Tag Archives: Video Games

Animal Crossing’s Gender-Neutral World

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Image result for electronic entertainment expo 2019

So other than pride month, another major event happened in the entertainment industry – the 2019 Entertainment Electronic Expo, also known as E3.  E3 is the big celebration where cutting-edge video games are introduced.  Video game hardware, titles, and everything in between are presented by the biggest gaming companies all across the world.  Companies like Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Activision, Alienware, and many others attend the special event to drop their latest entertaining product or service.

One interesting title that is making a comeback in the future takes place in an area that involves human beings and animals coming together in the village, taking place in real time.  Better yet, you could even say they are CROSSING with each other.  The latest series that will be dropping a new game is… Animal Crossing.

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Brace yourself folks – Animal Crossing: New Horizons is coming to the Nintendo Switch!  This new installment takes your villager to a deserted island, all thanks to Tom Nook’s vacation package.  Just like the previous series, you roam around interacting with other animals in the game.  Players decorate their own house through furniture they buy or find within the area.  As you collect more money in the game, you can use that to purchases things (even a bigger home!).  Animal Crossing: New Horizons will be released on March 20th, 2020.

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Image result for Animal Crossing New Horizon

Here’s where it gets interesting – Animal Crossing: New Horizons will allow you to choose gender-neutral hairstyles.  Both facial hair and hairstyles are gender-free to customize your villager.  Other than that, Players can also choose their own skin tone as well.  Even better, the Nintendo Switch will also allow you to change up your character any time you want.  This will be the first game in the Animal Crossing series that allows for that much flexibility in character customization.

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This is quite an interesting and coincidental PR miracle for the Animal Crossing series.  Animal Crossing first came out on the GameCube in April 14th, 2001.  Six more Animal Crossing games have been released over the last eighteen years.  Providing more flexibility with customizing your character will be a really interesting feature for players alike.

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Image result for Animal Crossing New Horizons

But this PR miracle becomes more than just another unique element in the game.  Nintendo is really keeping up with these modern times with the gender-neutral hairstyles for Animal Crossing: New Horizons.  Gender has become a completely unique concept for many people, which is making a major impact within the video game world.  Modern gamers want things like gender-neutral hairstyles in nostalgic franchises like Animal Crossing.

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And ironically enough, this news was released during the middle of Pride Month.  LGBT gamers will be thrilled to have more customization options in the next Animal Crossing installment.  This is the kind of gaming features that will attract a wider range of audiences.

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With that, Nintendo was real smart to incorporate gender-neutral hairstyles for Animal Crossing: New Horizons.  Gamers all across the world will be able to create the villager that reflects their true self.


Business-Branded LGBTQ Pride

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Pride week is officially over in Boston.  After a mere week of rainbow flags and parades all across the streets, Boston concludes yet another successful event.  Parties were held all across the neighborhood, with lots of people dancing the night away.

While pride week may be over in Boston, other cities within the nation are starting up their pride events as well.  Some are just concluding their pride month celebrations while others will be starting within the next week or so.

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What’s interesting is that it isn’t just the people within the community that celebrate pride month.  Businesses, both big and small, are showcasing their true pride colors for their audiences.  IBM, Microsoft, McDonald’s, Nike, Nordstrom, and Absolut are a few of many companies that are proudly displaying their pride within various communities.

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There is this unique corporate social responsibility happening within businesses during pride month.  Diverse groups of audiences within the LGBTQ community have been doing businesses with companies for decades.  As the community grows bigger every year, the need to cater towards that niche audiences becomes more critical than ever.

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In this case, this corporate social responsibility also acts as a PR miracle for audiences nationwide.  Businesses celebrate pride month each June as part of their strategy; in return, their niche audiences continue to come back to them for their products or services offered.  There is this healthy competition spurring among nations, encouraging each other to promote pride month.

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And that healthy competition has only help pride month grow even further as a special holiday.  Any competition, whether it be healthy or not, can sometimes help both parties in the long run. Weeks before summer starts and pride month has only gotten people more excited about the new season.

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With that, pride month is a special holiday celebrated by both businesses and audiences alike.  The modern-day consumer either recognizes pride more often or they may also know someone who is celebrating as well.  The increase of pride month awareness only fuels more creative strategies among businesses to keep their audiences and gain new ones in the process.

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Kudos to both small and big businesses who help support pride month each year.  It is this kind of help that paves the path for more niche audiences.

Gaming Disorder? GAME OVER

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There are lots of amazing video games to play through these days.  From old school classics like Donkey Kong Country to trending titles on the mobile platform such as Fortnite, all kinds of games are available in this day and age.  It’s always easy to pick up a new title you have not tried before, only to experience a whole new digital world that awaits you.

Video games can be fun and all, but sometimes that fun can get a little too much at times.  There is the unfortunate trend of ‘gaming addiction’ that has been happening across the world.  But these days, gaming addiction is now being known as a mental illness called Gaming Disorder.

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Through the latest revision of the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases released last year, Gaming Disorder is now officially a thing.  Gaming Disorder involves instances that involve impaired control over gaming, increased priority given to gaming, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite occurrence of negative consequences.  This revision comes into effect on January 1st, 2022.

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The number of active gamers has skyrocketed since the video game industry began.  There are currently over 2.47 billion gamers in the world and that figure is projected to increase by the millions over the next few years.  More and more gamers are entering the video game market.

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While video game popularity has been flourishing faster than ever, it doesn’t cause much of a PR nightmare.  Sure, there are lots of people getting into video games either through home consoles or their mobile device; but the increase of players only means that there are more audiences getting into this growing form of entertainment.  All audiences from various walks of life are grabbing the controller and playing the latest games available.

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With that, Gaming Disorder is something to be watchful of in the future.  Even still, it doesn’t produce enough of a spark to create a PR nightmare for the video game industry.  Video games will continue to be a popular form of media, producing franchise brands for audiences alike.

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Hopefully this research won’t spell ‘GAME OVER’ for the video game industry.

Longplay Video List

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There are a lot of unique categories of videos to choose from around YouTube videos.  Entertainment reviews, how-tos, and music playlists are just a few of many types of videos I watch on a weekly basis.  Whether I just want to kill a little bit of time or have something on when doing writing work, I can always find an assortment of videos on YouTube.

Lately I have been getting into a new subcategory of YouTube videos out on the internet.  They have become my new favorite types of videos to watch every so often.  It takes one of my favorite hobbies and augments the experience even further.  I am talking about… Longplay videos.

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Image result for Youtube Longplay

A longplay video features a video game being entirely played out to the very end.  Each video showcases the player going through every and any aspect of the game for 100% completion.  Every objective, item, and bonuses are collected throughout the game with barely any mistakes made.  The longplay video is a smooth sailing throughout the entire journey of the game; it is opposite of a speedrun video where the player beats the game as fast as they can.

This year I have watched through great longplays featuring some of my favorite games from childhood.  Here are a few great longplay videos I watched through:

Super Mario All-Stars

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The first longplay video I watched was from one of my favorite video games of all time, Super Mario All-StarsSuper Mario All-Stars was an all-in-one bundle featuring Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Bros. 2, and Super Mario Bros. 3.  The longplay clocks in at over four hours and fifteen minutes, going through each game.  It was nostalgic and heartwarming to watch one of my favorite childhood classics being played out to the fullest.  

Paper Mario

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Next longplay on the list was Paper MarioPaper Mario was a CLASSIC staple for the N64, being one of the best Mario games around.  I have certainly beaten this game multiple times, but it was great to discover the hidden treasures I missed beforehand.  This longplay clocks at over nineteen hours and eleven minutes showcasing every battle, bosses, badges, star pieces, quiz shows, recipes, letters, and any other small tasks were deemed necessary in the game.  While it was one of longest longplays I have ever been through so far, it certainly was quite the trip down memory lane.

Donkey Kong Country

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It was time to move away from Mario and into Donkey Kong with Donkey Kong CountryDonkey Kong Country was one of the first (and greatest) games of the Donkey Kong series.  Donkey and Diddy battle through baddies in order to fight K. Rool.  This was one of the shorter longplays of the game itself, clocking itself at over an hour and fifty-one minutes.  I have personally beaten this game more times than I can count, but it certainly was enjoyable to watch it played out this way.

Donkey Kong 64

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Last, but not least, is Donkey Kong 64.  Donkey Kong 64 was one of the best 3-D platformers I played for the N64.  Donkey, Diddy, Tiny, Lanky, and Chunky band together to defeat King K. Rool.  Currently I have started a little over an hour of this longplay that is over thirteen hours.  Even after just one hour alone, I have already been enjoying this longplay so far.

Those were some longplays I have watched over the past months on YouTube.  They may be long (some VERY long), but they are definitely worth the nostalgia trip.  Longplay videos are worth checking out if you want something casual to watch.

Sonic the Hedgehog’s Classic Movie Makeover

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Truth be told, I am a fan of video games that are adapted into a movie.  Video games like Super Mario Bros, Tomb Raider, Street Fighter, and Mortal Kombat are just a few video game-adapted films I have seen as a kid over the years.  As badly as some of them were made (and they REALLY were that bad), I still appreciate the concept even happening.

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Hollywood utilizes concepts from all sorts of media, including video games, for their niche audiences.  Various franchise video game series become either a TV series or movie to drive brands even further.  Even in 2019, famous video game characters reappear on both the silver and big screen here in America.

One of those characters will be featured in its own film this fall.  Interestingly enough, he is entangled in his own PR nightmare months before the movie is even released.  Today’s PR nightmare is none other than SEGA’s Sonic the Hedgehog.

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Image result for sonic the hedgehog SEGA

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Sonic the Hedgehog will be featured in his own live-action film titled Sonic the Hedgehog.  The trailer dropped earlier last week, gaining shocking criticisms from gamers nationwide.  One of the biggest jaw-droppers was the look of Sonic the Hedgehog himself.

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Whatever this…THING is, it did NOT look like Sonic the Hedgehog.  Ladies and gentlemen, THIS is Sonic the Hedgehog:

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It is then that Sonic the Hedgehog is now entrapped in his own PR nightmare.  The beloved SEGA mascot got a bad makeover for his live-action film and audiences really aren’t happy about it.  Sonic the Hedgehog was a classic mascot for 90s gamers alike; like Mario was to Nintendo, Sonic was the quintessential character for SEGA in the early years of gaming.

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But in a true MakeSandcastlesNotWar first, this PR nightmare is already due to being fixed.  A few days later, Sonic the Hedgehog director Jeff Fowler tweeted to the fans about immediate changes being made to Sonic himself.  The trailer dropped less than a week ago and Sonic is now getting yet another makeover.

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And just like that, a PR nightmare will turn into a PR miracle.  Sonic the Hedgehog will be freshly tuned up for his newest films.  Audiences spoke loud and clear that changes were to be made for Sonic the Hedgehog.

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While I wasn’t the biggest Sonic the Hedgehog fan (being that I was team Nintendo!), I definitely appreciate the PR miracle happening.  As a true 90s gamer, I would want the franchise films to utilize the original designs rather than rejuvenate it with a modern makeover.  Mario should always have his plumber outfit, mustache, and be fighting Bowser to rescue Princess Toadstool.  Anything even remotely out of the ordinary won’t make it work at all.

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With that, Sonic the Hedgehog will be getting made over to his traditional form.  His new transformation should be ready for when the film releases on November.