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With growing excitement for virtual reality, two major new consoles doing battle, and Nintendo’s renaissance, 2014’s been a fantastic year for gaming.
We’ve rounded up 14 of the best gaming-related videos released this year. They show some of the many faces of gaming culture as it continued its defiant growth, simultaneously embracing and giving the bird to the mainstream.
Grand Theft Auto V by night
Grand Theft Auto V looks amazing, even when you’re not playing it. The open-world action game’s makeover for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One made it even prettier. YouTuber The XXI tracked down and filmed its diverse cast of extras as they went about their business during the Los Santos night. The results are spectacular.
3 year old with a Portal gun
This is what happens when you give your kids age-inappropriate toys. As if a 3-year-old kid was ever going to grasp the potential dangers of shooting a Portal gun, from the Valve game of the same name, at his feet.
Aaron Paul’s ‘interactive’ Xbox One ad
Microsoft accidentally created an interactive TV ad this year. Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul sat back, played some games, and inadvertently messed with other people’s consoles. When he said, “Xbox on,” in his familiar drawl, it didn’t just start up his own console — it started up a ton of them. And not everyone was happy with the latent power of Kinect.
I think it's time to unplug Kinect. The Aaron Paul Xbox One TV ad came on, he said 'Xbox on' and my console turned on. Eugh.
— Asim Tanvir (@AsimTanvir) June 28, 2014
Luigi Death Stare compilation
Who knew that Luigi was such a badass? Mario’s perennial sidekick stepped out of the shadows in a big way with this year’s Mario Kart 8. His creepy dead-eyed death stare as he drove past his rivals made waves (and gifs) in the gaming community, showing a dark, previously unexplored side to the Italian plumber’s personality. It bodes well for a full-on horror version of Luigi’s Ghost Mansion.
Oculus Rift: Living with lag
Oculus Rift is the virtual reality technology that Facebook decided was worth spending $2 billion on this year. We’re going to see an official release for Oculus in 2015, and the tech will likely start breaking beyond video games soon. But in the meantime we’re still claiming it for gamers. This superclever ad for Swedish energy company and broadband provider Umeå Energi uses Oculus Rift to emulate Internet lag in real life, and the results are pretty hilarious.
LittleBigPlanet celebrates 20 years of PlayStation
PlayStation’s 20th anniversary is a pretty big deal, and LittleBigPlanet’s Sackboy helped pay tribute. In this special video, which debuted at December’s PlayStation Experience event, the LittleBigPlanet team remake some of PlayStation’s most iconic games, including WipeOut, God of War, Journey, and PaRappa the Rapper.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution short film
Two years in the making, this fan-made Deus Ex: Human Revolution short film is simply stunning. Directed by and starring Moe Sharif, it sets a high bar for the official movie that’s in the works. If you just want to cut straight to the action, things get pretty hectic from the 5:06 mark.