RE:BIND

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Back in 2003, Hideo Kojima helmed a new project; the first non-Metal Gear title since the release of Policenauts in 1994. It was a bizarre spin on the unique properties of a handheld console, taking advantage of its mobility by nestling a photometric light sensor in the game cartridge. It was called Boktai: The Sun Is In Your Hand, a GameBoy Advance title centered around a vampire hunter named Django. It blended the stealth-action many had come to expect from Kojima, but played it against an isometric angle and utilized actual, real-world sunlight as the source to recharge your weaponry.

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Painting has never been something I’ve had much skill with. My attempts have always hedged towards embarrassing, with shaky brushstrokes and deeply flawed translations of the image I have in mind to the canvas in front of me. Nonetheless, I understand the merits of the craft and can appreciate the dedication even a single painting requires of its creator. Every colour carefully chosen to resonate with those around it, shapes drawn just so, layers of iteration and happy accidents synthesizing into one cohesive piece that blooms in front of the viewer; a collage of abstractions that coalesce into beauty.

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Today, January 8th, 2019 RE:BIND posted its first article ever.

What once started life as a quirky experiment to see if one could outmaneuver the discourse, has rapidly turned into a life-changing media extravaganza. What a lovely community we’ve developed over the past year in our Discord, as well as recently breaching 2,000 followers on Twitter.

None of this would be possible without your enduring support!

As we take a short rest from our year-long sprint to close the chapter of ‘Volume One’, I highly advise you take a look through our archives! Catherine examined some of our best hits that she’s produced over the last year worth taking another look at, and it is unwise to overlook the fantastic works of our editor: Mx. Medea

What’s next?

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Wandering a closed loop of an island, a hidden quest lays scattered about the surreal sights of this lonely mass. Your only choice: poke and prod the surrounds until something happens. Slowly, knowledge is amassed, and a eureka moment strikes! A flurry of activity as disparate elements click together, finally approaching new heights… And plateau. A new challenge lay before you, the culmination of all your epiphanies revealing further unknowns. Will you ever find an escape from this place?

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Trying to summarize an entire decade’s worth of releases is a futile effort; the amount of interactive media dropped for public consumption across ten years is a vast wealth of gems that can’t simply be picked apart for objective “bests,” yet everyone outlet under the sun attempts to wrangle together their picks for some projects that stayed with them over the years.

Following in the footsteps of their Sisyphean task, I’d like to highlight a few titles that resonated with me when I initially played them, and still do in retrospect.

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Content warning: discussions of trauma, abuse, substance abuse, and self harm

Terraria by Re-Logic (2011)

If you think about it, aren’t all games a game of the decade, or at least of a decade? Ah well, another 10 years go flying by and it’s time to engage in the Sisyphean task of rolling the “top games of x decade” rock up the hill once again nonetheless, so let’s not waste any time from this decade and just dive straight in.

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It’s hard to say if we, at RE:BIND, really believe in a ‘Game Of The Year’ or even a ‘Game Of The Decade’

What we do believe in are important artistic works, the individual contributions to the greater cohesive whole, cultural context for the way we live and the things important to us.

So join us for the games we think helped to define 2009 – 2019, we largely believe these works to be of great importance, and that you should play them. By no means is this comprehensive, or intended to assert the primacy of these games over all other works.

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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen order – Respawn Entertainment, Electronic Arts / Disney

With the release of the hyped final entry in the most recent Star Wars trilogy, eyes have turned to the lackluster reception and immediate backpedaling present in the subtext. With numerous concessions made to comply with fan backlash since the first entry, heated debates about the appropriate level of fan service, the responsibilities surrounding a reboot or revival, and arguments on who should helm one of the most established contemporary pop media franchises, has finally culminated in one tumultuous yawn. Not quite a failure, not quite a success- just a lingering bitter taste in the mouth of those with expectations cultivated beyond reason. The impossibly high bar of quality demanded induced by runaway marketing strategies, artifically assembled as a sort of bulwark, a last ditch defensive effort by media corporations against cynical counter-culture.

It becomes increasingly self-evident with every passing year that we have an ethical obligation moving forward to examine the conditions that lead to this scenario, there are many lessons regarding the future of interactive media, film, and commercial games and the toxic influences that pervade each respective industry. As hardware innovation and novel inspiration reduce to a simmer, an uneasy sense of doubt begins to take root in the institutions we take for granted on a daily basis. The audience’s enthusiasm that has driven us unquestionably to this point begins to run dry- suddenly, the glamour has worn off and we’re no longer impressed with the emperor’s new clothes.

Where will the next decade take us when we can no longer coast on established success and the familiar momentum of presumption? after all, ‘He who controls the spice-‘ waitaminute, wrong franchise!

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(Sky: Children of the Light, thatgamecompany 2019)

Games as a Service has been a much discussed experiment established by the AAA industry, one that has been wildly successful. As the arms race of technical advancements forever bloating development budgets races onward and the tightening of development cycle lengths to meet growing profit demands continues, games release at a dizzying flurry that is at once suffocating yet celebratory. Each year, a new pantheon of titles are added to the record, miles of scripts that inspire and renew, or simply experiences that last wordlessly; a breeze of mechanics and flow fusing into a torrent of fleeting endless memories.

“But,” the corporate mind may ask, “how do we make this profitable for us, a massive corporation wielding the labor of hundreds within our hand? How can we ensure consumers will flock to our products and save their purchasing power for more of what we have?”

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