Browsing posts from: April 2020

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (2003) – By LucasArts, Raven Software
(video credit: Michal Kuban)

It’s late at night and you’ve been chomping on some generic corn chips and store-brand soda, you got off work 5 hours ago and it’s the weekend. A lot of your friends are into games that you find a little too stressful like Operation Flashpoint or Starcraft 1v1s, you think those games are fun but only when you don’t take them seriously. You love star wars though, and when you found a cheap copy of Jedi Academy at the local game store it seemed like a fun buy. Once you made your way through the singleplayer campaign and got a feel for the combat, you dived into some multiplayer.

Sometimes you just wanna unwind, and dueling servers have a calm vibe where you can catch up with your pals while flexing new technique. Who wants to play something that just feels like work right after getting off a shift at the local grocery store? Not you! It’s time to jump in and catch some hang time.

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Content Warning: Discussions of COVID-19 and social isolation.

Whether we like it or not, we now live in a video game world. Locked doors, empty streets, vehicles with owners nowhere to be seen and wide open cityscapes that go nowhere. There’s stores but no commerce, there’s restaurants but no patrons.

Increasingly, our reality has turned into a skybox or the aesthetic backdrop for a multiplayer power struggle where the server is empty yet the player remains. But there’s still signs of life, diegetic worldbuilding that hints at a larger narrative.

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Eden – By The Missing Mountain Team

Somewhere hidden within the depths of every writer’s imagination is a place, far beyond the perception of human eyes and the grasp of their meager arms. It is a place someone cannot touch, cannot hear nor taste, yet a creative man can see it, feel it, somehow impossibly know it.

Once you have been to this place, to show anyone else is to perform an oblique ritual, to tread a dark and winding foggy path that goes far beyond the confines of your comfort, to transform yourself into a doorway through which unknown things can reach our world. You must ask yourself if this queer drive, this strange muse, this siren song, serves you or only itself, a question with an answer granted only to those willing to complete the journey. [Some spoilers follow]

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Video games and the automotive industry have a long history as digital dancing partners, or perhaps friendly hotrod racers forever running in parallel with one another. This friendship is, in fact, older than many of us who grew up with video games themselves, from the most obvious iteration of racing games through the years, to the downright unlikely bizarre crossovers such as the LucasArts / Chrysler (yes, you read that correctly) demo disc in 1996.

But how often do we hear about this history or take the time to preserve it in our communities? And what exactly does video game preservation look like? Is it a simple matter of dusty hardware in a museum, or can it be something more, like a living digital exhibit? Leo Burke set out on a mission earlier this year to embark on his own interpretation in the recently released Auto Museum 64.

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Happy’s Humble Burger Barn – by Scythe Dev Team

Public relations is still a relatively young industry despite its dominance in everyday life. At the hands of this new medium, the world is reduced to a cacophony, and no matter where you look you find a million ads vying for your endlessly divided attention. With companies caught in a forever war with their competitors for the true currency of hungry eyeballs, marketing continues to race ahead in innovation that bears the fruit of research often difficult to distinguish from quack fringe science papers on brainwashing. How can we get people to eat more junk food? How can we get them to drink more soda? How can we convince everyone to consume more luxury goods in excess? How can we commodify more of our daily lives?

The newest entry into the Scythe Dev Team‘s game universe, Happy’s Humble Burger Barn, has found some disturbing answers. Brace yourself, Dear Reader, for you may find that Happy Cows do not necessarily produce better milk.

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Crytek’s Crysis: Remastered

Sitting with your mates in the VTOL as you hurtle across the skies of Colorado, packed full of parachutes and fully loaded weapon kits. The objective? A war factory on the far right hand corner of the map spewing out enemy tanks. Your closest buddy explains the plan over Ventrilo; night time air drop, pop chutes at 200 metres to get past anti-air, spike the skylights and drop in flash bangs to disorient the hostiles while bravo team dashes to seize the spawn point. Before you can get in range you hear everyone groan suddenly and say they’re dead, but to your confusion you’re very much so still alive with nobody else inside the ship in sight.

Suddenly, you notice the VTOL is looking a touch…. crispy, your HUD is freaking out and you turn to your left: The hatch is blown wide open, and the hull is doing barrel rolls fast enough to make you hurl. With lighting quick reflexes, you mash the E key and plummet down to Terra Firma, deploying your chute right before you hit the ground.

You think to yourself, “I did it!” as a sense of victory washes over you. Both for outsmarting the glitch and managing to land far behind enemy lines by a total fluke. *CRUNCH* Oh, looks like the fuselage just caught up with you, care to pick your new spawn point?

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Moments To Midnight by J ‘Taxiderby’ Hastings, Ben ‘Daisyowl’ Driscoll, Aaron Cherof

What would you do if all time came to a halt? With no way forward into the future, how would one have any sense of place? To know when to eat, when to sleep, when to embark on new endeavors and to shed the shackles of listless melancholy.

Most of us would likely find ourselves adrift, succumbing to boundless ennui and without ambition, now unable to sense the changing of the seasons or feel the delicate touch of the sun’s rays. We would have no choice but to put our faith into someone, anyone, who might put things right and set the hands of our once great clock tower in motion once more.

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