Internet communities help beginners build computers

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. The PC modding community turns building computers into a social art form that people of all technical skillsets can enjoy. Constructing a computer from spare parts sounds intimidating, but it’s not just for hardcore geeks anymore. PC modding, the term used for customizing or “modifying” a computer, is going mainstream, and the online PC modding communities are happy to share the craft with newcomers. “I truly believe anyone ages eight and up could learn to build a computer with no problems due to the abundance of information available on the subject online…


Robot Sports bring man and machine together

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. From cage matches to laser tag, artificially intelligent machines are opening a new world of sports competition. The finale of the Syfy Channel’s 2013 Robot Combat League was one for the history books. Never before had competitive sports fans witnessed one-ton robots, towering eight-foot high, face off in a mechanical death match. The two competitors, Crash and Steampunk, banged chests as sparks and smoke filled the arena. Just outside the ring, each robot was controlled by a team consisting of a robo-jockey wearing an exosuit that controls the robot’s arms…

Shin Godzilla

All bow down before the mighty Shin Godzilla

At one point in Shin Godzilla, Toho’s 29th entry in this ancient series, a character calls Godzilla a “perfect organism.” This might sound familiar to anyone who’s watched Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979): it’s how the devious android Ash describes the xenomorph. Godzilla movies don’t typically reach outside the big guy’s cultural bubble, the occasional crossover with King Kong notwithstanding. They exist within a cloistered half-century of constant reinvention; there are whole eras of Godzilla named for whoever was emperor of Japan at that time, all refracting and, frankly, diluting the original premise into a repeatable formula that yielded enjoyable-but-inessential riffs on everything…


Arrival is an alien-contact movie that’ll speak to you

I did not expect a new Denis Villeneuve movie to make me cry. The man behind Prisoners (2013), Enemy (2013), and Sicario (2015) is not known for his delicate touch, but his new sci-fi drama Arrival makes a staggering case for looking at Villeneuve with fresh eyes. The logy, intellectually bankrupt posturing of Prisoners and Sicario has been jettisoned, leaving only the good bits: razor-sharp cinematography, perfectly-pitched scores, and strong performances. Here, those are courtesy of Bradford Young (Selma), Jóhann Jóhannsson (also Sicario, Prisoners), and Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker. Since his US debut with Prisoners, Villenueve has yet to direct one…


Virginia needs to go back to film school

Every film studies student is forced to watch an infant in a carriage careen down a staircase to its death. They do this because it’s important. The Odessa Steps sequence in Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin (1925) is a Cinema Studies 101-level text in film editing. As a theorist, Eisenstein, together with contemporary Lev Kuleshov, argued for a cinema built on the revolutionary effect of montage: meaning was created in the edit. In Battleship Potemkin, this meant a shot of a horrorstuck face and that shot of the runaway baby carriage played on the audience’s then-fledgling grasp on cinematic language. Terror…


Inside is coming to PS4 after all

We are very fond of Playdead’s Inside, the Danish designers’ follow-up to 2010’s Limbo. It’s bolder, more gut-wrenching, and alive. Until today it was only available on Xbox One and PC, which means most of you probably played it on PC. But Playdead have just announced that on August 23rd, Inside is coming to PS4! That is very soon. Inside‘s arrival on The People’s Console hopefully means a resurgence in attention, sort of like how Hyper Light Drifter‘s debut on PS4 meant exposure to a whole new audience. You should play this game. I suspect, come December, it’ll be sitting high up on Kill Screen’s best-of-2016…

Kentucky Route Zero Act IV

Kentucky Route Zero: Act IV is an elegy

Michael Snow’s 1967 experimental film Wavelength is a 45-minute long zoom on an empty room. Outside the walls, and the camera’s frame, the insignificant dramas of human life play out in sad, abortive spirals. Men move furniture into the room; two friends drink and listen to the Beatles; in the end, a man dies on the floor and a woman calmly informs the cops of his corpse. Snow is monomaniacally committed to his premise: Wavelength is a canonical example of experimental film precisely because of its push-pull between dry, structural formalism and gut-level intrigue. In a way it’s a murder…

A Light in Chorus

A Light in Chorus gets a proper story to go along with its magical visuals

We’ve had our eyes on Broken Fence Games’s A Light in Chorus for a while now. It’s hard not to look at this game, because it’s absolutely stunning. Its world is composed of glowing dots, like a starfield held in tremulous pointillism. So far that visual allure has made for gorgeous screenshots and GIFs, but the meat of A Light in Chorus—that is, how do you interact with this world?—has remained pleasantly elusive. I’m not asking “how you play it;” I’m not hoping to, like, max out my light-viewing skill tree or anything (please, no!). Our own Jess Joho did impressive work last year…


A game about cleaning hotel rooms with SWAT tactics

Here, in full, is the hotel review Rami Ismail wrote that led to the goofball game jam entry Breach & Clean: Hesperia Tower was a phenomenal stay, with clean rooms and a free Spanish lesson that taught me that “no molestar” doesn’t mean “do not disturb” but “breach and clear like you are a SWAT team.” The last bit of that sentence is Breach & Clean‘s origin story. It’s a little game about busting into hotel rooms and cleaning the shit out of them before the guests get irritated by your presence. It was made for the Castle Game Jam by…