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Gaming: GLAAD gaming award; The Witcher spinoff story trailer; Fallout 76 in-game intro

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Sep 27, 2018, 10:55 PM EDT

In what looks like another signal of just how deeply video gaming has penetrated the wider cultural consciousness, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has created a new category dedicated to gaming for its annual GLAAD Media Awards.

GLAAD announced the creation of the new Outstanding Video Game Award category this week, noting the award will commemorate “outstanding LGBTQ-inclusive content.”

For a game to qualify, it must be “an interactive experience that includes authentic and impactful LGBTQ characters or storylines,” according to GLAAD, and will be judged on the extent to which “the LGBTQ-inclusive content is effectively woven into gameplay, including player agency and the world itself.”

The new category will debut alongside the rest of GLAAD’s annual media awards beginning next year, with nominees to be announced in January. The awards cover media released in 2018. GLAAD has not yet revealed the date for next year’s media awards ceremony.

One of the biggest joys of getting your hands on any new Fallout game is spooling up the opening screen to see how Bethesda has framed the backstory for its latest Wasteland adventure. Today the studio gave fans just that, with a new two-minute clip for the upcoming Fallout 76 that dials up the nostalgia with the series’ familiar “War never changes” voiceover intro.

Bethesda also has just revealed the launch dates for the beta version of the online-only RPG, and, in a spiffy bit of timing, the Xbox One beta for Fallout 76 will begin on an auspicious date indeed: Oct. 23, the day the bombs fell in the 2077 nuclear cataclysm that defines the Fallout universe. PlayStation 4 and PC owners will get access to the beta a week later, starting Oct. 30.

The Fallout 76 beta blurs the line a bit between first access for early adopters and pre-launch testing. That’s because the beta is only open to those who’ve pre-ordered the game, and it comes with a cool perk: Any progress beta players have made with their character build will be preserved once the full release debuts on Nov. 14.

Bethesda Softworks on YouTube

Fans of Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and its underlying RPG mechanics don’t have much longer to wait to begin their next new journey across the Continent, and CD Projekt RED has just dropped new details about what to expect from its upcoming turn-based Witcher spinoff.

The studio revealed last month that the in-development single-player mode for Gwent: The Witcher Card Game was turning into something big enough to justify its own standalone title, and now that title — Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales — has gotten an all-new story trailer. The studio also took the veil off the game’s protagonist: Queen Meve of Lyria, a minor character in the Andrzej Sapkowski books on which the game series is based.

Set to hit PC on Oct. 23, Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales will land on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this Dec. 4. CD Projekt RED is already taking pre-orders.

The Witcher on YouTube