Watch Christina Hoff Sommers' Ridiculous Anti-Feminist Gamer Video Debunked in Awesomely Ridiculous Auto-Tune

Gamers angry at feminist game critic Anita Sarkeesian have been gleefully passing around this video from the right wing think tank American Enterprise Institute featuring right wing, self-described feminist Christina Hoff Sommers as PROOF THAT ANITA SARKEESIAN IS WRONG*, even though the video is so thoroughly deceptive and disingenuous, it's exhausting to even begin to point out how, and why. Fortunately this dude Jonathan Mann figured how to do so in under 5 minutes, and auto-tuned the whole thing for extra entertaining excellence.

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Play for Free This Month: Hitman GO, an Elegant & Beautiful iOS Strategy/Puzzle Game

Click here to get a free download (available only this month, thanks to IGN) of Hitman GO, a seriously beautiful and elegant strategy/puzzle game for iOS which turns the stealthy assassin franchise into a chess-like board game. Watch:

Hitman GO has been my go-to "quick break" game over the last couple weeks; challenging, fun, beautiful to experience (the UI, the art, and the ambient sound are gorgeous), with a wry, ironic wit, I totally recommend it, even if you've never played the original games (which I haven't).

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Kitty Powers' Matchmaker (iOS/Android): A Mobile Game That Gets Romance Right

Kitty Powers Matchmaker iOS (10)

Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

A lot of games try to tackle the subject of romance, and it's safe to say that the majority of them don't get it right -- especially when it comes to integrating that romance into the actual gameplay. That's where terms like "kindness coins" come in, describing the kind of transaction-based relationship mechanics that games trying to represent dating and courtship often use. Tell someone what they want to hear, dress like they want you to dress, give them things they like, and eventually you'll earn enough points to win.

... Their love, I mean. Win their love. How romantic.

In reality, that's not an act that anyone can keep up for ever. Sooner or later a relationship built on nothing but white lies and pandering to your partner will fall apart. Most games don't care about addressing these inevitable Unhappily-Ever-Afters, but Kitty Powers' Matchmaker isn't most games.

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Argyle Alligator, Reporter: We Interview Gaming's Most Adorable In-World Reporter

Second Life reporter

He's tiny, he's toothy, he's relentless; he's Argyle Alligator, and he's the cutest fricking in-game reporter to visit Second Life. After this video went fairly viral, I wanted to find out more about Mr. Alligator. (IRL a guy named Brad.) He shares that below, and if you're an SLer, please suggest other communities in Comments where Argyle should visit in his next in-world report from Second Life.

What inspired you to report from Second Life?

I previously did reports within the video games Rust, Arma 3 and Garry's Mod. I always knew about Second Life but I had an epiphany to do interviews within the game because of it's voice chat and consistent player base. I also am aware that Second Life has players of all walks of life, so I thought it would be a perfect venue to report on. I had a pretty good response to my approach on most of the worlds that I visited randomly. A few people did think I was griefing and gave me a hard time but I'd just move on to the next world. It was great experience overall.

Beyond the SL video, what's your favorite in-game report -- and why do you like it?

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Sims 4 Modding Already Has a Hot, Surprising Trend Which Totally Improves EA's Original Avatars

Face Overlay by Plumb4
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

Sims 4 modders have really hit the ground running since its release at the beginning of the month. Mods for the game, including recolors of vanilla content already number in the hundreds -- or thousands, if you include the build-in sharing tools that let players browse the rooms, lots, and households made by others. It's been a much smoother period for modders than The Sims 3's launch was, largely because early access to the CAS demo and developer transparency about how the game itself works have allowed experienced modders to get straight to work without having to spend nearly as much time figuring out how.

Amid the usual clothes and hairstyles and furniture and so on, there's one type of mod that's been gaining a lot of ground in spite of its unassuming nature. In fact, you'll find more of these than you will freckle mods or even eyeglass mods. What are they?

They're facial shaders.

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Janine "Iris" Hawkins Selects 8 Sims-Like Games for Paste

Redshirt Indie Game like The SIms

NWN's Iris has a new post for the prestigious Paste Magazine: 8 Games to Play if You Like The Sims, featuring a lot of titles you probably haven't heard of, like cult favorite Dwarf Fortress, or the indie game Red Shirts, which she blogged about for NWN.

If you're wondering if she mentions Second Life, I'll say no right up front, but as she tells me, there's a good reason for that:

"Second Life is just a big open thing, it can kind of be like any game.

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Death of a Simsman: It's Hard Work Killing Off Your Sims in The Sims 4

Kotaku The Sim Who Refused to Die
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

Kotaku's Patricia Hernandez recently published a piece about one of the most contentious issues surrounding The Sims 4: The ability to kill your sims. Developers have spoken about how they wanted to make it harder for sims to die accidentally compared to previous games (one expansion to The Sims 3 make it possible for sims to be spontaneously hit by meteors for instance) because it's not very fun to lose a sim in the middle of your game. At the same time, when you sit someone down with a simulation they will instinctively test for its limits -- and "simicide" is a big part of that. She writes:

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Microsoft, Minecraft and Mojang: Here's How to Make Sense of Microsoft's $2.5B Purchase

Minecraft Kokeshi
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

After some speculation, it's official: Microsoft has purchased voxel-based sandbox game Minecraft for $2.5 billion. Maybe that makes perfect sense to you and maybe it doesn't. This past weekend as we discussed the massive purchase, my mother asked my why on earth Microsoft would want to buy Minecraft for anything approaching that much money. My answer? That it might be better to think of it in terms of why a company might want to buy Barbie or Lego. They're monolithic brands; highly recognizable, widely available and beloved by huge swathes of customers, both young and old. There are already teenagers who look at Minecraft with nostalgia right alongside people experiencing it for the very first time. It's a cultural touchstone.

But there's more to it than that. If you break this purchase down into its most basic economic terms, as analyst Michael Pachter did at GamesBeat 2014, it makes perfect sense. Polygon's Owen Good has picked the juiciest bits out of Pachter's comments on Microsoft's acquisition of Minecraft, and summarizes the issue succinctly:

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This Weekend, Try Out a New Sims 4 House by a Familiar Second Life Designer

Barnesworth Anubis Sims 4 builds
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

I'll be cooling it slightly on the Sims 4 posts starting next week (I promise!) but I just had to mention this for the sake of anyone planning to play this weekend. Barnesworth Anubis, one of Second Life's most experienced and most popular virtual home designers, has been hard at work in The Sims 4 creating some of the most elegant houses I've seen yet. You won't find many cozy cottages or cramped starters in Barnesworth's portfolio, but if you're looking for a big beautiful space for your virtual family his creations are a great place to start.

Check out his designs in The Sims 4 gallery under the username "BarnesAnubis" or in his Sims 4 album on Flickr. And while you're at it, scope out some of his Second Life builds on the SL Marketplace.

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Home is Where the Craftybot is: Fan Remakes of Defunct MMO Glitch Are Making Serious Progress

 
Janine "Iris Ophelia" Hawkins' ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

Fans of Glitch are still hard at work on their projects to revive the closed (and subsequently open-sourced) MMO. Just this week the team behind one such project, named Eleven, released a video demonstrating the housing system in action. Unlike most tech demos the point of this video isn't to reveal anything new or surprising, but rather to demonstrate how faithful their reconstruction is -- to stir up the nostalgia and fondness that Glitch fans have for the defunct game. They also recently released character customization, so you can rebuild the Glitchens of your past or start completely fresh.

Eleven isn't the only Glitch remake in progress, however...

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