2022 kicked off with the largest proposed company acquisition in videogames historical past and, since then, Sony purchased Bungie, the New York Instances purchased Wordle, and the Embracer Group purchased all the pieces else. We additionally noticed a gargantuan leak of early GTA 6 supplies and a wave of unionisation efforts throughout the video games business. And Google shut down Stadia. Keep in mind Stadia?

However the 12 months wasn’t simply outlined by the massive, earth-shaking tales. It was additionally pockmarked by a load of occasions that have been simply, effectively, a bit unusual. Issues just like the aimbot that aimed so onerous it died, or the MegaMan documentary too horny for YouTube: these vital cultural moments can find yourself missed when company historical past is being made.

Don’t let 2022’s most weird information objects go gently into that good evening. Here is a roundup of a number of the strangest issues that made our pages this 12 months.

The Pope blasts Megalovania to kick off the 12 months

Pope Francis sitting in chair with hands up

(Picture credit score: Mondadori Portfolio / Getty)

We weren’t even per week into 2022 when Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles and Supreme Pontiff of the Common Church settled down for a pleasant show and absolutely the hardest monitor in any game ever. Sat beneath an infinite bronze sculpture of Christ arising from a nuclear crater in Gethsemane, His Holiness noticed politely as a troupe of circus performers carried out juggling miracles to Toby Fox’s battle theme banger. Amen.

The Italian senate will get disrupted by Ultimate Fantasy pornography

Tifa Lockheart relaxing on a bed with the Italian flag.

(Picture credit score: Sq. Enix)

An Italian senate assembly briefly turned means funnier when it discovered itself thrown into disarray by a video of Ultimate Fantasy 7 Remake’s Tifa Lockhart in flagrante delicto in January. What would in any other case have been a reasonably rote assembly between senators and lecturers out of the blue turned decidedly un-rote when a digital intruder interrupted proceedings with 30 seconds of, um, specific video rendered within the Unreal Engine, plunging the assembly into chaos.

A Stalker-themed grocery store opens in Kyiv

Stalker supermarket checkout

(Picture credit score: Silpo/GSC Game World)

Lastly, you should buy a calzone in The Zone at Kyiv’s foremost STALKER-themed purchasing institution (I do not really know if it sells calzones). You may decide up all of your STALKER sundries in an atmosphere themed across the video games’ acquainted and much-loved radioactive, rusty post-apocalypse. It is not a brief stunt, both. For so long as the grocery store lives, it’s going to be STALKER-themed.

Ikea threatens to sue an ‘infinite furnishings retailer survival game’

The Store is Closed screen

(Picture credit score: ZIggy)

Indie developer Robert Shaw incurred the wrath of the Swedish furnishings gods along with his survival game set in an “infinite furnishings retailer”. All the things gave the impression to be becoming collectively till a letter from Ikea’s legal professionals turned up accusing him of utilizing aesthetic prospers that “counsel that the game takes place in an Ikea retailer”. The legal professionals did not demand Shaw terminate improvement, however they did demand that he take out each inch of the game which may remind gamers of the furnishings and meatball megastore.

BMW homeowners work out pirate their heated seats

BMW cutaway at IAA Munich Motor Show

(Picture credit score: Bloomberg (Getty Photographs))

When BMW discovered a solution to flip protecting heat right into a subscription service, irate homeowners set to work. Reasonably than pay $18 a month or a $415 up-front price to preserve their seats heat, they discovered methods to bypass the system. It wasn’t fairly free—a lot of the methods to bypass BMW’s absurd coverage nonetheless price cash sooner or later—but it surely was satisfying. And heat.

Hacker jailbreaks a tractor and runs Doom on it

A Doom farming mod.

(Picture credit score: Sickcodes)

It is not simply BMW that is nickel-and-diming customers within the bodily realm, John Deere’s lengthy been  in on the motion too. The corporate is the largest agency within the agricultural manufacturing enterprise, and has a coverage of placing strict locks on its tractors that stop farmers from repairing their very own machines. These locks have been damaged reside on stage by Australian hacker Sickcodes in August, although, permitting him to play unique Doom on a rooted John Deere tractor show. I suppose one thing’s gotta preserve you entertained throughout an extended harvest.

Order real-life Domino’s pizza in The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion

An Oblivion screenshot showing a sword-wielding man in Elven armour.

(Picture credit score: Bethesda)

Previous video games by no means die, they only grow to be festooned with an more and more weird sequence of mods. This one, created by a modder named Nickies, means that you can order an precise, bodily Domino’s pizza to your property by chatting to an NPC. It does additionally require you to retailer your bank card information in plaintext on a file in your PC, however nothing risked, nothing gained.

Kids’s MMO roiled by wave of weird server bulletins

In-game message in Wizard101 reading

(Picture credit score: KingsIsle, Consumer Disco_Potato_Go on Reddit)

Wizard101, a youth-oriented MMO that has—so I am instructed—been operating since 2008, needed to shut its servers down in September when its gamers stored spammed by weird messages. With missives like “BRADLEY COME DOWN TO THE OFFICE THIS INSTANT – the ceo” and “The subsequent world is my boss’s asshole,” the messages have been unusual, profound, prophetic, and wholly unacceptable.

Please cease utilizing Arma 3 to make faux warfare footage

Arma 3: CSLA Cold War

(Picture credit score: Bohemia Interactive)

Newsrooms have been mistaking Arma recordings for precise warfare for ages now, however a plague of footage purporting to be from the warfare in Ukraine—however which had really been generated by gamers of Arma 3—compelled Bohemia Interactive to place out a press release in November. First, the corporate requested its followers to play the game “responsibly,” and second, realizing that completely wouldn’t work, it put out a guide to figuring out Arma-generated footage for overworked information editors around the globe.

Your entire Nier: Automata church saga

Nier: Automata's A2 opening church door

(Picture credit score: Devolas / Sq. Enix)

When a Reddit person named sadfutago posted asking attain “the church” in Nier: Automata, the game’s subreddit eliminated his publish for low engagement. When he posted screenshots that appeared to point out a never-before-seen space within the game, he piqued everybody’s curiosity. When he posted a video, the neighborhood entered a days-long fever pitch of theorycrafting, data-mining, and basic confusion. The “church” ended up being the creation of some very proficient modders, however for days it felt like the one factor anybody might speak about was the ultimate secret of a game launched in 2017. Yoko Taro could be proud.