Winners for First Steam Awards Revealed

The winners of Valve’s first-ever Steam Awards have been revealed.

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This isn’t your normal, everyday awards show, however. The categories included things like “Villain Most In Need Of A Hug” and “‘The Whoooaaaaaaa, dude!’ Award,” among other wonderful ones.

Below you can see a full rundown of categories and winners, as rounded up by Kotaku. Go to Steam’s website to get more details on the selections, including runner-ups and category descriptions.

The games were voted on by Steam users, who received a Steam Awards Trading Card for taking part. The winners were announced today, December 31, at 1 PM PT / 4 PM ET.

Steam Awards 2016 Winners:

  • Villain Most In Need Of A Hug — Portal 2
  • I Thought This Game Was Cool Before It Won An Award — Euro Truck Simulator 2
  • Test Of Time — Skyrim
  • Just Five More Minutes — Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • “Whoooaaaaaaa, dude!” — Grand Theft Auto V
  • Game Within A Game — Grand Theft Auto V
  • I’m Not Crying, There’s Something In My Eye — Telltale’s The Walking Dead
  • Best Use Of A Farm Animal — Goat Simulator
  • Boom Boom – Doom
  • Love/Hate Relationship — Dark Souls III
  • Sit Back And Relax — Euro Truck Simulator 2
  • Better With Friends — Left 4 Dead 2

What do you make of these results? Let us know in the comments below!

GameSpot’s own Game of the Year for 2016 was Blizzard’s hero shooter Overwatchread more here.

from GameSpot

How the Nintendo Zapper Light Gun Actually Works

It’s an age-old question: what exactly was going on when you laid waste to cartoon ducks with the Nintendo Zapper? The 8-Bit Guy is here to exhaustively explain exactly how this beautiful little accessory worked its magic.

The answer is actually fairly simple. Obviously, the CRT monitor is a big dumb box that doesn’t provide feedback. The gun itself is also not particularly complex. It uses a lens that creates a very narrow focus for the light sensor located at the end of the barrel. When you pull the trigger, that light sensor checks to see if there is white light blasting in its direction.

Let’s look at Duck Hunt as an example. When the trigger is pulled, an entirely black frame shows on the screen. This allows the gun to calibrate. The next frame shows a white box around the area that the duck is located on the screen. The next frame goes back to the regular view of a field with flying ducks and you either hit one or you didn’t and a dog laughs at you.

Basically, the black frame and the frame with a white box is all the light gun cares about. If the gun is pointed at the right spot on the screen, the white light will be picked up by the sensor. If the gun is pointed at the wrong spot on the screen, the sensor will only register black and you lose.

How did this work with two ducks? When the game had two ducks on screen, the third frame showed the second white box. Easy peasy.

There’s a lot more to be explored in the full video embedded below. The 8-Bit Guy goes through the more complicated process involved in a light pen working, he asks an expert why there weren’t more games that used the Zapper, he opens the gun up to see what’s inside and there’s a lot of cool trivia. Did you know that the second controller could actually control the duck? I didn’t. Check it out.

[The 8-Bit Guy]

from Kotaku

Watch This Guy Go Full Jackie Chan On The Scooter Thief Who Stole His Phone

I don’t advocate taking the law into your own hands, but I love watching other people do it on the internet. After some goober on a scooter steals a trucker’s phone, the dude goes full-on Jackie Chan to enact some swift street justice.

In another life, before I was an auto blogger/car buying consultant, I was a martial arts instructor. That’s right, in the immortal words of the great Keanu Reeves, “I know Kung Fu.” Therefore, I have a special place in my heart for those who use their fists or feet of fury to take down evil doers.

This scene starts out like many of your typical martial arts flicks, we see a petty thief out for what he thinks will be an easy target. This time it’s in south China’s Guangdong province. The thief hops into a truck and helps himself to a cell phone, probably hoping to make a quick buck. Then he makes off in his scooter only to encounter our hero staring him down in the middle of the street.

The badass trucker wastes no words and attempts a flying kick to the face knocking the thief off his scooter. So maybe the technique could have landed a little better, but he gets points for effectiveness.

I didn’t catch the audio, but I imagine our hero said something along the lines of, “You want more of that?….Didn’t think so.”

from Kotaku

Track: Eco Zones | Artist: Blank Banshee | Album: Blank Banshee 1

Track: Eco Zones | Artist: Blank Banshee | Album: Blank Banshee 1

Kotaku Soundtrack is a selection of the stuff we’re listening to at the moment.

from Kotaku

Here Are The 2016 Winners Of The First Ever Steam Awards

After over a month of voting, Valve today revealed the winners of The Steam Awards, or what amounts to a “greatest-hits” victory lap for some of the digital retail platform’s most played games.

The awards were announced during the Autumn Steam sale near the end of November, with categories ranging from The “Whoooaaaaaaa, dude!” Award to The “Best Use Of A Farm Animal” Award. Users were encouraged to nominate the games they thought most deserved to win each category with Valve giving the people who did so special badges. The company also chose to accept a number of write-in categories from players, including “The ‘Boom Boom’ Award,” but not some of the more tongue-in-cheek entries, including several variations on “Game Most In Need Of A Sequel.”

Despite all the fun people had nominating games, however, we can now devote our time and energy to picking over the winners:

  • “Villain Most In Need Of A Hug” Award: Portal 2
  • The “I Thought This Game Was Cool Before It Won An Award” Award: Euro Truck Simulator 2
  • The “Test of Time” Award: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • The “Just 5 More Minutes” Award: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • The “Whoooaaaaaaa, dude!” Award: Grand Theft Auto V
  • The “Game Within A Game” Award: Grand Theft Auto V
  • The “I’m Not Crying, There’s Something In My Eye” Award: The Walking Dead
  • The “Best Use Of A Farm Animal” Award: Goat Simulator
  • The “Boom Boom” Award: DOOM
  • The “Love/Hate Relationship” Award: Dark Souls III
  • The “Sit Back and Relax” Award: Euro Truck Simulator 2
  • The “Better With Friends” Award: Left 4 Dead 2

Yes, it turns out that that Steam users really like Valve games. Also Grand Theft Auto V. Of course, not all of Valve’s games managed to win. Dota 2 lost to Dark Souls III in the “Love/Hate” category, and Team Fortress 2 was passed over in favor of Skyrim for games that have stood the “Test of Time.”

Scanning over the data for some of the most active games on Steam reveals a list not entirely dissimilar from the one above, except with games like Rocket League and Football Manager 2017 conspicuously absent. And of course the Steam Winter sale, one of the big reasons the Steam Awards were no doubt created in the first place, isn’t set to conclude until January 2, 2017, with many of the games highlighted in the awards still heavily discounted.

You can check the official page to see a full list of all the runners-up for each category.

from Kotaku

The Adorable Story Of How Pokémon Go Helped Rescue A Kitten

On a particularly hot day last summer, Imgur poster Joelalmeidaptg was walking down the street playing Pokémon Go when they heard a kitten crying for help from behind a nearby electrical post. Months later, the cat, named Spock, is thriving in its new home thanks to an unlikely string of events.

According to Joelalmeidaptg’s account, the temperature that day was over 100º F, leaving the streets practically abandoned and their phone gasping for life as they searched for Pokémon to collect,

“As I was passing by an electricity post I heard what I thought it was a bird. But I found it very strange since I could not see any bird and besides that it should be way too hot for a bird to be chirping around. So I went back and investigated. What I found was a kitty crying for help. It had his head stuck in the junction between the top side and the bottom side of the post. It was hanging only by his head. We have no idea how the hell did it get in that situation. It must have been there for a long time, since it barely had energy to cry. Its mouth was open wide, it did not close it. I only knew it was alive by its cry for help.”

Joelalmeidaptg then called their parents and later the local fire department after deciding “we would not let the kitty rot in that place.” A perimeter was formed and a number of different techniques were tried to create enough space for the cat to escape. The police came, and according to Joelalmeidaptg even a representative from the utility company responsible for the junction box. Eventually, they were successful.

After that, Joelalmeidaptg’s family nursed the cat back to health, caring for it and feeding it by hand despite They called it Spock because of its enormous ears. Months later, in the words of Joelalmeidaptg, Spock has gone “full ‘The Ugly Duckling’ mode,”

Four months have passed and the cat my father kept calling ugly went full “The Ugly Duckling” mode. He is the most beautiful cat I have ever seen. And he is HUGE. Look at his tail! The vet (when he went for vaccines) said he was about 6 months old and would keep growing for another 6 and that he would become huge.

“TL:DR Found a dying cat while playing Pokémon Go, saved him, he was ugly, turned out to be beautiful, I’m in love with him,” wrote Joelalmeidaptg.

It’s one of the more life affirming stories to come out of the entire Pokémon Go phenomenon. Instead of hoards of people swamping Central Park in the hopes of catching a rare Vaporeon, a kitten’s life was saved. Pokémon Go has led people to holocaust museums and suicide spots. It’s even killed some people, making activities like driving even more dangerous because of people’s obsession with the game.

And sure, cats are saved all the time for all sorts of reasons. Superman was famous for rescuing them from trees and real life fire fighters have a habit of saving them from burning buildings. Even in this instance, you could argue that it wasn’t Pokémon Go that saved Spock, but the person who found him and the community that invested a day’s sweat and hard work to secure his safety. We could get into a whole debate about the metaphysics of causality. At the end of the day though, a game for smartphones was released this year that got people off their asses and out into the world doing things that ranged from strange to terrible to, in this case, adorable as fuck. It’s not even the first time.

Even if Pokémon Go is struggling to stay relevant going into 2017, the story of Spock is at least a vindication of the idea inherent in the Pokémon mythos. Beyond the capitalist drive to “catch’em all” and the number crunching business of breeding and training the most powerful Pokémon, the series grew out of something as simple as bug catching. The series has always tried to focus on the relationship between the player and the little digital creatures they discover and battle with, and latest games let you groom them after battle as well. One of the games’ core themes is exploring how we relate to and learn to communicate with creatures that are completely different from us. The cool attacks, special evolutions, whimsical designs are just a way of dressing that up.

So while the story of Spock’s rescue and life with his new family certainly won’t be the last Pokémon Go story we hear about, it feels like the one that will forever be the most quintessentially Pokémon.

from Kotaku

The Evolution of Warcraft

From watching Sylvanas be forced to kill her people, to Arthas murdering his father, or even the first or second time we all banded together to save Azeroth from the Burning Legion, Warcraft has been a successful real time strategy game, transitioned into the biggest MMO and is now one of the most played card games. It’s all pretty impressive. Let’s look at how it went through all of these changes in the Evolution of Warcraft!

from GameSpot