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Nintendo Switch needs retro games to succeed

Nintendo Switch needs retro games to succeed

With the Nintendo Switch on the horizon, many people will tell you that the console needs a strong launch library out of the gate if it wants to succeed. They're right, of course, but I also think there's a segment that could have a great effect on whether the Switch sinks or swims: retro games. Nintendo's Virtual Console has been around since the Wii, and the Switch will almost certainly have a Virtual Console of its own. While perfecting the Virtual Console may not be as important as a deep and varied games catalog, it still needs to be a key area of focus if the Switch wants to succeed.

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For me, Carrie Fisher’s Leia was more than just ‘one of the boys’

For me, Carrie Fisher’s Leia was more than just ‘one of the boys’

I was somewhere around age 7 when I first saw A New Hope, then just known as Star Wars, and it ignited many things in my young mind. A love for storytelling, a love for science fiction specifically, and the stubborn insistence that lightsabers must exist somewhere regardless of what everyone said. It wasn’t until I watched Return of the Jedi, though, that Star Wars — and Carrie Fisher specifically — revolutionized my understanding of life and my place in it.

Star Wars was many things to me — a classic battle between good and evil, hope that the underdog could persevere against seemingly impossible odds, and, of course, a fun look at an imagined distant future. A New Hope reflected the world I’d perceived and known up to that point: boys having fun and being important and the one token girl being, well, a princess. An admittedly badass princess, but still.

It wasn’t that I didn’t appreciate the Princess Leia presented in A New Hope, but I didn’t see anything outside of what I knew as normal. She was exactly what I expected the princess to be. Luke was the special Jedi who got a lightsaber and a vital role in changing the galaxy. Han had a huge ship and all these connections amongst many worlds. Princess Leia needed help.

I’d declared at a young age that I wished I was a boy because boys were important and got to have the most fun. I had this idea of what a princess was, and it involved a hefty dose of forced helplessness. Being a girl meant having a lot of pink toys and being admonished about all the things that weren’t ladylike, and while that didn't describe the Princess Leia of A New Hope, I figured she'd had to put up with all that stuff, too.

Princess Leia was okay, but I wanted to be Luke Skywalker. And so I felt like someone must have made a mistake and I was supposed to be a boy. There couldn't be any other answer, I'd figured.

Fast-forward to Return of the Jedi and the plot twist that my young self never saw coming: Luke had a sister, and that sister had the Force, and that sister was Princess Leia. To most adults it seemed like a somewhat cheesy twist, given the love interest angle of the previous movies, but to me it was something else entirely: the very first moment I realized girls could be just as special as boys. She wasn't just a princess tagging along with the boys, she was just as important as them.

Fisher's role in the Star Wars world took on a new form in Return of the Jedi, and she steered it masterfully. Princess Leia wasn't just a stereotypical princess, and at the same time she wasn't a stereotypical "one of the boys" character who tried too hard to be masculine as if the feminine aspects of her personality were shameful.

This point was driven home during the Endor battle scene in which Leia was both warrior and nurturer, being able to hold her own against Imperial forces without needing the boys' help, and at the same time being gentle and loving toward the ewoks and, later on, having no qualms about donning a dress and braiding her hair.

It may sound like such simple things, but to many girls watching those movies for the first time, Fisher presented (and still presents) a look at what could be. You didn't have to be a boy to be special. You didn't have to be saved or sit on the sidelines, and you didn't have to pretend to be a boy or act tough all the time. I stopped wanting to be a boy or be Luke, and I decided I wanted to be like Princess Leia instead: someone who could be a person instead of just a girl.

In light of Fisher's passing, many narratives about her life will no doubt arise across social media in coming days. Many can't seem to help pointing out her past drug use, and others dismiss her as just an actress. Like Leia, though, she was more than any single one thing: she was a person who lived a complex life, and she wasn't afraid to be herself. Her influence will ultimately outlive any single narrative that may arise, and she'll no doubt continue to influence young viewers for years to come.

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How I left the Echo Chamber: Part I – Disabling Facebook News

How I left the Echo Chamber: Part I – Disabling Facebook News

Earlier this year I disabled Facebook's News section because of its highly filtered way of doing business. As a writer it's important that I see the internet in as pure a fashion as possible. I don't often visit Facebook for much other than to share photos of my family and friends and to converse with my family and friends. But this news section drew my eye and showed me how terrible the viral nature of "News" sharing was today - so I shut it off completely.

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Five ways Nintendo can win back old-school NES players

Five ways Nintendo can win back old-school NES players

There's no question that Nintendo is in a bad spot as far as the platform wars are concerned. While the 3DS may be selling well, the Wii U is a failure in nearly every regard – the games may be great, but that's a small consolation if no one is buying consoles to play them. With the Nintendo NX seemingly around the corner, Nintendo has an opportunity to redefine itself and show why this console is a must-buy even if you have a more powerful system or PC. There's no way around it: Nintendo needs to win back some of the players that made the company a household name, so with that in mind, here are five things Nintendo can do with NX to win back old-school NES fans.

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If Yahoo won’t take security seriously, then it deserves to die

If Yahoo won’t take security seriously, then it deserves to die

Yahoo has been in the news quite a bit recently, and aside from the announcement of its sale to Verizon, that news has mostly been negative. That's because Yahoo recently revealed that it was the victim of a major security breach. Again. This time around, whoever beat Yahoo's security made off with the login credentials and personal details associated with 500 million accounts.

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Don’t be ridiculous, Sony: PS4 can’t compete with PC

Don’t be ridiculous, Sony: PS4 can’t compete with PC

As many of you will know by now, Sony has announced the PS4 Pro, serving as something of a stop-gap between this generation and the next (if console generations will even continue to be a thing after this one). Sony's 4K and HDR compatible console could be hitting the scene as much as a full year before Microsoft's Project Scorpio hits the scene, giving Sony a significant head start that is so massively important in this console arms race it and Microsoft have found themselves in.

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It’s time for Nintendo to exit the console business

It’s time for Nintendo to exit the console business

It's time for Nintendo to leave consoles in the past. I've rewritten this opening paragraph multiple times trying to figure out the right way to say that. I've written that there are few surprising things in the gaming industry these days, save for Nintendo, which remains to be a wild card of poor marketing decisions, and that Nintendo's mistakes have proven that it's software, not hardware that people are interested in. Sometimes, though, it's best just to come out and get to the point: Nintendo needs to close the curtains on its hardware business and transition to being a purely software developer.

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The $4 smartphone is real, and it could change the world

The $4 smartphone is real, and it could change the world

In a market as competitive as smartphones, you can bet that every once in a while a company is going to come around and shake things up. Today that company seems to be India's Ringing Bells, which has announced that it will begin delivering its Freedom 251 smartphone to eager consumers on June 30. What's making these customers eager isn't the phone's list of specifications or some form of brand loyalty, but rather the handset's price - coming in at Rs 251, this phone is sporting a price tag that's a whopping $3.70.

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Travel gear: what makes for a good tech bag?

Travel gear: what makes for a good tech bag?

Traveling usually involves toting at least one of your gadgets along with you, and more often than not involves bringing along multiple devices. Not only does this represent a hefty financial investment, but if there's work to be done, unexpected destruction could throw your entire trip into a tailspin. Selecting the right bag can make all the difference, but knowing what to buy isn't always straight forward.

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Is Apple Losing Its Hardware Design Cred?

Is Apple Losing Its Hardware Design Cred?

When you think of Apple, what’s the first thing you think of? For the company’s fans, it’s undoubtedly Steve Jobs, Macs, the iPhone, and iPad. For the company’s haters, it’s typically issues they have with its control over its products, high prices, and its fans, who think their favorite company is superior to all others.

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Banning Used Games Is A Deal-Breaker

Banning Used Games Is A Deal-Breaker

Let me say this loud and clear: any game console that tries to block used games will fail. And I, along with other gamers, will be happy to see it.

Over the last year or so, we’ve been hearing rumors that Microsoft’s next console, currently codenamed Durango, could ban used games. Microsoft, of course, hasn’t said anything on the matter, deciding instead to keep its plans close to the vest until it finally has the chance to unveil the device to the world. But the steady drumbeat of claims that the console won’t support used games is concerning.

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Dear Apple: Android-loving hacking developer hordes await you

Dear Apple: Android-loving hacking developer hordes await you

Today it's come to our attention that a collection of iPhone users out there believe that Apple might, in their next iteration of iOS, decide to give the average smartphone user Android-level customization options. I couldn't disagree more. Though it's clear that Apple should - in an early adopter's dream universe - need by now to bring some major changes to their mobile operating system iOS, it's just not going to happen. With Apple, change comes only when change is needed, and if you've seen the cash this company makes with each new iteration of its iPhone line and think they're in dire need of any sort of radical change, you're out of your mind.

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