Get Your Ass to Mars

Why Total Recall (not Blade Runner) is the best Phillip K. Dick movie

Total Recall isn't really faithful to the original short story, but its closer to the ethos of PKD than its slightly more famous cousin, Blade Runner.

Launch Details

Everything you need to know about the launch of Valorant

Start time, new characters, bonuses for Closed Beta players, and more.

Valorant's Closed Beta has come to an end before the game's full launch, and depending on what region you are in, you might be wondering when you'll finally be able to play the new first-person hero shooter from Riot Games. If you're curious about the start times, new content, and more, Inverse has rounded up everything you need to know.

Gaining traction

This ancient innovation could change sneakers forever

Kirigami grips provide claw-like traction.

Grippy sneakers can mean the difference between a swift pivot shot and a sloppy turnover. Thanks to a team of material scientists from the U.S., Canada and Switzerland, nailing that shot could be easier than ever.

The team of researchers has designed new kirigami and animal-inspired shoe treads that intuitively provide more grip on slip prone surfaces like vinyl or ice. Compared to current tread technology, like clunky crampons worn around winter boots, this technology is more sleek and effective without sacrificing wearability.

These treads are still in the early stages of development, but future applications could change the way sports are played.

Last call

You only have a few days to get the most addictive shooter games ever for free

Two games for the price of zero.


The Epic Games store has given PC gamers free access to big-name titles like Grand Theft Auto 5 and Sid Meier’s Civilization VI in recent weeks. Now, the site is offering two games from one of the most distinctive and addictive first-person shooter franchises in gaming history.

The Abstract Podcast

Last of Us 2 controversy reveals the emotional side of quarantine gaming culture

Episode #9: The psychology of video games

Naughty Dog / Sony Entertainment LLC

When local governments began putting social distancing guidelines into effect in mid-March 2020, there was extreme concern. Anxiety about how people would do their jobs, raise their kids, and celebrate birthdays. The timing was bad for regular life. Except if your life included video games. The timing might have even been seen as fortuitous.

In the weeks after, the number of Americans playing video games jumped by as much as 115 percent according to a report by Verizon, the internet service provider, that was released in April 2020. New psychological study has revealed why we choose the games we do, and the effects they have on our minds.

Video games have long been hailed for their storytelling, design, and emotional complexity. But as more people pick up their controller, two key questions emerge: Why are so many people drawn to the world of video games? And who are games for, anyway?

In this latest episode of The Abstract podcast from Inverse, we explore the psychology of video games.