Here are a few selected works from across the web:
Cultist Simulator review — shuffling your way onto another plane of reality
in VentureBeat, 5.31.2018
Cultist Simulator has terrific atmosphere and it deftly strums your emotions as you uncover more of its secrets, alternately thrumming with inspiration as things start making sense and slumping with defeat when you can’t figure out what you need to create a human crucible. Accompanying you on this dark task is an eerie soundscape that occasionally segues into devious minor-key arpeggios that imply that what you’re doing is forbidden and unthinkable. Whispers emerge and fade away when you begin courting pawns to bring into your cult’s fold. Sometimes the soundtrack makes you feel like you’re in a haunted great hall, the music reverberating off the upper clerestory or perhaps reaching you from a far-off underwater cavern.
Glitch Mundo carves out a grassroots festival for indie games in Brazil
in VentureBeat, 7.5.2018
Last year’s BIG Festival had over 20,000 attendees. Its sponsors include organizations like Agência Nacional do Cinema (Ancine), which pledged to invest over $10 million in the Brazilian game industry in 2018. More than just providing a space to show off games, it’s intent on fostering the industry and bringing in international investors, publishers, and media to raise the profile of Brazilian games. And starting this year, it’s folding in animation and music into its event, turning it into more of an arts and culture festival rather than just a games event.
To some critics, this has resulted in a lack of focus.
To make the cyber-thriller Searching, these indie filmmakers turned to video games
in VentureBeat, 12.2.2018
Techno thriller Searching is a video game movie — but you won’t find Dwayne Johnson battling demons on Mars (or critics on Twitter) or Michael Fassbender swan-diving into a bale of hay. Instead, writer and producer Sev Ohanian, along with writer and director Aneesh Chaganty have cleverly incorporated game mechanics into their film. For inspiration, they’ve looked to a wide variety of titles like Fulbright’s Gone Home, Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain, and Valve’s classic puzzler Portal. In the process, they’ve learned how to do the thing that games do best: interactivity.
Why South African game developers are starting their own industry event
in VentureBeat, 4.19.2018
South Africa has a rich culture and a long history with games — board games, specifically. Digital games as an art form is newer, though the country has made inroads with the animation industry. It boasts rising talents like Triggerfish, which produced the Adventures of Zambezia and generated $35 million at the box office. Video games have gotten a later start.
Kimmy Is a Reminder That Every Childhood Must End
in Outermode, 3.13.2017
Though summer vacation may seem to stretch on in a forever haze, Nina Freeman’s Kimmy is a bittersweet reminder that every childhood must come to an end. It’s a visual novel about the complex society of children, governed by their own rules and rituals as they try to parse the adult world.
At the end of the world, pop-culture icons act as old friends and confidantes, earning a kind of permanence in a life with no certainties. These references enable the characters to discuss their new realities using a familiar grammar, re-contextualizing a dystopian future and lending some air of normalcy to an extreme situation.
Invisible Planets, translated and edited by Ken Liu
in Strange Horizons, 1.23.2017
While reading the collection, it’s hard to shake the feeling that China itself is a character within its pages. Particularly in the West, we’re trained to view China as some sort of ineffable specter that’s taken on a life of its own, one whose shape and substance is glimpsed only through a distorted lens. The idea persists that the East is, as a general rule, old, mystical, unknowable. But this is exactly the set of assumptions that translator and editor Ken Liu warns against.
The First Ever African Fantasy Action RPG, Aurion
in Geeks of Color, 1.9.2017
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “fantasy”? Is it knights and dragons and Tolkien elves? Kiro’o Games is looking to change that — starting with Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan, the first African fantasy action RPG by Cameroon’s very first game studio.
Mystic Messenger and the Power of Texting Games
in Kill Screen, 10.26.2016
If I have learned anything from Mystic Messenger, it’s how astonishingly easy it is to get emotionally invested in a chat with a fictional character. Forget the Turing test, I discovered that I’m happy if my talking partner can pass a Turing quiz.
Where Would the Gun Debate Be Today Without James Brady?
in The Daily Beast in partnership with The National Geographic Channel, 9.26.2016
In June 2016, the worst mass shooting in American history occurred in Orlando. In August 2016, Chicago recorded the most homicides in a month since October 1997. No matter the differing opinions, everyone agrees that something needs to change and fast.
Review of Imaginarium 4 edited by Sandra Kasturi and Jerome Stueart
in Strange Horizons, 2.19.2016
The strength of speculative fiction is often that it’s so delightfully self-aware, testing the boundaries of tradition and re-imagining old tropes. Imaginarium 4 really shines when its stories get a little weird and question their own nature. These are the stories that are offered up shaken, not stirred, from some bottom-of-the-ocean sleep: they are having out-of-body experiences and living not just as stories but as answers to the question “What if?”
“When Simple Living Is No Simple Proposition”
in The Daily Beast in partnership with National Geographic, 9.8.2015
This bid to declare independence from societal confines is inspired by everything from a calculated strategy for financial independence to a deep desire to discover what life is like beyond concrete and steel. Not all of these communities surrender all their ties to technology or their modern lifestyles, but they all have one thing in common: a need to get back to the basics.
Review of Waiting for the Machines to Fall Asleep ed. Peter Öberg
in Strange Horizons, 8.14.2015
Unfortunately, many of the stories in the anthology recycle so many science fiction tropes that they might as well be the aforementioned prefabricated IKEA loungers, riffing on the same showroom pieces we’ve all seen before.
Review of The Wilds by Julia Elliott
in Strange Horizons, 1.23.2015
The Wilds is a short story collection that brims with untamed energy and exults in the unknowable shadowland between today and tomorrow. It’s a world where grandmothers still eat Tootsie Rolls and throw revivalist storytelling sessions about the rapture. It’s also a world where robots can fall in love and women occasionally start tribes of neo-Neanderthals. In short, it’s a whirlwind tour of an electric forest where you can still hear the call of the wild—v2.0.
Fashion And Tech Companies Merge Online And Offline Sales
in TechCrunch, 12.7.2014
In November, fashion and tech entrepreneurs and experts gathered at the Decoded Fashion New York Summit to discuss integrating technology, fashion and the retail experience — like the partnerships between retailers including Rebecca Minkoff, Nordstrom and eBay.
Marquetry and Moving Images: Julien Gardair
in Arts in Bushwick blog, 12.9.2014
From expansive site-specific installations to coffee table collages, multimedia artist Julien Gardair seems to do it all. His extensive portfolio includes video sculptures, outsize cutouts of free-form felt and asphalt, and innumerable glossy magazines, excavated for color, form and meaning.
Nuna’s Geometric Popsicles Show that Design Can Be Delicious
in BOXY, 12.17.2014
Nuna elevates the humble popsicle by mixing the delightfully kitschy aesthetics of ’90s Ring Pops with fine-tuned elements of design. The result: gorgeous gem-cut treats that are sleek yet playful.
James Ostrer’s Post-Apocalyptic Candy People
in BOXY, 12.19.2014
What says “Happy holidays!” more than post-apocalyptic candy monsters? While other people are blithely building gingerbread houses, James Ostrer is merrily arranging doughnut-hole orifices and slathering frosting and ketchup all over himself and others.
Maria Rubinke’s Bloody Porcelain Sculptures Embody the Terrors of Dark Forests And Nightmares
in Beautiful/Decay, 10.23.2014
In the days leading up to Halloween, leave a little room in your nightmares for Rubinke’s vacant-eyed children.
Gareth Pugh’s Mind-Bending Fashion With A Ritualistic Twist
in Beautiful/Decay, 10.30.2014
Pugh drapes his models in the regalia of pagan rituals, occasionally borrowing from the mind-expanding sensibilities of modern glitch art.
A Magical 3D Laser that Projects Images and Text into Thin Air
in Beautiful/Decay, 11.10.2014
By focusing laser beams onto a single spot and firing the lasers in bursts of 100 times per second, images appear out of nowhere like 21st century pointillist magic. So far, the images are rudimentary, looking for the most part like simple sketches in .GIF form. But it’s still a fantastic advancement of the technology.
Review of After Dark by Haruki Murakami
in YAM, 1.24.2012
Haruki Murakami writes as though he’s remembered every single dream he’s ever had. Not only does he remember them, but he visits them freely, trims their hedges, contemplates their form and color, and even brings back small trinkets and souvenirs.