A-Maze-Berlin-2016
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The new generation of arcades

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. Nostalgic arcade games offer larger-than-life experiences on big-screen TVs, encouraging new generations of gamers to come together and play. The clang of quarters dropping into Frogger (1981) or Tetris (1984) cabinets is a fleeing memory for many, but the joy of playing original arcade games like Pac-Man (1980), Donkey Kong (1981) and Space Invaders (1978) is far from dead. Instead, the combination of creative independent developers and technologies that easily bring these indie games to big-screen TVs is sparking an arcade game renaissance that’s spreading across living rooms and festivals…

Brendon Chung
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Brendon Chung and his love for big dumb plastic switches

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 midpoint of Daft Punk’s 2013 album Random Access Memories is marked by an effusive, sprawling ode to touch. An unidentified narrator walks the listener through memories and speculation on feeling as they try to recall what seems like fading indicators of what feeling ever was. On “Touch,” we get a sense that the narrator was once organic like us. But now, metallic and glistening under a…

Pokemon Go
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The purpose of Pokémon Go

This is a preview of an article you can read on our new website dedicated to virtual reality, Versions. /// I remember the first time I saw Abney Park chapel. I was already in a state of wonder, having discovered that behind a busy high street, not 10 minutes from my flat, a vast forested cemetery lay silent—cut through with dappled paths, lined with ancient graves. But on top of that, to discover the chapel with its derelict spire, its empty rose window and sprigs of green that grew between bricks and tiles and stone, was to enter another world…

shogo-mobile-armor-division
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The videogame that helped popularize Japanese mecha in the west

In the early 2000s, the Japanese government started to evaluate the value of the country’s popular culture industry following international successes in anime/manga such as Pokémon and Dragonball, videogames like Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda and Super Mario series, and films including Spirited Away (2001) and Ringu (1998). Realizing that its cultural influence expanded despite the economic setbacks of the Lost Decade (from 1991 to 2000), Japan sought to promote the idea of ‘Cool Japan’, an expression of its emergent status as a cultural superpower. For the next dozen years, the Japanese government made use of its soft power and ‘Cool Japan’ strategy to boost cultural…

mi
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Weekend Reading: The Republican National Comic Convention

While we at Kill Screen love to bring you our own crop of game critique and perspective, there are many articles on games, technology, and art around the web that are worth reading and sharing. So that is why this weekly reading list exists, bringing light to some of the articles that have captured our attention, and should also capture yours. /// The Man Who Spent 30 Years in the Rainforest Preserving the Music of the Bayaka, Emiko Jozuka, Motherboard Around 10 years ago, a DJ and Oxford grad stumbled upon a thousand hours of recordings in the famous Pitt…

No Man's Sky
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The apocalyptic fandom of No Man’s Sky

According to American evangelist Harold Camping, the Rapture was supposed to have occurred on May 21, 2011—the date was moved back five months to October when nothing happened. Apocalyptic preacher Ronald Weinland predicted that the world would end on September 30, 2008. This date was also revised to May 27, 2012, and then May 19, 2013. In a similar vein, No Man’s Sky was supposed to have been released on June 21, 2016—that particular rapture was pushed back to August 9. Though the fact of fandom is hardly unique to No Man’s Sky, the degree of devotion the game’s fans…

playing-sony-console-controller
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How do you explain the phenomenon of watching videogames?

For all our think pieces about interactive media, social media, and virtual reality, we are all still very much living in a culture of spectation. Big budget movies, music videos, episodic television, and professional sports: these are still the main sites of cultural cohesion for most people in the United States and in large parts of the world. And, it could be argued, that post-digital social-cultural practices are just spectation on a higher level. Perhaps Facebook and Twitter are just spectator-ready versions of other people’s lives. And, it seems that gaming—that most elementally interactive of activities—is becoming more and more…

02
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Valkyria Chronicles is a different kind of war story

We tell a lot of stories about war. The appeal is, in one sense, straightforward: war checks off nearly every box in the dramatist’s playbook, replete with high stakes, clear protagonists and antagonists, and themes of heroism and loss. But the pendulum swings the other way, as well: wars don’t just make for good stories, good stories also help us cope with war. In order to wrap our minds around these big, bloody catastrophes, fraught as they are with inscrutable ideological and economic motivations, we construct simple narratives to bring coherence to the incoherent. Videogames hold a particularly vested interest in…

poke
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Weekend Reading: Oh The Places You’ll Pokémon Go

While we at Kill Screen love to bring you our own crop of game critique and perspective, there are many articles on games, technology, and art around the web that are worth reading and sharing. So that is why this weekly reading list exists, bringing light to some of the articles that have captured our attention, and should also capture yours. /// Say You Don’t Know Me: One Night in Pokémon Go, Jenn Frank, Paste Pokémon Go, a highly obscure indie gem that might’ve slipped your radar this week, is confronting players with the daunting reality of exiting the house…