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21 February 2019

"Saving Washington" Film Rights Optioned by Producer of HBO's Big Little Lies

Saving Washington: The Forgotten Story of the Maryland 400 and The Battle of Brooklyn
Saving Washington: The Forgotten Story of the Maryland 400 and The Battle of Brooklyn
Saving Washington, Chris Formant's riveting novel about the forgotten heroes who saved General George Washington and the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, has been optioned by Fearless Films/Gregg Fienberg, the Emmy Award-winning producer of Big Little Lies, as well as the Emmy Award-nominated Deadwood and True Blood, and Golden Globe-winning Twin Peaks.
Hidden in the pages of history, Formant's book reminds us of the sacrifices made for our country. "Saving Washington is the extraordinary story of America's Spartans, the Maryland 400, a group of young men from Maryland who stood up to an overwhelming British Army at the Battle of Brooklyn, buying time for Washington and the Continental Army to escape," Fienberg said. "If not for their sacrifice, the American Revolution would have been over that day."
According to author Chris Formant, the Battle of Brooklyn—the Revolutionary War's first and fiercest conflict—was once called, "An hour more precious to American Liberty than any other in history," and yet has been forgotten. 
"My fascination with this lost piece of history all started a few years ago. I accidentally came across a one-paragraph announcement in the Baltimore Sun describing a wreath laying ceremony near Prospect Park in Brooklyn to honor the heroism of a small Maryland regiment on August 27, 1776, and I wondered—as a student of history, why don't I know anything about this?
The desire to understand what would motivate an untested band of young soldiers to lay down their lives for a new nation fueled the passion that became Saving Washington.
"I'm excited that Gregg Fienberg has chosen this story of America's most forgotten heroes to bring to light on film and finally give the Maryland 400 the spotlight they deserve," Formant said. 
Formant's research led him to the Army War College where he brought decorated military leaders to tears describing that somewhere beneath the bustling streets of Brooklyn lie the remains of America's forgotten citizen-soldiers whose heroic sacrifice galvanized the nation on the eve of its birth.

With Saving Washington, Formant crafted a work of historical fiction that transports the reader back to that moment in 1776 and the escalating tension with the British. 

Seen through the eyes of two teenagers, one white and one black, Formant presents the colliding forces of personal freedom, taxation, American exceptionalism and Old Testament religion. It is a story that reminds us of the extraordinary devotion that founded our new country.
Chris Formant
Chris Formant (lmage via BookTrib)

About Chris Formant:

"Novelist Chris Formant is a student of history. He’s a former top executive of a multi-billion-dollar global business and now technology company CEO. Formant is an unlikely author of historical fiction, but the heroic story of Maryland’s Forgotten 400 drove him to assemble an expert team to help him conduct painstaking research and then write his second book, Saving Washington,.

His debut novel, Bright Midnight, received lavish praise and has been dubbed the “Da Vinci Code for rock and roll fans.” In the thriller, Formant created a unique mystery in which he re-imagined the deaths of rock icons as murders. 

Chris splits his time between Baltimore, Maryland and Sedona, Arizona."

SOURCE: Chris Formant

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20 February 2019

How an X-Men writer inspired binge-worthy, character-driven TV from Buffy to Game of Thrones

An early comics book writer inspired today’s TV writing. The Umbrella Academy (Netflix), based on the comic book by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, tops binge-worthy TV lists this month. Mary J. Blige plays Cha-Cha, an assassin that can travel through time.
An early comics book writer inspired today’s TV writing. The Umbrella Academy (Netflix), based on the comic book by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, tops binge-worthy TV lists this month. Mary J. Blige plays Cha-Cha, an assassin that can travel through time. (Christos Kalohoridis / Netflix)
A quiet revolution has occurred within all of our homes, one that has fundamentally altered the way we watch television.

Given the North American love of television, it is not hyperbole to say this revolution has had a notable effect on our lives, our culture and our identities. It is strange to consider that we might owe a great deal of these cultural changes to the work of a single X-Men comics writer.

This writer played a significant role in developing the long-form storytelling techniques that have since found their way into everything from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Game of Thrones to Stranger Things.

In the 1960s, X-Men comics were a failure for Marvel, despite boasting the creative pairing of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. After 63 issues, the series was effectively cancelled and left in limbo for five years. Then in 1975, a 24 year old editorial assistant named Chris Claremont took over as the new writer of X-men.

The First Issue of X-Men.
The First Issue of X-Men.
Claremont expected the job to last six issues, but he instead wound up writing the series for 16 consecutive years.

In that time, X-Men went from a B-list title to the best-selling comic book in the world, and Claremont holds the Guinness World Record to this day for the bestselling single issue comic of all-time: X-Men (vol 2) #1.

All of this is established comics history. What does it have to do with television?

A seismic shift: Casual to dedicated audiences

By the late 1990s, television had begun a transition. According to culuralist Jimmie Reeves and his colleagues, TV started “programming forms that inspire devoted rather than casual engagement.” Prior to this, TV was dependant on broadcast scheduling and had to be designed to be accessible to casual viewers. This was simply because there was no way to guarantee audiences would be in front of their television the next week at the exact same time to see the next episode.

With the rise of VHS or DVD boxed sets, personal video recorders and later, streaming services, television was set free to use long-form continuity-based storytelling. Those stories featured more complex character dynamics within more continuous, open-ended plots and structures.

As a result of this transition, the way most of the globe consumed television changed within a very short period of time. This shift led us from self-contained, non-continuous stories to the very concept of being “binge-worthy.”

This same type of transition is exactly what Claremont contributed to comics, decades prior.
When Claremont started on X-Men in 1975, comics were also written for a casual audience. Stan Lee is famously quoted as saying: “Every comic book is someone’s first.” Casual engagement needed to be woven into the books. That was the status quo and creators were not allowed to drift too far from it.

But Claremont was not interested in telling the same stories over and over, and because he wrote X-Men for 16 years, he covered a lot of stories. This necessitated a new approach to writing, one that allowed for change: new characters and new directions. In light of this, Claremont’s X-Men were constantly changing and growing in a way that did not conform to Stan Lee’s mandate.

X-Men #136
X-Men #136
Claremont’s growth of writing style was rooted in an interest in character over plot. Comics historian Sean Howe noted: “All Claremont cared about were the emotional relationships of his characters.” As a result, X-Men became, as Howe put it, “the soapiest soap saga ever put forth by the House of Ideas, filled with agonized romances, self-confidence crises, lectures on morality, psychic scars, and worrying.”

If these elements sound familiar, they should. Most of our current television programs use the same components to build their devoted followings.

From Kitty to Buffy

The most direct successor of Claremont’s work is Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer. According to cultural critic Geoff Klock, Claremont’s influence “looms too large for many to see. A lot of folks don’t know that Joss Whedon would not have created Buffy or Angel were it not for Claremont’s X-men.”

Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Similarly, comics historian Jason Powell believes Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer is “an avowed Kitty Pryde [a character Claremont created for X-men] analogue, and an entire season of Buffy riffed on Claremont’s ‘Dark Phoenix Saga’.”

The same can be said for an entire season of Whedon’s Angel, which used Claremont’s Illyana Rasputin character as the basis for a long arc about Angel’s son, Connor. Whedon is quite open about how Claremont inspired him, and Buffy is frequently cited as a touchstone moment in the development of long-form storytelling in television.

A broader absorption

Beyond this direct influence, Claremont’s techniques are widely visible among the best-loved television series within this current golden age: nested story structures, drawn-out mysteries, character melodrama and dysfunctional collectives that have to put aside their differences to defeat a common foe.

The only thing missing is the yellow tights. Perceived as a whole, Claremont’s work constructed a sort of long-form storytelling toolbox, one that our TV creators have been dipping into ever since.

Claremont’s X-Women.
Claremont’s X-Women.
Additionally, Claremont’s use of women in his stories was, according to Powell, “ahead of its time 30 years ago, and modern comics are still catching up.” His cultivation of strong female characters like Storm, Carol Danvers, Rogue, Colleen Wing, Misty Knight, Phoenix and Psylocke set a new standard for action heroines in popular culture as a whole, one that manifests readily in some of the great, badass heroines populating our screens today.

In the end

When Claremont was finally pushed out of X-Men comics, he was the No. 1 comics writer in the world.

He wasn’t pushed out because he was failing at his job, but because he refused to comply with an editorial mandate that requested a return to status quo, to casual engagement all over again.

His greatest accomplishment — developing ways by which a character-based story could unfold slowly over time — was, ironically, what cost him his job. But if our current television landscape is any indication, our culture has profited greatly from the choices Claremont made, and from the ingenuity that followed those choices.The Conversation

About Today's Contributor:

J. Andrew Deman,, Professor, University of Waterloo

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 

19 February 2019

PUBG Mobile and Resident Evil 2 Launch "Zombie: Survive Till Dawn" Gameplay Mode

PUBG Mobile and Resident Evil 2 Launch "Zombie: Survive Till Dawn" Gameplay Mode - First Resident Evil Crossover With Mobile Game Launching Around The World
PUBG Mobile and Resident Evil 2 Launch "Zombie: Survive Till Dawn" Gameplay Mode - First Resident Evil Crossover With Mobile Game Launching Around The World
Tencent Games and PUBG Corporation (PUBG Corp.) announced today the launch of a new gameplay mode called "Zombie: Survive till Dawn", a crossover collaboration between PUBG Mobile and Resident Evil 2. 

In late 2018 PUBG Mobile announced the cross-branding partnership with Capcom's game Resident Evil 2 at the PUBG MOBILE STAR CHALLENGE 2018 Global Finals. The announcement generated significant interest and culminated in the launch of this new gameplay mode.
The gameplay will feature three days and two nights in one 30-minute round that features 60 players within the usual PUBG Mobile game structure. Players will encounter multiple types of zombies from the Resident Evil series such as Police, Licker and G1 as well as other zombies created by the PUBG Mobile team.
As Survive till Dawn turns from day through dusk and into night time, the zombies become considerably more aggressive and will pose a significant challenge for PUBG Mobile players. 
  • During the day players can defeat zombies from long range and conduct farming. 
  • Dusk preps the players for fighting as zombies become more dangerous and visibility drops.
  • Night time sees the zombies become enraged and players will have limited PvP engagements due to very low visibility. 
  • The legendary Resident Evil 2 characters G (Stage 1) and Tyrant will also appear through random spawning during night time. 
  • Also, players can win Leon and Claire skin sets, and Ada and Marvin costumes in-game, which are all popular characters in Resident Evil 2.
"Our Resident Evil 2 partnership announcement generated a lot of buzz in the media and among both games' rabid fan bases," said Vincent Wang, General Manager of Global Publishing Center, Tencent. "We're thrilled to launch Survive till Dawn, a new gameplay mode that offers the very best of our two game platforms. The Resident Evil series is iconic among gamers and we anticipate incredible support for this gameplay that pushes players to survive a night of terror."

PUBG Mobile has enjoyed unprecedented success since its launch, exceeding 30 million daily active users and 200 million downloads in just eight months. In 2018, PUBG Mobile took home multiple awards and nominations, just eight months after the game's release. 

The game earned three awards at the Google Play Awards last month, including "Best Game." It also won the "Mobile Game of the Year" award at the 2018 Golden Joysticks and received nominations from The Game Awards and the App Store.

About Resident Evil:

The Resident Evil franchise features survival horror games in which players utilize a variety of weapons and other items to escape terrifying situations. 

Cumulative sales of the games in the series now total 88 million units* since the first title debuted in 1996. More than 20 years later, support from the passionate fan base across the globe even today makes it Capcom's flagship game series. 

Originally released in 1998, Resident Evil 2 went on to achieve cumulative sales of 4.96 million units, making it the fourth best-selling game in the Resident Evil franchise. 

The new Resident Evil 2 has shipped 3 million units* globally since it was released in January. 

*As of January 28, 2019

  • Title: Resident Evil 2
  • Genre: Survival horror
  • Platforms: PlayStation4 system, Xbox One, PC
  • Release Date: January 25, 2019
  • Official Site:

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18 February 2019

America's First Jewish Escape Room - OneBefore, Launches in Brooklyn

The OneBefore Escape Room - Trying to Escape
The OneBefore Escape Room - Trying to Escape
Gamliel Beyderman, the Russian-born, Orthodox Jewish data scientist on a wild journey to launch America's first Jewish Escape Room finally opened the doors of his venue to the customers right before Chanukah even though their site has been discussing the concept for months!

The Brooklyn location is in Midwood, a predominantly Orthodox neighborhood, even though the venue caters to anyone (Jewish or not) interested in all things Jewish. 

  • No background in Jewish studies is necessary to complete the room. 
  • The facility welcomes school trips and features a 35-person event space that doubles as a fine art gallery focused on the themes explored in the escape room.
After witnessing his teenage son's fascination with escape rooms to the point of building one on the basement of their home, Beyderman realized this medium can be a powerful educational tool to explain complex ideas - through play.

The escape room dramatizes the genealogical discoveries made by Dr. Jeffrey Mark Paull in his quest to illuminate his family's lost connection to noble past. Paull captured his experiences in a volume called "A Noble Heritage." The stranger-than-fiction, but true plot weaves genealogy, Jewish history, loving kindness, sacrifices and miracles.

In Beyderman's own words: "I was amazed that [Paull] restored every single ancestral link connecting himself to the Shpoler Zeide, Rabbi Pinchas Koritzer, Rashi, and ultimately King David. As Jews, we are surrounded and comforted by the stories of their mighty deeds, their Torah - every day. My idea was to take the visitors of our escape room right into those stories through the escape room puzzles.

The visit continues in the Shpoler Zeide Gallery where each artwork is a story and a portal for meditation about the visitors' experience.

A second escape room at the same location is currently under construction. It promises to take the visitor on a journey to meet the legendary 18th century mystic, Rabbi Pinchas Koritzer. 

The room is an attempt to recreate a trip through the 20 generations of the Shapiro Rabbinic dynasty to find the greatest treasure of the Jewish people. The themes range from saving the manuscripts of Rabbi Pinchas from the flames of the Holocaust to the Jewish mystical numerology (gematria), to the heart-warming story of Rashi, the greatest Bible commentator of all time.
The OneBefore Escape Room - "Happening Place"
 The OneBefore Escape Room - "Happening Place"
OneBefore Escape is a part of the global escape room phenomenon, as well as an immersive museum of how technology allows us to trace our roots to the most illustrious leaders of the Jewish people. It is in the Midwood section of Brooklyn, near the numerous kosher restaurants, shops and steps from the subway.
SOURCE: OneBefore Escape

16 February 2019

National Geographic and Sky Ocean Ventures Launch Global Search for Alternatives to Single-Use Plastics

Registration for the Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge is now open...
National Geographic and Sky Ocean Ventures have launched a global search for innovative solutions to help tackle the world's single-use plastic problem.

The Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge, a one-year competition, will focus on three strategic ways to address the growing issue of plastic pollution: designing alternatives to single-use plastics, identifying opportunities for industries to address plastic waste throughout supply chains, and communicating the breadth of the issue through data visualization. 

The Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge is a key component of National Geographic and Sky Ocean Ventures' partnership to reduce plastic waste.
  • Teams or individuals interested in the Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge must submit their solutions by June 11, 2019, for review by an expert judging panel. 
  • Selected teams will compete for a share of $1.5 million in awards and investment. Winners will be announced in December 2019.
Commenting on the launch of the challenge, Frederic Michel, group director of impact and Sky Ocean Ventures, said: "In the last 60 seconds, another rubbish truck of plastic litter will have been dumped into our oceans, destroying the environment and killing wildlife. Sky and National Geographic have the very unique opportunity and resources to help reverse the damage that is being done and help accelerate and scale up ideas. By seeking out and supporting the innovators creating alternative and impactful solutions, we can champion the people who can potentially make a difference, beyond an equity investment. We will bring them into our unique ecosystem and provide them with support across critical areas for their very early growth."
"The Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge is a tremendous opportunity to create a global community of problem solvers — innovators, scientists, researchers, storytellers and other creative minds — who are passionate about bringing their ideas to life in order to stem the tide of plastic pollution," said Dr. Jonathan Baillie, National Geographic Society executive vice president and chief scientist. "National Geographic and Sky Ocean Ventures are excited to work with competition winners to help create new technologies, business models and other solutions that will bring us one step closer to achieving a planet in balance."
The Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge is a key component of National Geographic's Planet or Plastic? initiative, a global effort to significantly reduce the amount of single-use plastic that reaches the ocean by raising awareness, elevating science and education, advancing innovation and inspiring action.

"Food wrappers and beverage containers are ubiquitous, lightweight, and disposable, and many are nonrecyclable. Beverage container lids and caps become detached, and due to their size, are likely to become litter or escape from waste management systems, eventually ending up in marine environments..." (via National Geographic Society)
Sky Ocean Ventures was launched in March 2018 with a £25 million cornerstone commitment from Sky and the objective of seeking out investment opportunities in start-up innovation businesses that can help solve the ocean plastic waste crisis.

To register, and for more information about the challenge, please visit

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15 February 2019

Miami Vice Original Filming Boat Goes Up for Sale

Miami Vice Original Filming Boat: "a Picasso of boats"
Miami Vice Original Filming Boat: "a Picasso of boats"
An eye for design runs in the family. The late fashion designer Larry Martino created and designed clothes for Hollywood stars but his son, cut from the same cloth, David Martino, 41, of Iconic Premier, has applied that artful eye to collectible vehicles. 

Among them is the most recognizable, iconic pop culture boat in the world, a Wellcraft Scarab 38 KV driven by Don Johnson throughout the 1980s international hit TV series Miami Vice

Calling it artwork in motion, Wellcraft told Martino that Don Johnson himself helped design the boat's finishes and choose the color; there are more than 130 hues in the paint scheme. 

With its beautiful lines and a graceful arch mounted on the boat, the Scarab has a very distinguished look and style making it a perfect museum piece. 

This famous boat holds an illustrious place in television history.
"Owning the original Miami Vice boat has been a lifelong dream and it's an honor to own such a powerful international status symbol," Martino said. "But it is time for the original Miami Vice boat to go to a new home, maybe to a studio such as HGTV, Universal Studios, Vin Diesel, an art museum, casino, sports figure, even a fortune 500 company that will greatly benefit from the 30 years plus of branding or someone who just is a die-hard fan of Miami Vice."
But the worth of such a legendary, beautiful vessel is a mystery. Unlike collectible cars of which there are hundreds, the only boat that comes to mind is the original Miami Vice filming boat, by far the most recognizable boat in the world.
"It is hard to put a value on such an iconic collector's piece," Martino said. "I view this as priceless and irreplaceable. It's unique, and highly collectible, a true masterpiece. It's definitely a Picasso of boats, so we've priced it at $20 million on eBay." All offers will be welcomed.
International Superstar David Martino Cruising with his pal the "Legend"

Martino will give away the very last Miami Vice Daytona built by renown car builder Carl Roberts.
"That would be a fun two-for-one, wouldn't it?" Martino said. "I'd be willing to do that; if someone bought the boat, I'd throw the Daytona in free. They really need to stay together."
"We all remember Don Johnson playing Detective Sonny Crockett on the show," Martino said. "Some lucky person will carry the Miami Vice legacy with pride of ownership. There's 30 years of branding behind the original Miami Vice filming boat, which became a household name and a character in the movie."
Don Johnson playing Detective Sonny Crockett
Miami Vice: Don Johnson as Detective Sonny Crockett
The Miami Vice boat can be viewed at along with Martino's other Hollywood collectibles including the Original Bandit Trans Am, the car that stared The Smokey and the Bandit phenomena.

SOURCE: Iconic Premier

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14 February 2019

History in Motion: Iconic Cars from Hollywood will Parade Around Los Angeles on President's Day led by a Presidential Limo with a Special Guest

President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Chrysler Imperial Parade Phaeton
President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Chrysler Imperial Parade Phaeton
Celebrating Los Angeles' love of both the automobile and Hollywood, the Petersen Automotive Museum will host a parade on President's Day, February 18, 2019. Featuring iconic Hollywood cars, the parade will be a fun "thank you" to the people of Los Angeles for their unwavering support over the past quarter century.
Beginning at 10 a.m. in Playa Vista, the parade route will pass several of the city's landmarks including The Santa Monica Pier, Rodeo Drive and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

During the route, there will be one planned 20-minute stop at Abbott Kinney Boulevard in Venice, where viewers can take pictures with the parade cars. 

After the parade, the cars will return to the Petersen at around 1 p.m. and be displayed on the third floor of the museum parking garage.

Viewers positioned around the designated parade route will see the 1951 Chrysler Camera Car once owned by billionaire movie mogul Howard Hughes; the Volkswagen Type 2 Microbus from the 2006 American comedy-drama "Little Miss Sunshine;" the 1998 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible from the second installment of the Austin Powers franchise "The Spy Who Shagged Me;" the 2002 Jaguar XK-R Stunt Car that was the anti-hero car in the 2002 James Bond flick "Die Another Day;" the Chrysler Imperial Parade Phaeton, which belonged to President Dwight D. Eisenhower; the Honda S2000 from "2 Fast 2 Furious;" and other iconic Hollywood vehicles.
"The Petersen would not be what it is today without the steadfast support of the Los Angeles community," said Petersen Automotive Museum Executive Director Terry L. Karges. "For 25 years, we have strived as an organization to captivate the hearts of Angelenos, igniting within them a passion for the automobile. Because Hollywood is such an important aspect of our community, the parade will serve as a fun tribute to the industry on which Los Angeles was built upon."

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13 February 2019

DreamWorks Animation And iFLY Bring How To Train Your Dragon Fans Closer To The Hidden World

How to Train Your Dragon Virtual Reality Experience, Now Available at Participating iFLY Locations
How to Train Your Dragon Virtual Reality Experience, Now Available at Participating iFLY Locations
iFLY is partnering with DreamWorks Animation on one of the most anticipated movies of 2019, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (in theaters February 22, 2019), to create a unique How to Train Your Dragon Virtual Reality Experience exclusively for iFLY. 
The experience is now available in participating iFLY locations nationwide.

About The Experience:

  • This fully immersive, highly exhilarating experience takes flyers inside the mythical Viking world of Berk from the movie How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.
  • Flyers of all ages can choose their favorite character (Hiccup or Astrid) and soar like a dragon in virtual reality alongside the beloved Night Fury dragon, Toothless.
  • iFLY instructors physically guide flyers through sharp turns and breathtaking descents to enhance the virtual reality experience.

About How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
From DreamWorks Animation comes a surprising tale about growing up, finding the courage to face the unknown … and how nothing can ever train you to let go. 

What began as an unlikely friendship between an adolescent Viking and a fearsome Night Fury dragon has become an epic adventure spanning their lives.
Welcome to the most astonishing chapter of one of the most beloved animated franchises in film history: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.
Now chief and ruler of Berk alongside Astrid (America Ferrera), Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) has created a gloriously chaotic dragon utopia. When the sudden appearance of a female Light Fury coincides with the darkest threat their village has ever faced, Hiccup and Toothless must leave the only home they've known and journey to a hidden world thought only to exist in myth. As their true destinies are revealed, dragon and rider will fight together—to the very ends of the Earth—to protect everything they've grown to treasure.

For How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, series director Dean DeBlois returns alongside the all-star cast. The film is produced by Brad Lewis (Ratatouille, ANTZ) and Bonnie Arnold (Toy Story, How to Train Your Dragon, How to Train Your Dragon 2).


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#ArmMeWithGames: Leading Game Designers & Educators Come Together to Recommend 20 Empathy Games For Young People Growing Up In The Shadow Of School Shootings

Literary Safari Media's #ArmMeWithGames list features 20 empathy and social emotional learning game recommendations for young people growing up in the shadow of lockdown drills and school shootings
Literary Safari Media's #ArmMeWithGames list features 20 empathy and social emotional learning game recommendations for young people growing up in the shadow of lockdown drills and school shootings. It is a companion resource to the #ArmMeWithBooks list which features reading recommendations from over 50 award-winning children's authors and librarians.
In remembrance of the one-year anniversary of the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the New York City-based studio Literary Safari Media has released an #ArmMeWithGames list of 20 award-winning games that can build empathy and social-emotional learning

At a time when video games are blamed for violence and even, mass school shootings, the #ArmMeWithGames list invites parents and educators to take a more nuanced view toward the role of games in the lives of young people. 

The list features letters to parents and teachers from Joel Levin, technology educator and founder of MinecraftEdu, and Dr. Karen Schrier, author of Knowledge Games: How Playing Games Can Solve Problems, Create Insight, and Make Change, along with game recommendations from leading game designers, researchers, and educators such as Barry Joseph, head of Digital at Girl Scouts USA, Asi Burak, author of Power Play: How Video Games Can Save the World, and Susanna Pollack, President of Games for Change. 

Featured games include Never Alone (E-Line Media), Sign, and Zoo-U.
"This list curates some of the best and most innovative game experiences that can help foster social emotional learning in children," says Matthew Farber, a professor of technology at the University of Northern Colorado and author of Game-Based Learning in Action.
Also releasing in remembrance of the one-year anniversary of the Parkland tragedy is a free, downloadable adaptation of Literary Safari's graphic novella William H.G. Butler Middle School
Also releasing in remembrance of the one-year anniversary of the Parkland tragedy is a free, downloadable adaptation of Literary Safari's graphic novella William H.G. Butler Middle School, which was created on Instagram, and a new discussion guide for students, parents, and teachers that was written by a middle school Language Arts teacher. " "The format of the narrative feels very connected to our techno-cultural moment," says Josh Neufeld, Eisner Award nominated comics journalist.
⏩ The #ArmMeWithGames list is a companion resource to Literary Safari's #ArmMeWithBooks list of book recommendations from award-winning children's authors which was released in December 2018 on the 6th anniversary of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. In creating these resources, the studio was inspired by the viral teacher-driven #ArmMeWith social media campaign that emerged in response to politicians' suggestion that teachers be armed with guns to prevent further school shootings.
"While gun reform legislation and school safety take center stage amongst legislators and in the media, what I see as being less discussed is the very real impact of lockdown drills and school shootings on the emotional lives of young people, educators, and families," said Sandhya Nankani, founder of Literary Safari and a mother herself. "This week, we are also releasing a downloadable PDF version of our Instagram-style graphic novella, William H.G. Butler Middle School, which inspired our #ArmMeWith campaign. The graphic novella comes with a discussion guide written by a middle school teacher. It is our hope that the story and the companion questions can be used as a tool to foster dialogue among and between students, parents, and educators."

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12 February 2019

Marvel Studios' "Captain Marvel" to be Released in ScreenX

Captain Marvel in ScreenX
Captain Marvel in ScreenX 
CJ 4DPLEX has announced today that Marvel Studios' "Captain Marvel," is coming to theaters in the ScreenX format on March 8, 2018.

"Captain Marvel" will be the third movie from Marvel to be converted into ScreenX, and the latest collaboration between The Walt Disney Studios and CJ 4DPLEX, following the globally successful ScreenX release of "Black Panther" and "Ant-Man and The Wasp". 

"Captain Marvel" stars Brie Larson in the title role and is directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.
ScreenX is the world's first multi-projection theatre technology that allows a 270-degree panoramic movie watching experience. ScreenX allows the audience to go beyond the frame of the traditional movie screen, utilizing a proprietary system to expand the center screen image to the side walls, surrounding audiences with imagery and providing a sense of being inside the movie.
"'Captain Marvel' is another great movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe that continues to showcase the full potential of the ScreenX format by taking us on an otherworldly heroic journey," said JongRyul Kim, CEO of CJ 4DPLEX. "We are thrilled to team with The Walt Disney Studios and Marvel Studios to bring this inspiring new heroine to audiences in our newest cinematic experience."
Brie Larson as Captain Marvel
Brie Larson as Captain Marvel

About "Captain Marvel":

Set in the 1990s, Marvel Studios' "Captain Marvel" is an all-new adventure from a previously unseen period in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that follows the journey of Carol Danvers as she becomes one of the universe's most powerful heroes. While a galactic war between two alien races reaches Earth, Danvers finds herself and a small cadre of allies at the center of the maelstrom.

The film stars Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Rune Temte, Algenis Perez Soto, Mckenna Grace, with Annette Bening, with Clark Gregg, and Jude Law.

Marvel Studios' "Captain Marvel" is produced by Kevin Feige and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. Louis D'Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jonathan Schwartz, Patricia Whitcher and Stan Lee are the executive producers. 

The story is by Nicole Perlman & Meg LeFauve and Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck & Geneva Robertson-Dworet, and the screenplay is by Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck & Geneva Robertson-Dworet. 
"Captain Marvel" opens on March 8, 2019 in U.S. theaters.

The Trailer:

Nerdist and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Present "The Science of Mortal Kombat" Series, Premiering Feb. 18

The Science of Mortal Kombat
The Science of Mortal Kombat - Premieres February 18th
Nerdist's hit series Because Science has collaborated with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment to explore the science of Fatalities and iconic moves featured in the upcoming Mortal Kombat 11 videogame.

The original limited series, The Science of Mortal Kombat, premieres Feb. 18, guest starring reigning UFC Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier, and marks Nerdist's largest production ever, highlighting the creatively brutal and visually stunning gameplay which the best-selling Mortal Kombat franchise is known for.

The Science of Mortal Kombat will feature host Kyle Hill, professional Science Communicator and host of Nerdist's hit show Because Science, as he breaks down the science behind iconic Mortal Kombat 11 Fatalities, Scorpion's deadly spear attack, and powerful Krushing Blows with the help of special guests – Cormier and former WWE Champion, CM Punk.

Kyle and YouTuber and Mythbuster Allen Pan will utilize special super slow-motion cameras allowing for enhanced visuals to analyze and break down each iconic fight move in Mortal Kombat 11, such as the pressure and strength needed to break bones, the scientific analysis of a character's superhuman abilities, and much more.

The Trailer:

The six-episode series of high-intensity fight re-enactments and behind-the-scenes footage will begin airing weekly via and on Feb. 18. and can be watched on Nerdist and Because Science channels any time after each Monday airing.
Mortal Kombat 11 is the latest installment in the critically-acclaimed franchise, developed by award-winning NetherRealm Studios, and is scheduled for release beginning April 23 for PlayStation4 computer entertainment system, PlayStation4 Pro computer entertainment system, the Xbox One family of devices including the Xbox One X, Nintendo Switch system and PC. 

To learn more about Mortal Kombat 11, please visit 

About Nerdist:

Nerdist is a multi-platform media and entertainment network for fans of genre and pop culture content. With flagship content including Nerdist News hosted by Jessica Chobot, weekly shows Because Science and The Dan Cave, and daily in-depth editorial coverage, Nerdist reaches millions of people every day on and on leading platforms including the premium streaming service Alpha, YouTube, and Facebook. 

Nerdist is owned by Legendary Entertainment and is part of Legendary Digital Networks, which also includes Geek & Sundry and Amy Poehler's Smart Girls.

About Because Science:

How hot is a lightsaber?
Why does Captain America's shield bounce?
How much energy does it take Thanos to throw a moon?
Nerdist science editor Kyle Hill answers questions about fictional phenomenon using real-world science in vlogs, livestreams, and a weekly show, whose popularity has grown exponentially since its launch in 2018. Kyle created the popular YouTube channel, which rocketed to 100,000 subscribers in just two weeks, and has since grown to over 750,000 subscribers with more than 150 million views. To date, fans have watched nearly one billion minutes of Because Science, or over 1800 years! Kyle's work has appeared in WIRED, Scientific American, and The Boston Globe. He has hosted MythBusters: The Search and appeared as an expert on Bill Nye Saves the World, FOX News, and BBC World Radio.

About NetherRealm Studios:

NetherRealm Studios is a leader in the development of interactive entertainment, and the creator of the billion-dollar Mortal Kombat franchise. Mortal Kombat has spawned two theatrical films, multiple television series, and has sold over 42 million games to date. Located in Chicago, Illinois, the award-winning NetherRealm team has been working and creating games together since 1992. 

Additional information about NetherRealm Studios can be found at

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