Shame on the gaming industry: Severed heads outnumbered women speakers at the E3 conference

Nearly half of all the people who play video games are women, but you wouldn’t know it by the video game industry’s biggest conference.

Only five women presented on stage at the major press events at E3, the video game industry’s huge conference, which took place in LA this week.

Sadly, that number won’t be surprising to anyone familiar with sexism in the tech industry, and the particularly appalling way women are treated in the video game industry.

But here’s the really shocking part. E3 actually featured more severed heads on stage than women: eight heads.

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Dog found trapped in a Japanese suburb is a little sad, a little cute, thankfully all OK

With a shortage of flat, buildable land leading to high prices for real estate, Japan is a crowded country. In homes, it’s not entirely unusual for rooms to serve dual or triple purposes, with fold-up tables and futons helping to transform living rooms into dining rooms, and later dining rooms into bedrooms.

Smaller houses and apartment buildings don’t just mean less space for human residents, though, but for pets too, as can be seen in this photo of a dog that got trapped running around its yard.

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There’s something not quite right about these mannequins…

“Hey, you, go dress the mannequins in the window. Do whatever you want, but make sure you show off this season’s gift items. And make it summer-y, you know. It’s getting warmer, after all.” “Ok, boss, whatever you say…”

We have no idea whether this was employee sabotage or a knowing campaign, but this window display is certainly attracting attention in all the right places.

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Aoshima Island has 100 cats, and we photographed almost all of them

Recently, we sent our intrepid reporter Meg to Ehime Prefecture’s Aoshima, also known as Cat Island or even Cat Paradise. We’d heard rumors that the island’s packs of free-roaming kitties were facing an obesity crisis from the snacks given to them by their numerous animal-loving visitors, and wanted to check up on our little friends.

When Meg came back, she reported that the cats were fine, thanks to their active, calorie-burning lifestyle. But how could she be sure? Did she check every cat on Aoshima?

She certainly came close, and we’ve got the photo collection to prove it.

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Sunset Overdrive takes over E3【RN24@E3】

Walking through the Los Angeles Convention Center, we can’t help but notice a certain game popping up in all sorts of unexpected places. From the nook in the vaulted ceiling to the women’s restroom, Sunset Overdrive, has taken over E3.

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Mario AND Luigi team up for new infinite lives trick in Super Mario Bros. 【Video】

Super Mario Bros., the classic Nintendo game that spawned dozens of sequels and introduced millions of people to video games, has been around for some 29 years now. In that time, along with discovering every secret the game has to offer and performing dazzling speed runs, players the world over have hunted for increasingly creative and complex ways to rack up stacks of extra lives by “juggling” shelled enemies until the timer runs out.

There are a number of “infinite lives” secrets that we’re already aware of, but just last week a new video appeared online showing one that appears to be not just brand new, but one of the most complicated 1-up discoveries yet.

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Attack classroom boredom with Attack on Titan notebooks

Unlike a lot of children, I never doodled in my notebooks because I was bored at school. This wasn’t because I was consumed with the beauty of education or absorbed in what my teachers were saying. I was simply such a bad artist that listening to them drone on was still more enjoyable for me than trying to draw a picture, even if the lectures ended up putting me to sleep as often as not.

If they’d only had these Attack on Titan notebooks when I was a kid, maybe I would have stayed awake more often.

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It’s the annual Sanrio Character Ranking! But could something be amiss in the kingdom of Sanrio?

Okay, we have a question for you. How many of you personally know someone who’s fallen under the spell of Sanrio? We’re guessing, quite a lot. The sheer number of characters the company has come up with during its 54-year history is truly amazing, not to mention the immense appeal and popularity some of these characters enjoy across the world. Even if you’re not a passionate fan, if you have even a remote fondness for anything kawaii, then you’re bound to have a favorite Sanrio character, which is why Sanrio has a popularity poll for its characters each year, called the Sanrio Character Ranking.

Now, considering that most people probably think of Hello Kitty as the undisputed queen of Sanrio, you may expect the international feline celebrity to have an iron-clad hold on the top place in the rankings, but apparently, that hasn’t always been the case. This year in particular, the preliminary results from the first stage of the polls seem to be surprising Sanrio fans, specifically with regards to the votes Hello Kitty has managed, or not managed for that matter, to earn. Could it be that there’s something amiss with Hello Kitty’s reign over the kingdom of Sanrio?

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Chinese factory in hot water after employees shown stepping and even sleeping on noodles

There were several scandals last year in Japan involving people being photographed inside ice cream freezers in convenience stores or lying atop bags of chicken nuggets in fast food restaurants. But it would seem that some workers in China have taken it to the next level, with scenes that may make you wish you could grow all your food yourself.

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Tear down the wall with Attack on Titan Jenga

The colossal titan is coming, and it’s your job to keep the wall standing. With this Jenga-esque Attack on Titan tower game, you and your buddies can challenge each other to see who can ward off the intruder the longest.

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Our favorite photos from Day Two of E3 2014【RN24@E3】

Day Two of E3 has come and gone and we still can’t get enough of this crazy expo devoted to gaming. It was an absolute blast to play Super Smash Bros. on the Wii U and we feel so lucky to have had the chance to check out Sony’s Project Morpheus virtual reality headset (although, a slightly less terrifying demo would have been appreciated).

Here come the photos from DAY TWO!

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When starting a new business, one of the most important things to do is build name recognition. An easy, if ethically questionable, way of doing this is to base your company’s name on an existing, more recognized brand, such as calling your new restaurant McBurgers, or your talent agency filled with only the most charming and pleasant-smelling individuals RocketGoodSmell24.

Of course, McDonald’s would probably put a stop to such a plan, even if you weren’t directly competing with them in the fast food market. In fact, the company would probably be all the more swift in dropping the hammer if you were setting up shop in an industry it wants to avoid any association with. For example, if you were a budding pimp and called your brothel McHumptown, you could expect an angry letter from the Golden Arches.

You know who else doesn’t like being connected to the skin trade? Denny’s, as three men in Japan who appropriated the restaurant’s logo for their sexual services company just found out.

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A quick look at the Sony, Xbox and Nintendo booths at E3 2014【RN24@E3】

If you’re a big gamer but weren’t able to attend this year’s E3, you may be wondering what the overall vibe is in amongst all of those giant, flashing screens and cardboard cut-outs. So before we headed back to our hotel to get some much-needed sleep at this end of this busy, busy day, we thought it might be nice to show you what each of the “Big-three’s” booth looks like this year. We’re nice like that.

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Chinese woman’s two-pronged money-saving plan: Eat her grandson’s pet for dinner

As a kid, I went through a stage where I bugged my parents to let me have a dog. My dad, though, wisely realized that he would be the one who ended up having to take care of it, so jokingly told me that I couldn’t have any animal I wasn’t prepared to eat.

Apparently a woman in China took the same philosophy regarding her grandson’s pet, only she didn’t bother to tell him before she cooked it for dinner.

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A pink unicorn and a yellow hippo dance to “What Does the Fox Say?” on Just Dance 2015【E3】

The promoters of Just Dance 2015, Ubisoft’s sixth dancing game of the series, sure do know how to get people’s attention at E3. Songs such as “Happy” by Pharrell Williams and Run DMC’s remix of “Walk This Way” by Aerosmith already make you want to tap your toes. But they’ve also deployed cute dancers at the Just Dance booth to encourage the crowd to start, well, dancing. Even Wolverine couldn’t resist slicing the air with his claws to the game’s groovy beats.

And on Day Two of E3 2014, we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the elusive unicorn…dancing with his hippo pal to “What Does the Fox Say.” Yeah, we don’t know why either, so you’d probably better just watch the video…

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15 of the highest-paid professional female video gamers

The professional video game world might be a boys’ club — males account for 70% of frequent viewers and players — and there aren’t a lot of women playing video games professionally. At least not yet.

But those who do are definitely making a name for themselves.

e-Sports Earnings has ranked the top 100 female players who have won the most prize money, based on information provided online.

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Yea or nay? Japanese netizens get the nori rolling as they weigh in on the all new dragon-maki

The now ubiquitous California roll first made its debut at a Los Angeles restaurant in the 1960s. Developed by chef Ichirō Mashita, it was perfect for the not-yet-adventurous as it contained no raw fish, and the ura-maki (reverse roll) technique kept the nori hidden from view (this was cleverly cooked up by another chef after he saw American patrons peeling the black stuff off).

Before long, the world was overflowing with innovative creations like the rainbow roll, spider roll, Alaska, Vegas, monkey, Godzilla… what were we talking about again? Right, sushi! And as you can imagine, many of these unique maki-zushi have become popular reverse imports since the advent of the first American-born roll.

But how does the general public in Japan feel about these flamboyant works of fusion? Is sushi still a revered art form with tried-and-true traditions, or a limitless playground? To explore this the RN24 way, let’s consider the dragon roll above since it has been garnering lots of attention as of late. Read on for a look at Japanese netizens’ varied and entertaining responses!

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Years-old spam message resurfaces in Japan, warns of flip flops made with hydrochloric acid

Way back in 2007, what appeared to be typical scare-tactic spam circulated the internet. The “spam” warned about cheap, Chinese-made flip-flops that some wearers’ feet were having nasty reactions to, resulting in terrible burns. Included were photos of one woman’s disastrous encounter with the sandals along with paperwork detailing her crusade to stop them from being sold ever again.

It now seems that a similar warning message is spreading like wildfire online in Japan. After checking our calendars and confirming that it’s not still 2007, we did a little research.

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Jojo’s bizarre coffee – Anime characters to grace cans of java in Japan

With their dramatic posing, frenetic accessorizing, and manic shouting, you could easily arrive at the conclusion that the cast of long-running manga and anime Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures is one seriously over-caffeinated set of super powered bare-knuckle brawlers.

Don’t expect Jojo and company to settle down anytime soon, though, as the characters created by artist Hirohiko Araki are set to grace cans of Coca-Cola Japan’s Georgia coffee this summer.

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China ‘fearful’ of becoming world’s number one economy, says academic

China is fearful of becoming the world’s leading economic power and does not want to overtake the US. That’s the argument Kai He, Associate Professor of Political Science at Utah State University, has put forward in an article for the RSIS Commentaries on June 2, in which he suggests three reasons why China “doesn’t want to be number one”.

A major report back in May that suggested that China’s economy will overtake that of the US this year was met with opposition from an unlikely source: Beijing itself. A message published by China’s state media questioned the accuracy of the report, which was based on World Bank figures, and discouraged people from “reading too much into it”.

But why would Beijing refute the suggestion that it will be the world’s leading economic power before the year is out?

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