Virtual-On And Shining Force Cross Exlesia Costumes Headed To Phantasy Star Online 2

Both Virtual On and Shining Force Cross Exlesia are coming to the Japanese Phantasy Star Online 2 in the form of costume. It’s part of the game’s second anniversary.



Both of the former titles are arcade games, and will be adding costumes to the game. It’s hard to tell which is spiffier. To pick up Shining Force Cross Exlesia gear, you’ll need to defeat the Knight Gear, who will drop knight, er, gear. There’s also new 11 star weapons and a Knight Gear familiar from client orders.



Virtual On gear will turn your character into someone who looks exactly like some of the various models from the robotic series such as the Temjin 747A 1P or Fei-Yen 1P.



Phantasy Star Online 2 is available now on PC and PlayStation Vita. The English version is out in Asia on PC.
Read more stories about PC & Phantasy Star Online 2 & PlayStation Vita & Videos on Siliconera.

Our 7-Year-Old Plays As Much Roblox and Minecraft As He Wants, and It’s Fine

We don’t impose screen time rules on our first-grade son, Apollo. He’s a hard worker, for one thing. He does his acceleration-program reading/writing homework every morning (even on weekends) and helps out around the house: sweeping the floors, cleaning up after himself, even mowing the lawn — with me right beside him, of course. Little Apollo deserves a little downtime, and now that he’s 7  (“and a half, Dad”), his downtime frequently involves screen time, usually in the form of Roblox or Minecraft.

“Daddy?” comes the call, typically from the couch in the family room. I will be doing anything except sitting down and relaxing. There are three of us, and we live in a house with a front yard, a backyard, and two hampers of laundry and a sink full of dishesthat replenish themselves when no one’s looking. I haven’t sat down and relaxed during waking hours in, oh, about seven and a half years.

“Yes, Apollo?” I reply.

“Daddy, how do you spell ‘McDonald’s’?”

Volume 0% This story was submitted by a Fatherly reader. Opinions expressed in the story do not reflect the opinions of Fatherly as a publication. The fact that we’re printing the story does, however, reflect a belief that it is an interesting and worthwhile read.

I don’t even bother asking why anymore. I stop whatever it is I’m doing, and head directly for his sheet, a piece of paper with certain special words on it. I lay it across the coffee table and grab a handy marker.

“See?” I say, writing and sounding out “M-C-D-O-N-A-L-D-S,” shoehorning it in awkwardly between “Spider-Man” and “Walmart.”ADVERTISEMENT

“Thank you,” my son says, now alternating his attention between the sheet and his iPad.

“You’re welcome,” I say, but not before I catch a glimpse of the screen. With brown skin (like my son’s) and long blond hair (definitely not like my son’s), a blocky avatar wearing purple sunglasses and, on his back, twin katanas in an X-shape is greeting customers from behind a cash register. Right above this totally rad dude is my son’s screen name.

Before you accuse me of setting the bar too low — fast-food cashiers are a sturdier breed than I’ll ever be — just know that in this universe, pretty much anything in realities both real and fictional can become a role-playing game.

My son was playing Roblox, though he also dabbles in the similar Minecraft. Between the two games, they essentially rule the role-playing universe. Just type a noun or proper name into the search bar — “Hockey”? “Target”? “Big Mac”? “Air”? — and Roblox has a world for you and your changeable avatar. Though I wouldn’t know if it’s any fun, having never played either game, my son derives quite a few hours of pleasure per week from — what’s he doing now? — building houses out of lava blocks.

Normally, my wife and I let Apollo play Roblox or Minecraft on his own. Normally, we don’t worry. Normally, though, Apollo isn’t an independent reader and writer. Now that he is — and he’s a pretty decent hunt-and-peck typist, too — my wife and I are considering changing our social-gaming rules. Both Roblox and Minecraft allow players to talk to one another, which, I admit, is pretty scary. You wonder how many creeps are out there pretending to be kids to lure actual kids into, at worst, revealing their locations and, at best, discussing adult topics. There’s no way to tell who users are chatting with or what they’re chatting about unless you watch over their shoulders, and who has time for that when another 400 dirty dishes have just materialized in the sink?

My wife and I have taken the wait-and-see approach, but only because our son is trustworthy and honest and would tell us if something weird was happening. For other parents, whose children may have a sneaky side or whose kids seem to thrive on negative attention, the only answer is to drop in unexpectedly whenever he or she is playing and check. It may be rude, but it’s your child’s life you’re talking about. (In our house, Apollo can close the door to his room or the bathroom anytime he wants, but Mom and I can also waltz in any ol’ time we want, too.)

The only potential downside, for my son, that I can see is that he begins to equate screen time with reality — with actual playing. Again, we’re not worrying yet, because we know that he still loves to play stuffed animals with me and work on his arts and crafts. And also play outside and practice tae kwon do.

As for upsides, there are a couple: he becomes better at communicating and, as strange as this may seem, he becomes better at problem-solving, because in both Roblox and Minecraft he’s confronted with obstacles to overcome, whether they’re actual obstacles in a race or a large number of Big Macs to be cooked and served.

While there isn’t conclusive evidence that excessive screen time is bad for kids’ health, we don’t want to try it and find out. If it gets to that point, we’ll tell Apollo to put down the devices (after putting down our own phone for a minute) and encourage some old-timey fun, like doing puzzles or playing charades. Or playing Harry Potter with a stuffed beaver, giraffe, and Snoopy.

The other day, Apollo mentioned something about Facebook and getting a lot of “likes.” Where he heard this, my wife and I have no idea, but we suspect it’s at his after-school program, where he’s in the same room as several fifth graders. As wait-and-see about things as ever, I told my son that he can “wait” until he’s 25 before he will ever “see” a social media app.

Anthony Mariani lives in Fort Worth with his wife and son and is the author of the (tragically though not unexpectedly) unpublished parenthood memoirLittle Man: A Semi-True Story. Don’t follow him on Twitter @Anthony_Mariani.

Spider-Man Has His Own Zen Pinball Table, But Now It’s Venom’s Turn

Spider-Man already has his own Zen Pinball table, but Venom is getting one, too.

The Venom table will be available for all of Zen Studio’s pinball games on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, Mac, iOS, Android, and Amazon the week of December 8. That includes:

Zen Pinball 2 on PS3, PS4 & Vita: $2.99/€2,99/£2.49, North America December 9, Europe December 10

Zen Pinball 2 for Mac: $2.99/€2,99/£2.49 on December 10th

Pinball FX2 for Steam & Xbox 360: $2.99/€2,99/£2.49 on December 10th

Pinball FX2 for Xbox One: $2.99/€2,99/£2.49 on December 11th

Zen Pinball 2 for Wii U: $2.99/€2,99/£2.49 on December 11th

Zen Pinball / Marvel Pinball for iOS: $1.99/€1,79/£1.49, December 11th

Zen Pinball HD / Marvel Pinball for Android & Amazon: $1.99/€1,79/£1.49, December 11th




Read more stories about Android & iPhone & Marvel Pinball & PC & Pinball FX2 & PlayStation 3 & PlayStation 4 & PlayStation Vita & Xbox 360 & Xbox One & Zen Pinball 2 on Siliconera.
Read more at purchases rights to Minecraft: Education Edition in China

Company's cloud service, JD Cloud, using licensing agreement to move into educational sector

Chinese e-commerce company has purchased the rights to Minecraft: Education Edition in China in an effort to expand its business into the educational sector in the country.

Technode reports that the educational version of the popular title will be handled by the company's cloud computing branch, JD Cloud.

JD Cloud will endeavor to partner with both local governments and various education institutions in the same way that Minecraft: Education Edition is implemented elsewhere in the world. The Education Edition of the game is specifically designed to educate K-12 students on STEM subjects, and includes content that teaches students to code. Currently, it is in use in over 100 countries around the world.

The standard version of Minecraft has been published in China by NetEase, and had reached 150 downloads as of last October.

Latest Minecraft Bedrock update brings crossbows and lanterns, adds new Xbox Achievement

The next major update of the Minecraft Village and Pillage series of upgrades is already out now for the Bedrock Edition of the game. Several note-worthy new features have been added, including Shields, which have long been in the Java edition Minecraft since version 1.9 more than 2 years ago.

The crossbow is now also fully available in the game. Previously, it was an experimental feature that had to be manually turned on in the game settings. Now, it appears that the weapon’s development is finally complete, as anyone can enjoy the feature without having to turn it on.

Additionally, for all those Xbox One users out there, a new achievement can be earned in the game. Titled Fruit of the Loom, a player can earn 20 Gamerscore points for creating a banner using at the Enchanted Apple Stencil.

There are also many other new features in the update, such as the new cat skin which has been named Jellie by the developers. The new skin was part of a contest in which players voted before the best one, and Jellie proved to be the winner in the end.

Other noteworthy new features include Lanterns (which have also been removed from the Experimental Gameplay settings), Looms for additional banner pattern creation, Lecterns for allowing multiple players to read the same books, and the new hostile mob called the Pillager (which strangely is only available in creative mode for the time being).

The update is available today and will roll out to all the operating systems that the Bedrock Edition is available on, including the Xbox One, Windows 10, Android, iOS, and the Nintendo Switch. For users on mobile devices, the devs recommend not using any HD textures right now, as there is presently a bug in the game that causes it to crash when using them.

Virtual-On And Shining Force Cross Exlesia Costumes Headed To Phantasy Star Online 2

Both Virtual On and Shining Force Cross Exlesia are coming to the Japanese Phantasy Star Online 2 in the form of costume. It’s part of the game’s second anniversary.



Both of the former titles are arcade games, and will be adding costumes to the game. It’s hard to tell which is spiffier. To pick up Shining Force Cross Exlesia gear, you’ll need to defeat the Knight Gear, who will drop knight, er, gear. There’s also new 11 star weapons and a Knight Gear familiar from client orders.



Virtual On gear will turn your character into someone who looks exactly like some of the various models from the robotic series such as the Temjin 747A 1P or Fei-Yen 1P.



Phantasy Star Online 2 is available now on PC and PlayStation Vita. The English version is out in Asia on PC.
Read more stories about PC & Phantasy Star Online 2 & PlayStation Vita & Videos on Siliconera.

How Atlus Saved Citizens of Earth

I first saw Citizens of Earth at an indie press event. The game’s quirky humor and Earthbound vibe immediately caught my attention. In Citizens of Earth, you play the Vice President of the World and lead everyday people like Baristas and even your Mother in your party. All of the townsfolk in the game can be recruited.

About a year later, Eden Industries tried fund the game through Kickstarter, but unfortunately weren’t able to reach their goal even though they had a neat playable demo.

“It’s hard to get the word out. There are so many Kickstarter projects and it is hard to hit that critical mass for coverage. People just don’t know about it. We’ve had so many people come up and say ‘Oh, there was a Kickstarter I wish I would’ve known about it,” lead designer and Eden Industries co-founder Ryan Vandendyck said to Siliconera.



Enter Atlus, the RPG publisher behind the Shin Megami Tensei series and also indie games like Zeno Clash from Ace Team. Atlus picked up Citizens of Earth after the Kickstarter campaign ended and will release Eden Industries humorous RPG. “We were very fortunate. I had met Atlus and have been talking to them even before the Kickstarter. We didn’t have any deal yet, but we were in talks. After the Kickstarter failed, Atlus reaffirmed how much they loved the game and they were sad to see it fail. They said we would love to work with you. We would love to get this game made. They very generously stepped in and helped us out,” said Vandendyck.

I asked, “How else has Atlus helped, aside from funding Citizens of Earth?

“Funding was a big one,” Vandendyck answered. “They have helped with the marketing of the game. They made a really cool website. We didn’t have a ton of experience making dialog for games. They helped us with an editing pass and with dialog with the game. They brought the game to get voice acting, all of the characters have voice acting, which is really cool. They’ve been really great at lending their eye to it and giving us design feedback. They’ve been a great partner.”



Atlus also hosted a contest where fans could vote on a citizen and the Beekeeper came out on top. She will be made into a citizen who can join your party in the game. The Beekeeper can use honey to heal characters and send bees to attack enemies.

What other citizens are in the game? “One of my favorite characters is the School Mascot. This is a person dressed up as the mascot of the school in town and you never see who is inside,” Vandendyck explained. “He’s a fun over the top character. Everyone in the game has a day job and he gives everyone a cheer. That translates to changing the difficulty in the game. If you raise it up you get more rewards, it’s similar to The World Ends With You if you’ve played it. In battle, he can keep people’s spirits high to do more damage. He’s great at manipulating stats like buffing characters.”

Citizens of Earth is slated for release this October on Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and PC.
Read more stories about Citizens of Earth & Nintendo 3DS & PC & PlayStation 3 & PlayStation 4 & PlayStation Vita & Wii U on Siliconera.

Monster Taming RPG Band of Monsters Is Free For A Limited Time

A while ago, we noted that Kemco came out with a new RPG in Band of MonstersIt usually costs $7.99, but is currently free as part of a celebration for Machine Knight hitting one million downloads.



The game’s unique twist to draw players in is with its music taming aspect. Monster tamers are awash in the world of Band of Monsters. You, as Zara, can tame them using the power of song by “tuning” yourself to them. You’ll then be able to use said monsters during fights.



The Pokemon/Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker aspect comes in with collecting the sheer variety of some 170 different enemies, and then cross-breeding them Shin Megami Tensei style into entirely new creatures.



Band of Monsters also has an online component, where players can take their party online to fight against other players. Being free would certainly help you find some opponents.

Band of Monsters is available now on iOS and Android. Grab it while it’s free!
Read more stories about Android & Band of Monsters & iOS & Screenshots & Videos on Siliconera.

Minecraft Continues To Build On Its Record With 30 Million Copies Sold For PC

The massively popular sandbox game Minecraft first released for PC back in November 2011 and it continues to grow, as Mojang announced that the world’s best-selling PC game has reached 30 million in sales.0

The last milestone shared for the PC version was back in January 2017 when it reached the 25 million milestone, so the game has sold roughly five million copies in the last two years. At last count in late 2018, over 154 million copies of the game has been sold across all platforms to make it the second best-selling video game of all time after Tetris.

It should be interesting to see how its sales continue in the coming years, and to see when it reaches the 35 million milestone. A live tracker of its total sales can be seen at the game’s official website.

Minecraft is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, iOS, and Android.
Read more stories about Android & iPhone & Minecraft & Nintendo Switch & PC & PlayStation 4 & Xbox One on Siliconera.

Minecraft convention Minefaire is back in LA after breaking world record last year

One year after smashing the world record for the largest convention dedicated to a single video game during its Los Angeles debut, “Minefaire: An Official Minecraft Community Event” is back.

The gaming event, which pops up Saturday, April 13 at the L.A. Convention Center through Sunday, April 14, plunges young super fans into this celebration of the virtual world where they make real-world connections.

The Builds Battle Stage pits kids against each other in a build competition before a live audience, with emcee and YouTube guest judges selecting their favorites. (Courtesy of Minefaire)

“For parents,” added Minefaire co-founder Chad Collins, “it’s a chance to breathe a sigh of relief. Your introspective children who express themselves through video games are not alone. At Minefaire, they not only belong – they thrive.”

A new VR building experience makes players do the heavy lifting.

Other highlights include a Minecraft Escape Room, costume contest, and Build Battles Stage in which kids compete against each other before a live audience. Meet-and-greets with stars of Minecraft gaming YouTube channels, a Learning Lab and a marketplace of new, rare and custom Minecraft merchandise you won’t find anywhere else round out the event.

All-inclusive tickets start at $39.99 and can be purchased at

Minecraft update removes most references to original creator

Minecraft has been updated to remove most of its references to original creator Markus “Notch” Persson from the main menu of the game, via Eurogamer.

The main menu of Minecraft has long been home to a series of rotating phrases of splash text on the top right-hand corner of the logo, which include hundreds of different jokes, catchphrases, and references. But the most recent update to the game has tellingly removed three splash text phrases from the game: “Made by Notch!,” “The Work of Notch!,” and “110813!” (the date that Persson got married).

The Minecraft main menu, with a random splash text phrase 

tweet from 4J Studios, which develops some of the console ports of Minecraft, previously confirmed that changes were being made to splash texts, but didn’t say which changes would be made:

4J Studios@4JStudios

A small update for Minecraft: Console Editions will be rolling out over the next few days to make some changes to splash text.7029:00 PM – Mar 19, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy221 people are talking about this

As Polygon notes, it’s the second largest batch of phrases to ever be removed from the game — only nine other splash text phrases have been removed from Minecraft during its nearly decade-long history.

Persson famously sold the entirety of Minecraft (along with his studio, Mojang) to Microsoft in 2014 for $2.5 billion, although Persson did not join Microsoft as part of the purchase. In the interim years, Microsoft has continued to grow Minecraft as a family-friendly brand, complete with a Minecraft: Education Edition for schools and the interactive Minecraft: Story Modegame (which has even made its way to Netflix as a quasi-kids show).

Persson, on the other hand, has become an increasingly polarizing figure, tweeting offensive statements regarding race, the LGBTQ community, gender, and other topics. Given the controversy surrounding Persson, coupled with the fact that he has no real involvement in the current affairs of the title, it’s easy to speculate that Microsoft would be looking to distance itself from Persson, especially given the massive young audience that Minecraft has and the cultural impact of the game. Persson is still listed in Minecraft in the game’s credits, although it’s a far less prominent placement than the main menu references that have now been removed.

Microsoft refused to comment when asked about the recent changes to Minecraft.

Minecraft on PC surpasses 30m sales

The PC version of Minecraft has sold over 30 million units since its 2009 launch.

tracker on the Minecraft website has been keeping tabs on the number of sales and passed the milestone earlier today.

Across all platforms, Microsoft revealed last Octoberthat the game had sold over 154 million copies and was seeing 91 million monthly active users.

That number does not include 150 million downloads in China also as of October, where the game was published in August of 2017 by NetEase first on PC, and then on iOS and Android. In total, that puts the game at over 250 million users across all platforms worldwide.

For the record: A previous version of this article mistakenly read that Minecraft was published by Tencent in China. It is actually published by NetEase, as corrected above.

The original PC version of Minecraft just hit 30 million sales

Minecraft is now ubiquitous. You can play it on consoles, on portables, on phones, and there was even an official port to Raspberry Pi. But the game started on PC in its Java-based original form. That Java Edition is still being sold, and today it reached a major new sales milestone: over 30 million copies sold.

Total Minecraft player count is well over 150 million, since that’s the number of people who had registered for the game’s free-to-play Chinese release as of last year – nevermind everyone who’s played other versions of the game. Total, full sales of the game are at least 154 million across all platforms, as Windows Central reported back in September.

Mojang keeps a ticker counting traditional PC sales on the official site, and it crossed the 30 million mark a few hours ago as of this post. A number of developers on the game had been closely tracking the counter’s progress toward the milestone on social media, and today’s rollover was a natural cause for celebration across the whole team.

While all the other releases have certainly expanded Minecraft’s reach, the Java Edition is still perhaps the most popular among the community, and certainly the one where you’ll find most of the best Minecraft mods.

If we keep seeing mods like the ray tracing-style effects of the Sonic Ether shader, then I don’t think there’s any limit to where things can go from here.

Related: Dig into the best sandbox games on PC

While PUBG sales might put a run on Minecraft’s claim of being the ‘the world’s best selling PC game,’ the venerable block-builder is certainly in rarified company.

Minecraft now available with Xbox Game Pass

Minecraft already has a sizeable fanbase, but now anyone with an Xbox Game Passsubscription can jump into the fray as well. The blocky builder joined Microsoft's subscription service today, bringing another Microsoft Studios title under its banner.

The full game experience is here, meaning you can explore your own unique world and construct just about anything that strikes your fancy. You can also dive into multiplayer sessions, hailing the assistance of friends to take on any unruly creeps and help build your world out.

Minecraft has seen more than 91 million active players join in across nearly any platform you can think of since its launch in 2009. The game is also cross-play enabled, so you can jump in with friends who may be playing on other platforms like Nintendo Switch and mobile devices.

Embedded video


Minecraft is coming to Xbox Game Pass on April 4. Wait a second… it IS April 4! Download it today, and enjoy the cross-play with Nintendo Switch, Windows 10, Gear VR, iOS and Android. 3,16711:02 PM – Apr 4, 2019555 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy

If you're interested in checking out Xbox Game Pass, the service requires a subscription, which runs $10 per month. There are more than 100 games available to play through Game Pass, making it a bit like a Netflix for gamers. A subscription will also net you a discount for games in Xbox Game Pass if you decide you want to buy them outright.

Shazam! review – likable teen superhero flick

The latest (and lightest) film offering from DC Comics’ extended universe has a particular advantage: it’s a kids’ film, starring kids. The central character, Billy Batson (Asher Angel), is 14; so is his smart-alec foster brother and “manager”, Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer). Billy is granted a tidy collection of magic powers by a wizard (a bewigged and bearded Djimon Hounsou), including strength, super-speed and fingertips filled with lightning. By shouting “Shazam!” he is transformed into an adult in a superhero suit (Zachary Levi, believably and likably hapless), so, like many 14-year-old boys, he uses his new identity to buy beer (which he promptly spits out), saunter into a strip club, and go viral on YouTube. The evil Dr Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong) is after Billy’s powers, hell-bent on revenge after being told, as a child, by both his father and the wizard that he was weak.

There’s a sense of Stranger Things camaraderie among Billy and his foster siblings, who are actually fun to spend time with, and the film’s message of found family is a sweet one. Still, its overblown finale overstays its welcome, teeing up the team as mainstays in the inevitable sequel.

 Watch the trailer for Shazam! – video

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Minecraft With Fancy Lighting Looks Great

Sonic Ether’s Unbelievable Shaders is a shaderpack that adds the kinds of effects we normally associate with ray-tracing— like light that’s able to bounce off other objects—to ol’ blocky-ass Minecraft, and do it while you’re playing in real-time.

It’s not technically ray-tracing (he’s actually using path-tracing), but the effects are still incredible. Here are some examples of it in action:

Outstream Video


And here are some screens showing it off on some more traditional areas:

You can download what you need by pledging $10 over on Sonic Ether’s Patreon page. Just know that the effects here are software-based, so you’ll need a decent PC to get a good framerate.


Considering how strange the past couple of years have been, the premise of a star-studded music festival hosted entirely in the virtual worlds of Minecraft doesn't sound even remotely far fetched. In fact, recent events and crossovers have led many to believe that video games are EDM's next frontier. 

This weekend, Chandler Riggs is hosting Pixel Festival, a full-fledged music festival inside Minecraft. For those unfamiliar with Riggs, he is known for his portrayal of Carl Grimes in the massively popular TV show The Walking Dead as well as a current role on ABC's A Million Little Things.

Embedded video was lucky enough to be able to speak to the multi-talented star and learn more about his endeavors in both music and technology, and where the two worlds meet.  

First things first, you may be wondering why a career actor is hosting his own music festival inside a video game. As some attentive dance music fans know, Riggs makes future bass under the name Eclipse and has released music on Steve Aoki‘s label. Riggs is also an avid gamer and said both gaming and music are his two favorite hobbies. 

After the success of Fire Festivalthe last Minecraft festival Riggs was associated with, he decided he needed to get into the game (pun intended) and create the virtual festival of his dreams. With that vision in mind, he created, his very own team dedicated to creating virtual music experiences.

Although he had tons of fun and is friends with the minds behind Fire Festival and Coalchella, his festivals seek “everyday people that go to [real life] music festivals.” When speaking more on who the general audience is he mentioned inclusion, saying, “…People that can't go to these [real life] festivals can come to these events. It's really cool to be behind something as inclusive as this.”

The idea of having a music festival experience for free at home is something many dance music fans can get behind. With transportation, lodging, tickets, food, and other expenses, going to a music festival is not something everyone can swing. Riggs went on to mention a problem that many of us have faced: Many of our favorite artists don't play in our home countries as often as we'd like. 

“[Virtual festivals] are a way for people to go see their favorite artist if they live in a country where their artist doesn't come to,” he told us. “It's an awesome way for them to get that experience without having to physically be there.”  

Riggs understands that virtual festivals will never replace real life festivals – and he agrees that real life festivals are “life-changing” – but this is an opportunity for some people who can't get out to festivals or who are new to electronic music can get their festival fix. 

With all that being said, enter Pixel Festival. 

Riggs certainly proved his dance music cred when he released the hand-picked lineup. He made it clear that he is a fan of each and every one of the acts he selected to take the virtual stage. 

Superstars like Virtual RiotFlosstradamusWhat So NotAnna Lunoe, and many more are featured on the inaugural festival alongside the eSports celebrity-turned EDM sensationNinja.

Pixel Festival Lineup

When asked about Ninja's involvement Riggs stated: “I want all people that are related to gaming and music in any aspect to be able to be a part of this…He's super excited for it, and we're super excited for it. It's going to be awesome”. 

Due to game limitations, Pixel Festival will not have live audio, however, they have created a clever way to give the artists control during their set.  Riggs described the process in detail:

“Since Minecraft doesn't let us stream audio into the game, all of the sets are prerecorded. But, to kind of make up for that, we have a bunch of different ways that the artist can interact with the crowd on stage, aside from just typing in the chat. They can press buttons to activate fireworks, give different effects to the people in the crowd, for example, they'll start floating, or there's a cool fun surprise on one stage for what they can do to the crowd. It's just another way for the artist to interact with the crowd to kind of make up for the prerecorded aspect of it.”

Half of any festival experience is the festival grounds. The one advantage a virtual festival has over real life is that there are no limitations to what you can do. Want to alter gravity and send attendees into the sky? Go for it. Want to make a giant castle stage with flying dragons in the sky? Why not. Anything is possible.

Riggs and his team of just four builders ran with that idea and created something truly insane. The festival grounds at Pixel Festival will feature everything from giant candy sculptures, to lava filled rivers, and even giant, dabbing unicorns. 



The very idea behind Pixel Festival aligns with the notion that EDM is conquering the video game world. Marshmello and Fortnite‘s massive collaboration showed the world that gamers are ready to let dance music into their lives, while events like Pixel Festival hope to take things even further and offer complete experiences with fewer restrictions.

When asked when we should expect new music or shows from Eclipse, Riggs said: 

“Hopefully soon. I'm looking at getting on a few shows in Europe. I'm hoping to get some of these because I'm still producing music every day and working on new stuff. I'm working on getting some vocals back for a few songs – and hopefully, I'm going to have a new release from Eclipse pretty soon.  

To see their hard work in action and listen to some sets inside the virtual madhouse, fans who own Minecraft can log onto their server April 6th and 7th from 6:00-11:00 PM PST to join in on the fun. 

Fortnite, FIFA, Minecraft and Apex Legends come toThorpe Park for a LIMITED TIME

THORPE Park opens its GameFX arena to the public, complete with Fortnite tournaments, retro gaming and special celebrity appearances.

Thorpe Park has opened up a brand new and limited time gaming area.

The first of four limited time events scheduled for 2019, GameFX is running from now until the end of May.

The GameFX area is an indoor space featuring a wide selection of new and classic consoles and games.

PS4 and Xbox One releases like Forza Horizon 4, Spyro Trilogy, Crash Bandicoot Trilogy, Minecraft, FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 are all playable in the arena.

That's on top of retro games and consoles like the Sega Mega Drive, SNES, Dreamcast, Gamecube and PS2. 

Gaming fans looking to experience something a bit different can also try out a variety of virtual reality games.

One of the more popular titles to try is the excellent Richie's Plank Experience, which sees users face their fear of heights atop a skyscraper.

Thorpe Park GameFX

Thorpe Park adds a new gaming attraction (Image: THORPE PARK)

Thorpe Park adds a new gaming attraction

Thorpe Park adds a new gaming attraction (Image: THORPE PARK)

“Join us over in the gaming arena for our brand new GameFX powered by HYPD!” reads a Thorpe Park post.

“Practice your eSports skills across multiple consoles and games, immerse yourself in nostalgia as you reignite your childhood in the retro gaming area and defy your senses and push yourself to the limit as you engage with the latest virtual reality tech.”

But it's the eSports tournaments that are arguably the most appealing aspect of GameFX.

Fans of games like Fortnite, FIFA and Apex Legends will be able to compete in tournaments to win some swag.

Celebrity influencers are also scheduled to appear at GameFX over the course of its run.

Thorpe Park adds a new gaming attraction

Thorpe Park adds a new gaming attraction (Image: THORPE PARK)

GameFX will be followed by more limited time attractions, beginning with Jungle Escape in May.

The jungle-themed escape room tasks teams with solving puzzles and completing physical tasks in order to emerge victorious.

This will be followed by a 90m inflatable “BounceZilla” course from the end of May until September, before Fright Night returns for in time for Halloween.

Some Genius Recreated the World of ‘Stardew Valley' in ‘Minecraft'

This past summer when I had the flu and was bored out of my mind, I made the decision to start playing the farming-and-life simulator Stardew Valley, which to this day is probably the best $15 I’ve ever spent. I don’t play a lot of video games—I grew up without any consoles, and my brain-to-controller-button-pressing time is about five solid seconds, making action-based games impossible—but I’ve since racked up about 200 hours playing Stardew. Butt Eater Farm is thriving. I’m rich as fuck. My farmer is currently cuckolding her lazy husband with all of the women in Pelican Town. The cute artist redhead is gifting me statues she’s made for me. I’m aging Ancient Fruit wine, shipping iridium-quality truffles, and straight massacring flying serpents with my Galaxy Sword.

The world of Stardew Valley, while somewhat haunted and extremely two-dimensional, is also quite beautiful and serene. The farm and Pelican Town are an escape from the tedium of everyday life, both for the player character in the game’s storyline and for me out there in the real world. I’ve often wished I could step inside my screen, get my hands dirty in the earth, pet some cows, and not think about a world where the President tells people the sound from wind turbines causes cancer.

Which is why this video, where some enterprising Minecraft player(s) faithfully recreated the world of Stardew almost pixel for pixel, is my moment of zen for the day. The video was uploaded a few months ago, but hasn’t been viewed much yet.

It’s important to note this is not the first time these two gameworlds have collided. There’s a Minecraft mod called Farming Valley that aims to replicate the Stardew Valley experience, and there’s even a hybrid game out there called Staxel that combines elements of Minecraft and Stardew. This Minecraft project isn’t playable, but it’s a fun trip for Stardew fans to see how landmarks like the spa, Elliott’s house, and Pierre’s look rendered in Minecraft blocks.

I haven’t picked up Stardew in a while because I’m still waiting for the fateful day the multiplayer version is released for consoles, but this video is making me seriously want to ditch work for some time on the farm. Enjoy.

Minecraft has now sold over 30 million copies on PC in the ten years since its launch

Across all platforms, Minecraft – and all of its various editions – has sold over 150 million copies, and a tracker on the official site shows PC sales are now over 30 million.

A tracker on the Minecraft website for PC sales of the game hit 30 million this week and it’s still rising (via

Back in 2014, console sales of the game surpassed PC and Mac figures, and just a year later, Minecraft Pocket Edition on Android and iOS sold 30 million units.

In October 2018, Microsoft’s head of Minecraft, Helen Chiang, told Business Insiderthat the game had accumulated over 90 million monthly active players, and had sold over 150 million units across all platforms.

Last week, Minecraft update 19w13a removed all references to Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson from the game’s splash screens, most likely due to the content of his Twitter account.

If you’re looking for a Minecraft-like experience to dip your toe into, you can give Boundless a whirl. It’s a cross between No Man’s Sky and Minecraft, and we got Simon Miller to sit down and play it, and he loved it.