The problem isn’t that Thanos’ plan was bad. It’s that the heroes didn’t have a better one.

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times. “Thanos’ plan makes no sense! If you kill half of everyone, the population would just double again soon! Why not just double the resources instead?!”

All good points. Well, actually not really that good. We only really know how fast humans reproduce, but Thanos is wiping out half of all species. …


Expensive phones may have ditched it, but for more affordable phones, the headphone jack is indispensable

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

In the long and stories history of hardware features that have been deprecated to loud public outcry — the floppy disk, the CD drive, and a parade of various ports — few have stuck around as long as the headphone jack. The last iPhone to feature a headphone jack launched in 2015, and in 2016 Google took a shot at Apple for removing it.

It’s a move Google repeated last week with an entire Jony Ive-style ad. …


Take a look. It’s in a book. Wait this book is faaake.

Lord Ravenscraft is a video essay series created by Eric Ravenscraft. You can watch the latest full episode on YouTube.

It’s a little hard to make reading a book cinematic. Not the content of the book, mind you, but literally the act of reading text on a page. I had to solve that problem for all three of my Animorphs videos, and I wanted to share what I built so anyone else who liked the solution can use it, too.

Talking about Animorphs means quoting from books a lot. I didn’t want to just do screenshots of text, because while…


I might have spent more time on the opening gag of Animorphs III than the entire rest of the video.

Lord Ravenscraft is a video essay series created by Eric Ravenscraft. You can watch the latest full episode on YouTube.

For the intro Animorphs III, I wanted to do something more elaborate than I’ve done before. I’ve made an intentional point to use these essays as an excuse to practice working in Blender and After Effects, but usually I’ve put that effort behind title cards and simple gags. For this one, I wanted to try something…well, “photoreal” isn’t quite the right word, but something more reasonably approaching it.

The sequence ultimately included three shots: one medium shot facing the balcony…


The Nickelodeon Animorphs TV show wasn’t a very good adaptation. But maybe it wasn’t meant to be.

Lord Ravenscraft is a video essay series created by Eric Ravenscraft. You can watch the latest full episode on YouTube.

In 1998, Scholastic Entertainment produced a live action adaptation of the Animorphs book series to be distributed on YTV and Nickelodeon. It was coming out alongside the books and, according to both fans of the series and new viewers, it was a poor adaptation of the books it was based on.

Except. Was it?

Answering that question is harder than it sounds. The common criteria we use to judge whether or not an adaptation is “good” tends to be…


There wasn’t much time to get good at Flash when it was alive. But no one did it better than Homestar Runner.

Lord Ravenscraft is a video essay series created by Eric Ravenscraft. You can watch the latest full episode on YouTube.

Flash may have died an extremely timely death at the end of 2020, but it deserves more credit than it gets at times. It enabled a generation of artists, animators, and game designers to create online in ways that wouldn’t be possible without Flash for years to come.

And no one made better use of Flash than Mike and Matt Chapman — a.k.a The Brothers Chaps — when they created Homestar Runner.

This site featured cartoons, minigames, eventually full-sized…


There’s a vast pipeline of tools to create video games, movies, and TV shows. Epic wants to own it all.

NurPhoto / Getty Images

Epic Games, the company behind the colossally popular and profitable Fortnite, is no stranger to game development infrastructure. It makes the widely-used Unreal Engine, which hundreds of games have used over the last couple decades. But Epic wants to do more than just own the game engine.

So, Epic has been going shopping.

Today, Epic announced it is acquiring SketchFab, a digital marketplace and sharing hub for 3D models. From professionally-designed 3D asset packs for use in game development, to independent artists making highly-detailed replicas of Dinobot from Beast Wars because they feel like it. …


A streaming giant in need of games, and a gaming platform in need of customers. It could work.

Netflix has a problem. It’s one of the most popular ways to watch TV and movies on the internet, but watching TV and movies isn’t the only way for people to spend their time. Increasingly, another medium is vying for people’s attention, and increasingly it’s winning:

Video games.

Netflix correctly acknowledged, as far back as 2018, that they aren’t just in the movie and TV business. They’re in the leisure business. When people sit down in their living room to do something with they’re downtime, they’re not just forced to choose between watching the latest Netflix show, or some show…


But I’ve been burned by Valve before.

Valve

Today, Valve announced its upcoming portable gaming PC, the Steam Deck. Physically, it’s reminiscent of the Nintendo Switch, but inside it runs a new version of SteamOS, a Linux-based operating system Valve designed for its games. The idea is that gamers will be able to play their library anywhere.

I just wish I could believe it.

What Valve claims it’s doing is nothing short of herculean. The dedicated site for the device promises that “Steam Deck runs the latest AAA games” and, realizing how lofty that promise sounds, reassures, “and runs them really well.”

Right off the bat, this feels…


The best response on Reddit is the very first thing that comes to mind.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

It’s well-known that the first rule of the internet is never read the comments. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of it as a hard, fast rule, but that’s because I have a bit of a bias. I used to be a commenter! In fact, I got my earliest writing jobs because editors of sites I commented on noticed the un-asked-for essays I was writing for free. But it’s rare to find a community like that, where people wrote thoughtful things, had camaraderie with the site authors, and members of the community talked civilly with each other.

Instead, it usually…

Eric Ravenscraft

Eric Ravenscraft is a freelance writer from Atlanta covering tech, media, and geek culture for Medium, The New York Times, and more.

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