News Trending Viral Worldwide

GOP Insider Claims Republicans Are Hoping That Trump Will Have A ‘Heart Attack On A Golf Course One Day, And That’s Going To Solve This Problem For Them’

While Republicans often refer to themselves as the “family values party,” some of them also seem to have a habit of wishing death upon their enemies. And each other. While Lauren Boebert has been known to lead a church full of parishioners in praying for the death of Joe Biden (on more than one occasion), Republican lawmakers who are worried about what sort of havoc Donald Trump could wreak on the country — and the GOP — with his 2024 presidential run are apparently quietly wishing he’d just keel over somewhere between the first and eighteenth holes.

As the GOP tries to figure out the best way to win back the White House in 2024, the big question on many people’s minds is: How will Trump help or hinder that goal? Given his most recent track record (read: he lost in 2020), official and potential presidential candidates are doing their best to carefully analyze what sort of power Trump’s seemingly shrinking base might hold. And as Politico reports, many Republicans are reportedly just hoping that a heart attack on the golf course might take care of the problem.

As David Siders and Meridith McGraw wrote for Politico:

Despite his difficulties since he left office, about a third of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters still consider themselves supporters more of Trump than the Republican Party, according to a recent NBC News poll. Many of them aren’t going anywhere. Fully 28 percent of Republican primary voters are so devoted to the former president that they said they’d support him even if he ran as an independent, according to a national survey last month from The Bulwark and longtime Republican pollster Whit Ayres. Indeed, the “Always Trump” component of the party is so pronounced that it’s affecting how Trump’s opponents operate around him.

Fergus Cullen, former chair of New Hampshire’s Republican Party, gave a pretty blunt answer about what he’s hearing around the GOP watercooler: “All these folks are just hoping that Trump’s going to have a heart attack on a golf course one day, and that’s going to solve this problem for them. Not much of a strategy.”

Maybe not, but it’s certainly effective.

An unnamed source close to Trump told Politico that the former/would-be POTUS doesn’t take his supporters for granted.

“He ran on a platform of the forgotten man and woman in America,” said the insider. “They have been with him since he announced in 2015, they were with him in 2020. They won’t leave him.”

Will that be enough to defeat Joe Biden (should the current president choose to run again) or any other candidate (Democrat, Republican, or otherwise) who ultimately decides to throw their hat in the ring for 2024? Only time — and no sudden golf course emergencies — will tell.

(Via Politico)

News Trending Viral Worldwide

Courteney Cox Would Like To Set The Record Straight About Prince Harry Doing Mushrooms At Her House

Prince Harry’s new hit memoir, Spare, has been a fount of Piers Morgan-triggering tabloid fodder. There are some inevitable shocking stories about the Royal Family, from which he and his wife, Meghan Markle, are semi-estranged (though his dad is trying to lure him back for his coronation). There are also some more lighthearted passages. For instance, he claims he once did magic mushrooms while staying at the home of Courteney Cox, which sounds MadLibs-y enough to be true. Well, turns out it may be only partially legit.

The story as told by Prince Harry: He and some pals were crashing at the Friends’ alum’s home. One night their host had some friends over for a party. At one point in the evening, he and an unnamed reveler went to the kitchen. There, they found a box of “black diamond mushroom chocolates” in the fridge. Someone told them the shrooms were communal.

“My mate and I grabbed several, gobbled them, washed them down with tequila,” wrote the Duke of Sussex, who claims he was soon hallucinating that Cox’s trash can was talking to him.

In a new interview with Variety, though, Cox — who just nabbed her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — poured a bit, if not a lot, of cold water over the fun tale.

“He did stay here for a couple of days — probably two or three. He’s a really nice person,” Cox told the publication. “I haven’t read the book. I do want to hear it, because I’ve heard it’s really entertaining. But yes, it’s gotten back to me about it. I’m not saying there were mushrooms! I definitely wasn’t passing them out.”

In summary: There may or may not have been shrooms lurking in the refrigerator of the former Monica Geller, but she will neither confirm nor deny. Worth noting, though, that Prince Harry never said that she handed them out, so maybe he really did trip his balls off in the home of someone who acted in the movie where Kevin Costner and Kurt Russell are thieving Elvis impersonators.

(Via Variety)

News Trending Viral Worldwide

Trump’s Lawyer Could Plan To Use The ‘Rapper’ Defense To Keep Him Out Of Jail Should He Be Indicted For Election Tampering In Georgia

Donald Trump is no stranger to working with lawyers who are just as (in)famous as their clients (see: Rudy Giuliani — who could be as f**ked as his former client for his efforts to push The Big Lie). Still, many eyebrows were raised back in August when it was announced that the former president had hired Drew Findling to represent him when a grand jury was convened to determine whether Trump tried to illegally interfere with the results of the 2020 presidential election.

While Findling, an Atlanta-based criminal defense attorney, has successfully represented plenty of high-profile clients throughout his career, the self-described “#BillionDollarLawyer” is best known for his work with rappers and hip hop stars including Cardi B, Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka Flame, and Da Baby. Da Former President is kind of a new one. But as VICE reports, Findling sees a lot of similarities between defending Trump’s phone call to Georgia election officials and asking them to “find” enough votes for him to win the state and using rap lyrics as evidence.

Put simply, according to VICE’s Greg Waters, it comes down to context.

“When we look at the full context, that’s when we realize there is no criminal case,” Findling told VICE News in late 2022. “And that’s one of the reasons that we jumped into this case when asked to.”

While Trump has not officially been charged with anything yet, Fani Willis — the district attorney for Fulton County, Georgia — announced that at least a dozen people will soon feel the full weight of the law for interfering in the election and that Trump may very well be one of those people.

Of specific interest is Trump’s hour-long phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, during which the then-president told Raffensperger that, “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have, because we won the state.” While such a statement has set off alarm bells elsewhere, Findling doesn’t seem all that worried. And he’s banking on his history of dissecting rap lyrics for legal purposes to help lawmakers see things his way.

“Prosecutors, first of all, don’t know the first thing about lyrics,” Findling told VICE. “They’ll take out eight or nine words. They’ll take out something that lasts a few seconds and say, ‘Aha, this is evidence of some wrongdoing.’ In like fashion, no one ever talks about the full 62 minutes. No one ever talks about the surrounding circumstances of those 62 minutes.”

Trump, meanwhile — and perhaps unsurprisingly — sees nothing wrong with anything he did in the wake of losing the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden. And has described his phone call with Raffensperger as “perfect” on multiple occasions, to anyone who will listen.

(Via VICE)

News Trending Viral Worldwide

Please Watch Brendan Fraser Tell Kelly Clarkson About The Time He Almost Died On The Set Of ‘The Mummy’

Not a ton of people have seen The Whale; its box office after 11 weeks is a tiny fraction of Avatar: The Way of Water’s haul. But that hasn’t stopped the Brendan Fraserssance from rolling right along. The actor is in a tight race with Austin Butler and Colin Farrell for the Best Actor Oscar. He’s already won trophies and delivered moving speeches. And it’s got people, Fraser included, looking back at his past work. For instance, The Mummy? It’s come up a lot recently. To some it’s a fun movie that made his star ascend even higher than it had. For him, it’s a film on whose set he almost died.

Fraser recently swung by The Kelly Clarkson Show, where she brought up a scene in which his daring hero, Rick O’Connell, is nearly executed by hanging. For the scene he had a real rope tied around his real neck. After a take in which director Stephen Sommers felt Fraser’s reaction was insufficiently realistic, they tried again, this time with the crew member controlling the rope pulled it higher than he had before, leaving Fraser with “nowhere to go but down.”

And so the erstwhile George of the Jungle was nearly choked to death for real. “The next thing I knew, my elbow was in my ear, the world was sideways, and there was gravel in my teeth, and everyone was really quiet,” Fraser recalled to a gasping Clarkson.

After recovering — and not dying — Fraser received some news from a crew member. “Congratulations, you’re in the club!” they told him. “The same thing happened to Mel Gibson on Braveheart.”

Fraser has told the story before, including in 2019. But Clarkson’s reaction made it seem new all over again. You can watch the clip in the video above. The Whale is now in theaters while the 1999 The Mummy currently streams on Hulu.

(Via Page Six)

News Trending Viral Worldwide

Don Toliver Didn’t Waste Any Time In Releasing The Deluxe Edition Of His New Album, ‘Love Sick’

Don Toliver has wasted no time in answering a question many of his fans had almost from the first instant his new album Love Sick hit the DSPs: Will he release a deluxe edition?

Yes, yes he did. Just four days after the release of his third album, the Houston rap crooner followed up by adding four new songs, tapping his mentor Travis Scott and Texan rising star Teezo Touchdown to feature on “Embarrassed” and “Luckily I’m Having,” respectively. The other two new songs are “Geronimo” and “No Pole.” All four songs continue the album’s theme of addressing various aspects of love.

Toliver revealed the original tracklist by means of a string of posts highlighting the featured artists with vintage art. Those features include Brent Faiyaz, Charlie Wilson, GloRilla, Future, James Blake, Justin Bieber, Don’s girlfriend Kali Uchis, Lil Durk, TisaKorean, Toro y Moi, and Wizkid. He also released a playlist of songs from the album with visuals forming an episodic short film which you can watch here.

The updated tracklist for the deluxe edition of Love Sick can be found below.

1. “No Pole”
2. “Embarrassed” Feat. Travis Scott
3. “Geronimo”
4. “Luckily I’m Having” Feat. Teezo Touchdown
5. “LoveSickness”
6. “Let Her Go” Feat. James Blake
7. “Leave The Club” Feat. GloRilla & Lil Durk
8. “4 Me” Feat. Kali Uchis
9. “Go Down” Feat. TisaKorean
10. “Time Heals All”
11. “Leather Coat”
12. “Honeymoon”
13. “Private Landing” Feat. Future & Justin Bieber
14. “Slow Motion” Feat. Wizkid
15. “Do It Right”
16. “If I Had” Feat. Charlie Wilson
17. “Company Pt. 3”
18. “Bus Stop” Feat. Brent Faiyaz
19. “Cinderella” Feat. Toro Y Moi
20. “Encouragement”

News Trending Viral Worldwide

A son’s heartfelt LinkedIn post for his father who was laid off is getting a massive response

LinkedIn is primarily a platform for working professionals to connect and find employment that aligns with their skills and values. With company layoffs continuing (even increasing in some industries) people have also used the website to courageously share their layoff experiences.

While the main intent behind this is, of course, finding a new job, there have also been some lovely displays of humanity that not only challenge the stigma of being laid off but show the power of a supportive community.

Take this heartwarming story, for example.

Patrick McCarthy, Communications Management & Marketing Leader, recently posted about a layoff that quickly went viral on the platform. Not for himself—for his father.

“This is Pete. He’s my dad,” his post began. “My dad lost his job yesterday. I would tag him here, but he doesn’t have a LinkedIn.”

Pete, who has had a “starkly different professional journey” than his son, spent most of his life working in the service industry and absolutely loved interacting with customers. His empathy and knack for listening made him perfect for the role. Over his career, Pete had collected thousands of interactions from working at Walgreens, Fry’s, and (most recently) Winco, often being the reason folks came back.

And then, Pete was laid off. His job as a cashier, one that he loved and was good at, was gone.

“As anyone would be, he’s shocked. Overwhelmed. Scared. Emotional,” Patrick wrote.


Knowing his dad didn’t have the same network to easily find a new job, Patrick reached out on his behalf, wholeheartedly believing in the “magic” of the LinkedIn Community. He implored that anyone looking for a candidate with “a LOT of customer-facing, customer service, and service industry experience” send him a message so that he could put them in touch with Pete.

Patrick’s faith paid off—way more than he thought it would. In less than a week, the post was shared over 500 times, with over 600 comments from people wanting to help.

A manager at a nearby Sprouts grocery store said Pete sounded like a perfect match for a clerk position that could even pay his daily wage ahead of time. Another suggested he could be an excellent outdoor tour guide for REI. Someone else referred them to a weekly meetup group led by a career coach.

Even LinkedIn responded, writing, “Pete sounds like a top-tier employee! 💙 Keep us posted as he progresses on his journey, as well as any tips or insights either of you learn along the way—it may help those in a similar situation.”

Truly, Pete’s story already provides some helpful insight. While he might still be in the job-seeking phase, things certainly look more optimistic. And all it took (besides Pete being a lovely human being) was one simple, honest post. As Patrick told Upworthy, “Clearly something about his story connected with others. Humanity. Vulnerability. Empathy.”

The words “social media” and “job market” can elicit some pretty negative visceral responses. Of course, this viewpoint has some merit, but it’s refreshing to see the power of human connection break through the disheartening headlines. Here’s to Patrick and his father Pete, for reminding us that even when things seem bleak or uncertain, the world is full of people trying to help out one another.

News Trending Viral Worldwide

Human befriends hummingbird, names him Hector and brings wholesome joy to millions

Hummingbirds are fascinating to watch, so people often put hummingbird feeders in their yards during the summer. But one special hummingbird and his human friend have taken that fascination to another extremely wholesome level.

Julian, better known as @birdperson666 on TikTok and Instagram, has gained over 2 million followers with videos of a neighborhood hummingbird named Hector’s visits. Julian told ABC7 that it only took about five days for “Hector the nectar collector” to start eating from his hand and that Hector sometimes visits several times a day. The combination of Julian’s deep, resonant voice and Hector’s adorable, iridescent self makes for surprisingly addictive content.

Hummingbirds are quite a unique species, after all. Their wings beat around 70 times per second and up to 200 times per second during a dive. They are the only bird that can fly forward, backward and sideways and hover in the air. They’re wicked fast—the Anna’s hummingbird flies faster proportionally for its body size than a fighter jet. And they’re wicked hungry, too, with a metabolism that requires them to consume twice their body weight in food each day.It’s no wonder that Hector has regularly shown up at Julian’s window for a snack for the past couple of years.

Julian’s videos of Hector’s visits started going viral early in the COVID-19 pandemic and most of them are delightfully similar. “Yo, Hectorrrrr,” Julian calls from his open window while holding out a small feeder filled with sugar water. And Hector, bless his tiny little needle beak, dutifully flies over to say hi and take some sips.


Take a load off! 😋

Sometimes Hector even lands on Julian’s finger while he eats. Hummingbirds have sharp memories and recognize humans and their voices, so it’s not just a coincidence that Hector routinely shows up to see Julian.


take a chill 😋

Sometimes Hector will disappear for weeks or months and then return to Julian’s window. (Hector belongs to a species that is non-migratory, so he has a permanent home nearby.)

Julian told ABC7 that he uses the Audubon Society’s recipe for hummingbird nectar, which is four parts water to one part white granulated sugar, because that recipe is the closest in chemical makeup to natural flower nectar.

Much to their followers’ chagrin, Julian moved to a new apartment in early 2023 and had to say goodbye to Hector. But thankfully, a little female hummingbird has already picked up where Hector left off, landing right on Julian’s hand and offering hope for continued hummingbird joy.


Maybe she’s born with it…

Thanks for sharing Hector and a love of hummingbirds with the world, Julian!

News Trending Viral Worldwide

Thai lounge singer performing ‘What a Wonderful World’ sounds exactly like Louis Armstrong

YouTube user bobcatransom was on vacation in Chiang Mai, Thailand, when they came across a three-piece band playing in a bar and were blown away by the singer’s ability to sing like jazz legend Louis Armstrong.

“About an hour after we arrived in town we heard these guys just absolutely slaying it for a small handful of people and having the time of their lives doing it,” they captioned the video. The band performed a note-perfect version of “What a Wonderful World,” and the singer even added some improvisational scat singing just like Uncle Satchmo would have done.

“What a Wonderful World” may be Armstrong’s most famous song, but it is an anomaly in his legendary career. Armstrong is known by many as the first great jazz soloist and the most important musical figure of the 20th century, so the heartfelt ballad wasn’t adored by his hardcore fans when it was first released.

“This is so heart warming,” Youtuber Scott Mitchell commented on the video.

Armstrong recorded “What a Wonderful World” four years before his death, and it feels like a person coming to grips with their own mortality and appreciating the things that really matter in life. Armstrong sang the tune while thinking of the children in his Queens neighborhood in New York City.

“I saw three generations come up on that block,” he said, according to the Louis Armstrong House museum. “They’re all with their children, grandchildren, they come back to see Uncle Satchmo and Aunt Lucille. That’s why I can say, ‘I hear babies cry, I watch them grow, they’ll learn much more then I’ll never know.’ And I can look at all them kids’s faces. And I got pictures of them when they was five, six and seven years old. So when they hand me this ‘Wonderful World,’ I didn’t look no further, that was it.”

News Trending Viral Worldwide

‘Love Island UK’ Season 9 Compatibility Index Week 7: I’ve Got A Mrs!

Who is in it for the right reasons? Will someone’s head turn? Is Tom capable of answering any direct question with anything other than, “I don’t know?” Wait, what is this season’s euphemism for getting, um, handsy? These are all questions that arise when tuning into ‘Love Island UK‘ Season 9. Follow along here as Uproxx (hopefully) answers your questions about the 2023 winter season and decides which couples we think are strong enough to last to the finale.

(WARNING: Spoilers for up to episode 43 of Love Island UK season nine will be found below.)

It appears that we’re in the final stretch of Love Island UK season nine. Three of the last four seasons each lasted 58 or 59 days, and if that remains true for season nine, things should come to an end in a little over two weeks. Most of the islanders at this point in the season are cozy in their couples, which makes for fairly uneventful and straightforward episodes. Though it may be a bit of a chore to get through the daily episodes, it is a balance from the chaos that was brought forth by Casa Amor and Movie Night. Feelings were hurt and trust was broken as a result of both, but Tanya and Martin were the only couple to split because of it.

On Day 40, Martin’s time in the villa came to an end after Tanya decided to return to Shaq just eight days after bringing Martin back from Casa Amor. Martin’s departure was preceded by Keanan and Rosie entering the villa on Day 39. Keanan and Rosie were given the first choice in the recoupling and they selected Claudia and Casey, respectively. This effectively split Casey and Claudia, who were together for over two weeks at this point. While Claudia had her heart set on a relationship with Casey, her feelings weren’t exactly reciprocated as Casey’s head turned towards Rosie as they spent more and more time together. Ultimately, on Day 43, Casey fully to committed to Rosie, effectively bringing his relationship with Claudia to a close. Casey was ridiculed and pied severely for his choice, but hey, the heart wants what it wants, right?

With Casey shaking things up in the villa, allow my fellow Love Island connoisseurs and me to dust off our matchmaking skills and rank the villa’s current couples from least to most compatible. — Wongo Okon

Pied Off: Bottom Tier

8. Keanan & Claudia

Claudia Keanan 'Love Island UK' S9

As one of the new bombshells, Keanan took Jessie and Samie on his first dates, with neither lady turning their head from their current partners. However, after Casey chose to re-couple with the other bombshell, Rosie, Keanan was left to pick Claudia — with not much chemistry present between them. Truth be told, many have suspected that he actually wanted Rosie, which is why he pushed for Claudia to try a reconciliation. Considering her attempt clearly proved unsuccessful and it’s this late in the game, something wild would have to happen for there to truly be a spark between these two. — Lexi Lane

7. Casey & Rosie

Rosie Casey 'Love Island UK' S9

Remember a few weeks ago when I wrote that “Casey seems like the kind of guy to be a committed partner”? Yeah, I’d like formally rescind that statement. Since coming into the villa, Casey has “had connections” with Lana, Claudia, Sanam, Cynthia, and now Rosie. He chose to stick with Claudia during Casa Amor after kissing two girls — making it clear to her that he values their connection — only to turn his head the moment a new girl walked in. Casey did admit it takes him a while to catch feelings for someone, but he also seemed to distance himself from Claudia the moment she signaled she wanted to be exclusive. Time will tell if Casey and Rosie’s connection is actually better, but Tom and Will egging him on probably didn’t help. — Carolyn Droke

My Type On Paper: Mid-Tier

6. Maxwell & Olivia

Olivia Maxwell 'Love Island UK' S9

I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t help but think the islanders let Olivia off the hook a little too quickly after her Movie Night clips showed her talking sh*t about nearly every couple in the villa. Smack talk aside, she and Maxwell do have a good thing going. Olivia has the tendency to take things very personally (and be more than a little hypocritical). And when she’s confronted with something she doesn’t want to hear, her go-to move is to flee the scene rather than stay put to resolve an argument in the moment. Maxwell is the first islander of the bunch who’s actually able to talk through an argument with Olivia, even if it did take two rounds to reconcile. He’s also gotten Olivia (a little) more comfortable with PDA. Holding hands after two weeks of knowing each other? They might as well be married off. But let’s see how long Olivia lasts on Love Island UK Season 9, seeing as she’s far from a fan favorite. — Carolyn Droke

5. Shaq & Tanya

Tanya Shaq 'Love Island UK' S9

With Martin getting dumped from the island, Shaq and Tanya’s Casa Amor mess is officially behind them. If we’re being honest, this couple was never going to be done for good, but considering the true colors that were shown, that’s what makes them a bit more intolerable these days. Shaq’s reasonable anger and frustration towards Tanya in regard to what really went down at Casa Amor was met with her gaslighting him (and Martin) in response to their very reasonable reactions to her behavior. Luckily for Tanya, it somehow worked in her favor as Shaq chose to set aside his feelings to reunite with Tanya and pick up where they left off without even a quarter of an apology from her for Movie Night. At this point, I personally wouldn’t give Shaq and Tanya the season 9 crown, but if they’re happy together, then I guess that’s all that matters. — Wongo Okon

4. Will & Jessie

Jessie Will 'Love Island UK' S9

I had such high hopes in the beginning for these two, but man, have the past few weeks been challenging as an initial Will and Jessie fan. Between his wandering behavior in Casa and her faulty trust in him afterward, even beyond Movie Night, it seems they just haven’t been able to get back on track to how they were… which is disappointing, given they were the world’s frontrunners to win. If they’re able to repair their trust issues, there’s potential, but I have doubts that these two will last outside of the show. — Lexi Lane

Married Off: Top Tier

3. Tom & Samie

Samie Tom 'Love Island UK' S9

It looks like Terrace Tom needs a new nickname! Samie and Tom were off to a rocky start last week when the post-Casa Amor drame put their relationship on uncertain ground. Samie was hurt that Tom got close to Casa newcomer Lydia, and seeing Tom’s moves in action during Movie Night only made matters worse. Thankfully, Tom and Samie were able to reconcile and start rebuilding trust in their relationship. It’s safe to say neither of these two’s heads are turning any time soon. — Carolyn Droke

2. Kai & Sanam

Sanam Kai 'Love Island UK' S9

If Love Island had an award for Most Improved Islander, I’d do everything in my power to ensure that Kai Fagan’s name was already inscribed into it. Seriously though, Pre-Casa Amor Kai and Post-Casa Kai might as well be two completely different people. He freed himself from the chaotic shackles of Olivia and opted for Sanam, someone more his speed and flooded with similarities. I’m willing to argue that Kai and Sanam would be more of a favorite to win the show if they had an opportunity to be a couple before Kai’s time with Olivia. These two are fun to watch and practically drama-free – well, that is when Olivia is wreaking havoc in their vicinity. Unfortunately, their brief time together might not be enough to win over the hearts of viewers, at least not more than this next couple. — Wongo Okon

1. Ron & Lana

Lana Ron 'Love Island UK' S9

Despite their slight rollercoaster of a relationship at the show’s start, Ron and Lana have since proven their loyalty to each other — even throughout Casa Amor. This week, viewers saw Ron officially pop the question (not once, but twice) to her, making them the first couple to be “bf and gf” from this season. Or, as Ron cheerfully exclaimed over the balcony, he’s got his Mrs. (We’ll ignore the red flag that she’s apparently his first girlfriend, despite some inconsistent statements about his dating history happening before.) These two are playing their cards almost too perfectly right, but it just might work out in their favor. — Lexi Lane

‘Love Island UK’ airs daily on the ITV2 channel at 9pm GMT/4pm EST/1pm PST.

News Trending Viral Worldwide

Xalavier Nelson Jr. Wants To Make Game Development More Sustainable For Everyone

Xalavier Nelson Jr. (Space Warlord Organ Trading Simulator, An Airport for Aliens Currently Run by Dogs) has thought a lot about how to make game development more sustainable.

Growing up in a military family meant Xalavier traveled around the world depending on where his family was needed. It exposed him to a wide array of experiences that influenced his exuberant personality and unique eye for creating weird, personal worlds in his games. Additionally, Xalavier became accustomed to creating deep friendships with people over the internet, something that would later help him create his indie game studio, Strange Scaffold, where he collaborates with fellow creatives from around the world to make uniquely weird games.

Like many people working in games today, Xalavier found his way into the games industry by being a games journalist first. At the age of 12, he began reviewing games for various outlets, though he jokes that some may have thought he was older than he was. Through his experience as a journalist, he met a variety of people in game development, and he himself started working with others to make small indie titles.

He’s learned a lot from his varied experiences, but the topic that keeps him up at night is how the games industry isn’t set up for sustainability when it comes to developing the games we love. Many studios spend months “crunching” (or working long hours to meet deadlines) and even more so, many creators end up leaving the industry altogether after spending years working on titles that never saw the light of day.

Xalavier believes there is a better, more sustainable way to make games. One that emphasizes the lived experiences of the people making them. He has worked to make Strange Scaffold a welcoming, collaborative studio, where people have more creative autonomy to make games in a more healthy way.

Uproxx spoke with Xalavier recently to talk to him about sustainability in the games industry. In the wake of countless examples of burnout, layoffs, and crunch, I was curious to examine how his studio, Strange Scaffold, is attempting something wildly different.

Strange Scaffold describes itself as a weird, sustainable game studio. What does sustainability mean for what you all are building?

There are a lot of different vectors for discussing sustainability. Personally, I believe sustainability is founded upon the idea of building machines, systems, and processes, that organize and support the needs of the people who make the games we love. We work in an industry that is built around things like ‘systems design.’ ‘How is the player impacted by this combination of abstract meters and numbers on a screen?’ But within the medium, there’s very little discussion of how we’re creating those systems for ourselves.

Strange Scaffold is my effort to put into the world an example of how, right now, the technology and the systems of distribution available to us let us build unique systems for supporting our goals and needs as individuals. I want to create systems within how me and my collaborators work that uniquely satisfy who we are as creators, and nurture people who join us in our endeavor for however long we work with each other.

That’s interesting, and I think an aspect to thread into this conversation about sustainability in game development is crunch and overwork.

I love that you brought up crunch because I talk to a lot of students and early-stage game developers these days. Almost always, the first questions that come up are about if a studio has crunch. To me, this is a bit of an indictment of the secrecy around game development processes, including the many factors that result in burnout. At Strange Scaffold, we consider crunch to be the beginning of a much larger conversation.

I’ve worked on projects where I was doing 60-hour weeks and felt fulfilled and able to live a good life mentally and physically. I’ve also worked on projects where I was part-time working 5-10 hours–and nearly left the games industry altogether. I’m attempting to use my experience and the collective knowledge of others to unpack the factors alongside crunch that assist in burnout.

Between those two examples, what do you think that says about the state of the industry right now in relation to crunch?

A big factor I’ve seen is the cancellation of games and, in turn, the inability to show the work you’ve done on those projects publicly. I’ve known people who have worked in the industry for over 20 years and have one shipped project to their name because of these practices. So as a principle, Strange Scaffold hasn’t canceled a single game. The human impact of knowing that your best work is trapped behind a lead box is not just heartbreaking, it’s disrespectful to the time, energy, and human effort that is represented by a canceled project.

Another thing that Strange Scaffold actively thinks about and plans around is the space that we occupy inside the lives of our collaborators. We intentionally design production pipelines that can move around the fact that you have a huge upcoming deadline in your day job or a thing that is going to burden you as a human being. I don’t particularly care how much money a Strange Scaffold game makes, as much as I would love for every project to continue to be profitable and sustainable for the studio. Whether a title sells 100 copies or 1 million, I care most that our processes are human-centric and continually refined.

There’s nothing more heartbreaking than looking at a project that by all outward release metrics is a success and knowing that the people behind it suffered or are suffering as a result of what brought it into being.

Strange Scaffold has so many games in production, and you’ve already released a fair amount of projects. I’m curious how you judge success for the studio.

It really affects your creativity when the game you’re making is going to determine the success and failure of your entire career. Unfortunately, the games industry is organized in a way that most studios operate within a mentality of: ‘If this game does not sell above a certain threshold, we don’t survive.’

Every Strange Scaffold game is designed and developed with the intention that everyone gets to walk away, including me, if a game doesn’t sell enough copies. And I cannot tell you how much we have seen people bloom within this kind of environment, where the game that they are making and the creative goals that they are reaching are focused on execution and growth rather than results.

We want to make games better, faster, cheaper, and healthier than the industry assumes is possible and that starts with identifying different goals and processes. If everyone is making games the same way or under the same conditions, you end up with games that feel the same because they’re invisibly calculated to suit the same pipelines, production timelines, and ideals.

Two of your upcoming games are so vastly different in gameplay and aesthetics. Sunshine Shuffle is a cute, poker game and El Paso Elsewhere is your Max Payne-inspired action shooter.

I don’t want to sell people one game: I want to sell them five. I want to take players on an ongoing, evolving journey of creativity, and seeing that already happens across our titles keeps me going.

When someone comes up to me and says, ‘Hey we’re trying something different with our studio because of the results you’ve seen with Strange Scaffold’ or when someone tells us that one of our games saved them or affected them in some way, it makes the difficulty of standing by and advocating for a different model worth it. When you make more, different games, you can affect people in more ways.

To bring us back around to what we were talking about in regard to sustainability and creating an environment where people feel valued: something I’ve learned through my experience building Strange Scaffold with sustainability in mind is that the one thing you can invest in time and time again and always get a return on is people.

If the priority of your processes is the growth and safety of the people you work with, your games can only get better, too.