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Recommended: The Controversial Saga of the Zombie Massage Makers

Recommended: The Controversial Saga of the Zombie Massage Makers (photo)

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You thought “Medal of Honor” had controversy with the Taliban? Pfffff. Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo serves up a feature that illustrates that there’s no controversy like indie game developer controversy.

The piece concerns one Jeremy Eden, a twentysomething upstart game designer who figured that he’d fell upon a money-making formula of game content:

Jeremy Eden believed this past summer that he had concocted the recipe for a hit. It would be, he and the rest of JForce games thought, their second big success.

This great new thing would be a cheap downloadable Xbox game, of sorts, that would satisfy the public’s proven appetite for three things the public had already shown — statistically — it loved: Xbox avatars, zombies and massage.

The tale unfolds in a sometimes-ignored corner of the Xbox landscape, namely the console’s Xbox Live Indie Games Channel. Aspiring developers can use Microsoft’s XNA technology toolset to build games which are then voted on by their colleagues. This peer-based submission process leads to a lucky few games being disseminated widely for possible purchase to millions of consoles. But, Eden ran afoul of the other gamemakers.

In August he posted a message on the XNA Creators Club message board, a forum where he would be talking to his fellow independent game developers. These developers were the people who had the power to get his Eden’s onto the Xbox 360. He titled his post: So we made another massage game. He introduced his fellow developers to Avatar Zombie Massage Online 2 (there is no AZMO 1) with a letter announcing that his team, JForce Games, was reaching for big dollars: “So yeah, this is the epitome of a shameless cash-grab,” he wrote. “here’s no doubt in my mind that it’ll be a top-seller. Most of you should agree with this.”

Needless to say, they did not. Totilo’s great piece not only spotlights the stratification amongst indie devs, it also talks about the kind of oversight Microsoft provides to this distribution outlet. It’s a great recounting of one young man’s journey from surfeit hit slow-motion train wreck. Go read it.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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