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How Ellie in ‘The Last of Us’ Challenges Tropes and Subverts Stereotypes

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(Note: There will be pretty serious spoilers for The Last of Us throughout this article. If you haven’t played it, I’d suggest you stop reading and play the game, because it really does deserve to be experienced as it was intended.)

When Bioshock Infinite launched in 2013, there were some who questioned whether the generic white dude with a big gun on the box art was truly representative of the game found on the disc. Playing said game, it’s easy to make the argument that the story of Bioshock Infinite belongs as much, if not more so, to the non-playable character Elizabeth (not featured on cover) than it does to Booker (ready for his close up). The mind behind Infinite, Ken Levine, was incredibly honest when asked about the fantastically bland box art for the game prior to release; they had to sell copies of the game to justify how much they spent making it, and focus testing told them that to appeal to frat boys and casual gamers they needed a cover featuring a heroic man holding a gun in front of the American flag. The hardcore gamers, it seems, would buy it regardless of the art. They needed to draw the eye of the people who wouldn’t. He didn’t like it, but those were the harsh realities of business. Girls on covers don’t sell games, they said. And that’s why we can’t have nice things.

Later in the same year, the fine folk at Naughty Dog faced a similar issue with The Last of Us. They too had a game that featured a female companion in their story. They too had created a female character that was every bit as important to their game as the male lead. And they too were asked by the higher ups to consider changing their box art to excise the pesky, unwanted girl from the cover. The difference was that, whether down to artistic integrity, or just the fact that after a string of hits Naughty Dog had been given carte blanche by Sony to do whatever they wanted, they flat-out refused to change their cover for The Last of Us. Those mavericks at Naughty Dog demanded that Ellie stayed front and center because they felt that she was just as integral to the story of the game as Joel was. Yes, they risked it all by letting customers know that if they bought the game, there’d be a girl in it. And The Last of Us went on to sell millions. Who knew?

The success of The Last of Us, even after they had the nerve to put an apparently unmarketable lady on the front cover, could be a fluke or an anomaly, or it could just be the latest indication that perhaps the problem with games with girls on their covers selling isn’t as simple as some of the suits may think. The bean counters at big publishers obviously have some basis to justify their opinion that female characters don’t sell games, be it empirical evidence of female-led games and their lacklustre sales figures, or perhaps focus testing done among select groups of gamers indicating that failure and oestrogen go hand in hand. But perhaps their reasoning isn’t as solid as they believe. Maybe girls just need to be given a fair crack of the whip.

While Elizabeth is essential to the story of Bioshock Infinite, she had to make do with the back cover of the box.

While Elizabeth is essential to the story of Bioshock Infinite, she had to make do with the back cover of the box.

When the marketing push behind a game loses funding because the game features a female character in a prominent position, then is it because there’s a girl on the cover that nobody is buying it, or is it because you didn’t bother advertising it as heavily because you assumed it wouldn’t sell? When female-led games don’t do as well as their male-led counterparts, is it because people don’t want to play as girls, or is it perhaps because people don’t want to play as the girls that they’re being given? A couple of years ago, Bioware issued stats suggesting that not many players played through the Mass Effect trilogy as Fem-Shep. Is that because female characters are inherently unpopular, or because Bioware didn’t even acknowledge the female version of Commander Shepard in marketing until the third game in the series? It’s a vicious circle. You can’t give people no reason to embrace female characters, and then blame their gender for their failure to connect with people. You can’t posit the girls as second best and then expect people to treat them as anything but.

I’m not condemning Ken Levine, or anyone behind Bioshock Infinite for their decision to make the cover for their game utterly generic to try and boost sales. The meat of the product, the game behind the cover, was still their baby. They didn’t remove Elizabeth from the game, but rather used the cool-guy-blowing-shit-up-real-good box art as a Trojan horse to get her into the hands of gamers. It’s no different to the marketing of any product – you package what you’re selling in such a way that you feel will make it most palatable to the audience in an effort to maximize sales. Jelly beans wouldn’t be quite as appetizing if they were marketed as being made from bug feces, would they? But while I don’t condemn their decision to relegate Elizabeth to the back of the box in an effort to chase sales, the fact that they even had to make that decision highlights the much deeper issues within the gaming industry that are still at large. Female characters in video games shouldn’t be analogous to bug feces, and they shouldn’t need to slipped in through the back door to avoid causing a stir.

There’s no denying that there’s been an issue with female characters in video games since the dawn of time, and while we’re making strides in the right direction, that issue still hasn’t been resolved. Whether it’s girls in games often being damsels or trophies for the male leads, amounting to nothing more than basic love interests or side characters for our macho heroes, or just laughable cleavage-accentuating armor reducing what should be strong women into eye candy for us sex-obsessed guys that obviously couldn’t have it any other way, when one considers the strongest characters in gaming, ladies likely wouldn’t take up much space on the list. And that’s simply not good enough.

The writers of Soul Calibur originally envisaged Ivy as a Pulitzer Prize winning short story author, but the character designers didn't get the memo, resulting in this comically impractical attire.

The writers of Soul Calibur originally envisaged Ivy as a Pulitzer Prize winning short story author, but the character designers didn’t get the memo, resulting in this comically impractical attire.

The proliferation of insultingly stereotypical or woefully underdeveloped female characters, combined with the assertion that female characters don’t sell games seems to indicate that perhaps the problem doesn’t lie with girls being inherently unmarketable, but rather with what the gaming industry gives us to work with. It’s not that gamers don’t want to play as girls, but rather that gamers don’t want to play as these girls. Too often female characters in video games are so utterly unrelatable, sometimes offensively so, that their ultimate failure to connect with people is obviously not down to their having tits, but the mistaken belief that their tits are their only marketable asset.

While the state of female characters in video gaming has certainly improved in recent times, the fact that I’m even having to bring up what a revelation Ellie in The Last of Us is reminds us that we’re not there yet. That a well written, well developed and completely relatable character that’s also a girl is a novelty in 2015 is a sad commentary on how far we’ve still got to go, but it’s also a beacon of hope. Naughty Dog didn’t go back on their decision to make Ellie the focus of the cover for The Last of Us, and the game went on to be a huge success, with Ellie as a character almost uniformly praised by critics and gamers alike. Ellie is, undoubtedly, the star of the show in The Last of Us, and that raises hope that other publishers will see that and take note.

The game takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where society has all but fallen, with the few remnants of civilization still present in the former United States scattered across the country as walled-off safe zones. The walls were created to keep out the infected – victims of a parasitic fungus that causes the host to become enraged, biting and scratching other people in an effort to spread their infection. Inside the walls, those with food and guns wield the power, while everyone else just does their best to survive.

The Last of Us is remarkably upbeat for like, literally, three minutes.

The Last of Us is remarkably upbeat for like, literally, three minutes.

It’s a grim world, and Joel, our playable character, is a man built for it. Still grieving the loss of his daughter during the onset of the outbreak twenty years ago (spoilers: it’s heartbreaking), Joel is cold and ruthless, a man shaped by twenty years of relentless death, blood and terror. He teams up with a friend (possibly with benefits) named Tess, and the two survive making a living as couriers. When they’re betrayed on a deal and have to get real nasty to make amends, they happen upon Marlene, a member of a small rebel group named the Fireflies, who offers them a deal; she’ll give them enough guns and ammo to survive a dozen deadly fungal outbreaks, but in return, they have to transport a young girl named Ellie across the country. Soon into the journey, a couple of the infected get a little too up close and personal with Tess, and she goes out in a blaze of glory to try and buy Joel and Ellie some time to escape. And so one of the finest stories in video gaming begins to unfold.

The Last of Us tells a story that is neither wholly original, nor particularly daring on paper. We’ve all seen the set-up before. But where The Last of Us excels is in making the player care about the characters, lending a lot more power to a story that is, at it’s core, built upon genre tropes. Indeed, one of the truly remarkable things about The Last of Us is just how many genre tropes Naughty Dog managed to fit into the game while still somehow managing to keep it fresh. Zombies? Yeah, with mushrooms on their heads. One girl potentially holding the cure? Yep. Humanity posing just as much of a threat as the monsters? In spades. Cannibalism in the post-apocalyptic wasteland? You got it. The guy who gets bitten but keeps it from the group? Oh you betcha. The heroic death to buy our heroes time? Oh, we’ve covered that. It’s all things that have been done before, but in The Last of Us, they’re done so well, and with characters so well realized and believable, that they’ve rarely been done this well. Leading the charge in this regard is the character of Ellie, who isn’t just one of the best female characters in a video game, but one of the best characters we’ve seen in gaming full stop.

Ellie is fascinating right from the get-go. Part of the appeal of her character comes from the fact that, at fourteen years old, she’s only ever existed in the post-apocalyptic world. Unlike Joel, and the player, Ellie has absolutely no point of reference as to what the world was like before it all went to hell. We sometimes forget that as we’re playing, and that often leads to amusing moments in the game. Everything Ellie knows about life before the outbreak comes from what she’s been told, or seen, or read. And so when she naively asks Joel if everybody used to own boats, it’s funny and endearing. When she reads the diary of a young girl and asks Joel if all girls used to worry about was dresses and boys it’s a frightening reminder of just how much we take for granted.

Winter is when business really picks up.

Winter is when business really picks up.

If this aspect of Ellie’s personality seems somewhat alien, then in other ways she’s equally as relatable. While Joel is distant and uncompromising for much of the game, Ellie brings an element of playfulness and frivolity to the proceedings. Her love of puns, awful jokes and comic books provide some of the only real moments of levity in an otherwise relentlessly bleak fifteen-or-so hour campaign. She swears like a sailor, she’s tough but somewhat vulnerable, and as someone who is apparently immune to the infection that has brought the country to it’s knees, she’s possibly the only hope humanity has of survival.

But Ellie isn’t just a damsel in distress. She’s introduced to the player as someone to escort à la the President’s daughter, Ashley, in Resident Evil 4. She tags along, she helps Joel with puzzles, and she takes cover when the gunfire starts. But where Ashley shrieks and screams her way through Resident Evil 4 while Leon takes care of business, Naughty Dog subvert the norm with The Last of Us and gradually transforms Ellie into a character that we grow to rely on. She begins the game as a bit of a nuisance, but later proves far more valuable, and capable in battle, and as a consequence, the times when she’s away from Joel we actually miss her, rather than thank God that we’re getting a moment’s peace.

As the road trip continues, and months fall off the calender, we see the relationship between Joel and Ellie become closer, and with Ellie in particular, her character develops significantly. She learns valuable lessons from Joel in what it takes to survive outside of the safe zones, and eventually he begins trusting her with a gun. All of this leads up to the highlight of the game in which Joel is gravely injured and incapacitated, and the player must take over as Ellie. Having spent most of the game learning the art of survival from Joel, Ellie must now become his protector. She hunts for food and medicine, and treats Joel’s wounds. While out searching for supplies, Ellie ends up captured by David, a pedophile, and being a fourteen year old girl, that puts her in a bit of a pickle.

"I was just trying to give her a cuddle, your honour".

“I was just trying to give her a cuddle, your honour”.

At this point the player picks back up as Joel, waking up, still groggy from his time on a sickbed, realizing that Ellie is gone and in danger. He heroically struggles to his feet, and valiantly fights his way through the harsh weather conditions to save the day. When he finally catches up to Ellie he finds her stabbing David to death in brutal fashion. Joel comes to rescue the damsel in distress, but by the time he gets there, she’s saved herself. It’s a meaningful and impactful reversal of the norm, that is equal parts gratifying and harrowing, and entirely engrossing throughout.

As the game moves into the final chapters, and the player resumes control of Joel, the roles of the two main characters have completely switched. Joel, who begins the game as the protector, has grown to care so much for Ellie, whether it be genuine affection or because she’s a surrogate for his daughter, that he’s weaker because of it, ultimately making what many deem to be an appalling decision at the end of the game. Whether you agree or disagree with Joel’s decision to potentially doom humanity to save Ellie and then lie to her face about it, his reliance on her as an emotional crutch is indisputable. Conversely, Ellie, who begins the game as what amounts to a package to be delivered, ends the game as a strong, wise beyond her years, survivor. Joel needs Ellie more than she needs him.

Upon release, some people argued that Ellie should have been the playable character throughout the whole story, but instead was pushed to the sidelines in favor of the same old grizzled white man we’re used to. While I understand the concern, I would argue that the story is Ellie’s, but playing as Ellie would ruin that. We have to watch Ellie develop for it to make an impact. In the Tomb Raider reboot, we watched as Lara Croft nearly threw up after being forced to kill a man for the first time. Then we watched as she killed 1,000 more over a weekend and didn’t bat an eyelash. It was ridiculous, and jarring, and that dissonance between her character development in cut scenes and the absolute carnage that transpired in gameplay undermined the emotional foundations of the story. Naughty Dog wisely side-stepped this problem by making Joel, the player, the mass-murderer while Ellie maintained a slow burning development from the sidelines. When she killed someone, it mattered. And by the end of the story, it still mattered.

Put the kids to bed before you play the DLC mission, Left Behind. It's a downer.

Put the kids to bed before you play the DLC mission, Left Behind. It’s a downer.

Whether you think that The Last of Us is so perfect that Naughty Dog should leave it as it is, or you think that the world they created is ripe for more stories, given the success of the game it’s likely that there’ll be a sequel. While I don’t necessarily need a second game, and love how the original ended, if there is to be a sequel featuring Joel and Ellie, that would be the time to switch player control over to her. We’ve seen her develop and grow and survive over the course of the first game, and now playing as her would make sense.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the fine work of Ashley Johnson here, voicing Ellie, and bringing her to life. While the character was created by Naughty Dog, Ashley Johnson does an impeccable job, flitting between the various facets of Ellie’s personality in a way that feels believable. Between Naughty Dog and Johnson, they have created a complex character that doesn’t adhere to any stereotype, a person that is at once strong, vulnerable, sassy, and endearing. She’s funny, capable, and smart. She’s tough, and she’ll do what it takes to survive. But more than that, she’s relatable, because she’s real. She’s not a plot device, or a trophy. She’s not shrieking and helpless, or Rambo with a vagina.

With Ellie, Naughty Dog have created something special. They carefully crafted her development over the course of an entire single player campaign in a way that few other studios have even attempted, let alone succeeded at. Then they released the ‘Left Behind‘ DLC mission, delving into Ellie’s past and revealing that she’s gay, all handled more deftly than any video game has tackled the subject before. If there are to be more adventures from Ellie in the future, there’s no reason to suggest that Naughty Dog wouldn’t treat those with the same care and respect that they have so far. Given what a popular character Ellie has become since The Last of Us and Left Behind launched, a sequel giving her a starring role could easily see her become one of the most beloved video game characters of all time.

This article was originally posted on www.soundonsight.org

John can generally be found wearing Cookie Monster pyjamas with a PlayStation controller in his hands, operating on a diet that consists largely of gin and pizza. His favourite things are Back to the Future, Persona 4 Golden, the soundtrack to Rocky IV, and imagining scenarios in which he's drinking space cocktails with Commander Shepard. You can follow John on Twitter at www.twitter.com/JohnDoesntDance

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‘The Mandalorian’ Trailer: A Shot-by-Shot Analysis

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With Disney’s D23 Expo well underway in Anaheim, California, we got a slew of information about upcoming Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars projects. One of the most anticipated of these announcements was the trailer for Jon Favreau’s upcoming television series The Mandalorian. The show will take place following the events of the original trilogy of Star Wars films, set a few years after Return of the Jedi, when the Empire has been defeated, and will follow the titular gunfighter. The Mandalorian trailer suggests a darker tone for the Star Wars franchise; story-wise, we haven’t had much information, so let’s break down the trailer and see what we can decipher.

Stormtrooper Graveyard

One of the most striking images from the entire Mandalorian trailer is the opening shot of decimated Stormtrooper helmets in the sand. The setting of the series is emphasised here, with the collapse of the Empire highlighted by what looks like a shrine to their demise.

We also get this image of the helmets on pikes, suggesting a dark and violent tone. It is understandable that the inhabitants of the Star Wars universe would be vengeful towards the Empire, but this imagery illustrates just how deeply rooted this anger is throughout the galaxy. It is also a rather violent image, suggesting that the show will have a more adult nature similar to that of the Rogue One film.

Razor Crest

We then get a look at the Mandalorian’s ship as it cruises across a lush planet flourishing with greenery. The ship itself is known as the Razor Crest, a fact that was given back in April at the The Mandalorian panel at the Star Wars Celebration event in Chicago.

Prepare for Landing

The next shot we see is of some kind of ship port where the Mandalorian has docked the Razor Crest. He obviously travels far and wide within the galaxy for his contracts, and it could be interesting to see where his work takes him throughout the series. This particular port looks like it has seen better days. It’s likely that it took a beating during the civil war between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance. The effects that the war had on the rest of the galaxy could also be a fascinating element to explore.

Greef Carga

Next we see the Mandalorian exchanging what looks like credits of some kind with a character confirmed to be called Greef Carga, played by Carl Weathers. Carga is said to be the leader of a guild of bounty hunters who hires the titular character to track down an asset of great value.

Desert Plains

The Mandalorian trailer then sees the Razor Crest flying across a planet with a cracked, desert style terrain. This is another great example of the various worlds that we might see across the span of the series.  The scene is also visually stunning, and the production values are incredibly impressive for a television series. You can see that Disney is investing a lot in the show.

Suit Up

The Mandalorian readies his armour and weaponry in the next shot, obviously preparing for a fight. The mystery of the man behind the Mandolorian mask is clearly going to be a strong element of the series, much like with fellow Mandolorian bounty hunter Boba Fett, who became a fan favourite despite his minimal screen time. We know that the title character will be played by Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones, Narcos), but little else is known about him.

Cara Dune

Gina Carano’s Cara Dune is seen in the following shot. Dune is a former Rebel solider, having been a Rebel Shock Trooper beforehand.  Carano described her as a “loner” who has trouble fitting back into regular society following the end of the Galactic Civil War. This is also an interesting story element that could bring some relatable human moments to a galaxy far, far away. Soldiers often have trouble adjusting back into ordinary civilian life following a long stint on the battlefield, and seeing this via Carano’s character could really humanise the Rebel soldiers who weren’t necessarily big players in the war, but just regular troopers. They are often overlooked in big adventure stories such as Star Wars in favour of the unobtainable heroes, so to explore the stories of the other Rebels could be interesting.

Uganaught

We then see an Uganaught  riding on what looks a bit like a worm with legs (that is my best scientific description). Uganaughts are humanoid creatures that have a slight resemblance to pigs. They come from the planet Gentes, and have made appearances across the wealth of Star Wars media. It’s nice to see the inclusion of a variety of alien species from the Star Wars universe here.

Twi’lek Ladies Get it Done

Similar to the Uganaught species, the Twi’lek are an alien species who have made appearances across the various Star Wars books, television shows, and video games. This particular Twi’lek woman looks like she has some sass to her, and I’m a sucker for strong sci-fi ladies. Girl power and all that.

The Lone Ranger

This is personally my favourite shot of the whole Mandalorian trailer. We see the Mandalorian walking by himself as the sun sets on a desert landscape. This shot encapsulates the lone nature of the bounty hunter. His dark silhouette slowly approaching is somewhat menacing as well, and makes for a fantastic shot that not only looks terrific, but also suggests the dark tones of the show and the moral ambiguity of the character.

Mother and Child

The next shot shows a woman and child cowering. This shot could be taken from any moment in the show, and could be a flashback or an important event in the series. Either way, it is likely that they are related to the Mandalorian in some way. Whether they were family to him or they are characters that he protects, I am certain they will play some role in the events that occur.

Ready, Aim, Fire

The next shot seems to be edited together in a way to make it seem like the line up of Deathtroopers are aiming at the woman and child in the previous shot. Though this is most likely purposely edited, it shows that the Empire still has loyal followers attempting to uphold the regime.

From the Hip

We see the Mandalorian’s itchy trigger finger next as he stands off against an unknown adversary. The trailer is certainly establishing a Western theme and this moment truly captures the feel of traditional gun-slinging Westerns.

Moff Gideon

Giancarlo Esposito’s Moff Gideon is the next character introduced in the Mandalorian trailer. Esposito confirmed that his character is still serving the Empire despite their fall in Return of the Jedi. He seems to have an ensemble of  Deathtroopers behind him, so he clearly isn’t alone in his dedication to the Empire. We know that the First Order will step up and take the place of the Empire in the future, so perhaps Gideon will play a part in establishing the new regime. It could also be that Gideon is an independent party, acting alone with his team of troopers.

Bounty Hunter for Hire

The close up of the classic Mandalorian helmet brings back memories of fellow Mandalorians — Boba Fett from the original trilogy, as well as his father, Jango Fett, from the prequels. The people of the planet Mandalore were ravaged by war on their world, so I’d be interested to see if we get to see the Mandalorian home planet, get more of an insight into the Mandalorian people, and learn how they were affected by their planets violent history.

Swoop

We then see a man aboard a swoop bike back in the desert at night confronting some sort of space craft.  This looks like it could be the Mandalorian, but he is missing his signature helmet. Hopefully, we will get a look at the man under the mask at some point in the series.

Warzone

A battle rages in the night in the next shot. You can see trenches set up and ships blasting at those on the ground. The ship makes the classic ‘pew pew’ noise when it fires, which is always the best part of anything Star Wars-related.

Run

Someone carrying a child runs through a street where a battle is raging; could it be possible that the valuable asset that Greef Carga has tasked the Mandalorian with transporting is indeed this child? It would make sense if the person carrying the child is the Mandalorian himself without his helmet again, but it could also be possible that this is just a child and parent affected by the war, trying to escape the battle. Either way, you can clearly see how the fighting is affecting someone so young.

Knock Knock, Open up the Door

Another cool scene from the Mandalorian trailer is this moment with the Mandalorian and a droid. The droid was confirmed to be named IG-11 after fans were originally thinking that he was an IG-88 assassin droid seen in the previous Star Wars movies. IG-11 will be voiced by Taika Waititi, so he is sure to have some attitude, and hopefully will deliver some one liners. If IG-11 has a similar personality to some of Waititi’s others roles, such as Korg from Thor: Ragnorak, then it could be a nice contrast to have him team up with the stalwart and stoic Mandalorian.

Space Battle

For a series set in space in a franchise known as Star Wars, we only get one glimpse of an actual fight in space.

IG -11

After seeing the Mandolorian gunning down some people in a battle, IG- 11 gets a moment to shine as he takes out several people with his laser pistol. Hopefully, the droid will pay a significant role in the series, perhaps forming a similar relationship with the Mandolorian that Cassian Andor and K2-S0 had in Rogue One.

Mexican Standoff

One of the finishing shots of the Mandalorian trailer shows the Mandalorian standing off against a group of Stormtroopers. He seems to be outnumbered and outgunned. At least until…

Hold the Door

He pulls a finishing move on this guy by tripping him as he tries to run, grabbing him with some kind of grappling hook, and pulling him back in through the door. He then shoots a panel next to door, forcing it to close on the attempted runaway. The shot cuts away before we get the bloody shot of someone getting chopped in two (this is still a Disney production after all), but the tone is clear. This guy is skilled, he is precise, and he is certainly not to be messed with.

Carbonite

A brief shot of an alien frozen in carbonite is seen next, showing that this isn’t a punishment just reserved for the likes of Han Solo. We also hear some voice lines from acclaimed actor, director, writer and all around artist Werner Herzog who states “Bounty Hunting is a complicated thing.”

Herzog Himself

Then we cut to the man himself. It is unclear as to who Herzog will be playing, but to have such an acclaimed person on board is pretty promising. He finishes his speech, “Don’t you agree?” I really hope that the series explores the moral ambiguities of what a bounty hunter is, and this small yet poignant speech from Herzog’s character suggests that this could come into question.

The Mandalorian

Jon Favreau is clearly a huge fan of the Star Wars series, and I have no doubt that he will bring us an interesting story that explores the dark underworld of the bounty hunting business in the Star Wars universe, whilst also maintaining the conflict between the Rebels, the ordinary citizens, and the last remnants of the Empire. With an impressive cast and crew working on it, The Mandalorian has the potential to be a brilliant addition to the Star Wars lore.

The Mandalorian will be available to stream from November 12th on Disney’s streaming service, Disney+.

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Watch Ninja On An Episode Of Family Feud

Don’t miss the moment Steve Harvey meets Ninja for the first time.

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Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins is heading up a team on Celebrity Family Feud this weekend, but it’s not the first time the famed Fortnite streamer has appeared on the show.

Long before he reached household name status in the gaming community, Ninja appeared on the televised game show Family Feud in 2015, when he and his family went on a three-day winning streak before losing to the Beams family of Hendersonville, Tennessee.

With Blevins now appearing on an upcoming episode of Celebrity Family Feud, we thought it would be fun to revisit those earlier episodes which have now all been uploaded online.

Regardless if you like Ninja and/or the show, you’ll get a kick out of watching his introduction when he tells host Steve Harvey that he’s a professional video game player who travels across the country and competes, playing video games. The reaction on Harvey’s face is priceless since nobody at the time could have ever guessed how popular Ninja, not to mention streaming video games, would eventually become.

Watch the videos below. Enjoy!

[via Dexerto]

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Check Out the Explosive First Gameplay of ‘Kerbal Space Program 2’

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Kerbal Space Program 2

Gamescom 2019 brought with it a host of surprising game announcements and updates on existing games. One of the most unexpected announcements was the reveal of Kerbal Space Program 2, the sequel to the viral, totally accurate space simulator that first released on PC back in 2011.

Now, shortly after its initial reveal, Gamespot has gone live with the first gameplay of this much-anticipated sequel. Fittingly enough, the footage showcases all the spectacularly explosive spaceships, interstellar exploration, and intrepid Kerbal explorers that the series has become known for.

It should be noted that the footage is pre-alpha, so although the gameplay does show some issues with frame rate and graphics, those should be polished up before the game’s full launch on PC, PS4, and Xbox One in 2020.

Here’s the full description of the game, courtesy of its official website:

With the original Kerbal Space Program having become one of the most beloved games of all time and now bigger than ever, Kerbal Space Program 2 has been fully redesigned from the ground up to meet the demands of modern and next-generation space exploration, all while maintaining the monumental foundations of the first game. Build a space program, construct powerful spacecraft, design resource-gathering colonies, and much more to uncover the secrets of the galaxy. A plethora of exciting new features will captivate veteran and returning players, as well as usher in a whole new wave of Kerbonauts to the ingenious and comedic world that has entertained millions of players.

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Netflix Releases Teaser for ‘El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie’

The Netflix Television Event will launch globally on Friday, October 11

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It was on September 29, 2013, that Breaking Bad came to an end with the final episode of that series, “Felina” in which Walter White evades a nationwide manhunt in order to return to New Mexico and deliver the remaining profits from his illegal methamphetamine empire to his family. Knowing cancer will soon kill him, Walt revisits his former acquaintances to settle his affairs and prepare himself for the conflict and his death. When the credits rolled, audiences believed it would be the last time they would see many of these characters and while we did get a spinoff show in Better Call Saul, one character who hasn’t returned in any other show as of yet is Jesse Pinkman. That’s about to change…

Netflix announced on Saturday that it will release a new Breaking Bad movie that will center on Pinkman (Aaron Paul), who was last seen in the TV series speeding off in a stolen Chevrolet El Camino to parts unknown.

The film, titled El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, was written and directed by Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad, and will be released on Netflix on Oct. 11. The film is also expected to be broadcast at a later date on AMC, the cable network where the TV series was originally shown from 2008 to 2013.

Official Synopsis:

The Netflix Television Event El Camino: Breaking Bad Movie reunites fans with Jesse Pinkman (Emmy-winner Aaron Paul).  In the wake of his dramatic escape from captivity, Jesse must come to terms with his past in order to forge some kind of future.  This gripping thriller is written and directed by Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad.  The movie is produced by Mark Johnson, Melissa Bernstein, Charles Newirth, Diane Mercer and Aaron Paul, in association with Sony Pictures Television.

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Watch the Trailer for ‘The Mandalorian’ the First Live-Action ‘Star Wars’ Series

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Thanks to the arrival of the D23 Expo, Disney has revealed the first trailer for its long-awaited Star Wars original series, The Mandalorian.

Created by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), the series is set after the events of Return of the Jedi and follows Pedro Pascal as a mysterious, gun-slinging Mandalorian bounty hunter who navigates the seedier side of the Star Wars universe.

Along with Pedro Pascal, The Mandalorian stars Gina Carano, Nick Nolte, Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, Carl Weathers, Omid Abtahi, Werner Herzog, and Taika Waititi. The first season of episodes will be directed by filmmakers like Dave Filoni, Taika Waititi, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, and Deborah Chow.

the mandalorian trailer

Here’s the official description of The Mandalorian:

After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.

The Mandalorian begins streaming on Disney+ on November 12, 2019.

Check out The Mandalorian trailer below.

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