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Found 39 results

  1. Earlier this year, hundreds of people made their way to Florida to experience Extra Life United and meet a few of the amazing children that Extra Life works to help every day of the year. One of the people in attendance this year was Wade Barnes, who participated in a panel on charity streaming while there. The experience he had at that event has left him motivated to incorporate Extra Life into his life - and into the lives of his nearly 1.6 million fans on YouTube. Barnes, better known by hundreds of the thousands of his fans as LordMinion777, wants to do good in the world. "Every kid deserves to be fought for by as many people as they can get," he said to Extra Life. "If we can chip in just by doing a stream here or talking to somebody there to raise a little bit of money to help a kid have a better quality of life, then it's worth it. It's not a big ask on our part." This weekend, Barnes will stream for 8-10 hours beginning on Saturday, September 21st at 2pm EST. The stream will feature a variety of fun audience participation events and donation incentives. LordMinion777 at one point floated the idea of makeup challenges and a period of time set aside for games involving the audience. The current games being considered for the stream include: Days Gone, Uno, Tabletop Simulator (featuring a variety of digital board games), and more. The goal for the stream has been set at a whopping $10,000 USD for Cincinnati Children's Hospital. To give his fans the motivation needed to hit that goal, Barnes has said that he will be willing to bring back his popular Dead by Daylight stream for a limited time. He might even do it on the stream tomorrow if he and his community are able to reach the goal in time. Another special feature of the stream will be playing a modded version of Minecraft called Pixelmon with the audience. Fans interested in playing alongside LordMinion777 can do so by downloading base Minecraft as well as a modding platform called Technic Launcher. Through Technic Launcher, players will need to download a mod called Pixelmon Generations and then join the Pokeninja server and select the Heart Region. Barnes hinted that he might be giving out special keys that unlock unique and otherwise unobtainable Pixelmon in the game. This will be the first stream Barnes has done to support Extra Life, so please show up and give him support throughout his marathon! Be sure to check out his stream on Twitch and, if you can, help him meet his goal of raising $10,000 USD For The Kids. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  2. Earlier this year, hundreds of people made their way to Florida to experience Extra Life United and meet a few of the amazing children that Extra Life works to help every day of the year. One of the people in attendance this year was Wade Barnes, who participated in a panel on charity streaming while there. The experience he had at that event has left him motivated to incorporate Extra Life into his life - and into the lives of his nearly 1.6 million fans on YouTube. Barnes, better known by hundreds of the thousands of his fans as LordMinion777, wants to do good in the world. "Every kid deserves to be fought for by as many people as they can get," he said to Extra Life. "If we can chip in just by doing a stream here or talking to somebody there to raise a little bit of money to help a kid have a better quality of life, then it's worth it. It's not a big ask on our part." This weekend, Barnes will stream for 8-10 hours beginning on Saturday, September 21st at 2pm EST. The stream will feature a variety of fun audience participation events and donation incentives. LordMinion777 at one point floated the idea of makeup challenges and a period of time set aside for games involving the audience. The current games being considered for the stream include: Days Gone, Uno, Tabletop Simulator (featuring a variety of digital board games), and more. The goal for the stream has been set at a whopping $10,000 USD for Cincinnati Children's Hospital. To give his fans the motivation needed to hit that goal, Barnes has said that he will be willing to bring back his popular Dead by Daylight stream for a limited time. He might even do it on the stream tomorrow if he and his community are able to reach the goal in time. Another special feature of the stream will be playing a modded version of Minecraft called Pixelmon with the audience. Fans interested in playing alongside LordMinion777 can do so by downloading base Minecraft as well as a modding platform called Technic Launcher. Through Technic Launcher, players will need to download a mod called Pixelmon Generations and then join the Pokeninja server and select the Heart Region. Barnes hinted that he might be giving out special keys that unlock unique and otherwise unobtainable Pixelmon in the game. This will be the first stream Barnes has done to support Extra Life, so please show up and give him support throughout his marathon! Be sure to check out his stream on Twitch and, if you can, help him meet his goal of raising $10,000 USD For The Kids. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  3. At PAX West this year, I had the chance to meet Kennedy, a Miracle Child from Seattle Children's Hospital. She was at the event with her father, volunteering her time and energy to share her firsthand experiences in one of the many hospitals supported by Extra Lifers across North America. This was something she had done several times over the years after managing to beat the leukemia she was diagnosed with at age 7. The former football player has had to undergo extensive surgeries to repair the damage to her body, but she maintains and spreads a bright, hopeful energy. One of the amazing things about Kennedy has been her long involvement in Extra Life. Not only has she volunteered at events like PAX West, but she is a member of the Seattle Extra Life Guild. That position has set her up to work with organizations like Wizards of the Coast to both spread the word about the work Extra Life does in hospitals as well as raise money. Back in 2017, she appeared on the official Dungeons & Dragons Game Day stream to play the tabletop game live and help the team bring in as many donations as possible. Kennedy was generous enough to step away from the Extra Life booth at PAX West for a few minutes to tell her story. --- Jack Gardner: So where does this all start? Kennedy: I was about seven. I was playing football at the time. Later in the year, I started having problems with my body. I’d have less and less energy by the minute. I wouldn’t feel that great, and I passed out a couple of times. It wasn’t going… well. We went to the doctor’s one day, they got a blood sample, and we went home. About one or two in the morning, we got a phone call saying I had leukemia. We rushed to Children’s Hospital in Seattle. [They] had everything ready, I got both my IVs in with antibiotics and everything. It’s a bit fuzzy, I don’t remember exactly a lot of it. JG: Was that scary? K: Yes, I was very concerned. Because I was 7, I didn’t know exactly what was going on. I wasn’t entirely sure what was happening. Later on, I got my port in, but I was not the best at, like, blood, needles, stuff like that. JG: Trust me, I’m the same way. K: It’s not my thing. I was definitely not nice to my nurses. Screaming and crying was one of the things that has happened… all the time. JG: I’m pretty good at crying, too. K: It’s one of my specialties. We had problems with my port- JG: And what is a port? K: The port is like this little metal thing in your chest which then you access with a big needle with a little thing inside so it’s easier to get blood transfusions - I had those a lot. We had trouble with that because [the port] was moving all over the place so we had to get it removed and put in a second time. Later, I started complaining about my joints in my hips and my shoulders. We got that tested, and it turns out -I don’t exactly know what it’s called- part of the chemo made the circulation to my joints cut off, so the joints died. It hurt a lot when I walked. I had to use a wheelchair. I started first with hiking canes, then a walker, and then a wheelchair. About… two years later it was my three year mark. We saw this surgeon. His name was Chappie. He was willing to replace my hips because no one else would do that to a 10-year-old. He argued with the board all the time because they didn’t want him to do surgery on a 10-year-old. He moved, so that didn’t happen. A year later, I’m finally done with treatment. My last day, I have a bunch of photos, I had a big sign that said "Last Day of Chemo!" A couple months later, my parents were looking at different surgeons that would do it, replace my hips and such. One popped up, this doctor, he and his other surgeon were willing to do both of my hip surgeries. Just last year, I got both of them done. JG: How old are you now? K: I’m 12, almost 13. I’m going to get my shoulders replaced – we don’t know when, but it’s going to happen soon. JG: Do your joints still hurt? K: My hips don’t hurt – nothing else hurts aside from my shoulders. I can only lift them so far up, and I can’t do a lot of tasks with them. We’re working to do my shoulders. I had leukemia for four years. It was kind of a rough time. I missed so much school. I didn’t even know how I was going to pass, but I had these amazing teachers who came to my house and tutored me. Even though [leukemia] had this bad impact, it gave me this good view on how everyone should live – never second guess yourself and just always do something. JG: How did you get involved with Extra Life? K: We are really close with the hospital and everyone in the hospital. It was one of my doctors who said, "Extra Life is a gaming 24-hour thing that you can do. They want to recruit kids and their families to help them out." Me and my dad and my sister applied, so my dad emailed one of the guys and said, “Hey, my daughter had leukemia, and we’re looking at this gaming thing that you have going on. It seems really fun and we would like to help you out with that kind of stuff.” We got recruited – this is my third year coming to PAX and volunteering – so three years ago, they were like, “Hey, we are doing PAX this year, if you want to do it, Extra Life is working there and you can come along." You get a free pass and get some breaks, but you also get to help out children at the children’s hospitals. JG: Do you play a lot of games? K: Yes. I really like video games. Especially multiplayer since my sister likes to play, too. I don’t really have a favorite…. JG: I know for me, it is hard to choose just one favorite, but do you have a top three of your go-to games? K: Yes! I am a really old person, and I like Minecraft. That was the first game I ever played in my life. JG: [Laughs] Oh, gosh, you just made me feel ancient! K: It the first one I ever played. It’s a classic – I’d say it’s my favorite. My second one would be… like… little, free games on Xbox. They’re kinda short? I can’t think of a specific one. JG: It’s hard to think sometimes when you get put on the spot. K: Then probably… it’s not a genre, but I like the games where you can see the work people put into the games. Good graphic designs- even a character model where you can tell how much work went into it. I already like the game. Even one scene can change my whole perspective on a game. I really like people who do really good work and design on a game, really good coding. JG: What’s a scene that’d be an example? K: My sister plays this game called Undertale. She was playing it one day and I saw the opening scene. I really loved it. It was really well done – I felt it was really great. All the character models, her favorite was the little skeleton dude. JG: The skeleton knight and a cape or the skeleton in the hoodie? K: I think it was the skeleton knight? Yeah, the guy with the cape! I think that’s some really good design, so I think that’s really good work. JG: You’re here with Extra Life – what’s it like volunteering here and basically being a spokesperson? K: It’s really fun. You get to recruit other people into helping children and children’s hospitals. Plus, you get to have fun while doing it. You sign up and play games for 24 hours. You can play whatever you want, card games, video games. Hanging out with everybody who has been involved with Extra Life, it’s fun having conversations about video games because… I don’t have many friends who are interested in video games. So, it’s fun to talk about different kinds of games coming out or what they are doing later at PAX or what they are going to do on their lunch break. It’s fun to hang out with people who have the same interests as you. JG: Are there any hard parts that you weren’t really expecting? K: I didn’t know I had to talk to people! I thought you just stood there and gave people stuff. JG: [Laughs] That would be nice. Has everyone been good when you talked with them? K: Yeah, most people. Last year, because I was 11… not a lot of people who would listen to me because I was a child. That was pretty frustrating, but… either way, it’s pretty good. [...] It’s cool to have people interviewing me now. It’s kind of weird! [Laughs] JG: Did you play a lot of games when you were going through your treatments and recovery? K: Yes, I would bring my Xbox and leave it connected to the TV in there. I played a lot of different games on my Xbox. JG: Did you like games before that? K: Yeah, I liked games before that. I never used to have any video games or a console or anything, so I’d go over to my friend’s house and then we’d go play. I think that’s why I like playing games with other people because that’s how I started liking video games. JG: Was Minecraft the thing you played the most in the hospital? K: Yes. Oh! I also played a lot of Overcooked. My younger sister got Overcooked for her birthday. We played a LOT of Overcooked. A lot of Minecraft. A lot of free games. There was also a game room where you can grab video games or different kinds of board games that you can grab and bring up to your room. JG: What’s been your takeaway from events like PAX? K: I think it’s a really good opportunity for people who want to help support children or just anything? But you can do it in a fun and good way. You are actually interested in doing it instead of just feeling like you have to because you feel bad. JG: Does it make you feel hopeful that so many people are coming by the booth and showing interest? K: Yeah! And really just how cool people will stop by and be like, “how do we get this?” you explain how you do it and they are like, “well, I want to give back, too!” Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  4. At PAX West this year, I had the chance to meet Kennedy, a Miracle Child from Seattle Children's Hospital. She was at the event with her father, volunteering her time and energy to share her firsthand experiences in one of the many hospitals supported by Extra Lifers across North America. This was something she had done several times over the years after managing to beat the leukemia she was diagnosed with at age 7. The former football player has had to undergo extensive surgeries to repair the damage to her body, but she maintains and spreads a bright, hopeful energy. One of the amazing things about Kennedy has been her long involvement in Extra Life. Not only has she volunteered at events like PAX West, but she is a member of the Seattle Extra Life Guild. That position has set her up to work with organizations like Wizards of the Coast to both spread the word about the work Extra Life does in hospitals as well as raise money. Back in 2017, she appeared on the official Dungeons & Dragons Game Day stream to play the tabletop game live and help the team bring in as many donations as possible. Kennedy was generous enough to step away from the Extra Life booth at PAX West for a few minutes to tell her story. --- Jack Gardner: So where does this all start? Kennedy: I was about seven. I was playing football at the time. Later in the year, I started having problems with my body. I’d have less and less energy by the minute. I wouldn’t feel that great, and I passed out a couple of times. It wasn’t going… well. We went to the doctor’s one day, they got a blood sample, and we went home. About one or two in the morning, we got a phone call saying I had leukemia. We rushed to Children’s Hospital in Seattle. [They] had everything ready, I got both my IVs in with antibiotics and everything. It’s a bit fuzzy, I don’t remember exactly a lot of it. JG: Was that scary? K: Yes, I was very concerned. Because I was 7, I didn’t know exactly what was going on. I wasn’t entirely sure what was happening. Later on, I got my port in, but I was not the best at, like, blood, needles, stuff like that. JG: Trust me, I’m the same way. K: It’s not my thing. I was definitely not nice to my nurses. Screaming and crying was one of the things that has happened… all the time. JG: I’m pretty good at crying, too. K: It’s one of my specialties. We had problems with my port- JG: And what is a port? K: The port is like this little metal thing in your chest which then you access with a big needle with a little thing inside so it’s easier to get blood transfusions - I had those a lot. We had trouble with that because [the port] was moving all over the place so we had to get it removed and put in a second time. Later, I started complaining about my joints in my hips and my shoulders. We got that tested, and it turns out -I don’t exactly know what it’s called- part of the chemo made the circulation to my joints cut off, so the joints died. It hurt a lot when I walked. I had to use a wheelchair. I started first with hiking canes, then a walker, and then a wheelchair. About… two years later it was my three year mark. We saw this surgeon. His name was Chappie. He was willing to replace my hips because no one else would do that to a 10-year-old. He argued with the board all the time because they didn’t want him to do surgery on a 10-year-old. He moved, so that didn’t happen. A year later, I’m finally done with treatment. My last day, I have a bunch of photos, I had a big sign that said "Last Day of Chemo!" A couple months later, my parents were looking at different surgeons that would do it, replace my hips and such. One popped up, this doctor, he and his other surgeon were willing to do both of my hip surgeries. Just last year, I got both of them done. JG: How old are you now? K: I’m 12, almost 13. I’m going to get my shoulders replaced – we don’t know when, but it’s going to happen soon. JG: Do your joints still hurt? K: My hips don’t hurt – nothing else hurts aside from my shoulders. I can only lift them so far up, and I can’t do a lot of tasks with them. We’re working to do my shoulders. I had leukemia for four years. It was kind of a rough time. I missed so much school. I didn’t even know how I was going to pass, but I had these amazing teachers who came to my house and tutored me. Even though [leukemia] had this bad impact, it gave me this good view on how everyone should live – never second guess yourself and just always do something. JG: How did you get involved with Extra Life? K: We are really close with the hospital and everyone in the hospital. It was one of my doctors who said, "Extra Life is a gaming 24-hour thing that you can do. They want to recruit kids and their families to help them out." Me and my dad and my sister applied, so my dad emailed one of the guys and said, “Hey, my daughter had leukemia, and we’re looking at this gaming thing that you have going on. It seems really fun and we would like to help you out with that kind of stuff.” We got recruited – this is my third year coming to PAX and volunteering – so three years ago, they were like, “Hey, we are doing PAX this year, if you want to do it, Extra Life is working there and you can come along." You get a free pass and get some breaks, but you also get to help out children at the children’s hospitals. JG: Do you play a lot of games? K: Yes. I really like video games. Especially multiplayer since my sister likes to play, too. I don’t really have a favorite…. JG: I know for me, it is hard to choose just one favorite, but do you have a top three of your go-to games? K: Yes! I am a really old person, and I like Minecraft. That was the first game I ever played in my life. JG: [Laughs] Oh, gosh, you just made me feel ancient! K: It the first one I ever played. It’s a classic – I’d say it’s my favorite. My second one would be… like… little, free games on Xbox. They’re kinda short? I can’t think of a specific one. JG: It’s hard to think sometimes when you get put on the spot. K: Then probably… it’s not a genre, but I like the games where you can see the work people put into the games. Good graphic designs- even a character model where you can tell how much work went into it. I already like the game. Even one scene can change my whole perspective on a game. I really like people who do really good work and design on a game, really good coding. JG: What’s a scene that’d be an example? K: My sister plays this game called Undertale. She was playing it one day and I saw the opening scene. I really loved it. It was really well done – I felt it was really great. All the character models, her favorite was the little skeleton dude. JG: The skeleton knight and a cape or the skeleton in the hoodie? K: I think it was the skeleton knight? Yeah, the guy with the cape! I think that’s some really good design, so I think that’s really good work. JG: You’re here with Extra Life – what’s it like volunteering here and basically being a spokesperson? K: It’s really fun. You get to recruit other people into helping children and children’s hospitals. Plus, you get to have fun while doing it. You sign up and play games for 24 hours. You can play whatever you want, card games, video games. Hanging out with everybody who has been involved with Extra Life, it’s fun having conversations about video games because… I don’t have many friends who are interested in video games. So, it’s fun to talk about different kinds of games coming out or what they are doing later at PAX or what they are going to do on their lunch break. It’s fun to hang out with people who have the same interests as you. JG: Are there any hard parts that you weren’t really expecting? K: I didn’t know I had to talk to people! I thought you just stood there and gave people stuff. JG: [Laughs] That would be nice. Has everyone been good when you talked with them? K: Yeah, most people. Last year, because I was 11… not a lot of people who would listen to me because I was a child. That was pretty frustrating, but… either way, it’s pretty good. [...] It’s cool to have people interviewing me now. It’s kind of weird! [Laughs] JG: Did you play a lot of games when you were going through your treatments and recovery? K: Yes, I would bring my Xbox and leave it connected to the TV in there. I played a lot of different games on my Xbox. JG: Did you like games before that? K: Yeah, I liked games before that. I never used to have any video games or a console or anything, so I’d go over to my friend’s house and then we’d go play. I think that’s why I like playing games with other people because that’s how I started liking video games. JG: Was Minecraft the thing you played the most in the hospital? K: Yes. Oh! I also played a lot of Overcooked. My younger sister got Overcooked for her birthday. We played a LOT of Overcooked. A lot of Minecraft. A lot of free games. There was also a game room where you can grab video games or different kinds of board games that you can grab and bring up to your room. JG: What’s been your takeaway from events like PAX? K: I think it’s a really good opportunity for people who want to help support children or just anything? But you can do it in a fun and good way. You are actually interested in doing it instead of just feeling like you have to because you feel bad. JG: Does it make you feel hopeful that so many people are coming by the booth and showing interest? K: Yeah! And really just how cool people will stop by and be like, “how do we get this?” you explain how you do it and they are like, “well, I want to give back, too!” Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  5. Minecraft officially released back in 2011 and has since been taking the world by storm. You can now find Minecraft action figures, movies, several alternate versions of the game built as educational tools, and more that have forged a media empire based on that one game alone. In 2014, only three years after Minecraft's official launch, that empire had grown into a property worth billions of dollars. Microsoft approached the owner of Mojang, Minecraft's development studio, and bought the studio and its intellectual property for $2.5 billion. Boasting a bevy of free updates, narrative-based spin-offs, and a thriving community of players and content creators who continue to delve into its intricacies, Minecraft continues to be one of the most popular games in the world. Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Minecraft 'Squishy's Theme' by The Orichalcon (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02327) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  6. Minecraft officially released back in 2011 and has since been taking the world by storm. You can now find Minecraft action figures, movies, several alternate versions of the game built as educational tools, and more that have forged a media empire based on that one game alone. In 2014, only three years after Minecraft's official launch, that empire had grown into a property worth billions of dollars. Microsoft approached the owner of Mojang, Minecraft's development studio, and bought the studio and its intellectual property for $2.5 billion. Boasting a bevy of free updates, narrative-based spin-offs, and a thriving community of players and content creators who continue to delve into its intricacies, Minecraft continues to be one of the most popular games in the world. Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Minecraft 'Squishy's Theme' by The Orichalcon (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02327) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  7. Indonesian artist Aditya Aryanto recently made some waves on social media for his new Anicube or Animal Cube style. Like the name implies, Aryanto takes pictures of animals and then turns them into what they might look like if they had more cube-like designs. It started as a personal project that the artist found amusing, but after uploading a few creations to Instagram, Aryanto discovered that those pictures delighted others, too. Aryanto's process for creating the images was actually fairly simple. "I am interested in the cubical shape and trying to change some animal form into cubes," he explained, "First, I was afraid if it would be nicer than the original shape. I was really curious about the results, so I tried to find some funny animal pictures to be changed into Anicube." The artist put together the images together in a gallery under the title "Minecraft in real life (ANICUBE)" and they are all well worth the look. The result is a a plethora of strangely adorable animals that have been made into cubes. Perhaps the images give us an idea of what alternate reality animals might look like. Or they could just be a fun way to view life from a different perspective. Whatever the attraction, people can check out more of Aryanto's work here.
  8. Indonesian artist Aditya Aryanto recently made some waves on social media for his new Anicube or Animal Cube style. Like the name implies, Aryanto takes pictures of animals and then turns them into what they might look like if they had more cube-like designs. It started as a personal project that the artist found amusing, but after uploading a few creations to Instagram, Aryanto discovered that those pictures delighted others, too. Aryanto's process for creating the images was actually fairly simple. "I am interested in the cubical shape and trying to change some animal form into cubes," he explained, "First, I was afraid if it would be nicer than the original shape. I was really curious about the results, so I tried to find some funny animal pictures to be changed into Anicube." The artist put together the images together in a gallery under the title "Minecraft in real life (ANICUBE)" and they are all well worth the look. The result is a a plethora of strangely adorable animals that have been made into cubes. Perhaps the images give us an idea of what alternate reality animals might look like. Or they could just be a fun way to view life from a different perspective. Whatever the attraction, people can check out more of Aryanto's work here. View full article
  9. Minecraft: Education Edition has been available to teachers for almost a year now, but Mojang continues to add new features and patches to expand its use as an educational tool. The latest addition to the game allows teachers to use Minecraft to teach their kids to code in a unique way. This update, titled Code Builder, allows teachers to make interacting with the Minecraft world possible only through coding a robot to do it for you. Students make use of coding platforms like MakeCode, Scratch, and Tynker to tell the robot what structures it should make and with what materials. It's an easy way to teach coding to kids as they are essentially using their newly learned skills to write code for the robot while in-game. This method of learning, using games as a way to stimulate or facilitate interest in a topic, seems to be one of the best ways to help kids (and, let's be real, people in general) learn about new and sometimes difficult topics. Hadi Partovi, the CEO of Code.org, explains that, "learning can be done best when you don't think that you're learning, you just think that you're enjoying yourself." Code Builder isn't a fully completed addition to Minecraft: Education Edition just yet. It's available today, but still in beta, so Mojang has a number of bugs and kinks to squash out of their system. that being said, this is a fantastic idea that harnesses the creativity kids have while in Minecraft and helps them learn a skill that will only become more valuable in the future. The development team even says that the game goes farther than the in-game tools. If players want to use different languages to program, like JavaScript, Code Builder allows them to do that without any hassle at all. That leaves the option open even for more advanced lessons in programming. Teachers or institutions interested in obtaining Minecraft: Education Edition can find out if their organization is eligible for the expanding teaching tool on the Minecraft website.
  10. Minecraft: Education Edition has been available to teachers for almost a year now, but Mojang continues to add new features and patches to expand its use as an educational tool. The latest addition to the game allows teachers to use Minecraft to teach their kids to code in a unique way. This update, titled Code Builder, allows teachers to make interacting with the Minecraft world possible only through coding a robot to do it for you. Students make use of coding platforms like MakeCode, Scratch, and Tynker to tell the robot what structures it should make and with what materials. It's an easy way to teach coding to kids as they are essentially using their newly learned skills to write code for the robot while in-game. This method of learning, using games as a way to stimulate or facilitate interest in a topic, seems to be one of the best ways to help kids (and, let's be real, people in general) learn about new and sometimes difficult topics. Hadi Partovi, the CEO of Code.org, explains that, "learning can be done best when you don't think that you're learning, you just think that you're enjoying yourself." Code Builder isn't a fully completed addition to Minecraft: Education Edition just yet. It's available today, but still in beta, so Mojang has a number of bugs and kinks to squash out of their system. that being said, this is a fantastic idea that harnesses the creativity kids have while in Minecraft and helps them learn a skill that will only become more valuable in the future. The development team even says that the game goes farther than the in-game tools. If players want to use different languages to program, like JavaScript, Code Builder allows them to do that without any hassle at all. That leaves the option open even for more advanced lessons in programming. Teachers or institutions interested in obtaining Minecraft: Education Edition can find out if their organization is eligible for the expanding teaching tool on the Minecraft website. View full article
  11. Minecraft just received its eleventh update today. Dubbed 'The Exploration Update,' the world of Minecraft now has a host of new things to do and explore for those either currently or formerly enthralled to the world's foremost infinite block-world builder. The Minecraft community has been clamoring for more... well, everything, for quite some time now. Version 1.11 aims to deliver in a number of ways. First and foremost, Minecraft now has llamas. These alpacas can be ridden and carry supplies by equipping them with a carpet and chest, respectively. They can be leashed to create caravans that follow the play through the world. The ability to caravan a number of storage inventories together will surely be very handy for players on extended expeditions or working on large building projects. Another big addition to 1.11, woodland mansions now have a chance of spawning within the Roofed Forest biome. These large, foreboding structures hold two new enemy types intended to be end-game challenges for players. They hold many different traps and challenges for players to overcome and those who manage to prevail over the hostile home will face new adversaries - the Illagers. These tricky and dangerous Illagers come in two varieties. First, the vindicator mob wields an iron axe and attacks villagers and players on sight, acting as brute muscle to defend the mansion from intruders. They have a slight chance of dropping an emerald when slain. The second type, evokers, are much more dangerous. Mojang views them as something of a mini-boss in the world of Minecraft and has given the evokers otherworldly powers. Evokers can summon ghostly creatures known as vex to provide a distraction while they attack with snapping jaws they can summon from the ground. Vex are summoned in packs of two to four, can fly, and are capable of passing through any block without any resistance. Players who manage to slay an evoker are rewarded with a Totem of Undying - an item that, when held in hand, can resurrect a player instantly at the moment of their death. Mojang has also added the Shulker Box, a chest made with the shell of a shulker mob. This special chest retains its inventory when broken down, rendering a wide variety of inventory highly portable. These can only be made with materials gathered from the End, which now holds return portals to transport the player back to the main End portal. Another welcome addition to Minecraft: Cartographers! A new type of NPC, cartographers can be traded with to provide maps to various locations in the game world. Want to start a quest for a woodland mansion, ocean temple, or other interesting world location? The cartographer might just be able to point you in the right direction with a treasure map. Overall, The Exploration update seems to be a really solid expansion of Minecraft in all the ways players want. Head out there and get crafting!
  12. Minecraft just received its eleventh update today. Dubbed 'The Exploration Update,' the world of Minecraft now has a host of new things to do and explore for those either currently or formerly enthralled to the world's foremost infinite block-world builder. The Minecraft community has been clamoring for more... well, everything, for quite some time now. Version 1.11 aims to deliver in a number of ways. First and foremost, Minecraft now has llamas. These alpacas can be ridden and carry supplies by equipping them with a carpet and chest, respectively. They can be leashed to create caravans that follow the play through the world. The ability to caravan a number of storage inventories together will surely be very handy for players on extended expeditions or working on large building projects. Another big addition to 1.11, woodland mansions now have a chance of spawning within the Roofed Forest biome. These large, foreboding structures hold two new enemy types intended to be end-game challenges for players. They hold many different traps and challenges for players to overcome and those who manage to prevail over the hostile home will face new adversaries - the Illagers. These tricky and dangerous Illagers come in two varieties. First, the vindicator mob wields an iron axe and attacks villagers and players on sight, acting as brute muscle to defend the mansion from intruders. They have a slight chance of dropping an emerald when slain. The second type, evokers, are much more dangerous. Mojang views them as something of a mini-boss in the world of Minecraft and has given the evokers otherworldly powers. Evokers can summon ghostly creatures known as vex to provide a distraction while they attack with snapping jaws they can summon from the ground. Vex are summoned in packs of two to four, can fly, and are capable of passing through any block without any resistance. Players who manage to slay an evoker are rewarded with a Totem of Undying - an item that, when held in hand, can resurrect a player instantly at the moment of their death. Mojang has also added the Shulker Box, a chest made with the shell of a shulker mob. This special chest retains its inventory when broken down, rendering a wide variety of inventory highly portable. These can only be made with materials gathered from the End, which now holds return portals to transport the player back to the main End portal. Another welcome addition to Minecraft: Cartographers! A new type of NPC, cartographers can be traded with to provide maps to various locations in the game world. Want to start a quest for a woodland mansion, ocean temple, or other interesting world location? The cartographer might just be able to point you in the right direction with a treasure map. Overall, The Exploration update seems to be a really solid expansion of Minecraft in all the ways players want. Head out there and get crafting! View full article
  13. The three-part addition to Telltale's narrative take on the popular blocky building game comes to a close with the release of Episode 8: A Journey's End? this September 13. Minecraft: Story Mode proved to be fairly successful when it launched in late 2015 and Telltale began extending the series with new episodes as part of the Adventure Pass after the original five episode run came to a close. Three episodes make up the additional content. The first, A Portal to Mystery, offered players a chance to solve a spooky mansion mystery with characters voiced by popular Minecraft YouTubers. Access Denied composes the second episode of the Adventure Pass in which players face off against a haywire redstone AI. The final episode, A Journey's End?, follows the block-based adventurers as they battle their way through a gladiatorial arena in a bid to find their way home. Two voice actors have been revealed for the finale episode: Jim Cummings and Kari Wahlgren. Many might recognize Cummings for his work on Winnie the Pooh and Darkwing Duck. Meanwhile, Kari Wahlgren has made a name for herself on Rick and Morty and The Farily OddParents. The Adventure Pass can be purchased for $14.99 while individual episodes go for $4.99 apiece. It is required that players own Episode 1 of Minecraft: Story Mode or the physical season pass disc in order to purchase Episodes 6-8. Minecraft: Story Mode and the Adventure Pass episodes 6 & 7 are available now for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Android, and iOS. Episode 8: A Journey's End will be available on September 13 for all consoles and PCs, with the mobile versions coming later that week. View full article
  14. The three-part addition to Telltale's narrative take on the popular blocky building game comes to a close with the release of Episode 8: A Journey's End? this September 13. Minecraft: Story Mode proved to be fairly successful when it launched in late 2015 and Telltale began extending the series with new episodes as part of the Adventure Pass after the original five episode run came to a close. Three episodes make up the additional content. The first, A Portal to Mystery, offered players a chance to solve a spooky mansion mystery with characters voiced by popular Minecraft YouTubers. Access Denied composes the second episode of the Adventure Pass in which players face off against a haywire redstone AI. The final episode, A Journey's End?, follows the block-based adventurers as they battle their way through a gladiatorial arena in a bid to find their way home. Two voice actors have been revealed for the finale episode: Jim Cummings and Kari Wahlgren. Many might recognize Cummings for his work on Winnie the Pooh and Darkwing Duck. Meanwhile, Kari Wahlgren has made a name for herself on Rick and Morty and The Farily OddParents. The Adventure Pass can be purchased for $14.99 while individual episodes go for $4.99 apiece. It is required that players own Episode 1 of Minecraft: Story Mode or the physical season pass disc in order to purchase Episodes 6-8. Minecraft: Story Mode and the Adventure Pass episodes 6 & 7 are available now for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Android, and iOS. Episode 8: A Journey's End will be available on September 13 for all consoles and PCs, with the mobile versions coming later that week.
  15. You know that time you felt really accomplished in Minecraft because you managed to make a really big hole or a castle to the sky? I know I was proud of the time I hollowed out a mountain and did my best to create a mini Mines of Moria. Mere mortals can only dream of what YouTuber Reqaug did a mere three weeks after the 1.10 Minecraft update. Reqaug wanted to test the limits of a new block type called the "structure block." These pieces of magic allow players to save entire sections of a given structure. This allowed Reqaug to refresh the Game Boy Advance screen quickly enough to support actual gameplay. And what better game to translate into the digital world of Minecraft than Pokémon FireRed? To be perfectly clear, Reqaug made a functional GBA with a level editor and a basically functional version of Pokémon FireRed running within Minecraft. That is insane. Obviously, the Minecraft Pokémon FireRed is still incomplete, lacking battles and dialogue, but further functions will be coming in future updates as development continues. Those are things that are possible with this GBA construction. You can download the GBA map for yourself over on the mod database Planet Minecraft: http://www.planetminecraft.com/project/working-pokemon-firered-gba/ The future is an insane, scary, wonderful place.
  16. You know that time you felt really accomplished in Minecraft because you managed to make a really big hole or a castle to the sky? I know I was proud of the time I hollowed out a mountain and did my best to create a mini Mines of Moria. Mere mortals can only dream of what YouTuber Reqaug did a mere three weeks after the 1.10 Minecraft update. Reqaug wanted to test the limits of a new block type called the "structure block." These pieces of magic allow players to save entire sections of a given structure. This allowed Reqaug to refresh the Game Boy Advance screen quickly enough to support actual gameplay. And what better game to translate into the digital world of Minecraft than Pokémon FireRed? To be perfectly clear, Reqaug made a functional GBA with a level editor and a basically functional version of Pokémon FireRed running within Minecraft. That is insane. Obviously, the Minecraft Pokémon FireRed is still incomplete, lacking battles and dialogue, but further functions will be coming in future updates as development continues. Those are things that are possible with this GBA construction. You can download the GBA map for yourself over on the mod database Planet Minecraft: http://www.planetminecraft.com/project/working-pokemon-firered-gba/ The future is an insane, scary, wonderful place. View full article
  17. There is a gallery for any pictures from last nights meeting. Feel free to go an upload anything you want to add to the gallery from last night. 2016 Extra Life Boston Guild Launch Meeting Gallery
  18. A terrible evil threatens to consume the fabric of the world and only the scattered Order of the Stone can even hope to halt its inexorable advance. Jesse and company must set out to find the remaining members of the Order in Episode Two - Assembly Required. That episode becomes available digitally for consoles in North America today. Physical copies of the game will be making their way to retail today, as well. Retail discs of Minecraft: Story Mode cost $29.99 and come with Episode One on-disc. The disc will then grant access to all future episodes as they are released by Telltale Games via online updates. "Premiering 'Minecraft: Story Mode' this month, we've been overjoyed by the reception from both the Minecraft community and fans of Telltale across the world diving into the all-ages adventure and making key decisions that will craft their own stories throughout the rest of the season," said Kevin Bruner, CEO and Co-Founder of Telltale Games. "This week, we're happy to offer the game on a special disc at retailers worldwide, including access to the thrilling second episode, 'Assembly Required,' which will feel like a completely different chapter for players depending on their paths taken in episode one." Minecraft: Story Mode Episode Two - Assembly Required is now available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360. Later this week the second episode will make its way to PC and mobile devices. The series will also be coming to Wii U and PlayStation Vita, but no word yet on release dates for those systems. View full article
  19. A terrible evil threatens to consume the fabric of the world and only the scattered Order of the Stone can even hope to halt its inexorable advance. Jesse and company must set out to find the remaining members of the Order in Episode Two - Assembly Required. That episode becomes available digitally for consoles in North America today. Physical copies of the game will be making their way to retail today, as well. Retail discs of Minecraft: Story Mode cost $29.99 and come with Episode One on-disc. The disc will then grant access to all future episodes as they are released by Telltale Games via online updates. "Premiering 'Minecraft: Story Mode' this month, we've been overjoyed by the reception from both the Minecraft community and fans of Telltale across the world diving into the all-ages adventure and making key decisions that will craft their own stories throughout the rest of the season," said Kevin Bruner, CEO and Co-Founder of Telltale Games. "This week, we're happy to offer the game on a special disc at retailers worldwide, including access to the thrilling second episode, 'Assembly Required,' which will feel like a completely different chapter for players depending on their paths taken in episode one." Minecraft: Story Mode Episode Two - Assembly Required is now available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360. Later this week the second episode will make its way to PC and mobile devices. The series will also be coming to Wii U and PlayStation Vita, but no word yet on release dates for those systems.
  20. Microsoft held a two-hour press conference today centered around Windows 10 and what they envision for the future of the operating system. Also, they announced holograms. Holo-freakin'-grams. As you might imagine, two hours of a corporation revealing new software and hardware is a lot to parse through. Here are the highlights as relate to the gaming world: Windows 10 will include a Game DVR function for Windows games, modeled after the Xbox One's DVR capabilities. While third-party software already exists to provide that same functionality, this service will be free and possibly run more efficiently than what's currently available. Designed to offer more opportunities to game developers, the upcoming DirectX 12 consumes half the power of DirectX 11 and offers improved performance on existing hardware. This extend to mobile devices, which will now be able to run more intensive programs without trouble. Windows 10 PCs and Xbox Ones will be able to play with each other online via cross-play functionality. Xbox One owners will be able to stream their games to any Windows 10 device in their home. Microsoft unveiled their hologram initiative: HoloLens. The HoloLens is a head-mounted computer with a variety of sensors that allows it to "see" what its user sees and overlay digital data via the built-in HUD. It includes a third processor built specifically to help it interpret holographic space. The pres conference included a live demonstration of the HoloLens and how it can be used to design digital objects. They announced that HoloLens currently runs Skype, Minecraft, and will be used as early as July for scientists working with the Mars rover. Honestly, that is a lot of really cool information, but it comes with so many questions. Will game DVR functionality be as curtailed as it is on Xbox One? What are the limits to game streaming? Will players be able to stream Destiny to their PCs from their Xbox Ones? Will cross-play between Xbox One and Windows 10 PC be universal or a feature of some games, but not others? Obviously, HoloLens is the most intriguing, but a with most new technology, it is best to treat it with a grain of salt before it has had a chance to prove itself. As cool as the concept of the device is, remember the troubles people have had with Kinect for Xbox 360 and Xbox One. This could be a revolutionary step forward in computing, or it could be remembered as one of those goofy gizmos that never really got off the ground. In the meantime... HOLOGRAMS! AWESOME! You can watch the full press event here.
  21. Microsoft held a two-hour press conference today centered around Windows 10 and what they envision for the future of the operating system. Also, they announced holograms. Holo-freakin'-grams. As you might imagine, two hours of a corporation revealing new software and hardware is a lot to parse through. Here are the highlights as relate to the gaming world: Windows 10 will include a Game DVR function for Windows games, modeled after the Xbox One's DVR capabilities. While third-party software already exists to provide that same functionality, this service will be free and possibly run more efficiently than what's currently available. Designed to offer more opportunities to game developers, the upcoming DirectX 12 consumes half the power of DirectX 11 and offers improved performance on existing hardware. This extend to mobile devices, which will now be able to run more intensive programs without trouble. Windows 10 PCs and Xbox Ones will be able to play with each other online via cross-play functionality. Xbox One owners will be able to stream their games to any Windows 10 device in their home. Microsoft unveiled their hologram initiative: HoloLens. The HoloLens is a head-mounted computer with a variety of sensors that allows it to "see" what its user sees and overlay digital data via the built-in HUD. It includes a third processor built specifically to help it interpret holographic space. The pres conference included a live demonstration of the HoloLens and how it can be used to design digital objects. They announced that HoloLens currently runs Skype, Minecraft, and will be used as early as July for scientists working with the Mars rover. Honestly, that is a lot of really cool information, but it comes with so many questions. Will game DVR functionality be as curtailed as it is on Xbox One? What are the limits to game streaming? Will players be able to stream Destiny to their PCs from their Xbox Ones? Will cross-play between Xbox One and Windows 10 PC be universal or a feature of some games, but not others? Obviously, HoloLens is the most intriguing, but a with most new technology, it is best to treat it with a grain of salt before it has had a chance to prove itself. As cool as the concept of the device is, remember the troubles people have had with Kinect for Xbox 360 and Xbox One. This could be a revolutionary step forward in computing, or it could be remembered as one of those goofy gizmos that never really got off the ground. In the meantime... HOLOGRAMS! AWESOME! You can watch the full press event here. View full article
  22. In the years since Minecraft's release, one of the communities most requested features has been some sort of narrative. Mojang struggled internally on how to best deliver on a story set in the world of Minecraft. Today, they announced that they are working with Telltale Games for a 2015 release of their five episode Story Mode series. Though due sometime next year, not many details have been revealed about the game. Here is what we do know. The game will be primarily developed by Telltale with input from both Mojang and the Minecraft community. It will not be about Minecraft's mascot, Steve, rather it will focus on completely new characters. According to Mojang, Story Mode will not be establishing any sort of official lore, just presenting Telltale's interpretation of the world. Despite Mojang's recent acquisition by Microsoft, Minecraft: Story Mode will be released on PlayStation consoles, PC, Mac, iOS, and Android, as well as Xbox systems. For more information or clarification, check out the Telltale blog, Mojang blog, or play the interactive announcement, Info Quest II. View full article
  23. In the years since Minecraft's release, one of the communities most requested features has been some sort of narrative. Mojang struggled internally on how to best deliver on a story set in the world of Minecraft. Today, they announced that they are working with Telltale Games for a 2015 release of their five episode Story Mode series. Though due sometime next year, not many details have been revealed about the game. Here is what we do know. The game will be primarily developed by Telltale with input from both Mojang and the Minecraft community. It will not be about Minecraft's mascot, Steve, rather it will focus on completely new characters. According to Mojang, Story Mode will not be establishing any sort of official lore, just presenting Telltale's interpretation of the world. Despite Mojang's recent acquisition by Microsoft, Minecraft: Story Mode will be released on PlayStation consoles, PC, Mac, iOS, and Android, as well as Xbox systems. For more information or clarification, check out the Telltale blog, Mojang blog, or play the interactive announcement, Info Quest II.
  24. While rumors have been spreading through the industry since early last week, today Mojang confirmed that they are indeed in the middle of being bought by Microsoft for a whopping $2.5 billion. That's billion. With a B. For some perspective on that rather large number, Microsoft values Mojang at 62% of what Disney paid to acquire the entire Star Wars franchise and Lucasfilm. That's more than Oculus VR was worth to Facebook and almost three times what Twitch, the fourth highest ranked website in the US for peak internet traffic, was purchased for by Amazon. What does this mean for Minecraft? For starters, it doesn't seem like the versions that are currently available will be going away anytime soon. According to Mojang's Owen Hill: There’s no reason for the development, sales, and support of the PC/Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Vita, iOS, and Android versions of Minecraft to stop. Of course, Microsoft can’t make decisions for other companies or predict the choices that they might make in the future. We’re extremely proud of all editions and the awesome things you have achieved through playing together. Owen can't speak for Sony or Apple, but it seems for now that Microsoft has no intention of locking those versions of Minecraft away. Minecraft itself is going to remain the same. It will receive periodic updates and slowly continue to develop over time. It is uncertain whether the same people will continue to work on Minecraft going forward, but as of right now it is confirmed that the founders of Mojang, Carl Manneh, Markus "Notch" Persson, and Jakob Porsér, are leaving to pursue their interests elsewhere. Thus far, Notch has released a statement about leaving Mojang and Minecraft, which you can read here. His goodbye post boils down to a few key details. First, Notch doesn't view himself as a game developer; he develops games because he loves to code and play around with game concepts. Second, he doesn't want to be an abstract concept that people hate and the target of hateful comments. As he says in his message, "I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not a CEO. I’m a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter. [...] I don’t expect to get away from negative comments by doing this, but at least now I won’t feel a responsibility to read them." Finally, he gave a deeply heartfelt thank you to everyone that supports Minecraft. In his post, he also mentions watching the video This Is Phil Fish as something influential in his decision to sell Mojang. &amp;amp;amp;lt;a href="http://c418.bandcamp.com/album/0x10c" data-mce-href="http://c418.bandcamp.com/album/0x10c"&amp;amp;amp;gt;0x10c by C418&amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;gt; Musician C418, creator of the Minecraft soundtrack, posted the music he made for Notch's 0x10c For anyone who might still be worried about Minecraft or the future of Mojang or its employees, let me end with a quote from Owen Hill, "It's going to be good, though. Everything is going to be OK. <3" View full article
  25. While rumors have been spreading through the industry since early last week, today Mojang confirmed that they are indeed in the middle of being bought by Microsoft for a whopping $2.5 billion. That's billion. With a B. For some perspective on that rather large number, Microsoft values Mojang at 62% of what Disney paid to acquire the entire Star Wars franchise and Lucasfilm. That's more than Oculus VR was worth to Facebook and almost three times what Twitch, the fourth highest ranked website in the US for peak internet traffic, was purchased for by Amazon. What does this mean for Minecraft? For starters, it doesn't seem like the versions that are currently available will be going away anytime soon. According to Mojang's Owen Hill: There’s no reason for the development, sales, and support of the PC/Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Vita, iOS, and Android versions of Minecraft to stop. Of course, Microsoft can’t make decisions for other companies or predict the choices that they might make in the future. We’re extremely proud of all editions and the awesome things you have achieved through playing together. Owen can't speak for Sony or Apple, but it seems for now that Microsoft has no intention of locking those versions of Minecraft away. Minecraft itself is going to remain the same. It will receive periodic updates and slowly continue to develop over time. It is uncertain whether the same people will continue to work on Minecraft going forward, but as of right now it is confirmed that the founders of Mojang, Carl Manneh, Markus "Notch" Persson, and Jakob Porsér, are leaving to pursue their interests elsewhere. Thus far, Notch has released a statement about leaving Mojang and Minecraft, which you can read here. His goodbye post boils down to a few key details. First, Notch doesn't view himself as a game developer; he develops games because he loves to code and play around with game concepts. Second, he doesn't want to be an abstract concept that people hate and the target of hateful comments. As he says in his message, "I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not a CEO. I’m a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter. [...] I don’t expect to get away from negative comments by doing this, but at least now I won’t feel a responsibility to read them." Finally, he gave a deeply heartfelt thank you to everyone that supports Minecraft. In his post, he also mentions watching the video This Is Phil Fish as something influential in his decision to sell Mojang. &amp;amp;amp;lt;a href="http://c418.bandcamp.com/album/0x10c" data-mce-href="http://c418.bandcamp.com/album/0x10c"&amp;amp;amp;gt;0x10c by C418&amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;gt; Musician C418, creator of the Minecraft soundtrack, posted the music he made for Notch's 0x10c For anyone who might still be worried about Minecraft or the future of Mojang or its employees, let me end with a quote from Owen Hill, "It's going to be good, though. Everything is going to be OK. <3"
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