Mouse Smash

JC Lau's blog about geekery, gender and other rants

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UPDATED: Marvel’s Avengers 2 Trailer is Here!


Marvel planned to debut the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer during Agents of SHIELD next Tuesday, but it looks like the trailer has leaked online. It’s since been taken down, but not before it was posted elsewhere. The trailer can be found here, albeit in rather poor quality.

A few things to look out for in the trailer:

  • Iron Man in the Hulkbuster suit
  • Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver
  • Captain America’s broken shield
  • Thor picks Iron Man up by the throat… what? (Also, Hulk then fights with Iron Man… also what?)

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The Pacific Rim Trilogy?


So we know that Legendary Pictures has greenlit Pacific Rim 2, with a release date of April 7, 2017. But now Guillermo del Toro has announced that he’s planning to make a third Pacific Rim movie which will continue immediately from the conclusion of Pacific Rim 2.

In an interview with Collider, del Toro confirmed that the first draft of the Pacific Rim 2 script is now complete, and he expects to begin pre-production on the film August or September 2015, with shooting to take place toward the end of the year in November and December.

However, Pacific Rim 2 is going to be a “different experience” from the first film. Del Toro said:

“Some of your favorite characters come back, some others don’t because we have decided that we’re going to shoot ambitiously and say ‘Let’s hope we have three movies,’ so some characters come in at the end of the second, hoping that it will ramp up on the third one.”

This makes it sound like Pacific Rim 2 will end with a cliffhanger to be resolved in Pacific Rim 3. However, as long as the experience still involves giant robots fighting giant alien sea monsters, I think we’ll be okay. There will also be an animated series leading up to Pacific Rim 2, so it looks like the franchise will be expanding in all directions.


Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori

As for which characters return for PacRim 2, del Toro hasn’t been specific, but here’s hoping that Mako Mori (played by Rinko Kikuchi) will feature with more story arc and development. After all, she has her own version of the Bechdel Test to pass.

Pacific Rim 3 has not been greenlit yet, so perhaps it’s appropriate to be cautiously optimistic. After all, Hellboy 3 got nixed, and sometimes less is more: just because something is successful as a standalone movie doesn’t mean that it should be expanded into a trilogy (I’m looking at you, Matrix).

Pacific Rim made three times as much at the international box office as it did domestically.

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Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

To be clear, Mouse Smash is not intended to be a science or computing blog. However, it is a blog about (among other things) video gaming and gender, and for that reason Ada Lovelace Day deserves a mention. It’s especially timely given the ongoing debacle about women in the gaming industry. Well, guess who is attributed as being the first person to write a computer program? A WOMAN!

For those of you who live under a rock, Ada Lovelace was the daughter Lord Byron (yes, that poet guy) and Annabella Milibanke. It was Milibanke and her love of mathematics who ensured rigorous studies in science, maths and logic for young Ada. Kate Beaton describes their relationship pretty well with this illustration:

Today's comic in Hark, a vagrant! by Kate Beaton. See her full post {link url=}here{/link}

Today’s comic in Hark, a vagrant! by Kate Beaton. Copyright 2014.

But her parentage aside, Lovelace has reasons to be famous in her own right. In 1833, Lovelace met Charles Babbage, who was working on the Analytical Engine at the time. Lovelace is credited with developing an algorithm for Babbage’s engine that would calculate a sequence of rational numbers. But, not only that, at the time Babbage believed that the engine would be useful only for crunching numbers, but Lovelace was the first person to suggest that computers (or Analytical Engines, as it were) could be able to do other, more creative things, like compose music and play it as well.

Although video gaming was probably outside the scope of her predictions, it seems pretty clear that we wouldn’t be where we are today AT ALL without her contributions.

Want to read more about this awesome lady? Slate has a pretty rad article about her life here.

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Play Indie Games in Firefox with the new Humble Mozilla Bundle


Mozilla announced today that they are teaming up with Humble Bundle to bring some Indie game favorites–Including Subset Games’ FTL: Faster Than Light–directly to Firefox without the need for downloading or installing the games or any plugins on your computer.

As per standard Humble Bundle practice, the first five games (Super Hexagon, AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the Awesome, Osmos, Zen Bound 2, and Dustforce DX) can cost you whatever you want. The next two (Voxatron and FTL: Faster Than Light) can be had if you beat the average price ($4.31 at the time of writing this) for the bundle. You can pay $8 or more to receive all of the above, plus the last game, Democracy 3.

Previously, all of these indie games were available only on PC or mobile. Now they all work in browsers on Windows, Mac, and Linux without having to install any plugins. Mozilla states that they “all make use of Mozilla-pioneered asm.js and the other powerful technologies that make plugin-free gaming possible on the Web, allowing users to jump right into the action from just clicking a link”. There’s also cloud syncing so you can save your game and continue playing from any computer.

One great thing about Humble Bundle is their business model: By packaging them in bundles and having users pay whatever amount they think it is worth, games are much more accessible to users. Users can also specify how much of that payment goes to the game developer or to a nonprofit organization. The Humble Mozilla Bundle supports the Mozilla Foundation, CodeNow, and the Maker Education Initiative. So far, Humble Bundle and its users have contributed more than $47 million to more than 30 different charities and nonprofit organizations.

What’s even cooler is that Mozilla worked with Lexaloffe Games to make the default Firefox home page a playable version of Voxatron, so you can try before you buy:

As with most Humble Bundle offers, they won’t last long. This one will be around for two weeks, or until October 28 (at 11:00 a.m. Pacific). Click here to get it before it’s gone.

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The Wolf Among Us gets its own DC Digital Download


Cover art for DC/Vertigo’s The Wolf Among Us comic

A video game based on a comic is going to be made into… well, a comic.

At New York Comic Con today, DC announced that they were producing The Wolf Among Us as their first Vertigo digital title. Vertigo’s official information on the release is as follows:

The first-ever Digital First Vertigo title will be FABLES: THE WOLF AMONG US, based on the critically-acclaimed episodic game series from Telltale Games licensed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The story will be written by Matthew Sturges and Dave Justus with art by Steve Sadowski, Travis Moore, and Shawn McManus. The cover artist for the series is Chrissie Zullo. FABLES: THE WOLF AMONG US will be a weekly Digital First series and is set to debut in December 2014 with print collections to follow in 2015.

Although it is based in the Fables world, the events in Telltale Games’ The Wolf Among Us take place before those in the book, so it won’t be exactly a rehash of the existing comic series. It’ll be interesting to see how the choices that the player makes in the game translates into a comic (unless, of course, it was in Choose your own Adventure format).

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Officially Licensed Dancing Baby Groot will be Available for Christmas

Screencap from Mashable.

Screencap from Mashable.

It’s about time this happened.

One of the most memorable scenes in Guardians of the Galaxy is the coda, where an adorable baby version of Groot dances along to the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back”.

It didn’t take long for people to start selling homemade versions of Baby Groot (or provide instructions for how to make your own), but Marvel Entertainment and KIDdesigns have announced that an officially licensed version will be available later this year, just in time to sprout under your Christmas tree.

Mashable reports that the Baby Groot will set you back $14.99 and also has a built-in speaker to play (of course) “I Want You Back”.

There’s also a Funko bobblehead version of Groot, so you can stick him on your dashboard and he can dance along to your Awesome Mix Vol. 1.