Hoverboard-riding Lucozade thief could make legal history in the UK

A Londoner who stole a crate of Lucozade while riding a two-wheeled hoverboard could make legal history in the UK as the first person to be prosecuted for using such a device on the sidewalk. According to a report from The Evening Standard, 19-year-old Omaree Lindsay has been charged with theft and driving a “self-balancing scooter” on a public footpath — which can be prosecuted as an offense under the UK’s Highway Act of 1835. CCTV footage published last week shows Lindsay entering a shop in Mitcham on a hoverboard before leaving with the pack of energy drinks.

Although it sounds strange to prosecute someone under legislation nearly two centuries old, as FullFact points out, the law in question bans any form of “riding on footpaths”…

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Author: James Vincent

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Crysis, Ryse Dev Announces Rock-Climbing Game for Oculus Rift

Crysis and Ryse: Son of Rome developer Crytek has announced another virtual reality game. In addition to Robinson: The Journey for PlayStation VR, the German developer is working on a brand new rock climbing game that’s appropriately enough called The Climb. This game is exclusive to Oculus Rift.

In The Climb, you scale deadly cliffs without ropes or any other assistance. The player is represented by a pair of hands that are controlled either with an Xbox One pad (which comes with Rift) or Oculus Touch controllers in conjunction with the Rift headset.

Gameplay involves exploring rock faces to find your way to the top, just as solo climbers do in real life. Rock climbing in real life is a physically demanding endeavor; climbers sweat and use chalk to get their grip back. This is also replicated in the game.

It also has a training mode and a range of difficulty modes and other settings.

The Climb boasts a number of “hyper-realistic climbing locations” from around the globe (built using Crytek’s own CryEngine), including one in Southeastern Asia that GameSpot recently got to try.

“Crytek is renowned for leveraging their CryEngine tech to create beautiful, immersive games. Their early VR demos really captured public imagination, and to see their ideas come to life with Rift is incredible and not to be missed,” Oculus head of worldwide studios Jason Rubin said in a statement. “The Climb is a beautiful combination of art and thrill that’s bringing an entirely new level of adventure gaming to Rift.”

The Climb will run on the Rift’s recommended specs. No release date has been announced. The headset itself is slated to arrive sometime in the first quarter of 2016, though a launch date has not been confirmed.

For more on The Climb, check out GameSpot’s new preview, “How Crytek Triggered My Fear of Heights in Virtual Reality.”

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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We're going to liveblog the Republican debate as characters from Star Trek

“You will now answer to the charge of being a grievously savage race.”

— Q

In the very beginning of Star Trek: The Next Generation, all of humanity is put on trial before a cunning and fiendish god named Q. Captain Jean-Luc Picard and his crew are transported to the past and made to answer for the crimes of the late 21st century: a fiction that represents the sum of all modern fears. According to Star Trek lore, the century we live in now was something like Gattaca meets Fallout — a period of eugenics, nuclear cataclysm, genocide, and totalitarian militarism. In this first episode, Q exposed Star Trek’s spine by forcing Picard to demonstrate moral and professional competence under the threat of extinction (and an allegorical…

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Author: T.C. Sottek

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How Crytek Triggered My Fear of Heights in Virtual Reality

Heights terrify me. At more than 15 feet above solid ground, the symptoms kick in: vertigo, shortness of breath, and the inability to speak or think clearly. It used to be worse, sometimes resulting in panic attacks. But about three years ago, I began rock climbing in the hopes of overcoming the phobia. Confronting that sense of height and scale helped–if only a little.

So I was surprised to feel that same fear grip me as I donned an Oculus Rift recently. Crytek’s The Climb places you in the harness of a digital rock climber, and as Crytek’s David Bowman guided me through the controls of the upcoming virtual reality title, he accompanied his instructions with the golden rule of climbing: “Don’t look down.”

Of course, I looked down. And of course, it didn’t help.

The textures of the outcrop below me, and the trees lining the ground far below, were grainy and lacking in texture. But the sense of scale hit me immediately, as did the elevated position I occupied. As long as I held the triggers on the Xbox 360 controller, I’d maintain my grip on the virtual handholds–but that didn’t stop my actual palms and lower back from sweating.

“VR is good for exploration,” Bowman said. “But it’s really great with presence, and with scale. The Climb, specifically, shows you can do verticality in VR.”

By looking above, to each side, and sometimes below me, the Rift directed one of my two floating hands toward my next handhold, while my other phantom appendage secured me to the cliffside. The Climb will release with full Oculus Touch controller support, but as of the demo I tried, hand controls were relegated to a normal controller.

Most of the time, this meant pressing the right or left triggers to grip a ledge with my free hand. Each hand, however, showed a meter indicating my grip strength. By pressing the right or left bumper, my respective in-game hand reached into an unseen chalk bag dangling from my harness.

If I forgot to re-chalk often enough, seeing my grip meter deplete had an odd effect: sensing the possibility of an upcoming fall, my real legs grew shaky again. Of course, I knew my feet were planted firmly on the carpet of a hotel floor, my hands wrapped around the familiar handles of a controller. But as is often the case with VR, my presence in a digital environment toyed with my sense of place.

VR is good for exploration. But it’s really great with presence, and scale.

“Experiences are a big part of VR,” Bowman said. “It’s one of those things you really have to try. And rock climbing, as it turns out, is one of those things you look back on and say, ‘Oh yeah, that makes sense. That would be great in VR.’ So we pitched it to Oculus, and that’s when it started.”

The demo I played took place in Southeastern Asia, on one of the region’s easy courses. Although it wasn’t especially challenging, it did require concentration at certain junctures. I had to jump wide gaps, for instance, and during the split second before I grabbed the opposite ledge with both hands, my stomach turned. On the higher difficulties, gaps will be wider, ledges farther apart, and more thinking required as climbers make their way between checkpoints.

Crytek isn’t aiming for an exact replication of the rock climbing experience, though. Jason Rubin, president of worldwide studios for Oculus, was also present during the demo, and was quick to stress that in the end, The Climb is a game. It has time trials, multiplayer, and leaderboards. it even has checkpoints in the form of carabiners you can hook into.

“The goal with The Climb was to have replayability, progression, and scoring,” Rubin said. “We really wanted to consider the people that like games, and that’s a big part of what drove this idea.”

Oculus and Crytek plan to release The Climb around the Oculus Rift’s launch in 2016. The Climb will include several other locations apart from the Southeast Asia of my demo, each with their own courses of varying difficulties.

I only spent 20 minutes with The Climb, but in that time, it provided a vivid sense of place, and elicited a real physical reaction as I scaled the ledges and rocky crags of its digital environment. That alone has piqued my interest. Despite my inherent fear of heights, and the uneasiness that often accompanies that fear, I’m eager to play a fuller version next year. Even if my legs shake, and vertigo rears its ugly head.

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Author: Mike Mahardy

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Crytek's The Climb is a jaw-dropping rock climbing experience in virtual reality

“You’re going to have to jump,” says David Bowman. He’s standing next to me while I cling to a jutting rock in what he describes as an idealistic virtual recreation of a Southeast Asian mountain range. The sun is shining, and scatterings of blue-roofed villages sit what has to be hundreds of feet below me between patches of blinding blue water.

I tried a second earlier to reach a section high above me, but my fingers fell short. I’m wearing the latest Oculus Rift headset and holding an Xbox One controller, but as I tap A and watch my character leap in the air, I can feel the sweat form on my temples.

This is The Climb, a new virtual reality game from German development studio and graphics powerhouse Crytek, the company behind…

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Author: Nick Statt

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Go Face-to-Face With Jack The Ripper in This Interactive 3D Assassin's Creed Trailer

Ubisoft has released a rather cool trailer for Assassin’s Creed Syndicate‘s upcoming Jack the Ripper DLC. The video, which you can watch below, is described as an “immersive 360° trailer and dive into the mind of notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper.”

Viewers are guided through a scene in which an Assassin brawls with the notorious serial killer, and the 360-degree video gives users control over where they are looking, much like being in a virtual reality scenario.

Ubisoft said the trailer initially began as a VR experiment.

“Nicolas [Bouchet] and I started working on this as a test to see how we could adapt a trailer to offer a true VR experience,” explained Adrian Lacey, director of IP development at Ubisoft Montpelier.

“Originally, we hadn’t planned on releasing it, but the results were so good we had to share it. The Jack the Ripper VR trailer is just a small taste of what virtual reality can bring, both in terms of storytelling and how it can help players go deeper into our worlds.”

Ubisoft has previously expressed interest in making virtual reality games. Earlier in December, the publisher revealed a VR game in which the player controls and eagle.

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’s Jack the Ripper DLC will be available from December 15 on PS4 and Xbox One, and from December 22 on PC.

The downloadable add-on follows Evie Frye as she hunts for one of “history’s most mysterious killers.” The DLC is set some 20 years after the main game.

“The streets of London are filled with fear and Evie Frye is on the trail of one of history’s most mysterious killers,” Ubisoft’s official description reads.

“The new Assassin’s Creed Syndicate Jack the Ripper campaign puts you in the shoes of Evie once more as she returns to London after being absent for 20 years. Armed with some new skills, she must investigate a series of crimes that draw her deep into the dark underworld of Victorian London’s Whitechapel district.”

The Jack the Ripper DLC will be priced at $14.99 or is included in the $29.99 season pass. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate launched on October 23 for Xbox One and PS4 and received a generally positive critical response, including an 9/10 from GameSpot.

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Author: Tamoor Hussain

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