Foster Beach, Chicago

The vaporwave games and glitch art at this year’s Bit Bash festival

This year’s Bit Bash festival in Chicago, which took place on August 13, saw the independent videogame showcase expressing its clearest curatorial vision to date, evolving its DIY ethos into a more polished version of the plucky little party that debuted two years ago. The venue change this year may have stripped some of the makeshift charm from of the festival, but alternatively it granted Bit Bash the opportunity to cater the space to their own needs instead of stepping around someone else’s stuff. With that evolution also came a recalibration of Bit Bash’s image, landing somewhere on the gallery…

Skull for INSIDE soundtrack

The mad science behind Inside’s soundtrack

Without giving anything away, there are definitely some freaky experiments going on in Inside, the latest game from Danish studio Playdead. At times, these experiments are depicted through the game’s eye-popping stagecraft, but in other instances, players take the helm as experimenters, tinkering with switches, valves, and other, squishier, things to puzzle out solutions in a manner that would make Dr. Jekyll proud. Inside’s music composer and sound designer, Martin Stig Andersen, conducted his own unorthodox experiments to create the game’s unsettling soundscape. More interesting than the bizarre nature of Andersen’s experiments, though, is why he conducted them and what…


Furi knows how to keep a good beat

I’ve been listening to instrumental electronic music for over 20 years, and the most frequent refrain I’ve heard from skeptics is that house, techno, and any number of subgenres is just “too repetitive.” It’s a complaint that I have a difficult time responding to. It’s true that a lot of electronic music is founded on repetition, with entire tracks constructed via loops and samples on step sequencers. But the line between quantitatively defining repetition and qualitatively proclaiming something as “too repetitive” is a matter of personal taste. I always liked the way beats and samples could gradually fold into one…

Grow Up

Videogaming’s most endearing, clumsy robot is making a grand return

It was a welcome relief amid all the Just Dance-ing and Watch_Dog-ing at Ubisoft’s E3 2016 press conference to see the reveal trailer for Grow Up—a sequel to last year’s charming plant growing/climbing game, Grow Home. BUD, the red, stumbling robot from the first game reprises his starring role, and is tasked once again with clambering across all manner of enormous flora to locate parts of his spaceship, presumably to head home once more. Grow Home was an unlikely hit last year. It was developed by an eight-person team at Reflections (known primarily for their driving games) as an experiment…

Marc Ten Bosch

Marc ten Bosch and the mathematical mysteries of his 4D videogame

This article is part of Issue 8.5, a digital zine available to Kill Screen’s print subscribers. Read more about it here and get a copy yourself by subscribing to our soon-to-be-relaunched print magazine. /// The mantis shrimp is said to have the most complex eyes in all of the animal kingdom (including humans). These ancient crustaceans can move their segmented eyes independently and each is capable of depth perception all on its own. Additionally, the mantis shrimp’s eyes contain more than five times the number of color receptors as the human eye, meaning they can see colors that are imperceptible…

Glitchspace screenshot

Glitchspace is a part-time shift of fixing bugs

No videogame is perfect. Somewhere lurking in the seams of polygonal landscapes lives the glitch —a graphical hiccup that could lead to characters not loading properly, items malfunctioning, or walls losing their solid form. However, in recent years the glitch has transcended its status as a technical bug to become a populist generative art tool. For example, Assassin’s Creed Unity’s (2014) walking nightmares wouldn’t have existed without errors to prompt them. Someone found an exploit in Dark Souls (2011) that lets you skip most of the game and break speedrun records. And even older videogames have found new life through…

PS2 Slim

PlayStation 2, the videogame console from outer space

This article is part of PS2 Week, a full week celebrating the 2000 PlayStation 2 console. To see other articles, go here. /// What makes a videogame console successful? Forget about software libraries and units sold, I’m talking about the design of the actual box that you hook up to your TV. At first blush, the Nintendo GameCube seems pretty notable. It’s downright adorable with its purple color scheme, cute miniDVD discs, and stout, blocky profile—and let’s not forget the notorious handle on the back to be used for carrying the console around like a Playskool oil lantern. The GameCube…

Bad Corgi

Bad Corgi lets you run wild as a mischievous dog

If you only know corgis as those cute dogs from the internet, Cowboy Bebop, or movies where someone visits Buckingham Palace, you might not know that the tail-less fuzzballs are actually bred for herding cattle. Having grown up with corgis as household pets, their herding instincts are often present, even in the absence of farm animals. When I’d attempt to slowly pull my car into the garage, there was typically a corgi blocking my path as if it wasn’t my turn to park. If I’d walk around the house barefoot, often one of the dogs would nip at my ankles…