The startling story behind Hatching’s horrifying puppet-monster

Two things particularly stand out about Hanna Bergholm’s creepy horror feature Hatching: the emotional performance from Siiri Solalinna as a wide-eyed preteen under the thumb of a perfectionist mother, and her co-star Alli, the dripping, toothy, gradually mutating bird monster she hatches from a giant egg. Where it’s been standard...

Claiming Spuffy: 20 years after its most hated episode, fanfic moves Buffy forward

[Ed note: This article discusses attempted rape and sexual violence in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.] Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s 25th anniversary is this year, but this May presents another, darker milestone. Twenty years ago this month, UPN aired the 19th episode of season 6, “Seeing Red,” in which a beloved...

Warframe’s new quest cracks open a galaxy full of weird, wild lore

With a decade’s worth of content to explore, Warframe can be intimidating, especially for those who are just starting out. However, players who are patient enough to delve beyond the high-octane ninja flipping and space-mech murder gameplay will find one of the most compelling plots in all of gaming. The...

It’s Yu-Gi-Oh’s world, and we’re stuck living in it

The world is dedicated to franchising, and every day it seems like a popular new game sweeps through the cultural landscape. Major brands exist not so much to create consumers as to consume audiences. Tech billionaires and acclaimed “geniuses” have become a new breed of celebrity and influence everything from...

A new wave of animators are ‘fighting the computer’ to make wilder, weirder movies

For two decades now, American computer-generated animated films have more or less followed a similar visual template. While their character designs aren’t necessarily hyper-realistic, everything else usually is, from the characters’ expressions and movements to the textures and effects, and especially the backgrounds and scenery. The bar for a good...

How to let a metaverse die

Annalise Baker is a 17-year-old MMO player running WarCore on her Windows XP clunker of a computer. It’s an hour before dinner — and an hour before the MMO goes offline for good. She’s reached her level cap, shown off her prized crimson-alligatorskin-brogues, and now spends her final hour on...

Inside Epsilon, a mod for creating custom Worlds of Warcraft

The World of Warcraft has been going on for over 16 years, so it’s no surprise it’s become enormous. The game spans several continents, planes of reality, and thanks to the addition of World of Warcraft Classic and Burning Crusade Classic, even previous iterations of itself. For some fans, though,...