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DID YOU READ

Could a ‘Mass Effect’ MMO Be on the Way?

Could a ‘Mass Effect’ MMO Be on the Way? (photo)

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Here’s what I love about how BioWare views their games: the folks at the Edmonton development collective view their games (and attendant DLC and transmedia projects) as huge, perpetually unspooling skeins of fiction that can be braided and folded in a variety of interesting ways.

You can look at how BioWare used the DLC for “Mass Effect 2” to suss out that philosophy. Players got backstory on established characters, all-new characters to ad to their intergalactic crew and tonal variation that ran the gamut from super-spy genre tropes to futuristic horror. It never felt like you were being wheedled out of $10; it felt like you were paying to access more of a richly imagined universe.

Now, via the new issue of Game Informer, comes word that BioWare’s not averse to creating a massively multiplayer online game based on their successful sci-fi franchise. “Mass Effect 3” should be out by the end of the year and one of the persistent rumors was that it would finally bring a multiplayer component to what’s always been a single-player experience. But, series executive producer Casey Hudson soft-pedals that idea:

“We’ve been trying to think of a way that makes sense for people to experience Mass Effect with their friends… We haven’t yet come up with a way to do that, so we don’t have anything to announce at this time. But, obviously, multiplayer is something we want to do more of in the future as a company.”

So, while multiplayer on “Mass Effect 3” seems to not be happening, Hudson says an MMO “makes sense”:

“A lot of people say that they want to see an MMO, I think that kind of makes sense for this universe. Part of what you’re trying to do is save the universe so you can live in it. That’s part of the promise, I think, for any great IP. It has to be a world worth saving… I think Mass Effect has that quality to it. If you get rid of the Reapers and win that, wouldn’t it be amazing to just live on the Citadel or just take a ship to Omega? That makes sense.”

With most companies, you’d receive the news that they’re thinking of entering the MMO market with heaping gobs of skepticism. After the seemingly unstoppable success of “World of Warcraft,” many game companies view the idea of an MMO as a way of creating their own perpetual-motion money machine. And, while bean-counters at parent company EA may have mercenary considerations as a motivating factor, it seems as if the creatives at BioWare may seize on an MMO as a way to just keep extending out this fictional construct they’ve built. I especially love the idea of treating the MMO as a reward, as a sort of Elysian Fields or Valhalla for “Mass Effect” players. You still need conflict and drama to make the thing go, of course, but the idea of getting to live in a universe that you’ve saved and fundamentally reordered is a particularly great one.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.