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Matt Cox

Today

The internet could learn a lot from the VR sign language community

I love the smell of technology bringing people together in the morning. Not in that hollow, Zuckerberguian sense: I'm talking about VR communities where deaf and hearing people hang out and learn VR-adapted sign language. The tech isn't perfect, but it's more than enough to prop up some bridges. You can see them for yourself, thanks to YouTuber and VR documentary maker "Syrmor".

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1 day ago

Confirmed: Valve will reveal “flagship VR game” Half-Life: Alyx this Thursday

Update: The rumour was true, but the date was wrong. Valve have tweeted that they're going to unveil Half-Life: Alyx, their "flagship VR game", this Thursday at 10am Pacific/6pm GMT. This will be the first official Half-Life game since Half-Life 2: Episode 2 was released twelve years ago, in 2007. And that's all we know for now. Original story: Right, time to grab all the…

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Feature: Figurine out

Have You Played… Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear To The Rescue?

I don't know if Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear To The Rescue is any good, but I know eight year-old me believed it to be. I remember pottering around a world designed for giants. A world of mundane obstacles, of molehills become mountains. A world that existed on the fringes of my understanding, where something new and bewildering lay behind every corner. I suppose being…

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6 days ago

1 week ago

Feature: Speedy resolution

How to deal with Disco Elysium’s twelve-year-old drug addict

The first proper obstacle in amnesiac police RPG Disco Elysium, if you don’t count your ceiling fan, is a small child who has taken a lot of speed. He stands outside your hotel, chucking stones at your corpse. Your case’s corpse. The one you need to investigate. This won’t do.

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Feature: Read more

The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for relaxing into your week off, potentially with a huge RPG or three. I'll be busy playing cowboy, space cowboy or detective, but there's always room to read the best writing about videogames from the past week. For Vice, Matthew Gault wrote about how Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare blurs distinctions between the wars it's based on, rewriting history for the benefit of…

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2 weeks ago

Meteorfall: Krumit’s Tale is tile-based roguelike deckbuilding, out now on early access

At the start of this year I declared, via a supporter-only post, that the mobile-only Meteorfall was my downfall. It was all John's fault (RPS in peace). He pointed me towards a game that refined roguelike deckbuilding down to binary decisions, sending me on gleefully overpowered runs that rivaled the satisfaction I found in Slay The Spire. Now he's gone and pointed me at its…

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Feature: Not much to sea

Abandon Ship review

I cruised through dozens of fights before disaster struck. A scuffle with a cultist saw my ship scuttled, thanks to me forgetting to man the water pumps. A foolish oversight, but I’d at least had the foresight to buy a lifeboat, which saved me and my crew from a quick and merciful death. The days dragged in that tiny boat, as we drifted in diminishing…

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Fallout 76 paid subscribers have formed a peasant-trashing aristocracy

Reports of class warfare in Fallout 76 were probably overblown, but far from fabricated. The recent introduction of Fallout 1st, a paid subscription service offering cosmetics, conveniences and (not-so) private servers, has created something of a rift. At first that just meant the odd subscriber got attacked by people in bear costumes. Now the subscribers are fighting back, with 300 of them joining a clan…

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Feature: Two doesn't need to be

Overwatch 2 doesn’t look like a sequel, but a true sequel would be doomed to disappoint

Overwatch creative director Jeff Kaplan says he wants to "redefine what a sequel means", but I'm loath to let him get away with that. When he talks about Overwatch 2's focus on co-operative missions, essentially expanded versions of the first game's underwhelming seasonal PvE events, I just hear a man telling me I should lower my expectations. The more I think about it, though, the…

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Microsoft Japan trialed a four day week and saw a 40% increase in productivity

I'm keen to see four day working weeks crop up in the headlines more often, so I'm doubly pleased Microsoft Japan have given me an excuse to write one. They conducted an experiment over the summer where employees were granted special paid leave on five sequential Fridays, who then reported greater happiness while the company reported a 40% increase in productivity. Everybody won, in other…

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Nuclear Throne fan expansion adds new areas and parrots

Post-apocaltypic roguelike Nuclear Throne was a blast. Knife-edge dodge rolls, chunky shotguns, playable telekinetic eyeball monsters. It had it all - except clearly a team of modders disagreed. Their homebrewed "Territorial Expansion" came out last week, with enough doo dahs and polish to pass as an official update. There are new areas, enemies, bosses, weapons and characters. Also, pet parrots. Nothing like a pet parrot…

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Feature: Read more

The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for recovering from a Halloween party. Perhaps by reading the best writing about videogames from the past week. Most writers for (ostensibly) sports website Deadspin quit on Wednesday, after its recently acquired buyers G/O Media insisted they "stick to sports" rather than write the kind of personal and political articles people liked them for. I've never been a reader, but the suppression of…

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3 weeks ago

Feature: War is hell, if you haven't heard

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare review

Of course Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare has nothing interesting to say about war. Of course its guns feel good, and its explosions are many and impressive. Of course the multiplayer is essentially the same game we've been playing for over a decade, only prettier and in more flavours. Of course a part of me likes it, and of course part of me is jaded…

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Battlefield 5 adds two new maps, plus you can play for free ’til Sunday

It's almost as if they planned it. Here I am, lamenting Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare's lacklustre attempt to mirror Battlefield's large scale conflict with its new "Ground War" mode. There go Dice, whacking in two new maps plus a handful of weapons and vehicles to Battlefield 5 as part of yesterday's update. They've opened up the Pacific front, and my pals are murmuring about…

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Feature: Impressive, but worth scrutinising

I spoke to Google about their AI that can play at StarCraft 2 Grandmaster level

I wonder what the last "AI does a thing" headline will ever be. The one Google DeepMind are imagining, on their quest to create a genuine general intelligence, is something like "AI can do everything far better than you, nuh nuh". By their measure, their AI AlphaStar has climbed one more rung towards that goal by reaching Grandmaster level on StarCraft 2's European servers. That…

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Hellblade developers announce a research program using games to tackle mental health

I’m sceptical of big, commercially-endorsed mental health initiatives with names like “The Insight Project”, which Hellblade developers Ninja Theory announced yesterday. This research program will see them collaborate with Paul Fletcher, a psychiatrist and professor of health neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, to study (and hopefully implement) ways videogames can help people with their mental health issues. Sure enough, their announcement video is largely…

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Rumour: Overwatch 2 will have more PvE and be playable at BlizzCon this week

ESPN, "the leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment entity"*, have apparently got their hands on Blizzard's Overwatch 2 notes. They've got a source and a training document that say the game will be revealed at BlizzCon later this week, and will include "PvE features" involving "in-game items" and "hero talents". This gels with a report from 5 months back, plus it's a pretty logical move. Still,…

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