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Most Satisfying 'Wipeout' of the Week: Renaissance Man

A lady won ABC’s Wipeout last night! Not just a lady, but “New Mom,” because everyone on Wipeout needs a memorable-for-44-minutes moniker that viewers can latch onto and real names are irrelevant on game shows in which objects repeatedly fly at one’s nose. Whoa, I just realized that what this show is missing is Amber from Clueless on the sidelines, just bitching the whole time about the big balls.

This week’s Most Satisfying Wipeout, a prestigious honor right up there with Dancing With the Stars‘ MVG (most valuable gem), goes to “Renaissance Man,” a Shakespeare-quoting buffoon who kept screaming things like “House of Capulet!!!!!!” out of context. Hey, I guess we do know his real name. Renaissance Man had a special knack for “propeller legs” a la Luigi in Super Mario Bros. 2. He will barely be missed.

To be or not to be on board with Wipeout, P-dubs? That is the question.

Read more:
Last week’s Most Satisfying Wipeout: The Fierce Dragon
‘Wipeout’: Host Jill Wagner talks spills, big red balls

Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett

Best of E3: 'Rage' leads the Game Critics Awards nominations

rageImage Credit: Bethesda SoftworksSo what was all the rage at this year’s E3 videogaming convention? Well, the answer is apparently Rage (pictured), the post-apocalyptic first-person shooter from famed developer id Software (Doom, Quake). Rage received five nominations — more than any other game — when the Game Critics Awards announced its Best of E3 2010 nominees Tuesday morning. Along with Rage, the Best of Show category consisted of the motion-sensing dance game Dance Central, the action-adventure game Disney’s Epic Mickey, the puzzler Portal 2, and Nintendo’s upcoming 3-D-without-the-glasses handheld system, the Nintendo 3DS.

The nominations were chosen by an independent group of 31 media outlets, including Entertainment Weekly. We’re personally disappointed that Limbo, an eerily gorgeous indie platformer for the Xbox 360, didn’t receive any nods — but it was only one tiny game in a sea of hundreds, so it could have easily been overlooked. Winners will be announced on July 6, but until then, check out EW.com’s gallery featuring our picks for the 21 best games at E3 this year.

Gamers, did your favorite E3 title get recognized by the Game Critics Awards? What was the biggest snub? And what upcoming games are you craving to play the most?

What is Auto-Tune, Alex? Why, the greatest thing to come to 'Jeopardy!' in years!

On last night’s Jeopardy!, Alex met Auto-Tune. And believe me, PopWatchers, when I say it was the most pivotal and necessary meeting since Harry and Sally. Flotsam and Jetsam. Meat and Potatoes. Click here to watch Alex deliver the best rendition of “Go Down Moses” seen on television since this guy came along. You’re welcome. [Vulture]

Read more:
‘Jeopardy!’ and ‘Wheel of Fortune’ renewed until 2014. What is awesome, Alex?
Neil Patrick Harris among celebs in million dollar ‘Jeopardy!’ semifinals
Game-show host cameos and Alex Trebek’s extensive movie career
Pass the dutchie for $200, Alex Trebek

Game-show host cameos and Alex Trebek's extensive movie career

Ugo.com has up a fun gallery of game-show hosts and the movie roles they’ve played, both as themselves and — in some cases — in dramatic acting roles you might never have envisioned them in. (Dick Clark as a robber in 1968’s Killers Three? Ack!) What’s most notable to me, though, is the regularity with which Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek once popped up in various movies, from quick drive-bys in 1991’s Dying Young and 2000’s Charlie’s Angels to — my favorite — a hefty subplot in White Men Can’t Jump concerning Rosie Perez’s trivia savant character. (Jeopardy! announcer Johnny Gilbert: “A former disco queen, originally from Brooklyn, N.Y….Gloria Clemente.” See clip after the jump.) READ FULL STORY

Nintendo announces the 3DS: Get ready for 3-D gaming without 3-D glasses

E3-nintendo-DS3_240.jpg  Image Credit: Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesIf the folks at Nintendo were worried about Microsoft’s Kinect stealing its innovation thunder at this year’s E3, it was game over for those concerns yesterday after the venerable videogame company debuted the 3DS, a handheld gaming device that features a 3.5 inch 3-D screen that works without 3-D glasses. Just look at the screen with your plain old eyes, and a multi-dimensional Mario brightly smiles back at you. The 3DS case looks basically like the current Nintendo DS handheld device (including a second, 2-D touch screen), with a new analog controller, motion sensitivity, and two external cameras that let you take 3-D photos. I got to use a 3DS for all of 90 seconds after the show, and even though the demo was just a series of screens featuring classic Nintendo characters, I’m fairly certain I briefly achieved Nirvana while holding it.

Okay, not really, but it is an uncanny experience, looking at a flat screen and seeing depth with just your naked eyes. READ FULL STORY

E3: Sony sets its (3-D) eyes on hardcore gamers

E3-clownImage Credit: David McNew/Getty ImagesThe main message Sony conveyed during its two-hour E3 presentation Tuesday afternoon was this: “Hardcore gamers, we’re here for you.” While Microsoft has spent most of its energy (and money) touting its intuitive motion-detection device, Kinect, and Nintendo has continued to position its Wii and the new 3DS as family-friendly systems, Sony assured hardcore gamers (men in their 20s and 30s who crave ultraviolent shooters and prefer their controllers to include 84 buttons) that they hadn’t been forgotten. In fact, Sony brought out Kevin Butler, the company’s fictitious vice president in its TV ads, to issue a gaming manifesto. “Gaming is having a ridiculously huge TV in a tiny one-bedroom apartment,” Butler proclaimed to the audience, which erupted into laughter and applause. “(Gaming is) staying up till 3 a.m. to earn a trophy that isn’t real. And it’s girls who know that the way to a man’s heart is through a melee attack. I love gaming!”

True, Sony spent a significant chunk of time on its own motion controller, the PlayStation Move (out Sept. 19), which is basically a supercharged Wii Remote. But the tech giant knew what most of the assembled audience truly wanted to see, and it delivered on that front with demos and glimpses of READ FULL STORY

Microsoft Kinect: We tried out the games, and they're fun (for the most part)

KinectImage Credit: Damian Dovarganes/AP ImagesMicrosoft announced Monday that Kinect, its new motion-detection add-on for the Xbox 360 gaming system, would hit stores Nov. 4 with a slate of 15 games. This announcement followed an elaborate presentation on Sunday that portrayed Kinect as nothing less than a significant step forward in human evolution. Okay, but is it any fun? I got to try my hand at several of Kinect’s launch titles, including Kinect Adventures!, Kinect Joy Ride, Kinect Sports, and Your Shape, and yes, Kinect is certainly fun. But at the moment, the device comes off as merely a slightly upgraded version of the Nintendo Wii. There’s huge potential here, but Kinect still needs some tinkering. After the jump, a detailed report of each game: READ FULL STORY

Kinect: Microsoft's answer to the Wii

xbox_360_slimAfter a year of speculation and a blockbuster presentation last night, Microsoft officially revealed (most) of the important details surrounding its motion-control camera — once dubbed Project Natal, now called Kinect — to assembled gaming press and industry today in Los Angeles. The camera system will debut in North America on Nov. 4 with 15 launch titles and will be compatible with all current Xbox 360 consoles. Curiously, Microsoft did not announce a price for the Kinect, although gaming blog Kotaku is reporting that GameStop is charging $149 for Kinect pre-orders. As a kicker, Microsoft also announced that a smaller, slimmer version of the Xbox 360 (in a shiny black case, with a 250 GB hard drive and wifi internet capability built in) will be shipping to stores today for the same $299 price as the old Xbox 360.

But back to Kinect. Is it worth all the hype? Depends on what kind of gamer you are. READ FULL STORY

'The Office' wants fans to create a 'Fanisode.' Dibs on the shootout scene.

the-office-fanisodesImage Credit: NBCScience says summer starts on the Solstice, June 21, but I say it starts when your favorite show airs its finale. Then, depression sets in. Lucky for us, the good people behind The Office recognize the void they’ve left in our hearts and — in the spirit of Michael Scott — thought of a time-wasting, fantastically entertaining way for us to fill our days.

Starting today, fans can sign up to help create an Office fanisode. It will work similar to the Star Wars Uncut project, where fans are asked to recreate a small portion of an episode — in this case season 6’s ”Murder” — and submit it for a chance to be included in the final product, which will be posted on NBC.com toward the end of summer. The 86 segments are up for grabs now at NBC’s page for the contest. Up to three people sign up for each segment, and you have two weeks to get your video in. Best one makes it into the final product, which will be posted on NBC.com toward the end of summer.

I’m still trying to decide exactly how I want to re-produce “Murder”‘s closing shootout scene between Andy, Dwight, and Michael, since claymation and animation require real talent. It’ll either be Twilight dolls (Bella-Edward-Jacob), Mad Men Barbies or EW staffers.

But what about you PopWatchers? Are you going to give it a try?

The 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years: Here's our full list!

1105_coverTo help celebrate Entertainment Weekly‘s 20th anniversary (one more year and we can finally drink booze!), the writers and editors have carefully curated a list of the 100 greatest characters in pop-culture over the last 20 years. Whether the fictional women, men, ogres, muppets, babies, and cartoon rockers who made our list were initially created before 1990 didn’t matter so long as they made a lasting impact in the culture after 1990. Some characters were so inseparable in our minds and hearts — like a certain highly articulate TV mother and daughter, for example — that we simply listed them together. (Hey, it’s our list, so we get to make the rules.) Rest assured, we carefully deliberated, debated, argued, and bickered over who would make the cut and where they deserved to be ranked; after you take a look at our list, please feel free to do the same in the comments. READ FULL STORY

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