Steven Petite

Steven Petite is the associate editor of Fiction Southeast. His writing has appeared on, Huffington Post, The Millions and elsewhere.

Posts by Steven Petite

That ’70s Show

'That '70s Show' Turns 20!

A mix of mindless, predictable fun and sly exploration of weighty issues, ‘That ’70s Show’ enamored audiences for a whopping 200 episodes. If there was any doubt young adults could be immersed in an era other than their own, That ’70s Show erased it. The comedy set in the back half of the 1970s in a fictional Wisconsin town quickly became a cultural phenomenon for young audiences when it premiered in 1998. In honor of        …read more

VR headset

VR Headset Buying Guide: Which One Is Right for You?

With a growing number of high-quality options to choose from, which VR headset is right for you? Virtual reality has grown from the stuff of science fiction to a tangible reality. Over the past few years, virtual reality headsets have started to flood the market, giving techies and gamers a myriad of options to choose from. If you’re interested in the burgeoning technology, which VR headset should you spend your hard-earned dollars on? That’s what        …read more

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Superhero 101: Ant-Man and the Wasp

Ahead of ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp,’ take a leap into their comic book origins. We’re living in a superhero movie renaissance, an era where spandex-clothed heroes continually dominate box offices. Or at least it feels that way. With the genre at its height and showing no signs of slowing down, it’s no surprise mainstream audiences have been introduced to more niche heroes in recent years. Case in point: Ant-Man, a lesser-known Marvel hero who now        …read more

LeBron James Continues to Defy the Hands of Time

In his 15th season, LeBron James has, remarkably, widened the gap between himself and the rest of the NBA. After leading his high school team to back-to-back state basketball titles, LeBron James was named Ohio’s Mr. Basketball and appeared on USA Today’s All-USA First Team list. Both feats were firsts for a sophomore. Before his junior year of high school, he appeared on the cover of SLAM magazine. He soon graced the cover of Sports        …read more

weird laws

20 Weird Laws That Actually Exist, Apparently

Every state has its fair share of weird laws. You could be breaking one of them right now. Most of us try to follow the law. If not for the sake of a good conscience, we at least want to avoid fines or a trip to jail. The laws on this list, though? Well, it’s possible you’ve done the deed. And unlike laws that we’re all familiar with, you’ve probably never even heard of most        …read more

Deadpool 2

Superhero 101: Deadpool

Ahead of 'Deadpool 2,' learn more about the comic book origins of the crass and witty superhero. Deadpool wasn’t the first R-rated Marvel movie to land in theaters (Blade, then Punisher) but it was the first of its kind in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ryan Reynolds’ portrayal of Deadpool was lauded by critics and gobbled up by audiences. It was a different kind of Marvel movie, one rife with vulgar language and not-so-subtle sexual        …read more


Don't Drink the Kool-Aid: 6 Cults That Terrified the World

Twisted religious beliefs, UFOs, doomsday, mind manipulation — these 6 cults wreaked havoc on a massive scale. What exactly is a cult? When we hear the word, most of us instantly think of religious activities gone awry — an extreme belief system that gravely affects its followers and even the world around them. While a significant number of cults throughout history have a religious bent, a cult can rise from any devotion to a single        …read more

Avengers Infinity War, Avengers movies, Avengers cast

Superhero 101: The Avengers

Ahead of ‘Avengers: Infinity War,’ brush up on the Marvel squad’s comic book origins. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, one superhero group brings an assortment of popular superheroes together. No, not the X-Men, who sadly cannot participate in the epic Marvel universe due to licensing issues. We’re talking about the Avengers, who allow Marvel’s ambitious cinematic efforts to feel like one large and ever-expanding group. By now, you’ve probably seen at least a few Marvel        …read more

God of War

‘God of War’ Is Action Game Perfection

‘God of War’ takes the longtime Sony series to new heights with a compelling story and amazing moment-to-moment combat. If I had to pick one current-generation console game that best shows off how much the medium has evolved in recent years, I would pick God of War, hands down. The latest PlayStation 4 exclusive is on a presentational level that would’ve seemed unfathomable not long ago. It pushes Sony’s hardware to a degree that makes        …read more

world religions

5 Obscure Religions Practiced Today

Beyond the world religions you’ve heard of, here are some lesser-known belief systems that might surprise you. While more than half of the human population follows one of three world religions — Christianity, Islam or Hinduism — there are thousands of religions in practice today. World religions like Buddhism, Judaism and Chinese folk religion are well-known and account for a significant portion of the population. But what about some of the lesser-known religions? What are        …read more

X-Men, X-Men movies, The New Mutants

Superhero 101: New Mutants (X-Men)

X-Men spinoff ‘The New Mutants’ has a surprisingly long and interesting history in comics. If you are even remotely versed in superheroes, you’ve probably heard of the X-Men, the superhero team of mutants — most notably, Wolverine. From the vast collection of X-Men comics to the nine feature films revolving around Wolverine and the group since 2000, this superhero property has become quite the pop culture staple. Even with the cultural relevance of X-Men, its        …read more

A Way Out video game, games with friends

'A Way Out' Video Game Brings Back the Lost Art of Couch Co-op

Chronicling a pair of inmates escaping from prison, ‘A Way Out’  puts a unique spin on the glory days of playing games with friends in one room. Somewhere during video games’ ascent from a niche pastime to a mainstream hobby, the way we play games with each other changed. It happened gradually, as online connectivity became a core focus for developers. Just like the rest of media, video games transformed into a medium dedicated to communities,        …read more

Nintendo handhelds

Requiem for the (Un)dying Nintendo 3DS

Counting down the 10 best games on the Nintendo 3DS. The Nintendo 3DS turns seven in North America on March 27. That’s an abnormally long life cycle in the realm of a handheld gaming system. And with approximately 72 million units sold worldwide (21 million in the U.S.), it makes sense why Nintendo would still want to support its aging handheld. Yet there’s a rather large elephant in the room — the massively popular Nintendo        …read more

mod games

Video Game Mods Let Gamers Build Their Ideal Experience

Modding (changing and adding to the code of a video game) creates infinite possibilities for gamers. In modern gaming, the state of a game as released by developers doesn’t necessarily determine its longevity. What often matters more is its potential to be tweaked, overhauled and even completely transformed by mods. PC versions of grand open-world adventures such as Grand Theft Auto V, Fallout 4 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim have maintained large player bases        …read more

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad: The Greatest TV Drama Turns 10

Ten years after the premiere of ‘Breaking Bad,’ it feels like we met Walter White yesterday. Ten years ago a down-on-his-luck high school chemistry teacher donning tighty-whities and a raggedy button-down put a gun to his head in the middle of the desert and pulled the trigger. At that time in his life, nothing was going as planned, so of course he’d forgotten to turn the safety off. In retrospect, that broken man seems almost        …read more


‘Cuphead’ Revives the Magic of 1930s Cartoons

The dazzling new game ‘Cuphead’ showcases what makes the earliest animations so timeless. From the very moment you boot up the independent game Cuphead it’s readily apparent that you have stepped into a time machine and traveled to a different era. Right there on the home screen, a black-and-red-clad character with a teacup for a head stands opposite a blue-and-black-clad character with a matching teacup head. Both have bent straws coming from the surface of        …read more


Speedrunners Take Gaming to the Next Level

Speedrunners defy logic to complete your favorite games in staggering times. Some people are good at a video game, and then some people are speedrunners. Speedrunning — the act of completing a video game as fast as possible — would seem somewhat like a natural progression for improving at a game. The more you play, the better you get and the less time it takes to make progress. But speedrunning entails much more than simply        …read more

Curb Your Enthusiasm

‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Reveals the Absurdity of Our Own Culture

In ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Larry David’s honesty gets him into a lot of scrapes. But maybe he’s on to something. When season eight of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm wrapped in 2011, it was unclear if and when the peculiar comedy sitcom would return. During the indefinite hiatus, years passed with no word. Thankfully, Curb Your Enthusiasm has returned for a ninth season and is currently ramping up to its December 3 finale. While the show is as        …read more

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

Why ‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ Is Topping the Charts

‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ brings in up to 2.5 million players per day. Here’s why the multiplayer battle royale simulation is such a hit. Bluehole Studio found moderate success with a massively multiplayer online title called TERA, released in 2012. When TERA switched to a free-to-play model in 2013, the game boasted more than one million users. As of March of this year, TERA eclipsed 25 million users worldwide. But there was a much more significant event        …read more

board games

12 New Board Games to Add to Your Gift Wish List

Retire the classics for these innovative board games. We live in a board game golden age, but sometimes it’s hard to take a chance and dedicate the time to learning a new one when there are so many classics that have remained popular for many decades. Given the sheer number of board games available today, the endless options often lead us back to a familiar game of Monopoly, Clue, Battleship or any number of staples        …read more

The Justice League

Superhero 101: The Justice League

The Justice League looked a bit different in the comics than it does in the upcoming film. In recent years, fans of superhero squads have had the pleasure of seeing Marvel’s best-known supergroup come together on the silver screen in The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron. The DC side of things, save for the abysmal Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, has yet to see some of its most famous heroes together in one        …read more

Calvin and Hobbes

‘Calvin and Hobbes’ and Bill Watterson: A Phenomenon and a Recluse

‘Calvin and Hobbes’ first appeared on November 18, 1985. The strip has remained relevant for more than 30 years, and its creator has stuck to his principles through it all. It was one of those things moms say to their kids to impress them about their jobs, as if being an outstanding AP teacher weren’t enough. But of course, I was just a young boy. Name-dropping has its effects. “Bill Watterson graduated from Chagrin Falls,”        …read more

‘Super Mario Odyssey’ Perfects the Mario Formula

Mario’s latest adventure, ‘Super Mario Odyssey,’ is part greatest hits, part unearthing of endless potential. For more than 30 years, Nintendo has captivated the world with the platforming genius that is Super Mario. If one game franchise were universally considered the flag holder for all video games, it would undoubtedly be the lovable, pint-sized, mustached man. What Super Mario has achieved so consistently across more than a dozen mainline games is to capture the art        …read more

How Will the Sheldon Cooper Spinoff Compare to TV Spinoffs Before?

As audiences take a double dose of Sheldon Cooper, how will ‘Young Sheldon’ compare to 7 of the best and worst spinoffs in TV history? TV studios, like all businesses, are in the industry of making money. Given the production costs of making a brand-new TV series, it makes sense that TV shows often overstay their welcome. But another thing makes sense, too: spinoffs. Offshoots of hugely successful television series have preinstalled fan bases, making        …read more

Thor: Ragnorak

Superhero 101: Thor

Ahead of ‘Thor: Ragnarok,’ take a look at the mythological superhero’s comic book origins. If you keep up with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, November 3 is likely circled on your calendar. The anticipation to see how Thor escapes from captivity on the planet of Sakaar in Thor: Ragnarok is mounting. Set almost directly after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, and four years after Thor: The Dark World, this new film will see our        …read more

combat video games

Should Combat Video Games Show Psychological Realities of War?

‘Call of Duty’ is heading back to World War II, but we need psychologically multidimensional combat video games. With modern computing technology, video games can come close to photorealism. For many genres, this is an advantage. In sports, adventure and action games, more realistic graphics are enticing and increasingly immersive. Shooters, the most lucrative genre — particularly first-person shooters — have also benefited from the uptick of graphical power. While more lively graphics immerse gamers        …read more

Stephen King movies

Stephen King Adaptations: The Best and the Worst

This year brings more Stephen King movies and shows than ever before. Which adaptations have been the all-time best and worst? Would you believe me if I told you there have been more adaptations of Stephen King’s stories and novels than King books themselves? It’s true. By the end of 2017, King’s book count — novels, short story collections and nonfiction — will stand at 71. The number of King adaptations — feature films, TV        …read more

Grand Theft Auto

2 Decades of Breaking All the Rules: Grand Theft Auto Turns 20

Grand Theft Auto, one of the most successful and controversial video game franchises ever, hits 20-year mark. Even though video games are the most popular form of entertainment in the world, there’s perhaps only a handful of video game franchises that have become household names. Super Mario Bros., Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, perhaps Sonic the Hedgehog — and the outlier of the bunch — Grand Theft Auto. Whether you know Grand Theft Auto — commonly known        …read more

winning streak

8 Most Impressive Winning Streaks in Sports History

Following the Cleveland Indians’ exciting ride to a 22-game winning streak, let’s take a look at 8 other improbable win streaks in sports history. The Cleveland Indians were one strike away from settling for a mere tie of the longest winning streak in MLB history. Francisco Lindor had other ideas, knocking a laser shot off the left field wall of Progressive Field to send in the tying run. In the 10th inning, Jay Bruce roped        …read more

coding apps for kids

Give Them a Tech Edge with 10 Fantastic Coding Apps for Kids

Get your children into tech with these excellent coding apps for kids. (Even better: Many of these are free!) With our increasing dependence on technology, coding has moved from a niche pursuit to a much-needed skill. Since computer programming is essentially learning (a) foreign language(s), it requires a vast amount of learning and practice. While a great many universities offer computer science degree tracks, too often the students who enroll in these programs are experiencing        …read more

Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. Is Undefeated in the Ring, But Hold Your Applause

Floyd Mayweather Jr. is one of boxing’s all-time greats. He makes Vegas millions each time he enters the ring, but it’s time to stop celebrating his accomplishments. On August 26 Floyd Mayweather Jr. and UFC superstar Conor McGregor will face off in what, on paper, is one of the most fascinating, albeit bizarre, sporting events of all time. Mayweather, the king of defensive boxing, came out of retirement to put his 49-0 record on the        …read more

superhero the Tick

Superhero 101: The Tick

‘The Tick’ continues on Amazon Prime August 25. Here’s what you should know before scratching the itch to enter the world of a very different sort of superhero. If you have Amazon Prime, you should watch the pilot of The Tick as soon as possible. It debuted on Amazon Instant Video last year, and on August 25 the remaining nine episodes of season one will be released. The pilot is worth your time not only        …read more

The Dark Tower series

What to Know about The Dark Tower Series ahead of the Movie

Get ready for the film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. Here’s a brief primer on the books before you sit back with your popcorn. Over the past 40-plus years, Stephen King has published a staggering 56 novels. Perhaps the most recognizable American author, King is best known for his contributions to horror, including modern classics like The Shining and It. But one of his most ambitious works is The        …read more

toy fads

Fidget Spinners and 9 More Toy Fads from the ’50s to Today

Fidget spinners, one of the latest toy fads to sweep the globe, bring back memories of toys that quickly captured loads of hearts — and cash. If you don’t have one yourself, chances are you’ve come across the typically three-pronged device in recent months. Fidget spinners are small contraptions that whirl between your fingers on ball bearings. Depending on the quality of the fidget spinner, they can revolve for up to several minutes. The rotation        …read more

offensive humor

Should There Be a Line in Stand-Up Comedy?

Dave Chappelle faces backlash for offensive humor in his Netflix specials, but are comedians required to be inoffensive? In Deep in the Heart of Texas, one of two new Dave Chappelle Netflix specials, Chappelle starts his show with offensive humor, commenting on how it’s nice to see plaid is back in style. “Most dudes I see around these parts are dressed like a dyke in New York, so I’m glad to see that.” He goes on        …read more

internet privacy

No, You Can’t Buy Paul Ryan’s Browsing History: Internet Privacy and the True Price of the Digital Age

Is the internet privacy controversy what it seems? In late March 2017, the U.S. Congress voted to dismantle internet privacy rules voted upon by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in October 2016. The original FCC ruling would have stopped Internet Service Providers from collecting and selling browsing logs to advertisers without first obtaining permission from users. Instead, Congress overturned the rule, and the order was signed in early April 2017. The decision has created what        …read more

comic book movies

Are Comic Book Movies Doomed?

Comic book movies might still be all the rage, but are they destined for extinction? In 2015 Steven Spielberg made a bold prediction about one of the most popular movie genres of today by way of historical remembrance. “We were around when the Western died and there will be a time when the superhero movie goes the way of the Western.” Westerns, one of the most popular movie genres for roughly 50 years, faded into obscurity        …read more


'Breath of the Wild' Reinvents Zelda

Simply put, 'Breath of the Wild' is the best entry in Zelda, the greatest video game franchise of all time. Once more, the newest entry in the Zelda series plays vastly different than every game that came before it. Breath of the Wild reinvents the series, bringing the classic formula into the modern era of video games. That’s not to say there needed to be a shake-up, but that’s what Nintendo has given us, breathing life        …read more

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch: The Video Game Revolution

On March 3, Nintendo Switch will usher in a new era of possibilities for video games by switching up the way we play. When Nintendo first revealed its latest video game system in October, many were dismayed by its bland name: the Nintendo Switch. Sure, the trailer showed off that the system would act as both a home console and a portable unit — hence the “Switch” — but the name seemed too benign, too        …read more

Luke Cage Power Fist

Superhero 101: Power Man (Luke Cage) and Iron Fist

With Netflix’s ‘Luke Cage’ season one in the books and ‘Iron Fist’ on the horizon, get to know these two superheroes according to the comics. Long before Luke Cage and Iron Fist had their own original shows on Netflix, they each had gone through periods of turmoil within the Marvel Universe. There was a time when both heroes were almost cancelled from the comics, likely to be expunged entirely, due to dwindling readership. It was        …read more


Superhero 101: Logan, the Man Known as Wolverine

Before you watch the new Wolverine movie, ‘Logan,’ discover his origins according to the comics. Today when people think Wolverine, they think Hugh Jackman. That’s understandable. After all, Jackman has played the role in nine films, including the upcoming Logan, since 2000. X-Men and Wolverine films make some of the basics of the character common knowledge. Wolverine frequently goes by the name Logan, the title of the upcoming film. Sometimes, in less fortunate occasions, he’s        …read more

team curse

10 Legendary Sports Curses, Ongoing and Broken

The world celebrates with the Chicago Cubs, who broke their 108-year team curse. Do you know about all 10 of these curses in sports history? Curses and superstitions are curious parts of sports lore. Some swear by them, while others laugh them off. But if you believe in curses, the longest team curse has been broken, and five million people filled the streets of Chicago to celebrate a new era. It happened. The Chicago Cubs finally broke a        …read more

first-person shooter

First Person Shoot Out: Comparing the Three Blockbusters Spawning This Season

A buyer’s guide to the three big-budget first-person shooter games available now. Which one’s right for you? Each holiday season, a myriad of big-budget video games vie for the attention of gift shoppers and gamers looking for an experience to get lost in. The first-person shooter genre is a mainstay at the top of wish lists and sales charts. This season, instead of the usual one or two blockbuster FPS titles, there are three: Battlefield        …read more

Superhero 101: Doctor Strange

Before you watch the new Doctor Strange movie, discover his origins according to the comics. One of the benefits of the Hollywood superhero phenomenon is that moviegoers are meeting characters previously known to only niche groups of comic book readers. Everyone knew Batman, Superman and Spider-Man, but now the general public know Iron Man, the Avengers and even Ant-Man. On November 4, mainstream audiences will meet another superhero: Doctor Strange. Superhero flicks are accessible to anyone without a        …read more

NES games

NES Games Bring Back Fun for All Ages

This holiday, the Nintendo Entertainment System will be reissued, bringing classic NES games to a new generation. In the early ’80s, after the craze for the Atari dwindled and the novelty of arcades grew thin, there was a growing uncertainty in the video game industry. The “video game crash” seemed to happen due to the belief that games had already reached their peak. Looking back now, in the age of video game ubiquity in mainstream culture, these        …read more

mental illness

8 Contemporary Novels Exploring Mental Illness

Fiction has the power to enlighten readers about mental illness and the capacity to inspire hope. Mental illness has been a steadfast theme in fiction since the first novel of the Western Literary Tradition, Don Quixote. Today, as mental illness continues to lose its stigma in mainstream society, modern writers are providing unique narratives that set out to explore the manifestations of depression, anxiety and other diseases affecting mental health. Here are eight sterling, earnest depictions        …read more

fantasy football league

Has the Fantasy Football League Ruined NFL Fandom?

As we perfect our starting lineups for our fantasy football leagues, we ask: Has fantasy changed NFL fans for better or for worse? It’s week 12 of the NFL season, and your team is taking the field with a potential playoff berth at stake. Carson Palmer, one of the best feel-good stories of the year, has reemerged as an elite quarterback. Now, if only Antonio Brown snags a few tosses for triple-digit yardage and a        …read more


What’s with the Rapid Rise of eSports?

eSports viewership outpaces the Super Bowl, NBA Finals and Wimbledon — by a long shot. But why? Soon, average sports fans may become avid fans of what some don’t even acknowledge as a sport: eSports. When it comes to traditional TV sports ratings, the NFL — and specifically the Super Bowl — is unmatched. We saw 111.9 million tune in to watch Peyton Manning ride off into the sunset in Super Bowl 50 earlier this        …read more

geek chic

From Outcasts to Geek Chic: Nerd Culture in the Mainstream

From Freaks and Geeks to Weezer, we’ve finally arrived in the wonder years of geek chic. In an episode of the tech-comedy Silicon Valley, Richard says, “For thousands of years, guys like us have gotten the shit kicked out of us. But now, for the first time, we’re living in an era when we can be in charge.” The “guys like us” are tech geeks and nerds, and it wasn’t that long ago that a reference        …read more

Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio: In the Wake of Constant Belief

The curse is broken in Cleveland, Ohio. It’s the fourth quarter of game seven of the 2016 NBA Finals, and I’m pacing uncontrollably. I believe but I’m conditioned to expect heartbreak. Palms clasped against the center of my face as if I am praying, wishing, hoping that this time — this time — it will be different. The series of events throughout the final two minutes of the game have already been talked about endlessly:        …read more

Iranian Revolution

1979 Iranian Revolution Video Game Immerses Players in History

Revolution games drop players into crises of truly historic proportions. iNK Stories, a New York–based multimedia company, offers an immersive historical experience in the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Video games have the power to transport players to new interactive worlds, and with advances in technology, those worlds are becoming increasingly realistic. The Assassin’s Creed franchise has taken gamers to pivotal points in history; the Call of Duty series has gone into the trenches of a variety        …read more

sci-fi predictions

11 Sci-Fi Predictions That Came True

Sci-fi writers prove they’re time travelers with these predictions that came true. From VR to smart cars to AI, some of the most popular and impressive technology products we’re using and developing today are science fiction predictions that came true. 1. Invisibility Warner Bros. Soon, it won’t just be Predator lurking in the shadows or Harry Potter scurrying across Hogwarts undetected. Breakthrough metamaterial cloaking is on the cusp of reality. Ultrathin, nonmetal materials have the power        …read more

Undertale Game

‘Undertale’ Dives Deep into the Human Condition

Can a role-playing video game change how we treat each other? Entertainment often reveals truths about the world around us. A category of entertainment that has taken great strides in recent years in commenting on societal interactions and the breadth of human emotions is the video game industry. Mass-produced, big-budget, upscale titles typically revolve around one common element: fun. However, in the independent game subcategory, passion projects created by small teams set out to explore        …read more