the arkham knight

After the disappointment ‘Batman: Arkham Origins’ (Warner Bros. Games Montreal 2013) was [and ↑Jaz is with me here, giving good reasons, why it was disappointing], Rocksteady Studios is at the helm again and ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’ (Rocksteady 2015) is scheduled for release on 02 June 2015. After their glorious games ‘Batman: Arkham Asylum’ (2009) and ‘Batman: Arkham City’ (2011) I am absolutely convinced that Rocksteady will do it again. Just like The Creative Assembly just recently saved the Alien-franchise with the fantastic ‘Alien: Isolation’ (2014) after Gearbox Software nearly had ruined it with the godawful ‘Aliens: Colonial Marines’ (2013).   … Continue reading

Share

snowden on games

Here is a passage from chapter two of ↑Glenn Greenwald‘s excellent newest book “No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State” (2014), which I’ve recently read: Finally, Snowden gave me an answer that felt vibrant and real. “The true measurement of a person’s worth isn’t what they say they believe in, but what they do in defense of those beliefs,” he said. “If you’re not acting on your beliefs, then they probably aren’t real.”     How had he developed this measure for assessing his worth? Where did he derive this belief that he could … Continue reading

Share

there’s a glow

  This is the music video for the song ‘There’s a glow’ by the band NO, a Los Angeles-, respectively Echo-Park-based Indie sextet, which just published its debut album ‘El Prado.’ Filmmaker Johnny Agnew almost entirely filmed the video within the computer game ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ (GTA V | Rockstar North 2013)—my, my, how ↵machinima has developed since I first posted about it in 2005 or so. I especially do like the ironic, humoresque ambience and narrative of the video, very gamer-like. And as we are already at it: not that I’d have time for it, but where are … Continue reading

Share

public displays of play

[Abstract:] As research on virtual worlds gains increasing attention in educational, commercial, and military domains, a consideration of how player populations are ‘reassembled’ through social scientific data is a timely matter for communication scholars. This paper describes a large-scale study of virtual worlds in which participants were recruited at public gaming events, as opposed to through online means, and explores the dynamic relationships between players and contexts of play that this approach makes visible. Challenging conventional approaches to quantitatively driven virtual worlds research, which categorizes players based on their involvement in an online game at a particular point in time, … Continue reading

Share

futuristic user interfaces

An interface from ‘Prometheus’ (Scott 2012) The head-up display (↑HUD) of ‘The Terminator’ (Cameron 1984) VisualPunker has amassed a ↑nice collection [containing a lot of animated gifs] of futuristic and retrofuturistic interfaces and HUDs from anime, other motion pictures, and computer games. In this respect I fullheartedly recommend ‘↑Make it so: Interaction design lessons from science fiction‘ (Shedroff & Noessel 2012): Many designers enjoy the interfaces seen in science fiction films and television shows. Freed from the rigorous constraints of designing for real users, sci-fi production designers develop blue-sky interfaces that are inspiring, humorous, and even instructive. By carefully studying … Continue reading

Share

batman arkham origins

It’s scheduled for release in late October this year—‘Batman: Arkham Origins’ (Warner Bros. Games Montreal 2013), the prequel to ‘Batman: Arkham Asylum’ and ‘Batman: Arkham City’ (Rocksteady Studios 2009, 2011). Here are the until now ↑known details, and here is a ↑full history of the ‘long line of Batman games stretching back more than 25 years.’ ROCKSTEADY STUDIOS. 2009. Batman: Arkham Asylum [computer game]. London, Burbank, New York: Eidos Interactive, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, DC Entertainment. ROCKSTEADY STUDIOS. 2011. Batman: Arkham City [computer game]. Burbank, New York: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, DC Entertainment. WARNER BROS. GAMES MONTREAL. 2013. Batman: Arkham … Continue reading

Share

damascus it is

On 26 February 2013 TV2 of Denmark needed a backdrop for a report on the current conflict in Syria. As it seems someone at the station searched the web for a suitable picture and hit upon a beautiful vista of the old city of Damascus. But the picture shows Damascus as it most probably has looked during the time of the ↑third crusade (1189-1192). Above that the picture doesn’t depict anything from the empirical world, but is a still from the computer game ‘↵Assassin’s Creed‘ (Ubisoft Montreal 2007). Quite tell-tale is the wooden beam attached to the minarett at the … Continue reading

Share

ennis house sunrise

  The idea to recreate the ‘↵House on Haunted Hill‘ in ‘↑Minecraft‘ haunts me since months. Well, ↑Kevin Shull already did it back in November 2011, complete with custom texture pack and all: House was created “block for block” as close as I could get with the photographs I found. Some areas were unclear in photos if photographed at all. House is 3x minecraft dimensions. Doors are six blocks tall instead of two. Thirteen textures created for textile blocks. Thirty additional “ice” blocks were created (that won’t melt) for windows and doors. Not enough blocks to do window designs or … Continue reading

Share

games as art

John Maeda’s opinion piece ‘↑Videogames do belong in the Museum of Modern Art‘ has spawned a series of comments, among them ↑this one by Dedwrekka: Actually GTA ['↑Grand Theft Auto'] could be easily described as art.     GTA is about the breakdown of the social contract. Given an open world that responds to their actions, but has no actual effect on them, most players tend to sit down and go on long rampages in a short amount of time.     Part of what makes games art is the interaction between game and player. In that sense, a person … Continue reading

Share