How ‘Metroid’ Fans Made a Better Game Than Nintendo

Metroid: Samus Returns isn’t the first remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus. It’s just the first released by Nintendo.

A bit of background may be in order. In 2003, Nintendo released a game called Metroid: Zero Mission, which essentially updated the graphics and play of the original 1987 NES Metroid in order to bring it more in line with the later titles of the franchise. It was a fantastic title, and fans assumed that the logical next step for Nintendo would be a similar revamp of Metroid II: Return of Samus, the 1991 sequel. After all, that game had always felt like an odd fit for the series; it was made only for the first-generation Game Boy, which could only produce basic sprites with black lines and a sickly green sheen.

But that game never materialized. So fans got antsy—then they got to building.

Metroid: Samus Returns

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Over the next 13 years, a number of Metroid read more

Pornhub’s New Accessibility Features Make Life Easier For Blind Visitors

Accessing the web presents unique challenges for the blind and visually impaired. Text-to-speech programs can be unreliable. Too many developers don’t follow best practices for navigating sites without visual cues. Destinations that lean heavily on images can prove inscrutable. They don’t have to, though. And Pornhub, the largest adult site on the web, is taking steps toward making its wares available even for those who can’t easily see it.

One doesn’t necessarily associate porn sites with conscientious site design. But Pornhub has a recent history of doing just that. Earlier this year, it implemented HTTPS encryption, making it safer to peruse its highly sensitive content. And last year, Pornhub took another major step toward accessibility by introducing a “Described Video” category, in which videos include a scripted voiceover that describes each scene in extensive detail.

Now, Pornhub will push its accessibility efforts further in significant ways. The read more

Ann Leckie’s New Novel, ‘Provenance,’ Turns Interplanetary Art Into Mystery

As a child, Ann Leckie dreamed of growing up to be an archaeologist. Instead, she became a best-selling science fiction author—though she didn’t write her hit debut novel, Ancillary Justice, until she was well into her 40s. Two years after completing her trilogy about a body-hopping, sentient spaceship, her new book, Provenance, delves into her youthful passion for digging in the dirt, and what our impulse to unearth the artifacts of the past can tell us about ourselves.

Provenance takes place in the same universe as Ancillary Justice, but in a different corner of it. The novel is set on a planet called Hwae, whose people ascribe enormous significance to “vestiges,” momentos and artifacts from important moments in history that can command prestige, money and even political clout. The value of vestiges lies not in how they look, but in the power conferred by the physical presence of important people or events—a read more

Myanmar’s Internet Disrupted Society—and Fueled Extremists

During the half century that they ruled the country, Myanmar’s military dictators occasionally turned to astrology for policy decisions. In the late ’80s, for example, the government switched the currency from units of 10 to nine, a more auspicious number. Economic turmoil followed. More recently, after an astrologer reportedly warned of an imminent American air strike, the capital was relocated from Yangon to a half-finished outpost in the middle of a jungle. Mass confusion ensued. Because of the dictatorship’s rigid controls on everything from media to education, hardly anyone had a mobile phone, and internet access was severely limited. People had little idea what was happening in the next town—let alone at the capital (wherever it was).

Myanmar’s citizens have, over the years, expressed their frustrations through a number of attempts at peaceful revolution, which the military leaders generally quashed with tanks and bayonets. But six years ago the government read more

First ‘Annihilation’ Trailer: Area X Marks the Spot

“I need to know what’s inside,” Natalie Portman says toward the end of the first trailer for Annihilation, the forthcoming adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s 2014 surprise-hit sci-fi novel. Anybody’s who read VanderMeer’s book—about a group of female scientists who venture into a mysterious wilderness named Area X—can relate to that fervent curiosity: A slim, perfectly paced, deeply imaginative little shocker, Annihilation is the kind of novel that’s not so much hard to put down as it is impossible to turn off, full of metaphysical-graffiti imagery and tightly executed reveals that stay with you long afterward. And it makes you feel sorry for the poor sucker tasked with somehow making it all work on the big screen.

As it turns out, that job falls to Oscar-nominated Ex Machina writer-director Alex Garland, who hired an ace cast—including Portman, read more

I Spent a Week Using Only the Alt-Right’s Vision of the Internet

Scroll with me here. Somebody named BeatlesBaby makes “a very badass chicken curry.” Look, there’s a nice sepia-tinted pencil drawing of Ned Stark from Game of Thrones. Apparently, “Walking is the new smoking #Health #Fitness,” and some guy’s wife loves her treadmill desk. Read this: A Marine gives his beloved bomb-sniffing dog a hero’s farewell.

You could find these posts anywhere, on Facebook or Instagram or some homey subreddit. But that’s not how they ended up on my screen. I saw them on Gab, a Twitter-­like social media platform catering to the so-called alt-right, the web-incubated white-­nationalist movement that shot to prominence during the last election and made international headlines for its violent rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this year. I was on Gab because, not long ago, I spent a week of my online life exclusively in the alt-right’s domain, a network of copycat sites collectively known as Alt-Tech.

On Gab, when people read more

Everything You Need to Watch on TV This Fall—From ‘Orville’ to ‘Punisher’

Ah, fall. A wonderful time of football, things inexplicably getting pumpkin spice flavoring, and way more new TV than anyone could ever possibly watch. Seriously, there are a gajillion channels and streaming networks now, how can anyone dream of knowing what to turn on? Between all the superheroes, strictly-for-adults animated programs, and 1990s reboots out there it’s impossible to keep up. But we have some ideas. Below are WIRED’s picks for what you should watch (or at least DVR) this season—and one or two suggestions for what you can easily skip.

The Orville (Fox)

By far the funniest part of this science fiction adventure comedy is when the opening credits say “created by Seth MacFarlane,” because longtime Star Trek fans will immediately recognize everything else as the DNA (and proteins, read more

The NFL Takes on Trump—But Is It What Colin Kaepernick Wanted?

When Colin Kaepernick first took a knee during the national anthem of a preseason NFL game just over a year ago, he did so at the end of a hostile summer that claimed the lives of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, two unarmed black men who were gunned down by law enforcement. The 49ers quarterback was mindful of a singularly American truth: the distance between life and death for black people is shorter, and more precarious, than for most.

As the 2016-17 season pushed forward, the loss continued, its pace relentless: Anthony Ford; Terence Crutcher; Keith Lamont Scott. All unarmed and shot by police. A handful of players joined Kaepernick in silent protest. Still, the league ignored the roar of the world. Its willful evasion was almost a matter of policy: For decades the NFL has tried to keep politics out of the game, and protect the purity of its brand, which also meant ignoring the realities of CTE, painkiller addiction, and domestic abuse in the league.

But the read more

The 10 Best Comedies You Can Stream Right Now, From ‘Spinal Tap’ to ‘Superbad’

Comedy is a funny thing: A joke that makes one person howl with laughter can just as easily fall flat with whoever’s sitting next to them. But whether you prefer highbrow laughs to scatological humor (or vice versa), there are true genre gems that cater to all kinds of comedy connoisseurs. So which ones should you be watching right now? Here are the funniest films you can currently find on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll laugh again.

Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985)

While future generations might find it strange that mid-‘80s audiences fell in love with a film about a bow-tied man-boy who meets an array of wild characters as he travels the country in search of his stolen bicycle, today the film remains a classic—both as a comedy and a road movie. PG-rated James Bond kind of stuff. It also birthed Pee-wee’s Playhouse, the brilliantly bizarre and creative Saturday morning series read more

Cantina Talk: There Might Be a ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Trailer Soon!

Consider this the calm before the stormtroopers come—or, at least, a rare moment of quiet in the galaxy far, far away. September began with Force Friday II, and all signs point to a full trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi dropping soon, but right now it’s looking fairly peaceful out there now that J.J. Abrams has reappeared to save the day on Episode IX. Of course, that doesn’t mean that everything is going entirely smoothly. Here is what you need to know about things currently happening in the Star Wars universe … and a little bit more, too.

Everybody Wants J.J. Abrams

The Source: Insider Hollywood sources

Probability of Accuracy: We may never know for sure, but let’s err on the side of, “That sounds about right.”

The Real Deal: So Episode IX has a new director, but it turns out that J.J. Abrams didn’t read more