Massively Popular Kids Cartoon Bluey Finally Gets A Video Game

If you have kids, you know what Bluey is. For everyone else, it’s an Australian cartoon about a nuclear family of talking dogs who live in a giant bungalow and love to play silly games. It’s cute and clever, and several years after becoming a global phenomenon, it’s at long-last getting a video game adaptation.

Outright Games announced multiplayer puzzle game Bluey: The Videogame in partnership with BBC Studios on September 19, and revealed that it’s coming to PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, and PC on November 17. Up to four players can choose from Bluey, Bingo, Mum (Chile), and Dad (Bandit) t and participate in playable episodes by completing a range of minigames to unlock new costumes, stickers, locations. It sounds like standard kids’ game fair, with the advantage of looking exactly like the beloved show and starring its same voice talent.

Here’s the trailer:

And here’s how the developers describe the game:

Bluey: The Videogame has been designed with flexibility in mind, allowing fans to engage with the game and explore it at their own pace with the ability to jump between story quests, activities, and exploration at any time. Variable difficulty features have been included that allow the game to be accessible and fun for both preschool and older fans including UI on/off toggle, simple written on-screen instructions and full voice-over. Players will be able to utilize physics-based mechanics to manipulate objects, interact with the world around them, add additional challenges to mini-games, and support free-play in the sandbox.

Bluey has three seasons so far, all of them currently airing on Disney Plus with some additional episodes on the way and a fourth season set to air sometime in the future. The show practically pulsates with “hard relate” vibes for a parent, which is the key to making it entertaining for grownups as much as young kids. Although for me it’s always conjured an unlikely but potent mix of guilt and aspiration.

Being a parent is exhausting. Remember the book The Giving Tree? The titular tree gives everything to a child for nothing in return. It quite literally gets chopped up into wood in the end. Hard relate. But Bluey’s dad Bandit always pushes through, laughing, messing around, and indulging the kids in absurdly specific pretend games and scenarios. Some millennial gamers want to be strong and stoic like Kratos. I just want to have the patience and imagination of Bluey’s dad.

Maybe Bluey: The Videogame will teach me how. I can’t wait to give it a try.

Pre-order Bluey: The Videogame: Best Buy | GameStop


Big Oil Using Fortnite And TikTok To Get Kids Into Fossil Fuel

Kids today only care about online free-to-play shooter Fortnite. They don’t even talk about how great gasoline is! Luckily for us, one large oil company wants to change that using Fortnite, TikTok stars, and Twitch streamers. Welcome to Hell.

Climate change is bad. I think we can all agree on that. But for kids, who have long lives and futures ahead of them, the prospect of the planet turning into a nightmare sphere of extreme weather and chaos is particularly scary. But don’t worry about all that, kids. Instead, Shell—a massive oil company and one of the many entities directly responsible for destroying our planet—wants you all to know just how rad its fossil fuel products are, and even made a whole Fortnite world for you to enjoy! But to truly enjoy it, you’ll need to use Shell’s V-Power® NiTRO+ Premium Gasoline, of course.

As reported by Media Matters earlier this week, Shell has partnered with map creators to develop “Shell Ultimate Road Trips”, a Fortnite world featuring six different areas to explore in the car of your choice. In the middle of these worlds, players will find a lonely, sad-looking Shell gas station acting as the map’s hub.

The campaign—part of Shell’s pivot back to focusing on gasoline over cleaner energy sources— is designed to promote the company’s “new and improved” premium gasoline. The idea is that in the map, players will need to occasionally fill up at the central Shell gas station and use its new V-Power NiTRO+ fuel to successfully navigate obstacles and courses.

Content creators are being enlisted to create big oil propaganda

To help promote this terrible collaboration, Shell has enlisted various TikTok creators and Twitch streamers in an effort to connect with their large audiences made up of mostly younger individuals.

Media Matters reportedly identified at least a half dozen streamers—including folks like Punisher, NateHill, Chica, and brookeab—with a combined Twitch following of over 5.5 million subscribers—who helped promote Shell’s Fortnite map and fossil fuel products during sponsored streams that racked up over a million views. Some of these creators also promoted the sponsored streams on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok to their millions of followers. Media Matters also identified three content creators who advertised the ShellxFortnite map in several videos posted on the gas company’s official YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram accounts.

The creators directly promoting Shell’s gasoline propaganda have a combined audience of 8.5 million TikTok followers, 1.5 million Instagram followers, and over 11 million YouTube subscribers.

In August, Shell even paid out for a sponsored post on IGN as well as a three-part series featuring IGN staff playing Fortnite and exploring the Shell-sponsored map. The videos are covered in Shell logos and featured on a fancy IGN-hosted website dedicated to the oil company’s Fortnite map.

Kids aren’t buying this crap

So how’s all this money and effort paying off? As far as I can tell, not great. For example, looking at that IGN article, it’s got only two comments and both are negative. On YouTube, the IGN videos have mostly received negative comments from viewers, with many calling out the outlet for sponsoring an oil company. Elsewhere, the official trailers put out by Shell for their Fortnite creation are similarly receiving negative comments.

“Drop in this season and complete the objective: ‘Do irreparable damage to the environment with Shell!” is the top-rated comment on this trailer for the map.

This is all part of an ongoing campaign by big oil companies, like Shell, to connect with younger people via online influencers and content creators. In 2021, Earther reported that Shell and Phillips 66 had started campaigns with Instagram influencers. These sponsored deals and ads aren’t just about promoting oil companies and their products. These large corporations know that as climate change gets worse, it’s getting harder to convince young people to keep buying gas-powered cars and supporting the fossil fuel industry.

As Media Matters pointed out, in a 2021 survey of young people between the ages of 16-25, about 75% said the future is frightening because of climate change. It’s hard to sell gasoline and diesel to teens who know it’s destroying the planet and their futures. And it doesn’t look like some Instagram models and Fortnite videos on IGN promoting Shell are going to be enough to change their minds.


Kids Are Attending Pro-Palestinian Protests In Roblox

In the midst of the ongoing escalation between Israel and Palestine, gamers who can’t attend protests in real life are turning to digital spaces to show their support for those suffering as a result of the conflict. The latest venue? The ultra-popular tween hit Roblox.

A dramatic increase in regional violence came about after Hamas, the Islamic political and military organization that governs the Gaza Strip, launched an all-out attack against Israel on October 7, kidnapping civilians and killing around 1,400 people. In response, Israel has been ceaselessly raining bombs down upon Gaza, the cordoned-off home to over 2 million Palestinians, nearly half of whom are children. At the time of writing, the Palestinian death toll has surpassed 5,000.

On October 23, an X (formerly Twitter) user shared a post that read “y’all my cousin is 15 and couldn’t join a protest so she just went to one on roblox bro i’m crying.” In the replies, people posted footage of the Roblox protest, which boasted hundreds of players waving Palestinian flags walking down a massive, red brick road lined with more Palestinian flags. The protest ended in a large, open square, with a massive sign depicting a Palestinian flag-colored ribbon emblazoned with the words “Solitary Untukmu” (Malay for “Solidarity for you”). The Singaporean flag can also be seen, both flying high on a flagpole and being held by some of the Roblox player characters.

Roblox is an online game platform and game creation tool with blocky character models and more otherwise rudimentary graphics that encourages players to create their own “games” and then share those codes so that other people can join. It has, quite controversially, courted a rather young playerbase.

In the years since it first launched, Roblox has been accused of profiting off of child gambling, faced the ire of Kim Kardashian after an in-game, player-made experience referenced her sex tape, and been widely debated among parents as to whether or not it’s really a child-friendly game option. But now, someone has created a Roblox game that allows players to attend pro-Palestinian protests. According to the original X poster, their cousin couldn’t drive to a local protest because they are unlicensed, so they instead went to one in Roblox.

The replies to X and TikTok videos of the in-game protest are largely positive, with commenters saying “the kids are alright” and asking for the Roblox code so they can join. A Malaysian streamer who shared a video of themselves attending the protest was live on TikTok while I was working on this piece—when I asked for details in the comments he said that his friend built the game and thanked me for my support.

A spokesperson for Roblox Corporation commented:

We are deeply saddened by the horrific tragedy unfolding in Israel and Gaza, and our hearts go out to those who are impacted in the area or who have loved ones, family and friends in the region. While our Community Standards allow for expressions of solidarity, we do not allow for content that endorses or condones violence, promotes terrorism or hatred against individuals or groups, or calls for supporting a specific political party. We have an expert team of thousands of moderators along with automated detection tools in place to monitor our platform and will take swift action against any content or individuals found to be in violation of our standards. We also encourage anyone to report content or behavior that may not comply with our Community Standards by using our Report Abuse feature.

This isn’t the first time people have turned to digital spaces to take a stand—there were protests against the Russian invasion of Ukraine in Final Fantasy XIV, and Black Lives Matter protests during the height of the covid-19 pandemic in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Elsewhere in the industry, Cult of the Lamb publisher Devolver Digital recently donated to humanitarian aid in Gaza, and Twitch streamer and political commentator Hasan Piker raised over $1 million for Palestinian relief.

Update 10/24/2023 10:35 p.m. ET: Added comment from Roblox Corp.

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