in Books, Video Games

Weekly Pop Culture Picks #7

July 7 – July 13, 2013

The Secret World Issue #7

Christine: I’ve talked before about my endless love for Funcom’s MMO The Secret World, but one of the things I haven’t yet expanded upon is the game’s regular content updates, called “Issues,” that contain new missions and story lines. Earlier this week, TSW‘s “Issue #7: A Dream To Kill” went live. Though I haven’t quite managed to finish the missions yet, what I’ve seen is pretty damn cool.

Where Issue #6 got inspiration from the Indiana Jones franchise (including but not limited to adventuring in tombs, running away from giant boulders, getting a kinky whip for a weapon item, and possibly getting the patented Indiana Jones outfit to wear on your character), Issue #7 has James Bond written all over it… though that might not be obvious based on that creepy as balls teaser video linked above. Seriously, what the hell, Funcom? Between this and the final claustrophobic Tyler Freeborn mission from Issue #5, are you trying to give me nightmares?

J.K. Rowling’s Secret Book

cuckoos-calling1Max: Apparently we’re going for a “secret” theme this week, because I’d like to bring up the fact that famous Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has had a book published under a pseudonym out for a couple of months.

It’s detective fiction and features Cormoran Strike, a one-legged war veteran whose private eye business is going under. He’s hired to investigate the apparent suicide of a famous actress, but things get complicated (as they always go in this type of story).

Rowling’s last post-Potter offering didn’t really interest me, and is still sitting on my shelf, unread. However, this book sounds a lot more exciting. While the last four Potter books skewed more towards action and romantic intrigue, Rowling’s first three Hogwarts-set novels were an exercise in light detective work, with each one featuring a central mystery that needed solving.

Given that, I’d say her first foray into the actual detective genre should be pretty awesome. I haven’t read the book, but I plan on checking it out, and the pre-reveal Amazon ratings for the books were pretty positive.

R.I.P. Trayvon Martin

Hera: Honestly, it’s been kind of a depressing week after hearing about the Zimmerman verdict and Cory Monteith – another young man’s untimely death.

Zimmerman, a grown adult, gets away with murdering a 17-year-old African-American boy without suffering the consequences, while an African-American mother in Florida is sentenced to 20 years for firing warning shots. Verdict: Florida is a shithole.

And there are people who are literally cheering and feeling genuinely ecstatic over this verdict and that is really upsetting to me. Ann Coulter even tweeted, “Hallelujah” – without regard to the fact that a teenager is dead and he didn’t have to be and his family is still grieving for him. If only Zimmerman had listened to the 911 dispatcher who told him not to follow Trayvon Martin that night, then Martin could still be alive. If. If. If.

Because my head is clouded with anger, frustration, and absolute hopelessness, this week, I’ll just leave you with some celebrity Twitter reactions and a clip from Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, featuring Chris Rock.