For a Gore Prosperous Tomorrow

My criticism here would be how this timeline some events still followed OTL and not seeing enough of the butterfly effects of how they should be changed in this TL.
Well, the butterfly net exists for a reason. I reckon a fair bit of stuff changes, but not sure what, so I try and choose events that serve as kind of a good correlation and so on.

I'm not gonna randomly have people die in like car crashes or what not. And changes have been happening, such as with Syria and Iraq among other things that are coming. It's just that it is unfolding over time.
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McCain Administration Autumn 2011
Autumn 2011

"Hurricanes and wildfires, ho man..."

"RIP Steve Jobs..."

"Boldly go, Mars Rover"

The end of summer and the beginning of fall came about, yet it proved that the beginning of the new decade was still filled with surprises, the bad kind of surprises for many people though... The end of August saw some more storms come about to cause trouble for the East Coast. And that was through Hurricane Irene, a rare hurricane that drove North up the mid-atlantic and Northeast coast. 9 million homes lose power. Total Caribbean and U. S. fatalities and flooding damage are 55 dead and US$10 billion respectively. The New England state of Vermont suffers its worst flooding in 100 years. Overall, the storm was a brutal pain for people to overcome and added troubles for people struggling in a sluggish economy, especially since it seemed the stimulus package did little, with the McCain Administration being pressured to try and do another stimulus package on the economy alongside with more assistance for the storms. Furthermore, there were more disasters beyond the wrath of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. The Bastrop County Complex fire was the most destructive wildfire in Texas history, striking areas of Bastrop County in September and October 2011. The vitriolic reaction toward the government because of budget cuts for services while conflicts for FEMA occured as a result. This unsurprisingly set off trouble over for the political sides as trying to decide how much is enough for this. The bipartisanship is cracking from the disaster though for now, there was no populist yet to rock the boat for now. There were some voices growing for reform such as Senators Obama, Sanders and Feingold calling for more to be done and stoking the flames of frustration at the government. Furthermore, there was the fact for who would be running for presidency. Perhaps out of fear for losing the White House after such a short time, the Republicans worked to maintain unity though with the growing number of younger ecoconservatives and former Democrats, said unity was achieved by going further center. Democrats meanwhile saw the cracks develop further between the moderates and the growing progressives. It was 10 years since 9/11 and while most of those years seemed alight with optimism and hope from the Gore Administration, the McCain Administration seemed to be haunted with disasters they were not handling because of ideological policy though some questioned whethered Gore would've done better...


CH-47 Chinook helicopter from the Texas Army National Guard using Bambi Bucket to dump water on a blaze near Bastrop; September 6, 2011.

As people struggle and pick up from the scene, some starlingly tech news hits the mainstream. That of the death of Apple founder, Steve Jobs. With the death of such an industry magnate especially being only 56, it sent bombshells. Many have wondered if anything could've been done regarding his health though some noted that Jobs' health was likely impacted by the Great Recession related to stress along with managing Pixar with his work in Apple. Unsurprisingly, his death sent a shockwave of condolences and grievances were sent by people who knew Jobs and the nation at large. Unsurprisingly it included big names like Steve Wozniak, who noted that he began repairing his friendship with Steve Jobs after multiple meetings and invitations during the Gore Adminsitration's meetings for the various tech heads and newcomers to discuss the growing importance of computers and the internet and by his death, they were closer than they had been in many years and thus part of the small private funeral for Jobs. Speaking of, former President Gore also sent words of kindness on his passing while President McCain himself announced condolences. Disney themselves had the flags lowered in half-mast in respect over Jobs and discussions over the future of Pixar was being discussed overall with it along with future endeavors. Lucas was invited to take on a more predominant role back at Pixar, which he declined though he did not he would give some input on who should come next. Notably, John Lasseter declined from the role and James "Jim" Morris would become the new CEO of Pixar for the time being. Pixar noted it would maintain its professional relationship with Disney though the issue regarding Lasseter did mean that more than a few Pixar animators and associated joined up with Disney to help bolster their CGI-specific animation studio, formerly known as Circle 7 Animation. Initially planned to create Pixar sequels in the event of a potential Disney-Pixar fallout (avoided due to Eisner being forced out with Iger taking over, but cirumstances leading to contract negotiations rather than fully purchasing the company, giving Pixar a better deal to avoid losing them), they instead served as "back-up" animators for Pixar films though they did release various shorts and played a key role in Wally's Secret Life's CGI aspect though Pixar got more credit. Disney released Pixar's The Incredibles II this year, and the final film that Jobs oversaw as Pixar. It focused on Helen Parr regarding heroics while Bob was with reconnecting with his kids; both dealing with the Super Relocation Act, the film was a large critique of McCarthyism, propaganda and the industrial-military complex, through its two villains, Mezmerella, a powerful hypnotist and archenemy of Elastigirl along with Xerek, a two hundred year old criminal kingpin who was implied to have been a financial backer of Syndrome. The film served as a strong reassurance given to employees and fans that cooperation would remain well between the two companies.


Flags flying at half-staff outside Apple HQ in Cupertino, on the evening of Jobs' death

Throughout the chaos and disaster, there was a spirit of determination to try and keep moving forward and overcoing the adversity. Even with the passing of Jobs, Apple contiues to go forward with innovation. Even with the budget cuts of the McCain Administration, renewable energy technologies and other ecologically friendly solutions are being researched. And more of all, the search for the quest into space has not yet been lost. This is seen with NASA launching the Mars Science Laboratory into space. A robotic space probe mission, the craft is carrying with it the new Mars rover, Curiosity. The overall objectives include investigating Mars' habitability, studying its climate and geology, and collecting data for a human mission to Mars. The rover carries a variety of scientific instruments designed by an international team. Concerns regarding the project were discussed, but a bulk of the work was done under the Gore Adminsitration and finishing touches put upon before the Recession so as such, they were so close to completion that the McCain Administration noted that cancelling would mean all the money already put in would be for naught. The lab and rover was launched, witht he expected landing being summer of the next year.


Mars Science Laboratory in final assembly
Blue Blur of a Decade
A Blue Blur of a Decade

2011 became a notable year in video games, namely for it being the 20th birthday of one of the most prolific mascots of the medium, Sonic the Hedgehog. Coincidentally, it has been a decade since the merger between SEGA and Microsoft Operations and thus, having the Blur Blur move in to become the mascot for Microsoft's line of video game consoles along with a shift in regards to the design of the game. Sonic has always had a large Western approach and following and perhaps moving him to the Xbox seemed perfect, especially as over time, they gained the sort of older sort of teenage gamer that likely grew up with him. It had a large benefit as Microsoft Ops' funds helped out with SEGA and the Xbox was able to do much better than expected in Japan thanks to SEGA games on the machine, especially games like the Yakuza franchise. However, Sonic remained the top prize within for SEGA and Microsoft and SEGA celeberated with Sonic Generations, a game celeberating the Blue Blur. While the classics were venerated like usual, the newer stuff was also given a chance to shine and people used to look back at the last 10 years since that fateful moment

Xboxes and... Cubes?
After the purchase, perhaps the strangest thing were SEGA games on Nintendo consoles. This came about due to a prior deal already establish to have some Sonic games and a couple other SEGA cames on Nintendo consoles. When SEGA merged with Microsoft Ops, the deal was maintained with the thing being used as testing grounds for when the games would be ported onto the Xbox.

The main Sonic games ported were Sonic Adventure 2 and later Sonic Adventure DX. The first would be called Sonic Adventure 2: Battle for the Gamecube while on the Xbox it would be called Sonic Adventure 2X. It was much like the original Sonic Adventure 2, though while Battle would have GBA connectivity with the Chao Garden and Sonic Advance, 2X would have boosted graphics to make the game look slicker along with sounding nicer and playing a bit smoother. The same was said for Sonic Adventure DX, a port of the original Sonic Adventure onto the Nintendo GameCube, though for the Xbox it was Sonic Adventure 1X, where it got a beefier bost in graphics, noting for makign the characters speaking look nicer. The last being Sonic Mega Collection, a compliation of classic Sonic games that was brought onto the Gamecube and Xbox to be enjoyed. The collection in question contained Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic 3, Sonic & Knuckles, Sonic CD, Knuckles Chaotix, Tails Adventure, and Tails Skypatrol. The games were chosen to give a strong selection of Sonic games for both consoles, especially since for Nintendo. Nintendo would have some games for the handhelds as well, that being the aforementioned Sonic Advance 1 and Sonic Advance 2. Both were for the Gameboy Advance though they were later called Sonic 4 and Sonic 5 when they were released on Xbox Live as they were considered to be very popular games and comparable to the original Sonic games. Cream the Rabbit was welcomed for her unique mechanics and capablities and people enjoyed playing as Amy. The Xbox versions did add more contents and tweaked level design, especially for Sonic 5, which saw reduced amount of rails and more diverse levels.

Of course, Microsoft and SEGA began showing what they can do with their first enw game for the Xbox, Sonic Heroes. The game featured 4 trios as they went to stop Eggman and actually Metal Sonic in his plan to try and take over the world. The game was quite the success with its unique mechanics and bringing back the Chaotix trio with their comical antics. Moreover came the sequel to Sonic The Fighters, Sonic Battle. It introduced a new character in Emerl, a robot known as the Gizoid that was connected to an ancient civilziation that vanished 4000 years ago before being restored and abandoned by Eggman. Sonic discovers it and bonds with the robot, trying to help discover the secrets of it with Tails. Besides Emerl and Sonic himself, the playable characters included Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Cream, Shadow and Rouge along with some surprise such as the return of Nack the Weasel, Bean the Dynamite and Bark the Polar Bear, this time as a trio of bounty hunters though more the latter two trying to keep Nack out of trouble. Emerl copied many of their fighting styles and grew as a person in getting the Chaos Emeralds. However, the game ended in surprising tragedy as Eggman drove Emerl overloaded with powers and forced Sonic to defeat him, with Emerl terminating his program after becoming too much of a threat. The game won a surprising number of people over for the battling mechanics, the co-op mode and the storyline showing the various characters' battle styles and perspectives, especiall Nack's blaster use or Bean's explosives.

Other Sonic games included the Sonic Riders Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic GEMS Collection, which included various Sonic spin-offs within it such as Sonic R, Sonic the Fighters and Sonic Labyrinth though also with some more pleasant surprises such as a few non-Sonic SEGA games and Sonic 4 and Sonic 5 released on there for those preferring hard copies. Another was Sonic Rush, an Xbox Live game. Named because of the new "Boost" mechanic introduced, the new game had Sonic meet up with the mysterious Blaze the Cat, the Princess of the far-off land of Soleanna. As Princess, she must guard the Flame of Solaris, a powerful mystic flame said to hold unlimited power of the sun. Sonic meets her when she follows Eggman who steals it to try and power up a monstrous new machine and she grows to accept his help along with that of his friends, notably Cream the Rabbit. The player went through two routes, getting assistance from the other characters and the final batle including Blaze getting her own Super form through the Chaos Emeralds. Many found the game engaging though wished it was a main release rather than a spinoff. Many believed it was the lead-up to something bigger though...

360 Revolution
The introduction of the Xbox 360 brought the beast up and nearly dominated the console war of that era, narrowly losing to the Nintendo Wii with its motion graphics. However, it still outcompeted well against the Playstation 3. The first game to come out on the 360 for Sonic was another Xbox Live game, Sonic Rivals. It was a racing game and done as a bit of a test to see if it would be good to try and do that into the swing of things. The racers were Sonic, Shadow, Blaze, Knuckles and Metal Sonic. The heroes can race across various tracks to claim the various prizes at the end, whether it be Chaos Emeralds or pieces of the Master Emerald, with the plot being instigated by the Eggrobo, who rebuilt himself and used the races as a distraction to try and take over Eggman's robots and uses the power of the Chaos Emeralds.

However, aroud 2006, would be the 15th Birthday game, Sonic the Hedgehog Revolution. It was a massive transition for the series as it took the elements of the previous Adventure games and brought them to the peak. A love letter to the franchise, players chose Sonic, Tails, Knuckles or Amy going through various unique stages tailored to unique playstyles. The plot was relatively simple in comparison, but still memorable in its exceution. Dr. Eggman has acquired all the Chaos Emeralds and used them to begin powering up his largest army as robot-building centers powered by them were built and implemented to try ad grow. The story has Sonic and his friends travel across the world to reclaim the Chaos Emeralds and liberate the areas, all while Eggman awaits them in his official fortress, the one that has been foreshadowed since Sonic Adventure I... Eggmanland. Many fans adored the execellent execution of the games' mechanics and a return to form after the questionable decisions of last year's Shadow the Hedgehog. They praised the mechanics and level design along with the character interactions as they reminscence on stopping Eggman. The stages were wide and expansive, being heavily inspired by past Sonic stages. However, the variety of characters meant that there many ways for each character to go through the same stage though with different routes or even redesigns of the stages. Many have called it "classic 2D Sonic game in three dimensions.) Each one of them possessing unique abilities to traverse the level and solve certain unique levels to them.

Of course, this was not the only fun to be had on the Xbox 360. Sonic Riders Zero Gravity, sequel to Sonic Riders, was enjoyed even more by simplifying some of the game aspects while given more links to how Eggman earns his funds, through corporations as fronts in constructing robots for all sorts of purposes. Another Xbox live game was a sequel to Sonic Rush, with the return and expansion of the new "Boost" mechanic, Sonic Rush II. Blaze the Cat returns and tries to stop Captain Whiskers and his band of robotic pirates who have been targeted the Cane of Jewels, a magical artifact that helps control the seas. When Whiskers breakts it, it sends the land into chaos, causing Soleanna to split into smaller islands. Blaze is saved by Marine the Raccoon, a sailor who fishes her out of the water and upon seeing the state of her land, she travels to recruit Sonic for his help against Whiskers alongside Tails (who Marine gains an admiration for.) It's revealed that Eggman built Whiskers and his robot pirates to try and claim the Cane of Jewels to understand its power with Tails finding out by comparising the designs. Another game was a sequel to Sonic Rivals with Sonic Rivals 2. Of course, Sonic appeared in other games such as SEGA Tennis Superstars and more notably in Super Smash Bros Brawl for the Nintendo Wii. However, yet another game, albeit a bit controversial was Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. Another Xbox Live game, it was known for being a remarkably fascinating Sonic RPG that built on the cosmos of the world along with several shoutouts to the Archie comic. This would land the game in some trouble regarding the comics though when Microsoft began shifting their weight around, the whole ordeal ended quick though it did lead to some rammifications in the future. However, the RPG was still good as players controlled various Sonic characters exploring the Twilight Cage, a mysterious zone where powerful alien races were exiled, including the long-gone rivals to the Knuckles clan, including Shade, one who joins up. It's later revealed that they were the ones who created Emerl as their ultimate Gizoid and it's implied that its power was the final straw to get them kicked out.

Afterwards there was the long-awaited Sonic Adventure III. The plot had Eggman awaken the dark spirit of the land, Dark Gaia to rein havoc on the world by draining the Chaos Emeralds of power in order to bolster his forces and plan to coerce the world nations to bow to him to stop the madness. The game also followed in its predecessor games to have multiple characters in dealing with the Gaia Crisis in differing approaches with help fro Sonic's new friend, Chip, later revealed to be Light Gaia. The eight playable characters being Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Shadows, E-123 Omega, Rogue and surprisingly Blaze the Cat in her full 3D view. The game has four different play styles between the 8 characters with subtle differences between the two for comparisons. Sonic and Shadow play much like they do in Sonic Adventure 2 though with a couple of differing tricks. Tails returns in his Cyclone walker with his and Omega's levels being run-and-gun levels. Knuckles and Rouge focused on exploration and treasure-hunting in expansive levels while Amy and Blaze meanwhile have platforming levels using their unique tricks to navigate like Amy and her hammer or Blaze's fire powers. The characters' stories are different, depending on their goals. Sonic and Shadow (the latter by order of GUN) are trying to reach the Gaia Temples to activate them, Tails and Omega are assisting by combating Eggman's robots and gathering intel, Knuckles and Rouge go to investigate (Knuckles because of how the Master Emerald detected the awakening and Rouge by GUN as well) and find out more on the Manuscripts while Amy and Blaze go out to help out (Blaze goes because her nation got endangered by Dark Gaia while Amy goes to save Sonic.) Other aspects included a day and night cycle which affected the levels in navigation. Like its prequel, it also had some fun mini-games and racing.

And of course, as the twilight is coming, there were other games like Sonic All-Stars Racing, Sonic Free Riders and more notably, Dance Central Sonic Style. Said to be inspired from the Nintendo GameCube's Dance Dance Revolution Mario Mix, it was done as a fun dancing game using the Xbox360 Kinect for people to enjoy dancing too and having alot of fun. And of course, there is Sonic Colors, which show a more classic return to form and returning a greater sense of humor between them and focusing on Sonic and Tails against Eggman while introducing the Wisps as new alien allies and power-ups for them to use to stop Eggman's plans along with running into plans. Most of all is of course, Sonic Generations, the game released for the 20th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog. After the end of Colors, Eggman ended up in a place beyond time and space and would end up coming across some sort of "Time Eater" which he managed to get under his control with his past self. However, a mysterious figure is introduced to stop him, Silver the Hedgehog. A powerful psychic and watcher over time, he is flung into the past and meets up with Sonic on his birthday. The two alongside Sonic's younger counterpart work to try and navigate through the "Timeless Zone" to various aspects of the past to rescue Sonic's friends. It also sprinkled hints on Silver's backstory such as the reveal that he used to guard the Time Stones on Little Planet before using them to deal with the Time Eater With their defeat and Sonic celeberating his birthday, Silver decides to return to his duty of watching voer time, but promising to come buy every now and then. Alot of people had fun with Classic Sonic's 2D levels and Modern Sonic's levels though the real fun was with Silver, who many wished to see be playable in the future with his psychic powers.

Beyond the Consoles
Of course, Sonic's reach was far outside of video games and Microsoft for the most part did have some influence in the affairs of Sonic beyond video games. First and foremost was in television. The three Sonic the hedgehog television series did pretty well so why not another one? This led to the creation of Sonic X, a Sonic anime though having both Japanese and American influences. While Microsoft did not handle much of the affairs, they did have the American offices have more influence on it, especially in what would make them appealing to Western audiences. It was a pretty good success, all things considered. Sonic X was in essence, an animated adaptation of many of the classic Sonic games though expanded upon for greater characterization and world-building. Overall, it became a fondly remembered show for its mix of zany action and surprising heartwarming moments.

Of course, beyond the silver screen, there was the comics, which was a bit more controversial. While a Sonic manga was released that functioned like Sonic X (being a retelling of the classic Sonic games albeit with more references to the Japanese material and more obscure source material such as the Tails standalone games), the Sonic Archie comics were among the big surprising point. Or rather namely because of the Penders lawsuit that occurred after the release of Sonic Chronicles: Dark Brotherhood due to the similarity of certain characters introduced there to the ones in the comics. However, when Microsoft began flexing their legal muscles regarding an artist trying to claim his fan-based creations and the growing widespread condemnation of Penders over threatening the Archie comics, he settled out of court. One final event was written and controversy rose when Archie ended their deal with SEGA and they headed to IDW to publish the new stuff. However, people were assured that favorites like Sally Acorn and the others of SatAM would be coming back. The Sonic IDW run began in was viewed as a spiritual sequel though as while it did contain elements of the SatAM cartoon, it also contained reimaginings of charactrs from the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and of course, characters introduced from the video games. While there was a good deal of hesitation and reluctance, the IDW has built up a good following for reintroducing or reinventing some of the characters.

What Lies Ahead
Sonic has been doing surprisingly well since moving in with Microsoft and many wonder what the future holds. There is of course the next main Sonic game coming onto the Xbox 360's successor coming out in 2013 and rumors are circulating whether if Sonic will be in the next Smash game or if it was a one time thing. Other rumors have been HD remasterings of Sonic Adventure 1X and 2X for the next consoles. Of course, whatever the future will hold, it looks like it will be pretty great, all things considered.
Any thoughts or reflections on it?
Other than the fact that I'm glad that having a company with a stake in hardware means that they have the motivation to keep making good games.

While I'm sad to see the Archie Sonic comics go, as they were a big part of my childhood, I'm glad the new IDW comics aren't throwing out the SatAM characters.

The Microsoft Operations/Sega merger needs a name. I'm leaning towards Sega not only because I'm a fanboy but because Microsoft Operations is a clunky name.
Other than the fact that I'm glad that having a company with a stake in hardware means that they have the motivation to keep making good games.

While I'm sad to see the Archie Sonic comics go, as they were a big part of my childhood, I'm glad the new IDW comics aren't throwing out the SatAM characters.

The Microsoft Operations/Sega merger needs a name. I'm leaning towards Sega not only because I'm a fanboy but because Microsoft Operations is a clunky name.

Microsoft Operations was the name given to the hardware aspect of Microsoft after their division, the other company being Microsoft Applications now MSApps.
Microsoft Operations was the name given to the hardware aspect of Microsoft after their division, the other company being Microsoft Applications now MSApps.

While it may be my inner fanboy talking, I still think that "Sega" is a snappier name than "Microsoft Operations". Or has Microsoft Operations gone back to simply "Microsoft"?
While it may be my inner fanboy talking, I still think that "Sega" is a snappier name than "Microsoft Operations". Or has Microsoft Operations gone back to simply "Microsoft"?
Microsoft is the bigger company, even with the split. My guess is that people refer to them mainly as Microsoft or Microsoft Ops on occasion. SEGA meanwhile refers mainly to well, SEGA. I'm not well-versed in business, but I suppose one can say Microsoft is SEGA's parent company I suppose. SEGA mainly do their own thing, but are a fair bit more influenced by the West in varying degrees in terms of audience aim and direction.

Granted, the western stuff is mainly Sonic and the other things also do fairly well and help Microsoft quite a bit.
2011 in Reflection
2011 In Review

2011 pushed plenty of people's patience to the growing limit. The year showed a relentless barrage of blizzards, storms and hurricanes against the United States and natural disasters around the world seem to be a grim reminder of the raw force of nature. It also showed the failure of some governments to be willing to fully shell out the funds to rebuild or support the communities and turning more toward more potentially radical solutions. The economic growth was pretty stagnant and people began looking for blame in somewhere and the growing amount was toward the banks and the governments that enabled them, especially after Iceland's successful governmental change after the issues regarding the bailouts. For many prominent leftists, they saw this as their time to shine. To try and reclaim what was lost in the years of neoconservatism and neoliberalism, especially with the rise of environmentalism as well. Regardless of what may come, the old guard came crumbling and there was growing divisions. There was those clamoring for the good ol days associated with people like Tony Blair or Al Gore. Others were wondering if they were not enough to really solve the problems. There were a few reactionary elements, but there were little incentive to lean there, especially with the terrorist attack in Norway, mainly being a homegrown one. The new decade was marked with turmoil yet opportunity. Unsurprisingly, the year filled with storms and propaganda fueled the pseudohistorical 2012 phenomena.

Furthermore, across the world, the remnants of the Arab Spring played out in war with the last of the Baathist powers and the Americans with their Middle East coalition stepped in to bring order and stability, especially with Iraq's callous attack and the civil war/anarchy of Syria, especially with the death of Assad. The end of the year saw the old states of Iraq and Syria fall with efforts heing discussed how to restore the nations along with the likelihood of new nations coming out. A Kurdish state, maybe even an Assyrian state. Iraq divided among Shia and Sunni along with what else could be done with Syria. Various voting options were being implemented and planned and the painful reminder of the paperwork and logisitics required for proper governing returned to the mainstream The recession continued to drag on with some nations recovering sooner than others. One noteworthy nation was Canada, who defied conventions by electing the NDP and Prime Minister Jack Layton, sticking out among the otherwise conservative-headed Anglosphere. Meanwhile, other places were faring better than most others in regards to the Recession such as China, whom many note of interest given that within a couple of years will have a new leader. Several candidates have been floated, but among the people of interesting were Li Keqiang, Xi Jinpeng and Bo Xilai in regards to potential future leaders, especially the latter two as they're considered rising stars.

Pop culture meanwhile began reflecting the slightly darker and more concerning reality, albeit in different ways. Mainly that in some instances, escapist films and flights of fantasy became more prominent as a coping mechanicism and even nostalgia for how things used to be. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt. 2 came out and bringing about an epic end to the film saga. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 also came out which seemed to be symbolizing the potential end for teen-aimed fantasy stories since some did not do as well, though some note the atmosphere for escapism could still assist in it. One example was the Winnie the Pooh film who's innocence and charm would make it something that young adults and even some older ones clung onto as a way of coping with the difficult times. Another was the new Marvel film Captain America: The First Avenger and another being The Muppets. However, there were various other films that would grow to become cult classics like Hugo. However, perhaps the big one was none other than the Green Lantern film. Delayed because of the #MeToo movement shaking up stuff behind the scenes, the film underwent some rewrites and the announcement caused a Twitter trend over a desire to John Stewart within the film. The film would shock everyone as this trend would be taken seriously (likely as a way to gain good publicity and ignite positive interest within the film..) The plot had Hal Jordan (played by Ryan Reynolds) as the Green Lantern of Earth returning home and dealing with changes, such as trying to reconnect with his old flame Carol Ferris (played by Blake Lively, who would date Reynolds after working together in film) among his other friends. However, his return back home is in part to find a new partner, which is revealed to be John Stewart (played by Edris Ilba). The antagonist is none other than Hector Hammond with a vendetta against Stewart. The whole thing was played as a superhero buddy cop film with Stewart help save Hal from Hector and the two learning to trust the other. The ending sees Stewart officially inducted and Stewart asking how Hal got involved in all this, Hal sighing and saying it's a story for another time. The film was warmly recieved with Elba noting that he chose the role over a rumored choice to play Heimdall in Thor, due to the greater potential as John. However, Thor also did quite well, with Tom Hiddleston being lauded for his role as Loki.

In video games, the last of the old consoles were coming out with large hits. Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword was considered a delightful surprise though it did have a few minor issues. Some noted the reason for not delaying it was to celeberating the 25th anniversary of zelda as a result. However, Kirby's Return to Dreamland was more better recieved and another even warmly received game was Metroid: Other M. After numerous delays, it came out and surprised many, declaring it was worth wait. The delays came about due to troubled productions over the different visions and who to appeal though also conflicts regarding Sakamoto and Team Ninja played a part in this. Eventually, Sakamoto was forced to be much more hands-off regarding the plot and characterization with Samus. She is portrayed as the powerful warrior many envisioned her as though caught off-guard regard by her scientific mind, her compassion and even her philosophical side. Many have also noted that the characterization of some characters were inspired by an earlier manga. Of course, various other characters got attention such as Point Man Anthony Higgs. Of course, the big talk was on the release of the successor to the Nintendo DS, the Nintendo Ultra DS or UDS. Possessing stronger graphics, processing and sound to the original DS alongside the inclusion of a control pad allowing for better movemenet. The Nintendo UDS was apparently named as a reference to the original name of the Nintendo 64. Appropriately enough, they used this to market two launch title games, Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time Ultra and Super Mario 64 Ultra. These were enhanced remasterings of the Nintendo 64 classics onto the handheld device. All of them coming with additional features and capabilities, such as the latter allowing the player to play as Luigi as well as a co-op mode to have two players working together as the brothers along with expanded and redesigned levels. This has of course to led rumors that more Nintendo 64 games would end up remastered for the UDS. This rumors grew when one of the rumors said that Banjo & Kazooie would get a reamstering on the UDS. Of course, those were far from the only games. Dark Souls came about and introduced a new level of difficulty for players to face. Portal 2 came and exceeded all expectations while Elder Scrolls Skyrim brought a return to focus for fantasy. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 came out as the last of a trilogy. Deus Ex: Human Revolution brought a cyberpunk vision that the prequel maintained. Rayman Origins came out and brought attention to the series of the limbless wonder by delving into his backstory and keeping in line with the lore. Overall, the excitement is held over the upcoming new consoles, especially with Nintendo delaying theirs by a year to further work on it.
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And yes, the Nintendo UDS is OTL's version of the 3DS; the 3DS graphics aren't included and instead the thing is made a bit stronger and plus, being able to play Nintendo 64 classics on the go is likely to be a draw on this. Also not as pricey from the get-go, which will help with its appeal.

Nintendo’s reasoning for this was probably taking advantage of the success of Ocarina and Mario 64 and running with that, especially since they can capitalize on nostalgia and the yearning for simpler times due to the later recession
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McCain Administration- Winter 2012
Winter 2012

"I'm getting the feeling austerity is kinda not working..."

"So the economy is still sturggling, but still find time to take down a media-sharing website?"

"Are we really gonna wait this long to legalize homosexual marriage federally?"

The beginning of 2012 marked a time of recovery somewhat. From economic turmoil and from the weather disasters that had been chewing the US through the past several months. However, the recovery itself would be marked with its own turmoil and began growing the seeds of frustration and anger that were planted at the start of the Recession. Over in the Eurozone, austerity measures were implemented through spending cuts to try and stablize the economy. However, it just deincentivized from spending their money for the most part and caused further troubles for the Europe and within the European Union. Romanians have been clashing with politicial officials with growing protests while Greece has been seen in some serious danger over its debts and whether it can repay them. Furthermore, there has been increasing calls for the other method of uasteirty, that being increasing taxes, predominantly on the wealthy. The hesitation and reluctance of politicians to do so led to the growing popularity of more radical politicians who were willing to take on the rich and their political toadies. The political traditions of Europe were being shaken up and more leftist groups were seeing this as their opportunity. Other nations began taking note of this and tried doubling down on their old paths, such as the Tories of Great Britain. Of course, the economic troubles of Europe did cause influences around the world as an example. The McCain Administration have been following similar practices though not suffered as many problems with it due to differing ideologies and a few more niche reasons. However, this goodwill is fading and while the military victories and foreign affairs work in the Middle East served as a nice bolster of support for the McCain Administration, it was not going to be enough to deal with domestic issues in the economy. So much has made of it that not even the culture war is enough for it. Moreover, this was affecting the Democrats as well. Some were on the fence on whether to run, such as Senator Barack Obama. Others such as Joe Biden and Hilliary Clinton were considering running along independent Vermont senator Bernie Sanders for the Democrat primaries. Sanders gathered growing attention for his radical policies that seemed to be receptive for a growing disenfranchised population.


Peaceful anti government protesters- University Square, Bucharest. January 15, 2012.

In other news meanwhile, there was some surprisingly larger news than people expected; the takedown of the file-sharing website Megaupload based in Hong Kong by the FBI. The entire debacle opened the case of digital piracy and tis explorations. While multimedia creators had long struggled against piracy, the debate was now set on exploring the motivations behind it. Youtubers and other content creators of other media sites gave their own thoughts, with some supporting the anti-piracy measures while others played devil's advocate. Others merely examined the cause for digital piracy. The prominent note behind many of these observations was that of convienence; it was often difficult to get a hold of certain shows, films or songs because there was no easy access to them. While musicians struggled against digital piracy and the claims of lost funding, others noted that problem has been a while for longer. Project MAY in particular was in a unique position as the musicians associated there were funded directly by their fans for content. One fascinating lead-in was from an old episode of adult animation show South Park, that being "Christian Rock Hard", specifically its B-plot; the B-plot focused on the nature of musicians on strike regarding digital piracy with the "moral" being that there should be gratitude in having fans and that people will still buy CDs, band tickets, merchandise and so on, only for the boys to be disappointed in some of the musicians just being about the money. This also ended up being correlaed to the growing business model of Project MAY-O. Because the musicians are directly funded by their fans and connected through them regarding music sales, special albums, concert tickets, merchandise and so on, it helped provide a more personal and unique experience that online piracy has been unable to keep up with, even if it does still happen. As such, some began applying this to the film and television industries, though moreso though the latter due to it being serialized. After all, some of them watch TV shows who have not gotten a release or are scarce. Unsurprisingly, the more outspoken members of the internet community, such as hacktivists and groups like Anonymous responding with takedowns and cyberattacks which led to issues regarding cybersecurity, which supposedly the first stimulus package was supposed to assist in addressting. Others began turning over to copyright companies and their deal. Overall, while Megaupload was taken down, its legacy will live on as part of the growing story over in digital piracy, content creators, copyright criticis, consumers, producers, prosumers and so on. At the same time, it existed


The seized domain name redirected to this joint FBI, DoJ, and NIPRCC English notice of federal crime charges.

Despite the increasing frustration and negativity being brought about, there was some hope and optimism. The upcoming elections were becomign a buzz as primaries became more important. Senators like Russ Feinhold and Bernie Sanders were urging for more progressive measures to be taken regarding the lurching Recession while pushing against House members and Senators who were more supporting of the questionable stimulus placed in by the McCain Administration to deal with the Great Recession. Republicans can have attemtped unification though problems stemmed with the growing number of moderates, former Democrats and ecoconservatives becoming more prominent within the leadership of the part. However, there has remained some cohesion while the Democrats were growing further cracked between the moderates and the progressives due to perceived failures to fighting for policy along with enabling the 1% to get away with financial chincanery. Unsurprisingly, the McCain Administratio pushed their success abroad forward and even noted how said success affected domestic policy; the US was not an isolationist nation and relied strongly on connections. As such, their success in the Middle East was being translated as a victory to make domestic affairs more smoothly. The patriotic sentiments were mixed though they hoped that successful peace talks regarding the future of the former nations of Syria and Iraq, finalized in the spring, would help with the elections. However, other domestic issues were bright brought up. More and more states were legalizing gay marriage and there was a growing call for federal legalization and recognition, especially with how DADT ended nearly a decade ago, but other states were remaining steadfast and the poisonous fruit of "states' rights" were tossed along with the inevitable backlash over how well that argument well last time.


Washington Governor Christine Gregoire; legalized same-sex marriage in Febuary. Washington now 7th state to legalize gay marriage.
That’s a tough one. Economic recessions are always tough ones for presidents to deal with. The Dems would have to choose an unsuitable candidate if they’re to loose.