Twitch Streamer Plays Elden Ring Using Only Her Brain

When you tune into Twitch streamer Perrikaryal’s channel, you might see her playing FromSoftware’s role-playing game epic Elden Ring with fourteen, unfamiliar black sensors stuck to her scalp. It’s her—as she said during an informational stream earlier today—“just for fun” electroencephalogram (EEG) device, something researchers use to record the brain’s electrical activity, which she’s repurposed to let her play Elden Ring hands-free.

“Okay what and how,” publisher Bandai Namco responded to a clip of Perri (whose name seems to refer to the perikaryon, the cell body of a neuron) describing how she linked brain activity to key binds to help her play the game, shared by esports reporter Jake Lucky on Twitter.

Cue the disbelief (“I’ve gotten a lot of stuff online being like, […] ‘are you for real?’” Perri says in that Twitter clip) and cries of Ex Machina.

It does look incredible—in the clip, you see Perri simply say “attack” to her screen like a gamer girl Matilda and then, after a short delay, her Elden Ring character responds by casting Rock Sling at an irritated boss. But I spent my undergrad fixing eye-tracking devices to my friends’ heads while they helped me fill my lab requirements, and I know that, although brain technology can look complicated, some of it was still easy enough for me as a 19-year-old. So I reached out to my former classmate, University of Michigan cognitive neuroscience PhD candidate Cody Cao, for his thoughts.

“EEG has really good temporal resolution,” he said, “meaning that the collected neural response to gaming stimuli is down to milliseconds. If the neural responses corresponding to available actions present vastly different neural patterns, algorithms can decode or differentiate which is which after training. Then, you play the game with EEG.”

But playing a game with your brain—something Elon Musk tried to shock the public with in 2021, when his brain-computer interface company Neuralink released a video of a monkey playing Pong using its technology—won’t give you an advantage.

Twitch Streamer Describes How She Plays Elden Ring With Her Brain

“Decoding is still janky,” Cao told me, “60 percent to 70 percent accuracy is considered pretty good,” compared to 90 to 100 percent accuracy in performing an action manually (which also requires your brain!).

“It takes algorithms a lot of training to get to an acceptable performance. They likely need to experience a lot of different examples of the same thing (like Perri saying ‘attack’ before attacking) to be able to account for a vast majority of attacks,” Cao continued. “It’s like FaceID on your iPhone—it gets better with the more examples it sees.”

Perri also emphasized in her stream today that she isn’t necessarily innovating, but bringing the possibilities of EEG usage to the general public’s attention.

“It’s not that crazy, it’s really easy to do. And it’s been done since 1988,” she said about gaming with her brain. “It’s not necessarily anything new that I’m doing, I’m just not sure that it’s very well known.” But now you know, and maybe you’ll figure out how to mind control me a grilled cheese that doesn’t hurt my stomach next.

 

Call of Duty Twitch Streamer Makes Sandwiches IRL For Sexists

Stephanie Evans is told to make a sandwich in Call of Duty.

Screenshot: Stephanie Evans / Kotaku

It’s 2023, and FPS gaming hasn’t really improved for anyone who sounds like a woman over voice chat. No matter how skilled they are, it seems inevitable that some fuckwad is going to tell the player to make a sandwich. One female Call of Duty streamer decided to respond to shitty opponents by stepping away from her game to make an actual sandwich.

Twitch streamer Stephanie Evans keeps beating men in CoD, but that doesn’t earn her any respect with the chuds who keep telling her to get in the kitchen—a misogynistic insult that seems ubiquitous to online gaming. Instead of letting it slide off her back, she would sometimes get up from her game, go to her kitchen, and make a packed lunch. Kotaku asked Evans over email if the sandwich meta would cost her any wins. She said that her antics cost her “a round or two,” but that it only further motivated her to win. Most comments came after she had already won.

“I tried to speed run making sandwiches, which took me a minute and [a half] to about two minutes. I made a full turkey [or] ham and cheese sandwich [and] packed it in a sandwich Ziploc. Then I put a side of chips and 2 water bottles combined in a bigger Ziploc. I put everything away in the fridge.” She told Kotaku that she made full lunches so that she could later donate the food packs to the local homeless.

Although she receives these insults in what she estimates are 7 out of 10 matches, Evans wrote that the sandwich jokes are actually some of the tamer things that women experience in FPS gaming. Most of the negative responses she gets are sexual assault and death threats.

“[The sandwich meta] developed into raising awareness as to what is freely said and thrown around by some of these people on video games. In the real world, this should have some sort of consequence,” she wrote. “I am also trying to bring a voice to people who are terrified to play FPS due to the toxic nature of these multiplayer games.”

Evans has been making sandwiches since she started playing the first Modern Warfare, but her “fragile men” content is more recent. Starting last November, she made a series of TikToks based on how men respond to her saying “nice try,” “calm down,” or “good job” over voice chat. Some told her to get back to the kitchen. Others told her to “shut up, bitch.” None of the clips I watched included death threats, but that definitely doesn’t mean they don’t happen. The systematic rot goes deep. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy this clip of Evans telling her opponent to “make me a house.”

Diablo IV Streamer Beats World Boss Almost Entirely Solo

Twitch streamer wudijo has done the unthinkable and beaten Diablo IV’s big world boss, Ashava the Pestilent, (mostly) by himself on the hardest difficulty. I’m stunned, especially since the dragon is already a tough challenge to face.

Read More: Diablo IV’s Beta Has Us Kinda Obsessed With Hell

German Twitch and YouTube streamer wudijo is known for playthroughs and making guides for various action-RPGs like Last Epoch and Path of Exile. Wudijo’s bread-and-butter content, though, is the Diablo series. He’s put over 9,000 hours into Diablo III, covered Diablo Immortal updates, and shared helpful Diablo II farming tips. In short, think of wudijo as the Master of Hell, having gone through Sanctuary multiple times just to see how hot it is. So, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to see him treat Diablo IV’s first world boss, the dragon queen Ashava, like a chump during last weekend’s open beta.

Locked and loaded, going in alone

In a March 26 YouTube video, wudijo showed just how he slaughtered Ashava. The world boss—located on the eastern side of the map—spawns at select intervals, giving up to 12 players just 15 minutes to descale the dragon queen. 15 minutes was all the time wudijo needed, though. With almost all of his gear being Legendary, including a crossbow that deals 457 damage and two bladed weapons that deal about 200 damage each, wudijo made relatively short work of Ashava with his Rogue. The moment Ashava climbed out of the gaping mouth in the ground, wudijo was all over her like…well, scales on a dragon. He pelted her with arrows and dodged her chomps to quickly whittle her health down. It’s impressive to witness, particularly because he fought her alone.

Solo’d Ashava World Boss, on Hardcore, Twice ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ – Diablo 4 Beta

Wudijo

As the music ramped up, the battle become more intense. Ashava, pissed as she probably was to be getting bested by just one dude, switched up her moves. She did ground slams, puked up poison that pooled on the floor, and used her massive wingspan to do wide-ranging sweep attacks, all in an attempt to put wudijo in the dirt before he did her in. Except it was far too late.

The solo kill on Ashava was “ruined”

While wudijo did defeat Ashava the Pestilent largely on his own, a random Necromancer did show up to get a couple hits in on the dragon’s last two percent of health. The help was appreciated, I’m sure, but as wudijo said during the video, the player “[ruined] my solo kill.” That’s fair. He worked hard for it. That said, Wudijo ran into the world boss again immediately after killing it. However, another Necromancer came out of the woodworks to help with just one or two attacks before dipping out of the fight like the coward they are.

Read More: Diablo IV Is The Perfect Head Empty, Kill Shit Game

The most impressive thing about the basically solo kill, though? The difficulty wudijo played on. There are different world tiers in the game, settings you can change that dictate how hard enemies are and the rewards you get for killing them. While there appear to be four available, only two were playable during Diablo IV’s open beta. Wudijo played on World Tier 2, meaning enemies hit hard but you also gain more gold and XP. On top of the world tiers, there’s also Hardcore Mode, a sort of permadeath setting in which your created character dies forever if they fall in battle. So, not only was wudijo playing on World Tier 2, he also had Hardcore Mode active during his fight with Ashava. In other words, if he made just one wrong mistake, wudijo’s Rogue would’ve been clapped to oblivion and he would’ve had to start that character class all over again. That is what leaves me stunned. Not just that he solo’d her, but that he did so on the hardest difficulty. It makes me wonder if we have a Diablo IV legend in the making…

Kotaku reached out to wudijo for comment.

For a game that required crunch to finish, Diablo IV seems to be looking really good—if the betas are anything to go by. I know I’m stoked to jump back into Hell when the game comes out on June 6. I just won’t be playing on Hardcore.

 

Destiny 2 Streamer Denies Leaking Major Changes, Banned Anyway

Big changes are coming to Destiny 2 this year and some of them leaked earlier in the month. Bungie now thinks it knows who is responsible and has taken action, banning popular Twitch streamer Ekuegan Teko-Agbo from the game he plays to make a living. The content creator says he’s innocent, however, and no one’s quite sure what to make of the entire episode.

Every so often Bungie holds a secret meeting with star players and content creators from the Destiny 2 community to preview upcoming changes and get feedback on the status of the game and its future. These summits are invite-only and heavily NDA’d, but that didn’t stop apparent screenshots of a PowerPoint presentation from the most recent one from being leaked on Discord on April 5 by a user called Freezing Dart. The slideshow seemingly revealed upcoming content, weapons, and gameplay changes. A week later, Bungie took the unprecedented step of publicly acknowledging the leak.

“Community interaction and engagement is central to Bungie and our games,” it tweeted on April 14. “For years, we’ve invited creators and other members of the community to confidential summits to provide feedback on the future of Destiny. This is a beloved part of the process, but relies heavily on trust.”

The studio went on:

Breaches of this trust could result in our inability to hold more summits. We take these breaches extremely seriously and are taking actions to reinforce our policies with those invited to these internal meetings.

It didn’t mention Ekuegan by name, but the streamer later confirmed Bungie had settled on him as the source of the leak in an interview with Forbes’ Paul Tassi. The veteran player renowned in the community for his skill and achievements in the game said he would no longer play it following the ban and proceeded to delete some VODs of past Destiny 2 streams. Still, he says he’s innocent and has no knowledge of the leak, despite virtually attending the summit in question.

What appears to have Ekuegan fingered as the leaker are desktop icons in the leaked computer screenshots that match his own. He told Tassi that was the explanation Bungie gave him, and he even suggested he may have been framed. “I’m in so many NDAs [at the moment], why would I breach any? It’s part of the job,” Ekuegan told Tassi. “I spent 14,000 hours on this game, multiple hours helping people in Grandmasters.”

One possibility is that the leaks were expertly photoshopped to incriminate Ekuegan despite coming from someone else. Another possibility is that someone else used his computer to produce the leak. That’s Tassi’s theory, and it would square people’s perception of Ekuegan as an honest and dedicated figure in the Destiny 2 community with whatever evidence Bungie has. It would still constitute a breach of his NDA, but it would make more sense than Ekuegan potentially blowing up his career to momentarily and secretly impress a small Discord channel.

Ekuegan didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Other big Destiny 2 streamers and content creators have similarly been in disbelief. I’ve seen Ekuegan as nothing but kind to me & the community,” wrote Gladd. “He’s a pillar. I trust him; take it for what it’s worth. At the VERY least, Bungie needs to look at this more closely.” Destiny 2 lore YouTuber Byf was more concise: “No clue what to think. Whole situation sucks.”

It’s not clear when or if any answers will be forthcoming. Bungie hasn’t elaborated beyond its initial two tweets, and didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

In the meantime, Ekuegan is still streaming other games and said he’s working on clearing his name. “I have gotten to a place where I am happy with who I am in life,” he tweeted. “I personally know the truth, I know who I am and I’m happy knowing it. Only God can judge me.”

Update 4/17/23 10:24 p.m. ET: Bungie released a new statement late Monday night saying it had “irrefutable evidence” showing a pattern of Ekuegan leaking confidential information about Destiny 2 for multiple years now.

“We are very disappointed to have learned this information and wish that things had gone differently with this person,” the studio wrote. “We do not take these actions lightly, and we are confident in our decision. This is our final communication on the matter.”

           

Bank Denies Twitch Streamer After Applying As Adult Entertainer

United Kingdom-based variety streamer Poopernoodle, or Lou, wasn’t exactly sure whether or not being a human adult with a Twitch channel qualified her as an “online adult entertainer” until she described herself as such on a bank application and was swiftly denied.

“A few months ago, I applied to a very popular bank that allows you to use your card overseas,” she said during a recent stream. “It asked me what my occupation was, and nothing really fit the bill apart from […] ‘adult online entertainer,’ and I ticked that.”

She starts laughing at the memory. “I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s what I am. I’m an adult, and I entertain people online, and then it immediately rejected me.”

She tells me over Twitter DM that she didn’t realize “adult entertainer” was a euphemism for “sex worker” until talking about the situation with her mom, who pointed it out to her.

“I was mad, because if they meant sex worker, then why didn’t they just write ‘sex worker!’” she said. “I’m not a sex worker myself, but it opened my eyes to how it sucks for sex workers to get a bank account.”

It also reinforced how, after a decade of online influencers breaching mainstream culture through brand deals and Disney Channel, the bureaucratic powers that be still don’t really know what the hell “influencing” is.

“It’s pretty awkward explaining the job to people,” Lou said. “[The bank application] gave me a drop down list of job options to choose from, and they were all very like socially accepted jobs, like ‘dentist assistant’. There was no option for ‘streamer,’ or ‘broadcaster,’ or anything like that.”

Other members of the unconventional job field related to Lou’s confusion.

“I tried to explain to people that I streamed in the past in a way which sounded almost identical [to calling myself an ‘adult entertainer’],” said one Twitter user. “It was always really awkward when their response/tone made it clear they misunderstood.”

When in doubt, go for “self-employed,” or even better, “an accountant.”

 

Gamers Check Skulls After Twitch Streamer Finds Headphone Dent

For today’s edition of “Things You Might Want To Worry About,” we bring you the story of a streamer who discovered his many hours of wearing a gaming audio headset has left an indent on his scalp. Subsequent discussion revealed that many other gamers have experienced the same. Go ahead and have a look at your head in the mirror now, I’ll wait.

During a June 3 charity stream for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, streamer Curtoss shaved his head in support of the charity and, to his complete shock, discovered a headset-shaped indent right at the top of his skull. His decidedly dented head and his reaction to it swiftly caught the attention of other streamers and gamers who’ve either experienced or worried about the same thing. It turns out that the issue is a bit more widespread than one might’ve thought.

“Dude, I have an indent like right here,” Curtoss said when he first caught sight of the new shape of his head. As gentle, mood-setting house music played in the background, he continued: “This is where my headphones go! I have a fucking headphone indent on my head! What the fuck? I always thought that was just my hair!”

But as it turns out, Curtoss is far from alone with this issue. As a Reddit thread discusses, the issue of cranial indents caused by headphones has been raised by others in the past. One reply surfaced a video from two years ago in which streamer Nickmercs revealed the results of his occupational hazard.

Nickmercs / Den Top 10

Another Reddit thread from three years ago also goes into the phenomenon, as does this five-year old Reddit thread.

But as many have observed on Reddit and Twitter, it’s highly unlikely that headsets are actually altering the shape of anyone’s skull. It takes around 297 pounds of pressure to cause damage to the human skull, according to one study. So what we’re seeing in these examples is the result of the headset pushing down on fat and soft tissue, or is nothing more than the natural shape of some people’s heads. Any indentation would likely go away with a bit of massaging and a long enough break from wearing a headset.

And while you may worry about the shape of your head being altered from wearing headphones for prolonged periods of time, as someone who suffers from tinnitus I can tell you the real danger is to your hearing. Please folks, watch the volume on these things.

Fortnite Twitch Streamer Hits Max Rank By Just Hiding

My fellow slackers, bohemians, and those who’ve made a point of getting through difficult challenges in life by exerting the least amount of effort, I bring you a success story. Recently, a streamer has climbed to the top of Fortnite’s competitive ranks by camping in the bushes and hugging the circle to victory.

Mega-popular shooter Fortnite is a prime opportunity for players to show off their skills. As a battle royale game, the objective is clear: be the last person standing in a fight to the death. And with a wide array of weapons, vehicles, and traversal options, as well as the freedom to build, there’re a lot of ways to approach a fight. But for those who aren’t as confident in their skills, or who feel less confrontational, it’s perfectly acceptable to play it safe, waiting for ambush opportunities or for other players to kill each other before you proceed. And that’s exactly what streamer bushcampdad has done. Mostly playing by camping while he also does work on a different computer, he’s hit the enviable rank of Unreal.

Streamer hits top rank in Fortnite and says: ’Well, now what?’

Bushcampdad hit Unreal rank on June 15, placing in the top 30,000 players with the same rank. Amusingly, he didn’t even hit this rank by scoring a Victory Royale in the match that put him there, but rather placed fifth (which is still an accomplishment). Behold these strats.

Playing with an alien outfit, bushcampdad simply sits in the bushes, recreationally drinkin’ some shield potions. He gets sniped shortly after hiding out. However, in the post-game wrap up, he managed to crack Champion status, hitting Unreal. To which he said: “Well now what? I’m ranked 28,960th? I guess? […] I wonder if I can keep climbing.”

Just who is bushcampdad?

Hitting Unreal rank is impressive no matter the strat. However, bushcampdad makes no claim of being great at the game. His Twitch bio reads: “I’m 50 and I have 2 boys, 17 and 15. I’m not good at Fortnite. I camp while I work on my laptop.” As you can see, bushcampdad’s stats on fortnitetracker.com tell a pretty amusing story. But while he mostly gets by with zero eliminations, he has managed to get a few kills on unsuspecting opponents.

So there you have it. Sure, pulling off multiple kills with high-performance strats is fun. But have you considered that you could just not? Bushcampdad sure did. Bravo, sir. Bravo.

Twitch Streamer Made Zelda Ocarina Chat Can Play While He Pees

Gif: Nintendo / nutty / Kotaku

What do you do when a Twitch streamer you’re watching needs a bio break? Chat, of course! Well, one streamer has implemented something even better than that: A playable ocarina from The Legend of Zelda that can be accessed via stream chat.

Twitch streamer and OBS content creator nutty showed off their latest creation on Twitter, and it’s pretty impressive.The chat-controlled ocarina is capable of playing actual songs from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. By typing in prompts that match what you’d input on an actual N64 controller, notes will display on stream via an overlaid music staff while an animated Link moves along to the song. And, if you type in a sequence of controls that matches a song from the original game, it will play through the whole song. Pretty neat, huh? You can see it in action here:

As they discuss in the video, nutty not only had to code this entire widget to work with their stream chat but they also had to create the PNGs of the “notes” to sit on the score. You can see the ocarina in action during this stream:

Elsewhere in that very stream, nutty reveals more of what went into bringing the ocarina widget to life. The notes and staff were traced from screenshots of the game using Affinity Designer, and the animated Link that bops along to the music was pulled directly from in-game footage using rotoscoping. The rotoscoping alone added around11 extra hours of work to an already extensive process. Together, it all works as an OBS widget available via their Patreon if you want to incorporate it into your next stream.

Everything is triggered via Streamer.bot, which looks for inputs from Twitch, such as follows or chat entries, and then executes specific commands. Then using that in conjunction with original code written in C#, the inputs from the chat trigger notes to be shown and played on stream.

From the visual elements to the actual coding, the widget is a damn impressive piece of work and a fun way to pass the time in between stream breaks.

Diablo 4 Streamer Starts Season With Permadeath After 50 Hours

Season 1 of Diablo IV is officially underway with tons of new content like an extensive battle pass, more enemy types, a unique questline, and more. But the threat of server disconnects, which can wipe out your whole character if you’re playing on hardcore mode, looms. And Twitch streamer wudijo was reminded of that danger when a dreaded—but brief—power outage murdered his Season 1 hardcore Rogue. This is part of the reason why players have been begging Activision Blizzard to offer an offline mode.

Read More: First Diablo 4 Fan At Hardcore Level 100 Perma-Killed In Worst Way Possible

You might remember wudijo, a German Twitch streamer and YouTuber, from earlier this year. Months before Diablo IV dropped, he was already making a name for himself in the game’s community for basically soloing a world boss in a March open beta. He made headlines in other ways as well, becoming the first player to reach level 100 all by himself in the game’s hardcore mode and attempting one of Diablo IV’s toughest encounters only to die in the end. Now, he’s back with another bummer of a death as his nearly level 100 Rogue was sent to the Hall of Fallen Heroes when his July 21 livestream abruptly crashed.

An unfortunate way to lose a Diablo IV character

After streaming for nearly 24 hours on World Tier 4, the game’s hardest difficulty called “Torment,” wudijo entered a nightmare dungeon version of Dead Man’s Dredge. As the name suggests, nightmare dungeons are harder dungeon variants that become available in World Tier 3 after completing the main campaign and the first Capstone Dungeon. They provide greater rewards like more experience points, better loot, and heaps of gold, making them excellent farming opportunities if you’re looking for more of a challenge.

So, wudijo was in for a beating off the rip, but his rogue was doing tens of thousands of damage. In the midst of a tense battle with a mosh pit of ghouls and goblins, wudijo’s stream randomly cut to blue, then came back up after a few seconds. Once back, wudijo greeted the chat, logged back into the game, and was met with a message saying that his character was sent to the remembrance hall, a place to honor characters who’ve fallen in battle.

After some initial confusion about what happened and how he died, wudijo confirmed to his chatters (who were spamming “F” in the chat) that he lost power for about two seconds. This is what appears to have caused the unfortunate server disconnect which ultimately killed his character.

Wudijo tweeted on July 22 that he sunk almost 50 hours into his level 93 Rogue. He had fully completed the main campaign and had almost 43 million gold before he his untimely demise, and his on-screen stats suggest his character was killed by a revenant, an armor-clad, sword-wielding monster you’d typically find in dungeons around Sanctuary—though we know otherwise.

This is another example of Diablo IV’s server disconnects racking up a body count, as the predicament killed other hardcore characters this year. Though this disconnect was not Blizzard’s fault, it’s a reminder that without some sort of failsafe to prevent temporary blips from wiping hardcore characters, this can and will keep happening to players sinking dozens of hours into Diablo IV.

Kotaku reached out to Activision Blizzard and wudijo for comment.

Read More: Diablo IV Player Can’t Believe What Just Perma-Killed His 172-Hour Druid

This comes just as Activision Blizzard kicked off the Diablo IV’s first season with some important changes and upcoming fixes, particularly around the bad menu that’s been causing players to accidentally buy the battle pass. Things have been pretty rocky for the loot-grinding RPG as of late, with Activision Blizzard promising to address community concerns around player power.

 

Survivor Streamer Ruins Permadeath Run In Worst Way

A Twitch streamer ended his Star Wars Jedi: Survivor permadeath run somewhat controversially after taking fall damage. The streamer, GoodGame_Ethan, already went through the (time-consuming, grind-heavy) trouble of acquiring every skill point in the first level. And though the fall isn’t what ultimately “killed” him, he decided to call it quits, anyway.

As GamesRadar notes, some Jedi: Survivor players won’t even “acquire every skill in the game even after well over 20 hours.” Losing that type of substantial game progress after failing to meet the requirements of your permadeath run—if you die, you have to restart the game—is the kind of missed opportunity you can feel from the bottom of your gamer heart, even if you’ve never attempted to do something similar.

But people on Reddit, where Ethan posted clips of both his maxed-out, tutorial-level skill tree, and his death, believe that neither empathy nor earnest condolences are in order. The video of Ethan’s (alleged) run-destroying fall shows protagonist Cal faltering mid-air after a Stormtrooper shoots at him. He plummets to the ground, and a black screen fades in before Cal respawns, standing where he was before he jumped, though he’s missing a chunk of health.

At this moment, Ethan drops the controller and lies on the ground with his hands over his face, inconsolable at what he interprets to be a full-on character death. Cal, with his operator occupied by desolation, stands around being useless, soaking up more Stormtrooper hits before keeling over and dying for real.

This is what some redditors take issue with: falling in Jedi: Survivor won’t kill you; it only damages you.

“Wait, dude? You killed yourself,” a top comment says. “You don’t die from falling off cliffs, you just take fall damage. [But] when you restarted they [blastered] you to death.”

“No, it’s a true permadeath run,” Ethan replied. “That definitely counts. I wouldn’t say respawning with less health isn’t a death.”

After users in the comments continued to downvote and take issue with Ethan’s logic, he layed down the law: “I get to make up whatever I want to do. And what I want to do is hardcore roleplay. Just like real life.” Amen, brother.

 

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