 star-rated Cowin E-7s are just $40 right now, or $30 off with promo code 9H9778YO.

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They might not have the brand recognition of Sony or Bose, but these headphones pack in 30 hours of battery life, and yes, active noise cancellation that reviewers say works really well.


#8: Sport Nutrition Supplements

Typically, we see big deals on fitness supplements in January, as people still cling to their new year’s resolutions to get fit and stay healthy. But if you’re dedicated to staying in shape through all the food and merriment of the holiday season, Amazon’s running a one-day sale on tons of sports nutrition products, from a variety of manufacturers.

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There’s a lot here, so if you have any suggestions, be sure to drop them in the comments.

#9: Air Filters

#10: Dyson Products

20% off all $25+ orders with code PSHOPEARLY

For a limited time, Dyson’s eBay outlet is taking an extra 20% off any $25 order(maximum $50 discount) with promo code PSHOPEARLY, including vacuums, fans, and even hair dryers. Most of the wares here are refurbished, but they’re sold directly by Dyson; this isn’t a sketchy third party situation.

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My pick is the V6 Absolute for $180. I bought the V6 Animal a months ago, and it makes quick work of all the pet hair on our furniture.

That same PSHOPEARLY code will work with a number of other (admittedly less exciting) sellers as well, including Klymit, Anker, Cuisinart, Worx, and more, so check out the full list on this page.

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GAMES

IGN Staff Walk Out After Former Employee’s Sexual Harassment Claims

Prominent staff at the gaming site IGN say they’ve walked out today in the wake of allegations late last week that a former editor sexually harassed two women at the company.

“There won’t be a Daily Fix today because a large group of IGN employees have refused to work until the company issues a statement/apology regarding what happened to Kallie Plagge,” IGN’s Alanah Pearce wrote on Twitter this afternoon, referring to a former co-worker who on Friday had accused the company’s HR department of mistreating her. The Daily Fix is IGN’s regular news show.

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On Friday night, Plagge said on Twitter that while working as a social media contractor at IGN last year, she and another female employee were sexually harassed by former editor Vince Ingenito. In her tweet, and in an interview with Kotaku on Saturday, Plagge said that she saw Ingenito as a mentor but grew gradually uncomfortable when he made sexual remarks and “manipulative and abusive comments” toward her and one of her co-workers, whose name she did not want used without that woman’s permission. One example Plagge brought up on Twitter: “‘When I was your age I could go all night.’ He put his hand on my arm. ‘I just want one more night like that.’”

Shortly afterward, Ingenito wrote a lengthy response on Twitter, saying that he “overestimated or perhaps misread the degree of our friendship” and “didn’t graphically describe anything or force sexual conversations on her or anyone.”

Despite widespread discussion of this incident on social media since Friday evening, IGN has not publicly commented. The company did not respond to a Kotaku request for comment over the weekend and has not yet put out any statement.

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What bothered Plagge the most, she said during a phone call, was what happened after she and her co-worker reported the incident to IGN’s human resources department in July 2016. Plagge said that she and the other woman were told to sit and work in a glass conference room—“a fishbowl”—while IGN decided what to do. Then, Plagge said, she was forced to sign a document saying that she had conducted herself inappropriately, without being told what she had done.

The document, which Plagge shared with Kotaku, stated: “With regards to the investigation of harassment, evidence was presented to show a lack of professionalism in your part as well as others. Communication between you and Vince were both inappropriate, unprofessional, and violated our harassment policy.”

“That is the worst thing about this, is not the harassment, it’s what happened after,” Plagge said. “I deeply deeply regret [contacting HR]. It was just an absolutely traumatic experience for me.”

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Plagge said she felt anxious and uncomfortable at work in the following months, until she decided in December 2016 to leave for a new job at GameSpot. “It got to the point where I couldn’t work for multiple hours a day because I was having panic attacks, so I decided to quit,” she said.

In March 2017, Ingenito said that he was laid off from IGN.

Two IGN employees told me today that the editorial staff met this morning. During that meeting, employees fumed at management about both their treatment of Plagge and silence over this incident. “We had a large staff meeting this morning and ultimately said we weren’t going to work until the company issues a statement,” said one IGN employee. “They said they will, and didn’t think our protest was unreasonable.”

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IGN social editor Cassidee Moser also chimed in on Twitter. “Today has been a very somber and humbling day at IGN,” she wrote. “Everyone is outraged and demanding changes be made to protect people going forward. I find the way her case was handled to be reprehensible. But after speaking to many in management and editorial today, I am encouraged.”

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GAMES

EA Cuts Star Wars Battlefront II Hero Costs After Widespread Anger

Star Wars Battlefront II’s heroes were a little expensive to unlock. Responding to widespread criticism, a new blog post from EA outlines a major reduction in cost for unlocking heroes.

One of the major appeals of Star Wars Battlefront II is the chance to participate in massive battles from the films and play as iconic character such as Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. This weekend, players broke down the numbers it would take to play as some of these heroes. Some estimates placed the process at forty hours. Players were so disappointed that a reply from EA outlining the decision is now the most down-voted post in the site’s history. A new blog post now states that the price of heroes will be reduced by 75 percent, allowing players to run around as their favorite characters much sooner.

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“It’s a big change, and it’s one we can make quickly,” the post said. “It will be live today, with an update that is getting loaded into the game.”

Characters like Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader used to cost 60,000 in-game credits to unlock but will now cost 15,000 instead. Emperor Palpatine, Chewbacca, and Leia Organa will now cost 10,000 credits. The game’s protagonist Iden Versio will have their cost reduced to 5,000 credits. This change comes alongside additional criticism that the game’s loot box progression system allows players to pay for in-game advantages. Players asked that EA alter the deal and they’ve done just that. Maybe we can get a playable Jar Jar Binks too?

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