New Ghostbusters Movie Images And Plot Details Revealed

Although 2016’s Ghostbusters reboot was not a box office hit, fans of the supernatural comedy series haven’t had to wait long for another movie. Ghostbusters: Afterlife is the fourth film in the franchise, and it hits theaters in July 2020. Ahead of the first trailer next week, new details and images have now been released.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is not connected to the reboot but is a direct sequel to the original ’80s movies. The new images come via Vanity Fair and show some of the new cast, which include Ant-Man star Paul Rudd, Stranger Thing’s Finn Wolfhard, and Captain Marvel’s McKenna Grace. There’s also the iconic Ecto-1 Ghostbusting car in a cornfield–check them out below:

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is directed by Jason Reitman, son of Ivan Reitman, who helmed by the first 1984 movie. Original Ghostbusters Bill Murray, Dan Akyroyd, and Ernie Hudson are set to return as well, as are Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts, who also appeared in the two ’80s movies. However, it’s unknown how much they will appear in the new film.

As for the story, it focuses on the adult children of one of the original team, who move to an old farm in rural Oklahoma with their own kids Trevor and Phoebe, played by Wolfhard and Grace. The children discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters, and according to Reitman, must decide “whether they’re ready to pick up the proton pack themselves.” Rudd plays a schoolteacher who is obsessed with the spectacular events that took place in New York in 1984.

However, one person who is not so happy about the upcoming movie is Leslie Jones, who starred in the reboot alongside Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Kate McKinnon. Earlier this year, she described the decision not to continue with an all-female Ghostbusters crew as “like something Trump would do.”

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2019: The Year Of Politics In the Games Industry

The video game industry is sophisticated, both as a multifaceted business enterprise and artistic medium. That complexity made it intersect with politics in 2019 in ways that are both broad-ranging and deep. Despite the best efforts of some fans and publishers to distance the medium from messy political societal conflicts, this year proved there’s no separating the two. Politics and video games are enmeshed and likely to stay that way.

Loot Box Controversy Continues

Following the initial explosion of controversy over loot boxes last year, the fallout has continued well into 2019. A bill introduced by US Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) called the Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act would have banned loot boxes and “pay-to-win” microtransactions altogether. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) criticized Hawley’s bill as “riddled with inaccuracies” and said many provisions simply don’t understand how the industry actually works, and the bill has remained inert since its introduction in May.

Meanwhile, the industry was being probed by other sources within the United States government. In response to a letter of concern from Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), the Federal Trade Commission announced a public workshop on loot boxes to discuss the issue. That event took place in August and hosted panelists talking on the monetization models, psychological impact, and steps for further action. It was the games industry itself that made the biggest news of the day, though, as all three console manufacturers and several major publishers committed to new disclosure notices in any games that include loot boxes. Most of the industry has therefore volunteered to provide disclosure on rarity rates for randomized virtual items, and set a deadline for the policy rollout by the end of 2020.

This was part of a larger trend within the industry as well. With legislators in several countries considering action, publishers have started to preempt legal remedies with their own voluntary action. Several games have pulled loot boxes from their monetization models, either in countries where the practice has been banned or worldwide, and some new releases like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare have made a point of noting they would not use the controversial monetization mechanism.

Shootings Lead To Game Violence Furor

In the wake of tragic back-to-back shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio on August 3 and 4, the debate regarding a potential link between gun violence and violent video games kicked into high gear. The tragic nature of two shootings occurring so closely together shook the public, who demanded action from political leaders. In response, President Donald Trump and many conservative leaders quickly coalesced around video game violence as contributing to a culture of violence in America that devalues life.

It began with Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Republican House minority leader Kevin McCarthy in media appearances over the weekend of the two tragedies, and then a statement from President Trump on the following Monday.

“We must stop the glorification of violence in our society,” Trump said. “This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace. It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence. We must stop or substantially reduce this, and it has to begin immediately.”

Critics of the president have suggested that invoking video games is a strategic choice to shift the national conversation away from gun control, which conservatives have historically opposed. President Trump used similar rhetoric, culminating in a roundtable discussion with industry leaders and stakeholders, following the Parkland shooting in 2018. The evidence of a causal link between game violence and real-world tragedies is unclear at best. The American Psychological Association has argued against any such connection, whereas the American Academy of Pediatrics has sharply criticized media violence. No significant gun control legislation has passed through Congress to the president’s desk.

Blizzard Causes An International Incident

For sheer volume and intensity of a political controversy in 2019, it’s hard to get bigger than Blizzard’s decision to harshly punish a Hearthstone player who spoke out in support of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. In a post-match interview, Ng Wai Chung (aka Blitzchung) donned a mask in solidarity with protestors and quoted the slogan, “Liberate Hong Kong. Revolution of our age.” Punishment for the offense came swiftly, with Blizzard citing a rule against any behavior that “brings you into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard’s image.” It revoked his monetary winnings and banned him from competitive events for a full year.

Backlash to the decision followed just as quickly. The Hearthstone subreddit was subsumed by players swearing to delete their accounts after years of play. Many called for a boycott and successfully started a trending hashtag. US senators Marco Rubio and Ron Wyden expressed bipartisan disagreement with the decision, and professional Hearthstone streamers and casters strongly disagreed in public statements–some of them even cutting ties and thereby walking away from a game that’s defined their careers.

Less than a week later, Blizzard issued a statement partially rescinding its ruling. It returned the winnings and reduced the ban to six months. This made Blitzchung eligible for next year’s Grandmasters tournament, but Blizzard did not admit fault with the ruling that an infraction had taken place, and the controversy continued. Protests were organized to take place at BlizzCon 2019, and once again, Blizzard made a statement. Company president J. Allen Brack opened the BlizzCon proceedings by accepting personal responsibility for the lack of transparency and communication. Though advocate groups say Blizzard’s apologies still have not addressed the core issues of free speech or democracy, the volume on the controversy has lowered significantly.

Blitzchung, for his part, has accepted a position on the competitive Hearthstone team TempoStorm.

Modern Warfare Invokes Real-Life Massacres

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was always intended to be a pointed semi-reboot, with overtones inspired by real-world events. Two controversies surrounding the game showed that those efforts may have hit too close to home for some players.

The first came in the announcement of Killstreak bonuses, which included white phosphorous. The chemical agent is controversial in real battlefields, where it’s only authorized to be used as a smokescreen. When it comes into contact with people, it can result in horrific effects including severe burns and organ damage. In advance of release, players expressed concern that using it as a Killstreak bonus was insensitive to the severe, real-world effects. Sure enough, GameSpot’s own review noted an odd disconnect between a campaign that heavily focuses on the ills of chemical warfare, and multiplayer that treats it relatively flippantly.

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Another controversy materialized once the game was released, when players found a mission called the “Highway of Death.” The name carries resonance in US political history, having been coined for a massacre of Iraqi military committed by US and allied forces in the first Gulf War. Modern Warfare used the term in reference to a mission in which Russian forces, not American ones, commit an atrocity. Some accused the developer of misappropriating a tragedy and shifting the offender to America’s geopolitical foe. Narrative director Taylor Kurosaki noted that in the context of the story, the area was called that before the Russian attack.

But Games Aren’t Political, Say Publishers

Against this backdrop of near-constant intersection between video games and politics, publishers are often cautious to avoid any appearance of political overtones. This is especially the case in regards to games that have the most overt appearance of politics–the ones that center on global conflict, often starring American military or espionage agents as the protagonists.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint lead developer Sebastien Le Prestre told GameSpot in May that the game was not trying to make any political statement, despite themes centering on American drone warfare, rogue military officers, and imperialism. Similarly, Infinity Ward’s Jacob Minkoff and Taylor Kurosaki said in August that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was meant to be apolitical, even though the developers talked openly about pulling inspiration from real-world events and touching on themes of colonialism and foreign occupation.

This disparity has led to a sense of dissonance between the artistic vision of games, which often and obviously includes inherently political content, and the interest of publishers, who likely want to maintain an appearance of total neutrality in a broad market where many different types of people might want to play their games.

Video games are the product of a political society, and when the real world mixes with the games we play, disengaging from that conversation is the least impressive thing a publisher can do. While it’s fair to stand up for intentions, publicly being defensive or downplaying concerns won’t lead to a resolution or progress the conversation in a productive direction. Politics have always and will always coincide with video games. The sooner everyone acknowledges that, the sooner we can find ways of settling our differences and making the most of the unique opportunities games afford us.

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Get The Nintendo Switch Lite At A Nice Discount Before Christmas

With Christmas fast approaching, the gift-shopping days are getting smaller in number all the time. However, if you have a special gamer you’re shopping for, then Ebay and Woot have great deals on the Nintendo Switch Lite that are definitely worth checking out.

Ebay and Woot both have the Nintendo Switch Lite discounted to $180 USD. Woot requires you to be an Amazon Prime member for the full discount, while non-Prime users can get the Switch from their site for $190. Ebay doesn’t have any requirement: you can grab a Switch Lite for $180 no matter what. We don’t expect the deal to last for long, as it’ll only be available until stock sells out–Woot says its deal will last for five days otherwise.

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Nintendo Switch Lite | $180 ($200)

The Switch Lite is Nintendo’s handheld-only version of the Nintendo Switch. It can’t be docked, and it doesn’t feature detachable Joy-Cons, but it does feature a proper D-Pad and a more sturdy-feeling design. You can read more about it in our Nintendo Switch Lite review.

If you’re interested in picking up a few games with this Switch Lite, then there are a bunch of recently released games that are definitely worth playing. You can see them all through the links below.

New Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare Update Removes Night Maps From Hardcore Modes

Infinity Ward has released the full patch notes for the newest update to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Most of the update is geared towards general bug fixes and balancing changes, but it makes map changes to Hardcore multiplayer modes too.

The most notable change is the removal of all night maps from the Hardcore modes. Both Hardcore difficulty and night maps are among the best new additions to Infinity Ward’s first-person shooter. The patch notes make no mention of when the night maps may be added again.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, as the update adds a bunch of content back into the game too. Shoot House 24/7 makes a return, replacing Crash 24/7. Docks also makes a return to the Gunfight map rotation, Grazna Raid is added to Hardcore Team Death Match, and Arklov Peak is added to both Hardcore Team Death Match and Hardcore Headquarters.

All these changes and more are outlined in the full patch notes, which are listed below. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is available for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. In GameSpot’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare review, Kallie Plagge writes, “Modern Warfare makes old observations and presents them with new flourishes. Those new flourishes do make for a good campaign and solid multiplayer. But it’s when Modern Warfare asks you to think harder that it falls short.”

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare December 6 Update Patch Notes

What’s New

  • Shoot House 24/7 is back! (replaces Crash 24/7)
  • Removed night maps from Hardcore modes
  • Added Docks back into Gunfight map rotation
  • Added Grazna Raid and Arklov Peak to Hardcore TDM
  • Added Arklov Peak to Hardcore Headquarters

General Fixes

  • When attempting to view weapon details of a weapon in the Missions tab, players will be kicked back to the main menu. This has been fixed.
  • Fix for the cargo ship clipping through the playable area on Docks
  • In some cases, players were not able to see or shoot down an opposing team’s Counter UAV. This has been fixed
  • Fix for the VTOL audio persisting after being shot down
  • Fix for a crash that could occur while prone and firing the AK-47 with a launcher and the Fully Loaded perk equipped
  • Fix for the “Jack Frosty” and “Old Wounds” world model appearing differently than the Armory/Gunsmith models
  • Special Operations: “Just Reward”–Fix for the HVT truck crashing into portions of the map
  • Special Operations: Survival–Fix for the respawn flare not working as intended

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Awesome PC Games Bundle Lets You Choose What You Want To Keep

Humble Monthly is no more, and in its place comes Humble Choice, a new monthly subscription that lets you choose which games you want from a selection of 10. If you held an active subscription to Humble Monthly when the transition to Humble Choice occurred, then you get all 10 games for the same monthly fee.

The first 10 games from Humble Choice have been revealed. They include Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Blasphemous, and Phantom Doctrine, in addition to seven others. If you were converted to the $12 USD/month Classic plan, then you don’t need to make any choice: you get all 10. You can see a list of the games in the list below.

If you’re a new subscriber to Humble Choice, then you’ll have to pay more money for fewer games depending on your plan. Premium costs $20/month and gets you nine of these games, while Basic comes in at $15/month with only three games. Each subscription comes with additional benefits, such as a library of DRM-free games, access to Humble Originals, and a store discount–the $5/month Lite plan gets you some of these benefits with no games. You can learn more about these plans at Humble.

If you’re already a Humble Choice subscriber, you have until December 27 to unlock your choices. At that point, you’ll be charged for the month and sent your games. If you want to cancel before then, you can do that on Humble’s website. However, you can unlock your games and start playing now, but once you do so, you’ll be charged.

Humble Choice December 2019 games

Now Playing: Shadow Of The Tomb Raider Review

Netflix In December 2019 – Best New Movies And TV Shows To Watch!

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Best Green Monday Deals At Ebay: Xbox One Bundles, Gaming Monitors, Bose Headphones, And More

Though not nearly as well-known as Cyber Monday, Green Monday has brought online deals to a variety of retailers each year since 2007. Ebay created the holiday sale event after noticing that the second Monday in December was one of its biggest revenue days. Monday, December 9 happens to be the second Monday of the month, and Ebay is once again offering deals on a wide assortment of products, including Xbox One bundles, Bose headphones, gaming monitors, and more.

Ebay’s Green Monday sale kicks off on Monday, December 9 at 5 AM PT / 8 PM ET. Ahead of the sale, we’ve rounded up the best gaming, tech, and entertainment deals right here. Unfortunately, you cannot preview the entire sale before Monday, but we imagine it will mirror other Ebay sales and be located in the deals hub when the sale is live. A few of the deals are available now, including a pretty awesome discount on a very expensive curved monitor from Alienware.

Best Green Monday Gaming Deals at Ebay

Xbox One X special edition with NBA 2K20 -- $350Xbox One X special edition with NBA 2K20 — $350

Xbox One X with NBA 2K20 | $350 ($500)

If you missed out on buying an Xbox One X on Black Friday or Cyber Monday for $350, you’ll have another chance. This special edition Xbox One X will be on sale, and it comes bundled with NBA 2K20.

Xbox One X with Gears 1-5 -- $350Xbox One X with Gears 1-5 — $350

Xbox One X with Gears 1-5 | $350 ($500)

The Gears 5 Xbox One X bundle offers the most value. Not only does it have the latest entry in the third-person shooter franchise, but you’ll also get Gears of War 1-4. This is the Black Friday/Cyber Monday price, which makes it a great deal.

Xbox One S with NBA 2K20 -- $199

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