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Mark Hill

Mark is a freelance writer and former editor at Cracked. Follow him on Twitter at @mehil or check out his horror-comedy novel Dead Star Park.


The Lasting (and Strange) Appeal of Idle Games Like Cookie Clicker

When Cookie Clicker released in 2013, video game journalists weren’t quite sure what to do with it. Some suggested Cookie Clicker was high art, while others dismissed it as pointless. Nearly a decade later, though, Cookie Clicker continues to attract thousands of players who enjoy idly sitting and clicking to…

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Players Are Building Their Own Fictional Worlds Inside Sports Simulators

FIFA and Madden are gaming behemoths, but in-depth simulators like Football Manager (FM), Franchise Hockey Manager, and Out of the Park Baseball (OOTP) have niche appeal. OOTP players aren’t hitting home runs in the World Series; they’re studying scouting reports and financial data to ensure the player they’re considering signing…

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1999’s Age of Empires 2 is About to Have Its Biggest Tournament Ever

From March 18th to 21st, 16 Age of Empires 2 players will compete for Hidden Cup 4’s nearly $68,000 prize pool. It’s the largest AoE2 tournament since last year’s Hidden Cup 3, which peaked at 57,922 viewers, but the biggest prize pool before that dates back to 2002. How is…

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Age of Empires II

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The Scenic Route: Exploring the Appeal of Bus and Train Simulators

When Flight Simulator 2021 was released, it was praised as an antidote to the doldrums of quarantine. The appeal of flying anywhere in the world was obvious, and sales quickly shot over two million. But the same praise hasn’t been heaped on train simulators, whose humbler mode of transportation has…

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Train Simulator 2021

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The Hobbyists Making the Hottest New Virtual Boy and Atari Jaguar Games

You probably haven’t played Hamburgers En Route To Switzerland. Described as R-Type if R-Type starred a flying burger, the solo indie production ranks among 2020’s most obscure games. And that’s largely because it was released for the Virtual Boy. Nintendo’s infamous flop console receives a trickle of homebrew titles every year,…

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Formula V

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Older YouTubers Are Playing Games — And They’re Not Just a Novelty

Gaming has largely evolved beyond the stereotype of a young man’s hobby, but playing for the entertainment of others feels like it skews young. The average Twitch user is 21, the average YouTuber older but still below 35. Exceptions, like 84-year-old “Skyrim Grandma” Shirley Curry and Japan’s 90-year-old “Gamer Grandma”…

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Older YouTubers

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The Modders Making Unofficial Definitive Editions Of Classic Games

We’re living in a golden age of games getting “Definitive Edition” or “Remastered” slapped on them. Some of these re-releases, like Mafia: Definitive Edition, have been praised for breathing new life into old favorites. Others, like Warcraft III: Reforged, have all the trademarks of half-assed cash-ins. But then there are games…

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Final Fantasy IX

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The Gaming Community Where Players Take Their Time

“The game’s story is something I wouldn’t be surprised to find in a Hollywood movie,” writes Reddit user JohnO500 in a recent review. “I always look for this level of meticulous writing in games, and I’m happy to see that this game delivers on it fantastically.” They go on to…

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Hitman Absolution

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Barney, Shrek, and Other Monsters: The World of Obscure Speedruns

At speedrun.com, over 1,000 players are on the Super Mario Bros. leaderboard. Only four have run 1996’s bizarre point-and-click adventure Harvester. The latter is one of countless obscure games obsessed over by as few as one fan, but the drive to master them can be no less studied and intense than what’s…

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Barney's Hide and Seek

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Meet the Gamers Bringing Achievements Back to the Past

Ever since Microsoft introduced their Gamerscore system in 2005, it’s been increasingly rare for games to ship without achievements or trophies, and today there are countless websites for tracking and conglomerating them across platforms, tutorials with millions of views to aid in unlocking, and complaints whenever a game is released…

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Boxing

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The Quiet, Enduring Success of The Lord of the Rings Online

Lord of the Rings Online recently launched its seventh expansion to a complete lack of fanfare outside of its fanbase and a few hardcore MMO sites. As a franchise, The Lord of the Rings is as strong as ever, with a TV series coming to Amazon Prime in 2021 and…

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Lord of the Rings Online

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Vietnamese Gamers Are Keeping a 20 Year Old Strategy Game Alive

Age of Empires is a franchise dominated by its second installment. The first game is generally considered too dated, III too odd, and Mythology too far removed from the series’ historical context. And the troubled release of 2018’s Age of Empires: Definitive Edition seemed to confirm this hierarchy, with mediocre reviews deeming…

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Age of Empires Chim Sẻ Đi Nắng vs Hồng Anh, January 5 2019

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