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The Weekender: boxers' brains, others' eyes, and developers' dreams

The best of the week gone by

Welcome to The Verge: Weekender edition. Every Saturday, we'll bring you some of the best and most important reads of the past seven days, from original reports, to in-depth features, to reviews and interviews. Think of it as a collection of some of our favorite pieces that you may have missed — or that you may just want to read again. You can follow along below, or keep up to date on Flipboard.

  • Report

    Virtual reality made me believe I was someone else

    Using virtual reality, an artistic collective has put together an experiment that allows a person to temporarily swap bodies and even experience what things are like for someone with a different gender. It's an incredible experience — and one that may even help people better empathize with others.

  • Feature

    Fighting Dirty: behind boxing's brain damage crisis

    Doctors still don't understand exactly what's happening in fighters' brains to turn a series of injuries into a growing disease. And in the meanwhile, many aren't taking the risk of injury seriously enough — putting fighters, football players, and others in danger.

  • Interview

    Inside the greatest sci-fi film never made

    Dune could have been turned into a 20-hour surrealist epic based on gorgeous and haunting art direction from names like H.R. Giger. A new documentary catalogues how the ambitious film was almost made — and we spoke with the documentary's director to find out more about this sci-fi legend.

  • Report

    The rock stars of gaming start their solo acts

    The developers behind some of the most innovative and acclaimed games out there are leaving their posts with major developers to head over to the indie scene. Can a return to the basics help them revitalize the genres that they've long been renown for?

  • Editorial

    Greetings from Planet Facebook

    Facebook just bought Oculus VR — the biggest name in virtual reality — and everyone's wondering what the social media giant plans to do with it. One possible answer: nothing less than controlling the internet of the future.

  • Review

    The new HTC One review

    HTC hasn't had the best year. Its profits dropped, and its last One smartphone didn't manage to hold its own against phones from titans like Samsung and Apple. But now HTC is giving it another shot with a new One, and it's easily among the best Android phones yet. Be sure to check out our report on how the new One was designed too.

  • Report

    Smokers’ rights group sues NYC to overturn e-cig ban

    New York City recently banned the use of electronic cigarettes in public places, but one smoking advocacy group says that the way the ban was implemented isn't legal. Now it's taking to the courts to argue why a legal technicality should make the ban fall.

  • Report

    Building a phone network for the zombie apocalypse

    The service Signal wants to revolutionize the phone network by making it much smarter and letting anyone set up their own broadcast point. It's an ambitious plan that could let our phones do even more than they can today, but it'll need a lot of support if it wants to succeed.

  • Report

    Travel to the alien jungle with the sci-fi short 'Prospect'

    How does a low-budget short film go from Kickstarter to a finished product? We caught up with the filmmakers behind Prospect to see how they turned a tiny budget into a moody sci-fi short.

  • Report

    'Ground Zeroes' is a brief glimpse at the dark new future of 'Metal Gear Solid'

    Ground Zeroes is a short introduction to what Metal Gear Solid will look like on next-gen consoles. It brings a subtle alteration to the game's style and mechanics along with an all new voice actor — Kiefer Sutherland. But can it build on — or even match — the series' classic titles?