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Meet the man behind the some of the worst, most inexplicably successful video games ever made

So-bad-they’re-good video games haven’t quite achieved the cultural cachet of movies like The Room or Troll 2, in part because games are an active experience rather than a passive one. It’s a lot easier to sit back and watch a trainwreck than it is to understand its inner mechanics and slog through them. Credit goes,…

The enduring appeal of Robocop for Game Boy’s sad, shimmering theme song

Rarely can a film’s video game adaptation say it improved upon the film from which it drew inspiration, but the 1989 Game Boy version of Robocop, Paul Verhoeven’s ultra-violent genre classic, has at least one thing on its source material: An unforgettable theme song. No shade to Basil Poledouris’ score, but the game’s…

Check out these wonderful "American" names from a '90s Japanese video game

“All your base are belong to us” remains the gold standard for that joyous disconnect that occurs when translating a piece of art from one language to another, but it’s certainly not the only example of such comedic serendipity. Just look at this list of names that some Japanese guy conjured up when working on the…

The Impossible Fortress both celebrates and subverts ’80s nostalgia and rom-com tropes

It’s a good thing that The Impossible Fortress is such a fast and easy read, because it would be all too easy to abandon it during the book’s bumpy start. Set in 1987, the first few pages of Jason Rekulak’s debut novel are nearly as laden with nostalgic references as Ernest Cline’s books. Rekulak introduces his…

See the first 5 minutes of play from the new Friday The 13th video game

Last October, The A.V. Club reported on a Kickstarter for a brand-new Friday The 13th video game featuring the talents of special effects make-up legend Tom Savini, late era Jason Voorhees Kane Hodder, and the original film’s director Sean Cunningham. Today—Jason’s birthday, no less—Gun Media released five minutes of…

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Calling all vidiots: We’re giving away vinyl copies of the Joysticks soundtrack

You’ve probably seen the movie Joysticks and don’t even realize it, sandwiched in between Oddballs and a “skisploitation” movie on USA Up All Night. Joysticks, released in 1983, transfers the “snobs vs. slobs” formula to the world of video games as an evil Joe Don Baker (the best kind of Joe Don Baker) attempts to…

An R-rated Oregon Trail would be full of death, disease, and debauchery

As educational video games intended for children go, MECC’s The Oregon Trail is already bleak in its depiction of life in 19th century pioneer life in America. After all, this was the software that made a pop culture byword out of “You have died of dysentery.” But even The Oregon Trail had to sugarcoat things a little…

Billy Mitchell loses Regular Show lawsuit, doesn’t care as long as he’s trending

According to a report by the Associated Press, a Hollywood, Florida judge has ruled against misunderstood entrepreneur and infamous arcade-game champion Billy Mitchell, throwing out his lawsuit against Cartoon Network. Mitchell’s lawsuit alleged that the character of Garrett Bobby Ferguson as seen on the network’s …