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Geekly Roundup, August 2nd: Times Are Changing Edition

This week on the Geekly Roundup, we don’t have a new podcast episode — but we do have some fascinating developments in science, in the Final Fantasy game series, and even in tedious government paperwork — which is far more interesting than you’d think!  Read on to learn about all the fun and interesting news we’ve dug up this week!
transparent ace teal copy Final Fantasy VII remake will see “dramatic changes”

Much as we have grown up, and the Final Fantasy franchise has grown up, so has the gaming industry as a whole. In this interesting news-opinion piece from Kotaku’s Phil Hornshaw, we learn that Tetsuya Nomura has said that “dramatic changes” are coming to the Final Fantasy VII remake. And as much as the game is a classic, and one well-loved from a nostalgic standpoint…why not? Technology has advanced, storytelling in video games has advanced in many ways, and even the Final Fantasy franchise has drastically changed the ways in which it engages newer gamers and tells its own stories. So why not take advantage of a full rebuild of a classically beloved game and make it something new in the same vein and fashion and world of the old?

transparent ace teal copy New Never Alone DLC is about preserving Iñupiaq history

After a strong critical reception for its storytelling, atmosphere, and intelligent view into a culture we worry the world may lose, Never Alone was a standout of 2014 gaming despite some minor technical issues. Now, the game that brought together the members of a culture and a team of veteran developers will see DLC in the form of Foxtales, which takes place during a different season with a new storyline. The DLC doesn’t simply rehash things from the original game, but also adds some new mechanics and a very different feel that makes it seem less like a money-grabbing set of new costumes and animations and more like buying the second novella in a series.

 

transparent ace teal copy China lifts 15-year ban on gaming console sales and manufacturing

After fifteen years of implementing censorship, strict approval, manufacturing, and sales policies that conservative reactionaries in American can only dream about, China has finally dropped its ban on the manufacture and sale of video game consoles, including those by foreign manufacturers. Companies like Microsoft and Sony are now free to make and sell their consoles in China outside of the “free trade zone” established outside Shanghai in 2014, and to do so without requiring a partnership with a Chinese electronics company. Censorship and game approval still remains a prickly road, so while the consoles will make their way into China, many of the games will be stopping long before the border.

transparent ace teal copy Netflix built the Sense8 theme music from people’s brain waves

We’ve discussed how much we enjoy the approach and ideas posted by the Wachowskis’ Sense8 before, but the origin of its main theme, its Brainwave Symphony, has been revealed; the song (which can be found on Spotify here) comes from a jazz-like interpretation of the brainwaves of eight participants, who were shown psychedelic imagery. Their brainwaves in response were charted and turned into the musical score that underlies the innovative Netflix show’s theme music.

 

transparent ace teal copy Buzz Aldrin’s original travel vouchers show there’s really a government form for everything

Filing expense reports is always a tedious, extended process no matter how interesting the trip has been. In the annals of NASA’s documents, though, is a travel voucher for one Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr., who in the course of being one of the first humans ever to set foot on the moon filed a travel voucher that includes the destination, well, “Moon”. It brings a certain grounding to the reality of the historic space voyage to know that the paperwork was the same as anyone else’s; we just hope Aldrin remembered to keep his receipts for gas.

transparent ace teal copy The potential gaming applications of Nintendo’s strange “emotion sensor”

Forbes contributor Paul Tassi has thoughts on the newly revealed Nintendo patent for a “Quality of Life” sensor and some of its proposed capabilities and functions, and posits some ideas regarding how Nintendo might use the concept to affect games. Though the ideas aren’t the most attention-grabbing, they’re innovative, and some of his thoughts for third-party developer riffs on the concept are intriguing as well — an interesting discussion-starter on the idea of monitoring a user’s emotions and how that can apply to a gaming perspective.

Elsewhere on the Internet:

Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner, execs behind Doctor Who, Torchwood, Da Vinci’s Demons, launch Bad Wolf production company (Variety)

Script writer confirms all-male Ghostbusters reboot (Comicbook.com)

Ivan Reitman shoots down talk of second Ghostbusters movie (Spinoff Online)

Vacation co-directors confirmed as Spider-Man screenwriters (Comic Book Resources)

Spider-Man writers reassure fans new movie will not be yet another origin story (The Mary Sue)

Shatner’s new doc shows how difficult it was to make The Next Generation … and how Roddenberry nearly killed it (io9)

Five things you should know about the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie (Kotaku)

Hayao Miyazaki has come out of retirement to do 3D projects (The Week)

“Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” quotes as motivational posters (Buzzed)

Official return date set for The Knick, second season will pass through San Francisco (Vulture)

CW developing “gritty”, “dystopic” adaptation of Little Women (Spinoff Online)

Netflix states new Marvel content will be coming every six months (Newsarama)

Supergirl reportedly casts Chris Browning as Reactron (Newsarama)

Agents of SHIELD adds Constance Zimmer as recurring character (Comic Book Resources)

Nosferatu stakes out a remake (Spinoff Online)

TV anime adaptation coming for Attack on Titan: Junior High spinoff manga (Anime News Network)

WWE’s Stardust’s social media war with Arrow’s Stephen Amell ups stakes (WWE)

Black Lightning creator Tony Isabella reconciles with DC Comics (Robot6)

You can make your own Fallout Pip-Boy right now (The Nerdist)

Fanzines join the digital world, thanks to the University of Iowa (io9)

Hackers find way to make self-aiming sniper rifle change targets (Talking Points Memo)

ThinkGeek phone charger turns your car into Knight Rider’s KITT (Comicbook.com)

Anthony Bourdain to open giant Blade Runner-themed food market in New York City (Consequence of Sound)

From the minds of Konami: Erotic Castlevania Pachinko (Kotaku)

Final Fantasy composers tease “remake” of Final Fantasy XII (Kotaku)

That’s it for this week’s Geekly Roundup — give us your opinions in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter, and tune in again to hear the latest interesting tidbits and under-the-radar news stories when we talk more geek next week!

The Geekly Roundup is a weekly Ace of Geeks feature that brings together all the interesting things we’ve encountered across the Internet this week.

Contributions for this week’s Roundup were submitted by MalKontent and Ben.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ben Lee
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With a wide variety of interests ranging from baseball to theater and dance to technology to writing, Ben has given up on being good at any one thing and settled for being not half bad at a handful of things instead. He can usually be found cleaning up paperwork after a motley but wonderful crew of retail technicians; failing that, you can generally find him on the RP_OK Podcast at the Ace of Geeks, or on the San Francisco Giants-centric TortureCast. His Steam shame list is quickly growing legendary, and it's quite rare he's playing or watching anything made in the last five years.

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