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A new Cyberpunk 2077 trailer starring Keanu Reeves played during the NBA Finals – CNET

CD Project Red

Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the most heavily anticipated games of 2020. Today, during the first game in the NBA Finals series between Miama Heat and the LA Lakers, we saw a new ad for the game, featuring Keanu Reeves, who also stars in the upcoming game.

The game is set for release on November 19.

But Cyberpunk 2077 has also been at the centre of a broad debate about video game development and “crunch”. With the game’s release date so close, CD Projekt Red — the developers behind the game — are about to go into what studio head Adam Badowski is calling a “final sprint“. According to Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier, this means mandatory six day work weeks for the Cyberpunk 2077. Previously, CD Projekt Red had promised that developers would not have to “crunch” on the game.

“This is one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make,” said Badowski, in a statement posted on Twitter, “but everyone is well compensated for every extra hour they put in. And, like in recent years, 10% of the annual profit our company generates in 2020 will be split directly among the team.”

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PlayStation Store Games of a Generation sale: 9 discounted PS4 games to buy now – CNET




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The PlayStation 5 is launching on Nov. 12, just over a month from now. So it’s no coincidence that Sony has a Games of a Generation sale on its PlayStation Store, commemorating some of the best games of the PlayStation 4 era.

The sale lasts until Oct. 15. There’s another sale, Big in Japan, that runs up to Oct. 8. You’ll find fantastic games in both sales. Below are our picks.

Rockstar Games

There’s not much to say about Red Dead Redemption 2 that you haven’t already heard. It’s a flagship Rockstar game — which pretty much tells you whether you’d like it or not. If you’ve been on the fence for the past couple of years, the game’s Special Edition, which includes extra missions and content, is $28 until Oct. 15.

Square Enix

The All-In-One package includes Kindom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts II, Birth By Sleep, Dream Drop Distance and Kingdom Hearts III. That’s a lot of Kingdom Hearts. If you’ve been eyeing the franchise off for years, now is the time to jump in. It’s $29 until Oct. 8.

Sucker Punch/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

Ghost of Tsushima is one of the biggest games of the year, and one of the PS4’s final exclusives. Developed by Sucker Punch, the team behind the Sly Cooper and Infamous franchises, you play as a warrior in 13th century Japan. It’s a beautiful game that’ll give you great bang for your buck. 


Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order launched late last year and surprised many by being a Star Wars game that’s… actually really good. Set in between the first and second trilogies, Fallen Order does an admirable job at capturing the aesthetic, action and charm of Star Wars.


This 2019 title is arguably the best video game remake ever. It invokes the spirit of the original Resident Evil 2 but doesn’t feel creaky or dated and works as an nostalgia piece but is also perfectly playable for newcomers. At $25, it’s 50% off until Oct. 8.

Bandai Namco

Tekken 7 Ultimate Edition includes the original game plus Seaon Pass 1 and 2 content (new characters, new stages). In addition to Tekken 7 being a timeless fighting game, Bandai Namco in September announced Season 4, which includes the return of Kunimitsu. That means there’ll be plenty of people to test your game against online. 

Watch Dogs Legion is launching in November for both the PS4 and PS5. If that AAA game from Ubisoft intrigues you but you’ve not played its predecessor, Watch Dogs 2, the deluxe edition is just $12 until 

Blizzard Entertainment

There were many excellent shooters this generation, but there’s a strong case that Overwatch is the very best. This squad-based shooter was launched by Blizzard in 2016 and has been regularly updated, patched and expanded to remain fresh and fun. 

Square Enix

Final Fantasy X is one of the best Final Fantasy games of all time — and ipso facto one of the best RPG games of all time. Final Fantasy X2, its sequel, is cool too. The game still holds up well, a few instances of bad voice acting notwithstanding, and a HD package of both is $12 until Oct. 8. 

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Pantone releases Period red color to help end menstruation stigma – CNET


Show your period pride with Pantone’s new red color. 


Mention menstruation in casual conversation and you might notice people around you start to squirm. Even though periods are a natural biological process for women everywhere, the subject of menstruation still seems to be a taboo topic. 

The color experts at Pantone want to change that common perception with a new shade of red called Period to end menstruation stigma. The new campaign by the color matching company aims to embolden people who menstruate to feel proud of who they are.

Pantone has teamed up with the Swedish feminine products company Intimina to conceive the new red Period color hoping “to empower and encourage people, regardless of gender, to talk in more detail about menstruation,” according to reports on Tuesday.


Pantone Period color was created to encourage people to talk more openly about menstruation.


The new red shade promotes the Seen+Heard campaign, which empowers people to talk in more detail about menstruation. The color is an “original shade of red that represents a steady flow of menstruation,” according to Intimina

While women and girls on their period have been ridiculed, mocked and shunned, it’s important to note that millions of women and girls suffer more than just embarrassment due to the stigma associated with periods.

“Many girls miss vital days of school, or even drop out altogether, which is one reason so many women experience life-long poverty globally,” Jillian Popkins, ActionAid UK Director of Policy and Advocacy, said in a statement on Tuesday. “Without the stigma around periods, more women could escape poverty, fulfill their potential, and strengthen their communities. This important campaign will help change that.”

This exact topic was highlighted in the Oscar-award winning documentary Period. End of Sentence. The movie features a group of fiercely determined young women in rural India who decide to install a sanitary-pad machine, combat the stigma of menstruation, and discover their independence.

Not only has the Seen+Heard campaign helped normalize conversations surrounding menstruation Intimina has also donated to ActionAid, an international charity that works with women and girls living in poverty.

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Best laptops and desktops to give as holiday gifts in 2020 – CNET

By now everyone is probably equipped for working from home or remote learning, but it’s also likely that some folks are pining for an upgrade from whatever system they’ve been slogging on to get by. Make someone’s everyday life — and gaming evenings — a little better with an upgrade from their slow or clunky old faithful. We’ve got holiday gift recommendations of laptops and desktops from brands like Dell, Apple, Acer, HP, Lenovo and more that are bound to brighten someone’s 2021.

Here are our initial picks, starting at the less onerous end of the price scale. We’ll be back regularly with updated recommendations, so check back. If you can’t wait, you can check out all of CNET’s laptop reviews and pick your own.  

Sarah Tew/CNET

This is a 10-inch tablet running Chrome OS that’s bundled with a detachable keyboard and touchpad starting at less than $300. It’s a little small, but that makes it a great gift option for young kids.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Dell’s G-series gaming laptops are cheaper than those from its Alienware division, but still capable of playing the latest AAA titles. There are three separate models — the G3, G5 and G7 — available in 15- and 17-inch sizes. The midrange G5 15 hits the mark with an excellent price-to-performance ratio, build quality and design. The newest versions start at $910, including a special-edition model with AMD’s impressive Ryzen 5 4600H processor.

Sarah Tew/CNET

HP’s small 2-in-1 brings all the convenience of the convertible design without sacrificing usability. For your favorite workaholic, it offers features like an instant mic mute button join other privacy and security features like an IR camera and fingerprint reader and switch to disable its webcam. Plus, it’s available with 4G LTE wireless to let them work anywhere.  Read our HP Spectre x360 13 (late 2019) review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

This is our go-to recommendation for those in search of a MacOS laptop for everyday basic use. Apple dropped the entry price back down to $1,000 making its most affordable laptop a lot less painful on your wallet — for Apple. But it remains one of the best laptops available for battery life, performance and design.  Read our Apple MacBook Air 2020 review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Regularly available for less than $750, this thin, three-pound convertible is a solid choice for anyone gifting a laptop for office or schoolwork. The all-metal chassis gives it a premium look and feel, and it has a comfortable keyboard and responsive, smooth precision touchpad. Plus, it has a long battery life to boot. Read our Lenovo Yoga C740 (14-inch) review.

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When will a second stimulus check come? What happens Thursday could make all the difference – CNET


Different groups will get their stimulus checks at different times.

Sarah Tew/CNET

There’s renewed hope that the fate of a second stimulus check will be decided soon. What happens Thursday could have a tremendous impact on the date a new stimulus payment of up to $1,200 would arrive. If the ongoing negotiations between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yield an agreement, there’s a higher chance a bill would pass in early October.

If negotiations fail and it’s back to the drawing board, well, then things get complicated. However the House will vote on a scaled-back version of its stimulus bill and the volley with the Senate to pass legislation could begin anew, which means that it could still take weeks or even months to agree on more relief aid, including a new direct payment for eligible Americans.

“We made a lot of progress over the last few days. We still don’t have an agreement, but we have more work to do. And we’re going to see where we end up,” Mnuchin told reporters Wednesday.

We’ve mapped out four different timelines for when the IRS could start sending payments to different groups — including who would get a check first and who might get it last. Keep reading for our best guess on dates, and estimate your total check with CNET’s stimulus calculator. We update this story often.

When the IRS could possibly send the first checks to each group

When and if another stimulus check happens, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said it would take about a week to orchestrate the first payments. “I can get out 50 million payments really quickly. A lot of it into people’s direct accounts,” he said.

We’ve speculated potential dates based on calendars from the House of Representatives and the Senate, and also based on Pelosi’s vow to keep her chamber in session until a deal is reached. Not every person will get their check at the same time — keep reading below for how the different priority groups shake out.

Note that, even if an agreement is reached by Oct. 1, it will still take time to hash out the details and draft new legislation to prepare for a vote, first in one chamber (the House, for example) and then in the other.

Possible dates a second stimulus check could go out

Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario 3 Scenario 4
House passes final bill Oct. 5 Oct. 9 Dec. 1 Dec. 7
Senate passes final bill Oct. 6 Oct. 13 (Oct. 12 is Columbus Day) Dec. 2 Dec. 8
President signs Oct. 7 Oct. 14 Dec. 3 Dec. 9
First direct deposit sent Week of Oct. 12 Week of Oct. 19 Week of Dec. 7 Week of Dec. 14
First paper checks sent Week of Oct. 19 Week of Oct. 26 Week of Dec. 14 Week of Dec. 21
First <span data-shortcode="link" data-asset-type="article" data-uuid="f96f4f0c-3b5b-4e72-94a7-8e630b5b05b0" data-slug="eip-card-what-it-is-and-why-you-might-get-one-if-another-stimulus-check-happens" data-link-text="EIP cards” data-href=”” data-edition=”us” data-shortcode-hash=”596ace3476a44eda91522b04821cad77″ data-shortcode-parser-id=”596ace3476a44eda91522b04821cad77_30″>EIP cards sent Week of Nov. 9 Week of Nov. 16 Week of Jan. 11 Week of Jan. 18

Some people will get their checks quicker than others

The IRS has so far sent money to at least 160 million people three different ways, starting with people who filed for direct deposit. Some people with more complicated scenarios are in fact still waiting for their checks or even for catch-up payments. This shakes out into a de facto priority order that could lead some to receive their checks days or even weeks sooner than others. We expect the IRS would keep roughly the same system for sending out the second stimulus check.

Direct deposit is fastest: People who already have their direct deposit information on file with the IRS or do so when and if registration opens again should be first in line to receive their stimulus check. An electronic transfer of funds is faster and more efficient, which is why this group largely got their first check faster.

Now playing: Watch this: Next stimulus checks: What to expect


Social Security beneficiaries: With the first stimulus payment, many Social Security beneficiaries who had direct deposit information on file with the federal government received their checks in the first week, though not always the first day.

People who get paper checks: The IRS began to mail these about a week later to people without direct deposit data on file. 

EIP card recipients: Economic Impact Payment debit cards are prepaid Visa cards that the IRS sent to around 4 million people starting in mid-May. If the IRS follows the same payment priority order, this group could begin to see their checks weeks after the first direct deposit transfers go out.

Last group: Anyone who received their checks after June, is still waiting to receive their stimulus payment or did not know they need to fill out an extra step. Direct payments will continue through the end of 2020 for some individuals who were not part of the previous groups. Here’s what could be holding up the stimulus check delivery for some and how to contact the IRS to report a missing, lost or stolen check.

What’s the longest I’d have to wait for my check?

While we expect the bulk of people to get their money sooner, if the first round is any indication, it could still take months for the IRS to send all the checks. Six months after the first stimulus payments went out, the federal agency is still trying to track down millions of people who may be owed money.

And even with the experience of processing roughly 160 million payments in the IRS’ back pocket, some would probably need to clear a few hurdles to receive their money. Here are common bumps that held up the first stimulus check for some.


There’s hope that the IRS could speed up delivery of a second check, if it’s authorized.

Angela Lang/CNET

A few more resources to help

If you’re still waiting on the first round of payments, you can track the status of your stimulus check, learn how to report your no-show check to the IRS and find possible reasons why your stimulus check still hasn’t arrived.

And here are resources about coronavirus hardship loans and unemployment insurance, what you can do if you’ve lost your job, what to know about evictions and late car payments, if you could receive two refund checks from the IRS and how to take control of your budget.

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Twitter removed 130 accounts linked to Iran during first US presidential debate – CNET


Twitter removed about 130 accounts with links to Iran that were trying to disrupt the public conversation during Tuesday night’s US presidential debate.

Image by Pixabay/Illustration by CNET

Twitter said Wednesday it removed about 130 accounts on Tuesday that were trying to disrupt public conversation regarding the first US presidential debate. The accounts, which appeared to originate in Iran, were removed based on intelligence provided by the FBI, Twitter said in a tweet.

“We identified these accounts quickly, removed them from Twitter, and shared full details with our peers, as standard,” Twitter said in a tweet. They had very low engagement and did not make an impact on the public conversation.”

The account removals are part of Twitter’s efforts to tamp down on misinformation being shared on the platform. Twitter’s fight against misinformation campaigns started in 2018 when it deleted more than a million fake accounts

The FBI confirmed it provided information to Twitter in an effort to protect national security and the democratic process.

“Although we cannot discuss the specific information provided, the FBI regularly shares information with social media companies so they can better protect their platforms,” a spokesman in the FBI’s San Francisco field office said in a statement. “The FBI is actively engaged with our federal partners, election officials and the private sector to mitigate foreign threats to our nation’s security and our elections.” 

Iran has been a frequent source of concern for Twitter. The company said in June 2019 it had removed 4,779 accounts linked to the Iranian government and added more data from account takedowns to a public database. That includes content from four fake accounts that Twitter removed that were tied to a Russian troll farm called the Internet Research Agency.

Tensions between Iran and the US escalated earlier this year following US military strikes in response to a rocket attack that killed an American civilian contractor at an Iraqi military base.  Iran’s government vowed to strike back, and cybersecurity experts warned that Iran could choose a cyberattack to retaliate against the US.

US officials have already warned about a rampant disinformation campaign from China, Russia and Iran to influence the 2020 presidential election. Officials have warned that these efforts could include creating fake websites to show unofficial “winners” of the election, hacking existing poll-tracking websites to alter the results, or spreading disinformation on social media to challenge the outcome. 

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South Park’s new hour-long special will tackle the coronavirus – CNET


South Park tackles the coronavirus pandemic in a new special.

Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

Leave it to South Park to give us some much-needed humor during a pandemic

Comedy Central released a new trailer on Tuesday for an upcoming South Park episode, which promises to show all sorts of “2020 problems” that plague South Park. 

In the hour-long special called The Pandemic Episode, we’ll see Randy dealing with his role in the COVID-19 outbreak as the pandemic reaches the citizens of South Park. Eric Cartman and the rest of the kids head back to school, but their new normal is anything but normal.

While the trailer shows the visual gag of the school surrounding each kids’ desk in clear plastic barriers as an extra precaution, that’s not actually a bad idea. 

South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone will write and executive produce the special. 

The Pandemic Special episode airs on Comedy Central on Sept. 30. 

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Inside California’s fires: Smoke, chaos and comrades in arms – CNET

A Carson Hotshot with a wildfire in the background

A member of the Carson Hotshots works a fireline at the Slater Fire in Northern California.

USFS/Carson Hotshots/H. Kligman

With unprecedented fires burning millions of acres across the Western US over the past few months, firefighters and other personnel from across the country have responded to the call to help contain the devastating blazes. 

Northern New Mexico, where I live, has managed to escape the worst of this horrifying fire season, with just a handful of smaller wildfires. That has freed up firefighting crews like the National Forest Service’s Carson Hotshots, based in Taos, to help on those larger fires. 

The Hotshots are an elite firefighting crew specializing in wildfire suppression and emergency situations. The team’s standards for physical fitness and training are intense. I’ve occasionally marveled when mountain biking around Taos with members of the crew, who carry on conversations as we pedal up steep trails and I struggle to breathe, let alone speak. 

The crew spent part of last month dealing with conflagrations in Colorado, and after just a short break at home to recuperate, traveled west to assist on the Slater Fire near Happy Camp, California. Since the fire started on Sept. 8, it’s burned over 150,000 acres in a forested region along the California-Oregon border. As of Tuesday, the blaze was only 40% contained, and its cause is still under investigation.

I checked in with my local Hotshots team to see what it’s like living, for weeks at a time, camped out in the shadow of an inferno, dealing with bugs, coronavirus precautions and each other.

Carson Hotshots and their "buggie"Carson Hotshots and their "buggie"

The Carson Hotshots and their “buggie” in California.

USFS/Carson Hotshots/H. Kligman

Hannah Kligman, a Carson Hotshots senior crew member, took on the task of typing out responses to my questions at night on her iPhone after shifts fighting both the Slater Fire and a brain “feeling a little foggy from over a week breathing smoky air.”

Kligman has been doing this work for more than five years. She also has a keen interest in fire archaeology and a degree in anthropology from Columbia University in New York, where she ran competitive track and cross-country. She’s since graduated to running ultramarathons. In January, she won the women’s division of the Arches 30K in Moab, Utah, finishing the race in just over four hours and 16 minutes. In 2012, Kligman was in a car accident with other firefighters that almost killed her. Doctors weren’t sure she would be able to walk again, but she was back to running just six months later. This history of overcoming challenges makes it easier to understand how living under cover of constant wildfire smoke might seem tolerable.

Here are her responses to my questions, lightly edited. 

Hannah Kligman, a Carson Hotshot, fighting a wildfireHannah Kligman, a Carson Hotshot, fighting a wildfire

Hannah Kligman at work.

USFS/Carson Hotshots

What have your days been like recently? 
Each morning, we wake up around 6 and drive to a large camp to collect food and resupply our crew buggies with water and other essentials. 

Due to COVID-19, this season the crews and other fire resources sleep separately from each other, and we wear masks in fire camp. We park the buggies (a large green truck that carries 8-10 crew members) in rows with other fire vehicles in an open field, misty with smoke. 

Fire camps are ephemeral cities of tents plopped down in fields. Large fire camps all look similar, and orange signage labels the white tents. Especially when blanketed in smoke, a fire camp looks very familiar, and timeless, giving me creepy feelings of deja vu. 

Our squaddie (squad leader) pokes his head through the slider window connecting the front cab to the back of the box in the buggy. “Line out for chow!” 

We grab our masks and hop out, clattering on the back steps of the bug as we stumble in our predawn grogginess into our tool-order line. 

See also: Wildfires in California, Oregon and the West: Updates and how to help

Generator boxes for large scene lights squat on the corners, interspersed with lines of port-a-potties. Guys from each squad get boxes of bagged lunches for their trucks. Others carry the bags of yesterday’s trash to dumpsters and huck them over the tall metal dumpster sides. Yet others hump our potable water jugs to refill them for the day. 

After we eat and resupply, we drive out to the fireline. 

Carson Hotshots amid wildfire smokeCarson Hotshots amid wildfire smoke

Staying in touch amid the chaos.

USFS/Carson Hotshots

The two buggies are followed by our saw truck (a pickup). For the entire fire season, we live out of the buggies. Each person has their fireline gear, plus their personal gear in their own bin, and the trucks carry all the supplies we need to stay healthy and fed and watered and work-ready. 

Our superintendent and foreman are already out and about, talking to the division supervisor and other resources, and scouting our mission for the day. Each day, we construct fireline (a fire break or barrier) using various tactics (chainsaws, bulldozers, controlled burns, etc.), depending on the needs of the division and the safety of the crew as we move through the landscape. 

Come evening, we return to the camp. I peer in the mirror behind the mobile sink bank as I squish soap bubbles between my fingers, hoping to get the poison oak oils off my hands after a day of pulling and clawing our way through the shiny green and red oak leaves. 

Each day, our eyes look a little wilder and have more lines of tiredness under them.

After dinner, we go to our camp spot and throw our sleeping bags out on the ground, on top of a tarp. Unless the bugs or rain are imminent, most of us sleep in the open on top of our tarps. Skipping a tent makes it easier to pack up our sleeping spot come the predawn wake-up.

A Carson Hotshot fighting the Slater FireA Carson Hotshot fighting the Slater Fire

One of the Carson Hotshots fighting the Slater Fire in September. 

USFS/Carson Hotshots

Does this record-setting fire season feel any different?
Each fire season feels different, although it does seem that climate change is causing increasingly drastic swings in weather. This summer it feels as though the long-term droughts that plague various regions of the West finally displayed their dryness in the plants and soils themselves. 

What are a few of the most challenging moments you’ve faced over the last month?
As a senior crew member, it is my job to be the liaison between the seasonal crew members and the squad bosses. I bridge both worlds of doing a little bit of the overhead leadership work (listening to radio traffic, making small operational decisions, and keeping people safe on a small scale within our daily tasks), while I also work as hard as I can at digging, swamping branches, cleaning to give the seasonals a good example of a hardworking hotshot. 

Holding down this middle-leadership role challenges the scope of my perspective. Sometimes, crew mates are irritable or lazy, sometimes everyone is struggling with being tired/hungry/nervous (and generally stressed in any number of ways, the most underlying reason often being smoky air and dust), and it is the senior’s job to mitigate the situation and keep their squad happy and hardworking. 

Carson Hotshots rest on a trail after fighting a wildfireCarson Hotshots rest on a trail after fighting a wildfire

The Carson Hotshots are one of US Forest Service’s elite wildland firefighting crews, based in Taos, New Mexico.

USFS/Carson Hotshots

Any fond moments? 
Moments on dramatic night burn-shifts in Colorado, in August, stand out in my memory. On one night in particular, after tying in some fireline with a burn, my group of senior lighters and myself got some down time in a cold burned area (which is a safe place for us to wait and watch the fire we have just lit). 

As we waited through the wee hours of the morning we made a small fire in the black and sat in the dirt around the small fire to keep warm. 

In the distance the fire we had just lit roared away into the hills, doing the work of containing the main fire. After hiking as fast as we could to get the burn lit properly, gulping the cool air ahead with raging heat on the backs of our necks, the tiny warming-fire reflected a kinder version of our element, and one that we can quietly watch up close without fear. 

Our years of hotshotting may be limited due to our aging and work-worn bodies, but memories like these (and the pay and winter time off) make the job worth our time. 

What can we do to help you?
People often want to give us food or money, which we do not need and are not allowed to take as federal workers. Those items should be given to the victims of wildfires who lose their homes, landscapes and livelihoods. 

Seeing thank-you signs from the public when we drive through towns affected by fire is meaningful, and the cheers and signage help lift our spirits when we are working near populated areas. 

There (has been an) effort to get wildland firefighters recognition as firefighters (and not “forestry technicians”), and also to get our entire workforce, both seasonal and permanent, year-round affordable healthcare. The majority of the workforce remains seasonal employees, for whom year-round health care at a reasonable price is not offered. 

Carson Hotshots fighting a wildland fireCarson Hotshots fighting a wildland fire

Fighting wildland fires can be the ultimate exercise in teamwork.

USFS/Carson Hotshots

What do you wish the rest of the country knew about these fires and the job you do?
Personally, I wish the public was more aware of the long-term effects of climate change on the forest regimes around them. 

We sign up for hotshotting knowing that the work will be difficult. Many of us thrive in the chaos of a burning forest, and the difficulties of hiking very steep terrain and digging fireline in rocky and rooty soil. We want these challenges because it makes us feel alive. It fills a void that a desk job cannot fulfill for us outdoor fanatics. 

But sometimes the public assumes their right to clean air and the safety of their structures, and assumes that we are the heroes to make their lives right again. I think that as climate change continues to affect the West, the public will be forced to accept that wildfire will directly affect their air, and possibly their houses or properties. Their drinking water may also be affected. 

There is only so much wildfire workers can do to stop a blaze before they must back off, allow nature to run her course, and decide how to use our skills alongside nature. 

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The 37 best games on Nintendo Switch – CNET

Sony and Microsoft are kicking off the next generation of video game consoles in November with the launch of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. They’ll both cost a bundle and could be nearly impossible to obtain this holiday season. Thankfully Nintendo already has a horse in the race with the Switch. Unlike any PlayStation or Xbox, the Switch can be played on your TV screen or on the go. (There’s also the Nintendo Switch Lite, which costs $100 less, which plays nearly all of the same games, but can’t be connected to a TV.)

To be clear, the Switch made its debut back in 2017, so it’s not going toe-to-toe with the graphical prowess of the next-gen consoles. But the Switch’s flexibility in moving locations — even if it’s just room to room — and the fact that it’s the only place you can play the latest and greatest Nintendo-exclusive franchises like Zelda, Mario, Pokemon and Animal Crossing gives it an advantage 2020’s shiny new consoles will have a tough time countering. In fact, unlike Nintendo’s previous Wii and Wii U consoles, the Switch has built up a huge library of games, including plenty of third-party titles and some games that can already be considered bona fide classics.

Let’s run through a few of our favorites, which we’ll update periodically. Note that the red buttons are links to third-party retailers, most of which are the cartridge version of the game in question, though some (where indicated) are digital codes for download. Direct links to the Nintendo eShop downloads are also included, if you’d prefer to buy directly from Nintendo.

Read more at GameSpot: Nintendo Switch games and news


A package containing Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy could hardly be bad, right?

Well it’s not perfect — the games have aged and there are a few control issues — but it’s hard to argue with the value of Super Mario 3D All-Stars. Especially for those who have fond memories of Mario throughout the years.

They should have added Super Mario Galaxy 2 though. Come on Nintendo! See Gamespot’s Super Mario 3D All-Stars review.


The Game Awards

Hades, an isometric rogue-like from Supergiant Games, came out of nowhere in 2020 and is now a very strong contender for Game of the Year.

Why? Part of it is the combat — which is fluid, weighty and tactile — but its evolving storyline, which ties the idea of constant death into Hades’ narrative, really pushes it over the edge. This is a rogue-like that people who don’t like rogue-likes can enjoy. See Gamepot’s Hades review.

Devolver Games

Carrion is “are we the baddies?” the video game. 

But Carrion calls itself a “reverse horror game”. You play as a tentacled monster, creeping through a facility, killing all the humans in your path. A very unique, innovative game that’s worth your time, money and energy. Give it a bash See Gamespot’s Carrion review.


See digital version at Nintendo store

Super Mario Maker 2 doesn’t quite feel made for the Nintendo Switch in the way it was perfect for the Wii U, but it’s still a fantastic piece of software. It makes level design accessible for everyone and has a massively beefed-up single-player mode.

That’s not to mention the endless replay value that comes with the insane user-created levels. Check Super Mario Maker 2 out for sure. See GameSpot’s Super Mario Maker 2 review.

Team Cherry

See digital version at Nintendo store

Hollow Knight might be one of the best games available on the Nintendo Switch. It’s a disturbingly well-designed platformer in the vein of Super Metroid. But it’s more than that. The atmosphere, the audio design, the visuals…

Dear lord, this game is a stone-cold classic. Play it now. See GameSpot’s Hollow Knight review.

Matt Makes Games

See digital version at Nintendo store

Celeste is a video game that makes you want to lodge your controller in your TV — in a good way.

With incredible level design and flawlessly tuned precision platforming, Celeste is one of the best games of its type ever released. It’s smart, charming and dense with content.

It’s also perfect for the Switch. You’ll be hurling obscenities at this game on public transport and you’ll love every second of it. See GameSpot’s Celeste review.


See digital version at Nintendo store

Splatoon 2 is very similar to the first Splatoon. It’s barely a sequel in the traditional sense but, much like Mario Kart 8, that doesn’t make it any less essential. 

Splatoon’s high concept is pure genius and extremely Nintendo. It takes the first-person shooter, traditionally a violent genre, and flips it on its head. You’re shooting paint, not bullets. You don’t score points for shooting enemies, you score points by shooting the environment itself. 

Splatoon rules. See GameSpot’s Splatoon 2 review.


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Are you ready for some video game buzzwords?

Cadence of Hyrule is an indie roguelike rhythm game based on the Legend of Zelda. In regular speak: a game that crosses Zelda with Dance Dance Revolution.

Which sounds like a completely bizarre proposition, but Cadence of Hyrule works! It really works. And you should play the hell out of it. See GameSpot’s Cadence of Hyrule review.


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Doom rules. This is known.

Playing Doom on the Nintendo Switch also rules. Sure, it’s a little compromised compared to the versions you might play on the PS4, Xbox One or on a decently specced-up PC…

But yeah, good luck lugging one of those on the train. See GameSpot’s Doom review.


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Stardew Valley is the perfect example of why the Nintendo Switch is a game-changing device. 

Here is a game that is perfectly good on all the platforms it’s currently available on (PC, Xbox One, Vita, PS4) but on the Switch it’s just elevated

Because of the nature of the Switch (and how it allows you to just passively play while watching TV, or on public transport) it’s perfect for a game like Stardew Valley — which is the digital equivalent of knitting a scarf.

Actually all games are just better on the Switch. All of them. See GameSpot’s Stardew Valley review.

Motion Twin

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The traditional words used to describe Dead Cells are “roguelike” and “metroidvania.” Both common genres, but Dead Cells is a game with a unique conceit: you will play, you will die. But in Dead Cells you get to keep your upgrades and then restart with those upgrades, meaning you slowly progress through the game more easily as you play. Very cool. See GameSpot’s Dead Cells review.


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Gorogoa is unlike any video game you’ve ever played. 

It’s a puzzle game… I guess. But it’s really a game about exploring a strange universe in ways you can’t really predict. 

A couple of warnings: Gorogoa is pretty short and I think it might play better on an iPad, but it’s such a unique, compelling and seamless experience on any platform.

Find a way to play this video game. See GameSpot’s Gorogoa review.


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Who wouldn’t want to play one of the best video games ever made on public transport?

Dark Souls isn’t perfect on the Nintendo Switch and, at this point, you could make a strong argument the best version is the remastered version on the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X. That being said, you can’t play either of those on the toilet.

Check and mate. See GameSpot’s Dark Souls Remastered review.


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Arms is a motion-controlled game that’s like boxing. Except you have big stretchy robot arms and everyone has special powers. Obviously.

Which is to say Arms is a very Nintendo-esque version of boxing.

It’s also extremely inventive and surprisingly in-depth. There’s layers to Arms and a genuine strategic element. It’s not perfect, but Arms is bizarre, inventive and a lot of fun. See GameSpot’s Arms reviews.


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Tetris 99 sounds like it came from the pages of The Onion. Battle royale has become so dominant as a genre that even Tetris is battle royale now.

But here’s the crazy thing: Tetris 99 works. This game works. It’s a lot of fun and you should play it. 

Note that this game is free for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers. See GameSpot’s Tetris 99 review.


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Sonic Mania is just…

[chef kissy fingers]

I mean imagine being an adult, growing up with Sonic. They announce a new game and you expect it to be bad because Sonic has been bad for like 20 years.

Then they drop Sonic Mania. A game that takes everything good about Sonic, preserves it, and then updates it perfectly in a seamless modern interpretation that has no right being this good. See GameSpot’s Sonic Mania review.


Night School Studio

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You know when you’re playing a video game and you’re like, “Man, this story is really interesting and well written…

“For a video game.”

With Oxenfree you don’t really need to make that distinction. 

Oxenfree is a spooky mystery wrapped in teen drama. It’s like Riverdale for video games. It also features a really deft and perfectly implemented dialogue system that rewards multiple playthroughs. See GameSpot’s Oxenfree review.


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Golf Story takes the 16-bit JRPGs you loved back in the SNES days and adds uh… golf.

Yes. The sport of golf. 

And somehow it all works. Golf Story is the world’s craziest elevator pitch perfectly executed. The golf works, the RPG works, the story is fun. Great little video game. See GameSpot’s Golf Story review.


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The creators of Thumper call it “rhythm violence.” Goddamn.

It makes sense. Calling Thumper a “rhythm” game just doesn’t cut it. It’s more than that. It’s just a pure, visceral experience that connects music to action in the most compelling ways. It’s brutal. It’s earth-shaking and just flat-out cool. See GameSpot’s Thumper review.

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Like Mario Kart 8, Stardew Valley and Oxenfree, Bayonetta 2 is an old video game repurposed for the Nintendo Switch.

Bayonetta 2 originally came out on the Wii U, a console that struggled. Therefore Bayonetta 2 struggled.

Thankfully it’s getting a second run on the Switch. Which is great, because Bayonetta 2 is an under-appreciated masterpiece. Get on it. See GameSpot’s Bayonetta 2 review.


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Baba Is You is a puzzle game that will break every part of your brain. It’s a puzzle game that forces you to literally rewrite the rules of the game in order to complete tasks.

If that sounds complicated it’s because it is complicated. In a good way.

It’s also the kind of game that will haunt you, sort of like The Witness. You will be thinking about puzzles while you do the dishes, while you’re driving the car. You’ll scream EUREKA. Then maybe break a dish or crash your car.

This game is dangerous for your health. See GameSpot’s Baba Is You review.

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George R.R. Martin chooses his least favorite Game of Thrones scene – CNET


Robert Baratheon


If you’re not a fan of how Game of Thrones panned out, it seems author George R.R. Martin isn’t 100 percent satisfied with the HBO show either. He’s now picked out his least favorite scene — and it’s not from the disappointing season 8.

“Where we really fell down in terms of budget was my least favorite scene in the entire show, in all eight seasons: King Robert goes hunting,” Martin told James Hibberd for Hibberd’s new book, Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon, a behind-the-scenes dive into the show.

“Four guys walking on foot through the woods carrying spears and Robert is giving Renly shit. In the books, Robert goes off hunting, we get word he was gored by a boar, and they bring him back and he dies.”

Martin pointed out how the season 1 scene would’ve played out with a bigger budget. While final episodes of the show reportedly cost $15 million each, debut season episodes were in the $6 million ballpark.

“So I never did [a hunting scene]. But I knew what a royal hunting party was like. There would have been a hundred guys. There would have been pavilions. There would have been huntsmen. There would have been dogs. There would have been horns blowing — that’s how a king goes hunting! He wouldn’t have just been walking through the woods with three of his friends holding spears hoping to meet a boar. But at that point, we couldn’t afford horses or dogs or pavilions.”

Here’s a look at the low-key hunting scene.

Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon will be released Tuesday, Oct. 6 and is currently available for preorder.