It’s time to bring some mystery back to this rodeo. Here’s what’s happening on The Monitor this week: Legos. Batman. Malaise. Filthy animals. And that’s all we’re giving you. Click the image above to watch the very best of pop culture this week. And, as always, e-mail us at themonitor@wired.com with thoughts, suggestions or burning questions. Even non-burning questions would be fine, actually. Less liability on our part.

…just the thing to set this weekend off right. HAPPY FRIDAY!

(Source: Wired)

Nerding out with his car, which he calls the Ecto88, is one of Cline’s favorite things to do, and he’s about to make it a possibility for one lucky reader of his geeky sci-fi novel Ready Player One. After taking Ecto88 on his previous book tour, Cline bought a second DeLorean for $22,000 on eBay, added a flux capacitor and used it for his paperback tour.

When the paperback promo swing finishes, he’s giving away the dupe DeLorean to whoever can solve three videogame challenges — just like the great online hunt in the Matrix-esque “Oasis” that the protagonist of Ready Player One attempts to master.

More deets - including photo and video! - @ Underwire.

NOW GET TO IT!

We’ve all heard of some of the videogames that had a dramatic impact on everything that followed after.Tetrislaunched a puzzle-game craze that never slowed down;Super Mario 64laid down the ground rules for 3-D action games.

Now here’s 7 games you’ve never heard of that changed ERRYTHANG.

(Source: Wired)

Judging by this photo of Sony’s event last night, things are really heating up in L.A. at E3 (they’re working on a game with J.K. Rowling, you guys!). 

Follow all of the coverage @ Game|Life.

Follow Wired’s live blog of the Nintendo E3 conference here! We <3 Miyamoto.

(Source: Wired)

WIRED is at E3! Follow our updates on Game|Life!

(Source: Wired)

When Tim Sweeney is out in the world discussing pedestrian things—the sweet tea at a particular barbecue restaurant, say, or the irony of having a hockey team in North Carolina, a place without much naturally occurring ice—part of him seems to be missing. It’s as if some roped-off area of his parietal lobe is back in the office, mulling over whatever conundrum is plaguing his graphics guys: how best to digitally re-create the diffusion of light through skin maybe, or how to show the world reflected in a character’s eye.

Read more here.

(Source: Wired)

It started as a gimmick. Rock musician Jon Black was looking for a creative way to get people — mostly press — to listen to his new album. After reading a story about a musician who sent out his album inside floppy disk covers, he thought he’d try packaging his new release on Nintendo Entertainment System cartridges.

More @ Underwire.

Photo: Keith Axline/Wired

(Source: Wired)

Every so often, a person comes along who combines an insatiable pop culture appetite and a totally baseless sense of his own importance. Not only has that happened, but for some reason Wired saw fit to give him his own weekly podcast. Allow us to introduce The Monitor, a new video series in which senior editor Peter Rubin sits in front of a giant fake bookshelf and talks about his favorite releases of the week.

Check it out!

(Source: Wired)

NEW GAMELIFE PODCAST!

We have wonderful news. Although we lamented the death of the Perfect Strangers Flash game on this episode of the Game|Life podcast, it has gloriously resurrected.

Listen here.

(Source: Wired)