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‘Sunset Sale’ star Kristen Quinn leaves group O to go crypto

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According to Quinn, the The last collapse in cryptography It is good for its work. “Crypto volatility spurs real estate purchases,” she explained. “Most of the customers chose our hedging product, and therefore were not exposed [to getting in over their heads with the crash]. “

Real Open is not the only company bringing cryptocurrency to real estate. Hoseki It is a startup company that provides proof of funds letter, and other new companies like Leiden And the milo You have mortgage offers that will pay cash when you have crypto as collateral.

But these rivals will have to face Quinn, who knows her celebrity status as the villain sunset sale It is an asset to the company. After all, as Dumontet points out, if his famous wife weren’t involved in the field, “it would cost $10 million to get the marketing out.” (That’s certainly true — I wouldn’t write this article if reality TV’s most convincing villain wasn’t one of the founders.) “It’s not something my husband made and I’m just promoting,” Quinn said. “This is something we’ve been frantically working on for a year and a half.”

During a Zoom interview, Quinn appears differently from the larger-than-life character she plays on TV. Dressed with no makeup or accessories and a headscarf (well, a jacket from Balenciaga), she’s more familiar with Bitcoin’s history than you’d expect from a reality star. I joked about how early bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox was from “The Wizard’s Game”, referring to Magic: The Gathering. Quinn said she’s had a phase of being interested in NFTs, but “you can’t live in an NFT.”

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Members sunset sale She could rest easy: Quinn told BuzzFeed News that although she left the Oppenheim group, she hasn’t left the show and will appear in Season 6 — no longer promoting her old boss. “It’s going to be an interesting new season!” She told BuzzFeed News.

“It’s so nice to be in an environment where I’m in control of the people I’m working with, and there’s no background noise,” Quinn said. “Everyone who contacts me is excited about cryptocurrency – it’s great that people are so excited.”

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Editorial: How big tech companies have lost their way, with products and business models that harm democracy and public safety

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For 65 years, the United States has relied on its digital technology industry to create amazing products and drive economic growth. For most of that time, the industry has exceeded expectations. But over the past decade, the tech industry has lost its way, with a culture, products, and business models that have undermined democracy, public health, and public safety.

Recent global events are creating an opportunity for the industry to reset and it is extremely important that they do so. America needs its technology industry to solve problems, not exacerbate them. But we cannot expect the industry to transform itself without the proper incentives, which must come from the government and the electorate.

Today’s tech industry, much of which dates back to the early 2000s, has been allowed to operate without regulatory restrictions. Entrepreneurs and investors have focused their energy on growing as fast as possible to huge scale and profits, without regard for societal values ​​such as consumer safety, democracy, public health, and human autonomy.

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For more than a decade after the financial crisis of 2008-2009, the global economy has been stable, with exceptionally low inflation and interest rates. Stability in international trade has enabled supply chains to optimize cost in the short term. As a country, we may have used this environment to address the biggest challenges facing humanity, such as climate change and income inequality. Instead, we’ve allowed companies to set their own priorities. They sought wealth and power, with strategies that exacerbated every problem in society. There is no industry that does more harm than technology.

Some new technologies, such as facial recognition, have been funded without a constructive use case. Other new industries, such as ride-sharing, ignored existing laws and regulations, consuming huge amounts of capital and producing huge losses, all in pursuit of a monopoly that might eventually turn a profit. In the field of artificial intelligence, entrepreneurs have asserted that huge datasets — even those consisting largely of rubbish content — will make our lives better, despite overwhelming evidence of bias and poor outcomes.

Low interest rates and inflation encouraged investors to take more risks, so they kept throwing money at tech startups. The higher the promise, the higher the rating. Entrepreneurs responded with crazier ideas than ever before. In the end, investors funded business plans that depended on suspending the laws of physics or financing. the The autonomous vehicle sector Claim no need for special taxiways or beacons on standard obstructions for autonomous aircraft and ships. They asserted that the car’s artificial intelligence and sensors would be good enough, despite copious evidence to the contrary. The crypto industry built a Ponzi scheme on top of bad computer science.

Each of these ideas had skeptics, but their warnings weren’t enough to dampen the enthusiasm of investors determined to own a piece of the next big thing. At the peak earlier this year, More than 1,000 startups They are valued at $1 billion or more, many with little or no revenue.

The Covid pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have destabilized the world. Interest rates and inflation soared, and geopolitical tension brought about changes in the international economy. Governments are no longer willing to subjugate other concerns of economic growth. Supply chains are restructured based on lower labor costs. This could be the beginning of a new economic era.

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Despite booming in the early days of the pandemic, the technology sector has hit a wall. The Nasdaq index fell by about a third in 2022, while 448 single stock decreased by 70% or more. It could only get worse, as few new tech companies have ever produced physical revenue. Of those who have gone public in the past decade, only one has made it through fortune 500Coinbase, at No. 437. It remains to be seen what, if any, societal benefits will result from the past decade for the tech industry.

The transformation of the global economy creates significant incentives to reset technology. Consumers face shortages of many products. Companies must move manufacturing closer to demand. Climate change calls for new energy solutions, a new energy grid, and new approaches to transportation. The extremely expensive health care system in the United States has failed to meet the needs of the nation. The education system does not prepare children for adulthood.

The lesson Americans should learn from the past decade is that failure to regulate technology leads to catastrophic harm. Decision makers and voters sat back while this happened.

We clung to five myths: There is only one path to the tech industry. New technology is always better; Markets are always the best way to allocate resources; Industries will self-regulate in the public interest; There is no useful role for government as arbiter of capitalism.

In fact, the current path is based on perverse incentives – changing incentives to change the direction of technology. New technology is not necessarily better. Markets are not always good at allocating resources, as the pandemic has shown. Businesses cannot be expected to regulate themselves if they can make more money by not doing so. If capitalism is to operate for the common good, government must take on the role of arbiter.

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The path forward should require tech products to meet safety standards similar to the food and drug, with a new agency such as the Food and Drug Administration to certify safety as a requirement for market access. We must acknowledge that the use of personal data undermines human autonomy and should be prohibited. To enable the emergence of new products and business models, we must eliminate the monopoly power of today’s tech giants.

This path will be a shift in culture, business models, and industrial structure. What seemed impossible a year ago, when technology was flying high, now makes a lot more sense. If the federal government won’t do its job, California has most of the tools needed.

Of course, tech entrepreneurs and investors resist change. They are understandably reluctant to part with the methods that have made so many of them rich and powerful. But market forces started the process. It is now up to policymakers and voters to drive change forward.

Roger McNamee is co-founder of Elevation Partners and author of Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe.

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Everything in technology has been turned upside down in 2022

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Then everything changed – radically. bring springencryption winter,” as the value of the cryptocurrency plummeted. Bitcoin started the year at around $47,000 and has now fallen to around $17,000. Several NFT projects have either been abandoned or have been mixed together. Bored Apes’ base price is now hovering around $88,000, down from around $260,000. In Feb. Perhaps a sign of the loss of luster for NFTs is that a recent batch of official Donald Trump NFT reports were advertised as simply “trading cards.”

The public perception of cryptocurrency has erupted even more dramatically. The last disaster FTX breakdown And the The arrest of its founder Sam Bankman Fred Fraud charges threaten to destabilize the entire ecosystem. FTX clients lost huge amounts of money – up to $8 billion in deposits. But the biggest fallout may be that Bankman Fried, on its way to becoming a household name, seems to have given the skeptics a win: sure, it all sounds like a Ponzi scheme, right? Ironically, the Larry David character in this FTX Super Bowl ad turned out to be right after all.

Technical layoffs and a dead dip

The entire US economy has downturned this year, and tech companies have seen their stocks drop dramatically with it. In the second half of the year, big technology companies love AmazonAnd the metaAnd the popAnd the sales forceAnd the Lift, and more layoffs. Across the industry, an estimated 150,000 tech jobs will be laid off in 2022, according to the site. Layoffs. For workers who had come from outside the United States to pursue the American dream in lucrative and prestigious technical jobs, these cuts were Especially brutalThe laid-off visa holders had to get a new job within 60 days or leave the country.

Perhaps no drop has been as dramatic as that of Meta, whose stock is down 67% since the start of the year. In February, the company announced that for the first time ever, Facebook user numbers were down. In November, he cut his meta 11,000 jobs And the Close output gateand a video chatting device in addition to the wearables it was developing. CEO Mark Zuckerberg attributed the cuts in part to over-expansion during the pandemic.

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Universal Studios Hollywood powers up with Super Nintendo World

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In 1981 Shigeru Miyamoto created a video game character whose entire personality was contained in what the designer first described as “16 dots by 16 dots.”

As that character evolved, those pixels would comprise red suspenders, a pouch of a tummy, an oversize nose, a bushy mustache and eventually a whole lot of jumpy pluckiness, making him an unlikely but confident hero as he sought to rescue a damsel in distress. Miyamoto at first called him Mr. Video, a prescient and self-assured designation for a character who by 1985 would come to dominate home television screens.

It wasn’t long before Mr. Video transitioned into Mario, the most recognizable video game character ever created. Mario would become so popular that Miyamoto would look to the Walt Disney Co. and its brand management of Mickey Mouse for direction. “Mickey Mouse sort of grew and evolved alongside cartoons and animation. I felt it would be best for Mario to grow and evolve alongside video games. Whenever we introduced new technology, we always paired that introduction with a new Mario game,” Miyamoto once told The Times.

Today, Mickey Mouse ears are a global symbol for theme parks around the globe. Could Mario’s trademark red newsboy-like cap challenge that dominance? Maybe, but that’s not the bet driving Universal Studios to build multiple Nintendo-inspired lands in its theme parks.

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“I think it’s very clear,” says Jon Corfino, vice president at Universal Creative, the division of the company responsible for theme park experiences. “It means that entertainment is not static.”

Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios is blazingly bright and colorful.

(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

The colorful ground where Corfino is standing in Universal Studios Hollywood was once home to blocky soundstages. Today, his feet are planted on an oversize yellow star in a space dedicated to Super Nintendo World, the first major video-game-driven land in a United States theme park.

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It’s a historical and remarkable shift for a park that has long stood as a temple dedicated to cinema. For nearly six decades now, the backlot Studio Tour has provided fans, tourists and aspiring filmmakers with their first notable glimpse at behind-the-scenes studio magic — the haunted imagery of a Bates Motel, the thrill of a “Jaws”-like shark attack or the ability to imagine the “Back to the Future” clock tower being shocked to life with a lightning bolt.

But on Feb. 17 when Super Nintendo World officially opens to the public, Universal Studios will be making one of the boldest statements yet about the future of entertainment: It will be interactive. Such a belief has been driving the entirety of the theme park industry for much of the last two decades, and Super Nintendo World, a larger version of which opened last year at Universal Studios Japan, will be the most fully realized vision of a living, persistent land designed to respond to — and play with — guests.

“There is a story line behind this whole experience,” Corfino says. Guests, after walking through one of Mario’s hallmark green pipes, will find themselves in the castle of his beloved Princess Peach, who has just had her golden mushroom stolen. “Part of our mission is to help her get it back. That’s the rationale and the purpose behind a lot of the interactive games.”

And with the land, Mario again will be introducing players — now theme park guests — to a new technology.

Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge, the land’s sole ride, will, in a first for an American theme park, meld physical sets with movement-tracking augmented reality that will respond to guest positions. It’s part old-school, theme park dark ride — guests will board cars and follow a track — and part showcase for a new form of game playing.

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Guests will be asked to steer, throw and aim along a predetermined path. The attraction, one that prioritizes gamification, special effects and theme park wizardry over high-speed thrills, will place attendees, four to a car, alongside Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and a host of other recognizable Nintendo characters, all in a highly participatory racing challenge against the demonic, turtle-meets-dragon figure of Bowser, Mario’s longtime archnemesis.

An interior waiting line is line with castle-like pillars adorned with a framed portrait of a spiked beast.

The queue for Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge is ominous in scope and filled with game-inspired details.

(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

To get to the ride, visitors will first traverse a blazingly vibrant land that will mash up multiple scenes from the popular “Super Mario Bros.” games. One can gaze out of augmented-reality-enhanced telescopes near icy peaks with blue, snow-lined trees or stand below desert vistas in which a Pokey — a cactus-inspired centipede-like creature — stalks from above. Throughout, there is constant movement — Piranha Plants chomp, a stony Thwomp slams with force, and yellow blocks, ripe for punching — or ill-advised head-butting — dot what feels like a lifesize obstacle course.

Gold coins, forever out of reach, spin and glint in the SoCal sun as bouncy-looking mushrooms look eager to be jumped upon. We won’t, however, be able to run and hop through the land like Mario, but we’ll certainly feel like we should; as side-scrolling platforms tempt us to go higher, the turtle-like Koopas will walk back and forth around us, and the mushroom-inspired Goombas will wobble, stack and practically taunt us to pounce on them. But good news: We will be able to play, as dotted throughout the land are four multiplayer challenges — mini-games that will culminate in a group battle against Bowser Jr.

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If all goes as planned, Super Nintendo World will be the most participatory theme park universe ever envisioned.

“They could have made Super Nintendo World a big arcade,” says Jesse Schell, a game designer and longtime advocate for interactivity in public spaces, having worked with theme parks around the world.

“But it’s clear the mandate was that this is not going to be a place where you go to play video games. This is a place where you’re going to go to be in a video game.”

A LAND BUILT FOR CREATIVITY

The green-pipe entrance to Super Nintendo World.

Guests will walk through Mario’s hallmark green pipe to enter Universal Studios Hollyoood’s Super Nintendo World.

(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

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Theme parks, of course, have always been dedicated to interactive play. One can argue that a land such as Super Nintendo World — or the game-filled Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Anaheim’s Disneyland Park — are rooted in this mission.

There is, as we’ve noted before, an aspect of this approach that dates back to Disneyland’s 1955 beginnings, most notably in the staged shootouts and pack mules that brought theatrics and activity to Frontierland. Tom Sawyer Island joined the latter in 1956, allowing guests to run free amid caves, trails and a suspension bridge. The change, however, is how guests are viewed. We were once seen largely as audience members. Today, we’re essentially actors in giant playsets; that is, if we want to be.

A pivotal moment: The 2014 introduction of interactive wands at Universal’s first Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which turned the entire land into a living universe by giving players the illusion of magic-making abilities. Instead of wands, Universal hopes Super Nintendo World guests invest in Power-Up Bands, interactive wristbands available for $40.

The bands will connect with an app, which will allow guests to track their progress in recapturing the golden mushroom, as well as allow them to collect virtual coins throughout the land and keep tally of their Mario Kart ride scores. Corfino says characters in the land — Mario, his brother Luigi and Princess Peach — will be able to respond to guests based on the progress recorded by their bands. More important, the bands and app will prod guests to play the games that dot Super Nintendo World, which will be broad in scope. Most of the games require participation among multiple parties of guests. Some are timed challenges, others are crank-led puzzles, and one is a chaotic, touch-fueled game that has players turning over digital blocks.

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A terraced landscape topped by a red Mario flag.

Super Nintendo World is full of movement, with blocks pouncing, characters walking and platforms sliding back and forth.

(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

“My definition of games is maybe a little bit different,” Corfino says. “I know that some folks like to say if somehow the experience is keeping score, it’s a game. There are other attractions that have, on a one-dimensional level, kept score. But from a complete immersive aspect, everything that you’re doing here is being tied into your Power-Up Band. Then, delving into the reality of the Mario Kart ride experience, where you have AR goggles, physical sets, video mapping, LED projection — you are in a full-blown game that is unique every time based on what you’re doing. It’s pretty next level.”

The theme park industry will be watching.

“I think that this idea of being able to manifest the digital to the physical in a highly interactive, reactive social environment, which embraces a sense of agency, as well as a sense of urgency, is something where I’m seeing the future of theme parks and gaming colliding,” says Margaret Kerrison, author of “Immersive Storytelling for Real and Imagined Worlds” and a former theme park designer with Walt Disney Imagineering.

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Kerrison, who worked extensively on Galaxy’s Edge, sees gaming and theme parks continuing to converge “into something that blurs the boundaries between what you do at home versus what you do in a theme park.”

The blending of theme parks and video games hasn’t always been an easy challenge to solve. Games, after all, are individualized experiences, as even multiplayer ones respond to a singular player’s actions. Theme parks, of course, are not that, as attractions are designed to captivate multiple thousands of people per hour. And yet modern attractions are increasingly gamified. The Disneyland Resort has recently opened the arcade-inspired Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure, the latter of which turns our hands into a video game controller.

A wall opening reveals a sign containing the word "pow" and a question mark.

Universal Studios Hollywood’s Super Nintendo World is filled with hidden nooks for guests to discover — and play in.

(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Universal Studios in Florida just launched the Great Movie Escape at its City Walk, escape rooms themed to “Back to the Future” and “Jurassic Park.” This follows Walt Disney World’s Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, a live-in hotel that doubles as a live-action role-playing game. Play can be derided as silly or frivolous, but it also facilitates curiosity. What is that? Why is it this way? And most important: What if I try this? And in a theme park setting, that drives communication among friends, families and even strangers, as play helps lower inhibitions in the name of engagement.

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That is, if we believe it.

One of the first major successful implications of video games in a theme park attraction was Disney’s Toy Story Midway Mania!, which opened at Disney California Adventure in 2008. A key to its successes, says recently retired Imagineer Kevin Rafferty, one of the chief designers of the attraction, was to rethink how we view games in all-encompassing, physical settings. “The early video games that you played on your TV set at home always had a score or a number that would flash up,” Rafferty says. “But in a ride-through application, what that does is suddenly tell you it’s fake.

“It’s not a real space. It’s not a real midway game. In a real space, you wouldn’t have digital numbers pop up like you would in a pinball machine. We wanted the experience to feel real. I always like to say it’s OK to make-believe. But you can’t fake-believe. As soon as you break the rule that you’re in a real place in a real time, then suddenly it’s not a real game booth.”

Similarly, Super Nintendo World will treat its mini-games — and its Mario Kart ride — as real places. Games are around a corner, down a path or behind a giant mushroom rather than any particular booth announcing their presence. And the land is filled with hidden nooks — stairs that lead to a second level with augmented reality googles, or darkened, seemingly ominous caves filled instead with blocks to punch and whack.

It’s a land, like the best “Super Mario Bros.” games, built on discovery. And that, after all, was Miyamoto’s original mission with the games. Asked once for an explanation for the enduring power of Mario, Miyamoto had a simple yet ambitious answer: “The more creative the player is, the more things that they try, the more fun the game becomes.”

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INSIDE THE CASTLE

Super Nintendo World

Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge is a first for a theme park attraction in North America — an augmented reality-enhanced game-inspired ride.

(Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times)

Universal Studios is counting on players coming to be creative.

Unlike Japan’s version of the land, which is home to a ride inspired by Mario’s dinosaur-like pal Yoshi and has a Donkey Kong attraction currently under construction, Hollywood’s more confined space — this theme park, after all, is still a working studio — will have just a singular ride. But those who come to ride Mario Kart and bolt will be missing the point. Super Nintendo World is an invitation to play.

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And yet the byzantine queue for Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge certainly indicates that Universal knows what the centerpiece of the land is. The line will take guests through numerous locales, starting with fantastical, forest-like atmospheres — said to be Yoshi’s new island — before transitioning to a second level that leads to Bowser’s castle. Nintendo fans will find numerous nods to the Mario Kart games, still one of Nintendo’s most successful properties. The recent “Mario Kart 8” for the Nintendo Switch has sold more than 48 million copies worldwide.

Screens will double as windows, showing us areas of the castle populated with ghosts. Elsewhere, we’ll see Bob-omb-making machines and we’ll learn of Bowser’s obsessions — mainly Mario and Princess Peach. Self-help books, such as one titled “How to Talk to Princesses,” will nod to the roots of franchise, but in this world Princess Peach is not an oft-kidnapped, damsel-in-distress. “It’s there,” Corfino says of Bowser’s obsession with Princess Peach, “but it’s not a creepy there.”

The ride was not available for media previews. Like most of Universal’s theme park experiences, expect open-to-the-public technical rehearsals for the land to begin well before opening, perhaps as soon as early to mid-January. These, however, can be sporadic and can close at any time. But based on videos of the ride from Japan, as well as interviews and reviews of the attraction, guests should expect Mario Kart to be one of the most ambitious video-game-inspired rides to date. It’s not one, however, that prioritizes speed, as capturing the feel of the games — the wildness of collecting and flinging items and constant turns — was the goal.

Super Nintendo World

Bowser’s obsessions are shown throughout the ride Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge at Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood.

(Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times)

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“There is a learning curve,” says Corfino, noting that the mechanics are simple — press a button on a steering wheel to toss a shell and aim simply by looking in a certain direction — but mastery will come in time. While there is a track, it’s beneficial to one’s final score to steer in the direction the ride is moving, as the attraction will be asking for guests to fully participate throughout. “It’s a natural extension of evolving from behind the scenes to the immersive environments of films,” Corfino says. “So now we’re putting you inside one of the most popular games of all time and putting you inside that environment. How deep can you go in terms of immersion and, in this case, gamification?”

That’s a question that isn’t just being asked by Universal. Arguably, gaming brands — intellectual property, or IP, in industry speak — are just hitting their mainstream culture stride. In spring, Universal will release a “Super Mario Bros.” film, and gaming properties, including “The Last of Us,” “League of Legends” and “Sonic the Hedgehog,” are increasingly being adopted by Hollywood studios. The industry is also closely watching Netflix’s foray into gaming, as the company has been buying and building a cadre of game developers.

“It’s going to be interesting, as time moves on, to see which IPs end up being really meaningful,” says game and theme park designer Schell. “We see our theme parks moving into a more interactive zone. That implies that video games and video game brands are going to be bigger and bigger. It’s easy to imagine a ‘Fortnite’ theme park.”

Theme parks such as Universal Studios and Disneyland are places the public goes to experience popular myths, from classic fairy tales to more modern franchises such as “Star Wars” or “Jurassic Park.” We get to live in and among them, and experience the stories that help us make sense of the world and our emotions.

With “Super Nintendo World,” games — and play itself — have now entered a new storytelling pantheon. It’s a statement that those weaned on games have long known. We don’t play to win or compete; we play to imagine ourselves in a story.

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