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It’s time to confront the uncanny potential of virtual architecture

A room enclosed on all sides sits naked in grayspace. Inside is a trunk, a bed, a tube, a radiator, a light, and little else. A sharp sound swells and suddenly the room snaps out of place. Now it is upside-down. You can’t even enter through the open doorway, barely able to peer inside through the window, the objects once sat neatly now thrown into disarray across a ceiling that is now a floor. The sound comes again and the room changes, again. It sits as it did before, at the center of a square cut of rock floating in a…

Everybody's Gone to the Capture

The English melancholia of Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture

This article is part of our lead-up to Kill Screen Festival where Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture artist Alex Grahame will be speaking. /// “These are the dark November days when the English hang themselves!” – Voltaire /// The English are known for a number of bred-in-the-bone traits but chief among them is a certain melancholia. There is nothing uniquely English about being a bit sad but history has latched it to us as part of our national character. Perhaps it is our artists who are to blame for this. John Dowland, the Elizabethan bard, is remembered for his motto: “Semper…


Deidia, a love letter to broken games and abandonware

When Barch released DEIOS back in 2014 there was something immediately off about it. It proposed that you were a man. It proposed that this man assembled guns from hundreds of possible parts. It proposed that with one of these guns this man would shoot gods until they were dead. But all the guns were fucked. And killing even one of the gods proved to be near-impossible. DEIOS seemed too hard or too broken to feasibly spend much time with it. Yet this seems to have been the game and perhaps the experience that Barch wanted to create. What to expect from…


Visit the latest haunted cities from the queen of horror games

Further cementing herself as an architecture goddess, Kitty Horrorshow has publicly released a collection of three games and a flash-fiction story called Haunted Cities. These were all projects originally made as exclusive rewards for those backing her on Patreon for $5 a month, the deal being that you get one of Horrorshow’s virtual worlds a month for the subscription—these four were released across November 2015 to February 2016. If you’re familiar with Horrorshow then your expectations for Haunted Cities shouldn’t be amiss. These are lo-fi videogames that prioritize looming architecture and eerie synth work over everything else. Rather than offering, say, puzzles…


Play a dating sim about hooking up with erotic architecture

It’s very likely that I fucked a building last night. Now, hold up, I don’t know if I did. We hooked up and then I’m not sure what happened. Unfortunately, the erotic architecture dating sim Tectr doesn’t go beyond depicting your conversation with hot local masonry on a Tinder-style app, and into the awkward realm of human-building coitus. That is an idea for a sequel, though… What this means is I told a horny panopticon that I would push my naked body against a dirty suburb window so it could watch, it then accepted, and I opened “Maps” to find the…

Post-Apocalyptic Abramovic Method Game

In the post-apocalypse, there will still be performance art

Back in 2013, Lady Gaga quit smoking by employing the “Abramovic Method” during a three-day retreat in New York. It led to this extraordinary (and NSFW) video, in which Gaga is seen chanting into an empty room, stood blindfolded in a river to feel the rain drops against her skin, and getting intimate with a big block of ice while completely naked. The video achieved what it was supposed to: encouraging everyone who watched it and the public-at-large to question what this peculiar Method she went through was. The “Abramovic Method” is named after its creator, famed artist and self-proclaimed “grandmother…


The first eerie footage of Lioness beams in from another dimension

Zak Ayles isn’t budging. Sure, he’s released the first footage of his upcoming game Lioness at last, but it’s warped and degraded to the point that you have to squint your eyes and rewind it a few times to make any sense of it. In fact, it seems as if Ayles has transmitted the footage to a CRT monitor or, if not that, made an effort to replicate the look of one so that it judders, the scanlines tumbling about, the colors probably much more psychedelic than they actually are. As you can see below, the video is titled “retrograde”…

Lieve Oma

Lieve Oma, a poetic game about appreciating your grandma

Dedicated to grandmas everywhere, Lieve Oma (translated from the Dutch as “Dear Grandma”) is a game that speaks to the way we come to associate places in the world with the loved ones we once shared them with. Creator Florian Veltman has now released it on itch.io after having spent the past few months arranging the trees and rivers of the game’s forest to his liking—an act that he previously told me felt akin to grafting a portrait of his own grandma. “Not because of the ‘autumnal sunset colours’, but because despite what it may evoke on the surface, everything still seems…

Tokyo 42

Tokyo 42 takes cyberpunk fiction to its prettiest city yet

Tokyo 42 is cyberpunk in all but look. Its future vision of Japan’s bustling capital city has none of the dead skies and drug-addled misery of William Gibson’s Chiba City, nor the clustered smokestacks and commercial traffic of Blade Runner‘s (1982) Los Angeles. Yet, it’s a game that has you running through the Tokyo population as an assassin—in both single player and multiplayer modes—popping off targets with grenades and sniper rifles, able to change your skin (presumably a cyborg ability) to blend back in with the crowds. The brief description of the game’s story also tells us that you’ll “uncover a dark…