Facebook will pin voting registration links to the top of the News Feed for all US voters

Facebook will pin a box with information about voter registration on the top of the News Feed for every US user who is of voting age starting tomorrow, July 3rd, the company announced today.

The box, once it’s live, will show you information about how to register to vote, including a link to your state’s registration website or to a nonpartisan partner if your state doesn’t have voter information readily available online. Here’s what you can expect it to look like on your phone:

Image: Facebook

Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs and communications, first announced the voting boxes would be showing up on top of the News Feed in an open letter published on Wednesday.

Facebook says it will host…

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Author: Jay Peters

Nextdoor CEO says it’s ‘our fault’ moderators deleted Black Lives Matter posts

US-HEALTH-VIRUS-IT-COMMUNITIES-NEXTDOOR

Photo by ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images

Sarah Friar, CEO of the neighborhood-focused social network Nextdoor, says the company is to blame following widespread reports that moderators were deleting posts that discussed racial injustice or voiced support for the Black Lives Matter movement. The app will be changing its policies to explicitly allow discussion of the movement in future, and will be offering new unconscious bias training to its unpaid moderators.

In an interview with NPR, Friar said it “was really our fault” these posts were removed, and blamed the actions taken by the company’s unpaid moderators (known as “leads”) on a moderation policy that prohibited discussion of national issues in the app’s local groups.

“We did not…

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Author: James Vincent

Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito Is Working On A Big Video Game That He Can’t Tell You About

Breaking Bad and The Mandalorian star Giancarlo Esposito will be featured in a big upcoming video game, but he can’t tell you about it yet. Speaking to Collider, Esposito provided just a tiny tease, saying he worked on the game earlier in 2020 using some kind of new technology.

“This video game I did; which is going to be huge. Can’t really mention,” Esposito said.

He said he performed his part in this video game with “this new style of acting,” but he never fully elaborated on this. He was responding to a question about how Fortnite developer Epic’s Unreal Engine is being used to film The Mandalorian in new and unique ways, but Esposito stopped short of confirming if this was the same tech/setup that he used on the mysterious video game.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

A Plague Tale: Innocence Has Hit A Major Sales Milestone

A Plague Tale: Innocence has been a major success for developer Asobo Studio, critically and commercially, and has now racked up a huge sales number. The game’s official Twitter account has now announced that the game has sold over 1 million copies since it released in May 2019.

The game, an action-adventure that involves dodging rats and being stealthy, was one of GameSpot’s best games of 2019.

In the tweet, A Plague Tale’s developers thank the game’s community of players, stating that “this wouldn’t have been possible without our community and we’d like to thank every one of you for supporting the game.”

We’re thrilled to announce that A Plague Tale: Innocence has sold over a million copies worldwide!

This wouldn’t have been possible without our community and we’d like to thank every one of you for supporting the game and @AsoboStudio ❤️🐀! pic.twitter.com/YQacwAemIo

— A Plague Tale (@APlagueTale) July 1, 2020

The game is also available through Xbox Game Pass–which, believe it or not, can actually lead to increased sales.

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Author: James O’Connor

Xbox Summer Game Fest event will have more than 60 downloadable demos

Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

With traditional trade shows like E3 and Gamescom cancelled in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Microsoft is planning to bring a slice of the show floor experience to your living room. As part of Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest, Microsoft will make dozens of demos for upcoming Xbox One games available to download for a week.

In a blog post, Microsoft’s Glenn Gregory cautions that the demos won’t always be representative of the final product, since many of the games are some way off their release. That’s standard practice for show floor demos, of course, but it’s unusual for a major gaming platform to make unfinished games available to such a wide audience.

There’ll be more than 60 demos available, and while the list is still being…

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Author: Sam Byford

Free Switch Game Jump Rope Challenge Adds New Nintendo-Themed Costumes, Including Arcade Bunny

Jump Rope Challenge, the free Nintendo Switch fitness game that released in June, has just received a free update that adds several new costumes to the game’s rabbit protagonist. They’re mostly the usual suspects, but there’s one surprise.

Here’s the complete list of character costumes included in the update.

  • Mario
  • Luigi
  • Peach
  • Toad
  • Bowser
  • Wario
  • Link
  • Samus
  • Isabelle
  • Squid Kid (girl)
  • Squid Kid (boy)
  • Arcade Bunny

A free update for #JumpRopeChallenge is now available, adding new costumes, backgrounds and even the ability to double-under!

Download for free: https://t.co/wa9gpMQYsx pic.twitter.com/ES2UrvsYa3

— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) July 2, 2020

The most interesting addition here is Arcade Bunny, a character who has only ever featured in one other Nintendo game–Nintendo Badge Arcade, a 3DS title that handed out badges that could be attached to the system’s home screen. Arcade Bunny was a fully fleshed-out character, and since the 3DS title stopped receiving updates many fans have missed them.

New backgrounds have been added to the game too, as well as a new ability–you can now double-under by swinging your Joy-Cons very quickly.

Jump Rope Challenge will remain free to download on Nintendo Switch until September 30, 2020.

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Author: James O’Connor

Kongregate Has Put A Freeze On Game Submissions And Is Closing Forums Amid Layoffs

Kongregate, the online flash game portal and game publisher, has been hit with layoffs amid a restructure that will bring major changes to the site. This news, announced via the Kongregate forums and picked up on by Gamesindustry.biz, indicates that the site will no longer take new game submissions going forward, and that the site’s forums will close.

“We will be rolling out several changes to the website over the coming days and months, the first of which is that we will no longer be accepting new titles on Kongregate.com as of today,” the forum post reads. “We also will not be adding any more badges to games. You will still be able to play our existing library of over 128,000 amazing games and developers will be able to update their games as normal.”

The site will also be disabling social features over time, including closing all but 20 chat rooms and moving forums to a read-only state.

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Author: James O’Connor

The Tax Collector Trailer, From Suicide Squad Director, Shows Shia LeBeouf Getting His Hands Dirty

A trailer for director David Ayer’s next film has debuted, and it shows off Shia LeBeouf in a particularly intense mode. He stars in The Tax Collector as Creeper, a man working for a crime lord called Wizard, who goes between gangs to collect Wizard’s cut of their money. Naturally, things go wrong, and his partner David (Bobby Soto) ends up having his family kidnapped.

The trailer below shows off LeBeouf’s performance, as well as plenty of action. There’s a clear mythology built up around his character, who is called “the Devil” in the trailer’s first scene. The movie also stars Lana Parrilla, George Lopez, and Jay Reeves.

The film will release on demand from August 7. You can watch the trailer below.

Ayer, who wrote and directed The Tax Collector, has been on a bad run lately. His latest films, Suicide Squad and Bright, earned awful reviews and received plenty of criticism. His earlier End of Watch was better received. LeBeouf previously worked with the director on World War II tank film Fury.

Whether The Tax Collector will reverse his fortunes remains to be seen. The director is also committed to making a sequel to Bright, once again starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton.

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Author: James O’Connor

Jurassic World: Dominion’s Returning Stars From Jurassic Park Will Have Major Roles, Not Just Cameos

Jurassic World: Dominion, the sixth film in the wider Jurassic series, will bring back three major stars from the first film–and now one of those stars has promised that their roles are major. Sam Neill, who returns as Dr. Alan Grant for Dominion, has spoken about the roles offered to him, Laura Dern (Ellie Satler) and Jeff Goldblum (Dr. Ian Malcolm) for this film.

Talking to Yahoo Movies, Neill has promised that these three returning characters are “all the way through the film,” and will not just be making a cameo (as Goldblum did in Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom). He also says that he “probably won’t be running as fast” as he did in the original, filmed 27 years ago.

Dominion is looking to return to production this month, with numerous precautions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Australian actor is looking to join the production soon, although he’ll need to self-quarantine before filming. Neill, who calls Dern and Goldblum his “dear friends,” is excited about the unique way the film is handling the pandemic. “We’re all going to be living in the same joint for three or four months, so that’s going to be fun,” he says.

It’s an interesting set-up, and actor Bryce Dallas Howard has previously said that there has been a lot of communication to make sure the cast and crew feel safe.

The film is directed by Colin Trevorrow, who also directed Jurassic World, and whose career has been on a strange trajectory. Trevorrow was fired from Star Wars Episode IX, which was generally considered a good move after tepid fan responses to Jurassic World and the awful reviews of his film The Book of Henry. However, after The Rise of Skywalker disappointed many critics and fans (here’s our review), details of Trevorrow’s script leaked–and it sounded pretty interesting.

There will be another returning character in Dominion, but with a different actor–the part of Dodgson has been recast. We’ll be able to see all of these returning characters when the movie releases in cinemas on June 11, 2021.

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Author: James O’Connor

Mafia: Definitive Edition: Here’s How And Why They Recast Tommy Angelo For The Remake

Mafia: Definitive Edition will feature an all-new cast when it releases on August 28 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. In English language territories, Tommy will be played by Italian-Australian actor Andrew Bongiorno, who also serves as the likeness for the character and performed motion capture for the role.

In a new post on the Mafia website, developer Hanger 13 has discussed the casting process for this remake. The remake is extensive enough that they did not want to reuse the original audio from the 2002 Mafia, and according to Hanger 13 president Haden Blackman, they wanted to ensure that they made use of new technologies for this release. “Since our cinematics rely heavily on motion capture data, it was essential that we have both voice and physical performances,” he says. “We looked for actors who not only sounded the part, but also looked the part and could perform on both the motion capture stage and in the VO booth.”

While producer Nicole Sandoval initially looked into whether they could reuse the original actors, it ultimately was not viable. “No one’s voice stays the same, especially after such a long period of time,” she says. The team decided that building up an ensemble cast would be important, especially since a major theme of Mafia–and most mob media–is the concept of family.

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Author: James O’Connor