RE:BIND

Browsing posts from: July 2019

Bin Chickanery, By Ellie (@bideobames on twitter)

HAHA, OH MAN. HOW’S IT GOING FELLOW AUSTRALIAN? I REALLY JUST LOVE STAYING IN DOORS ALL THE TIME BUT I WANTED TO SEE HOW THINGS WERE OUTSIDE THE AIR CONDITIONING FOR ONCE! WHAT A LOVELY DAY OF SUNSHINE AND RIPE STENCH. UH, I MEAN, WHAT I MEANT TO SAY IS, BOY, HAHA, DO I SMELL BAD OR IS IT JUST THE GIGANTIC PILE OF TRASH HERE?

VIDEO GAMES HUH? YEAH THAT SOUNDS GREAT- WAIT, THERE’S TRASH GAMES? THAT SOUNDS UHHH… AMAZING, EXTREMELY ENTICING AND DELI- DELICATE, HARD TO MAKE I MEAN. YOU KNOW YOU REALLY HAVE TO GO SPENDING EVERY DAY JUST POURING YOUR ALL INTO THE WHOLE THING AND.. JUST… Y’KNOW, SOME PEOPLE MIGHT TAKE THE MONIKER OF TRASH GAME AS AN INSULT BUT I THINK IT’S QUITE THE COMPLIMENT. I MEAN WE HAVE TO BE MORE FRIENDLY TOWARDS THE EARTH, AND WHO DOESN’T LIKE RECYCLING?

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Not this time, it’s pure fiction. We made it up.

Urban Legends, Myths, Scary Stories, Surreal Tales of the darkness that lurks behind the window and in the shrouded corners of our homes; these so very often form the life blood of our design ambitions, but are we truly doing them justice?

It’s been a popular trend ever since the famous found footage thriller Marble Hornets to make rapid adaptions of the often fascinating concepts and urban legends that have their genesis in the online public domain of anonymous forums and social media. However, it is this very trend which kicked off a seemingly endless assembly line of content, churning the latest viral meme of terror du jour into a cynical cash-in soon to be found in the dark alleyways of Steam recommendations and forgotten itch.io tags, with only a handful of genuine gems cropping up from time to time. This isn’t to say that interactive media is alone in this trend, television and radio have a longstanding tradition of revitalizing the most haunting stories in our collective subconscious across multiple decades, bringing us works like Sci-Fi’s Channel Zero which seek to create direct adaptations of work pulled from stories found on the notorious imageboards of the late 2000s.

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Your tiny baby legs patter across the metal grating as you sprint towards a cop, praying to your boss, God, that he doesn’t turn around and pump you full of lead. You lunge forward and possess him. His body pulsates as your powers take hold, and you begin steering this meat puppet that will finally grant you access into the next room. Once you get there and his job is done, feel free to throw him over that railing into the vat of acid. Just make sure you pop out first, you certainly don’t want to take the final swan-dive with him.

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We’ve previously covered Sonoshee‘s (@Sonoshit on twitter) Critters For Sale: SNAKE, a unique episodic take on the visual novel genre through a fresh perspective riffing on pop culture and to which shows no signs of stopping with the new entry GOAT.

Goat keeps up the intense visual style that made the original so compelling, despite going from a hotel to a desert the aesthetic remains fully intact and just as vibrant as ever. What has changed is the tone- Goat is an origin story of side characters from the first episode, and by the very nature of said character follows suit with a more dramatic presentation.

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Launching the interstellar spaceship “Hope,” humanity shunts a baby into the cosmos off of a shattered Earth, its remnants orbiting the fractured rock. You awaken twenty-some-odd lightyears out, the cyropod next to yours bloodied, bearing a note reading “Find me.” Now grown, you don an exo-suit and set off for the alien surface of a nearby planet with nothing more than a trusty blaster in tow.

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I’ve been playing a lot of RUST lately, and it’s left me reflecting on both the works of Joseph Conrad and the various interpretations they’ve inspired. We talk a lot in games about how the subject of violence deserves far more scrutiny in whatever form it takes- Jingoism, Gore, Abuse, but we have a strong tendency in critical analysis to overlook the systematic violence that is perpetuated through the context of the material itself.

If Metal Gear Solid and Spec Ops: The Line are anti-war critiques, then I would wager that the likes of Far Cry 2 or Cryostasis are more in line with the original thesis of Conrad’s subtext, one also found within the core of Coppala’s interpretation: the prevailing focus on the liminal and transformative nature of warfare. One cannot go through war, either as an individual or a society, without drastically altering one’s super-ego (the self-critical consciousness) and their general perspective on life and the world at large.

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An organism like any other.

Sand Gardeners (@BrownieCove and @Zephyrraine) are quite the intriguing group; this will have been our second piece on their work, the first being Brownie Cove Cancelled, a lovely absurdist examination of the woes of travel. While you may not have heard of them, their body of work thus far is a deeply stimulating (and extensive) catalog of thought experiments.

While roughly a year old at this point, their LD41 entry Definition Of A Ghuest is no exception and easily worth a look. What exactly is a Ghuest? It’s more complicated than one may think.

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One thing I really like about outlandish games is seeing how far I can push their boundaries. As an interactive art form, games are uniquely in their ability to react to impulsive desires. For instance, in The World is Your Weapon from Japanese developer kagaya (@qqrypwqy), you are thrust into the world as Weaco, a young girl who works as a Weapons Merchant. Here, everything is a possible bludgeon for you to wield against monsters. It’s incredibly silly to pick up a full-sized tree over your head and slap about some slimes with it. It’s even sillier to have that tree break mid-battle, so you pick up one of the slimes, and use them to beat down the rest of their compatriots.

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Newcomer Jan “Jam” Malitschek‘s take on the popular online urban legend, Backrooms

It’s a recent trend in online folk horror to rapidly adapt those whispers from social media aggregates like Reddit, imageboards, and forums into short films and games. The Backrooms are a famous example, still palpable in the current zeitgeist, now blossoming in horror game jams or bespoke developer catalogues, such as PuppetCombo’s newly announced entry.

“If you’re not careful and you noclip out of reality in the wrong areas, you’ll end up in the Backrooms, where it’s nothing but the stink of old moist carpet, the madness of mono-yellow, the endless background noise of fluorescent lights at maximum hum-buzz, and approximately six hundred million square miles of randomly segmented empty rooms to be trapped in
God save you if you hear something wandering around nearby, because it sure as hell has heard you”

– Anonymous /x/ board user, source: Knowyourmeme.com

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Darting between overhangs, I’m desperate to put distance between myself and the security drone on the other side of the road. Raining, again, but I need space. My battery is running low already, but I can see batteries just one more building away. Not wanting to risk it draining while waiting for the rain to subside, I choose to sprint from this dilapidated sanctuary to the next. The rain proves too corrosive, however, and spells my end. I collapse in the street before my vision goes dark. Time to try again.

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