Junebug
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Kentucky Route Zero’s android musicians are releasing a whole album

To read more from Kentucky Route Zero’s Cardboard Computer, be sure to pick a copy of Kill Screen’s relaunched magazine, Issue 9. /// Junebug, of Kentucky Route Zero’s duo of robotic musicians, is releasing an album. Self-titled and comprised of 11 tracks, the release is an elaboration upon one of the game’s highlights: a late-night performance in a nearly-empty dive bar called the Lower Depths.   Ben Babbitt, one-third of developer Cardboard Computer and the musician responsible for Kentucky Route Zero’s soundtrack, also provides Junebug’s singing voice and instrumentals. After working to craft her sound for Act III’s Lower Depths performance, Babbitt,…

The Texas Chain Saw Masscare
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Screenage life: What looking at screens all day is doing to your eyes

This article is part of Vision Week, our exploration of eyeballs and videogames celebrating our collaboration with Warby Parker. Grab a pair of limited edition Kill Screen glasses here: warbyparker.com/kill-screen /// The eyes are among the most sophisticated organs in your body, comprising an automatic focusing and light sensitivity system far better than the best cameras and film designed to date. Four separate surfaces bend light as it enters the eye, and ciliary muscles flex in order to make these lenses change shape, flattening and thickening to account for distance and light. In other words, there’s a lot of work…

Skull for INSIDE soundtrack
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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…

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Weekend Reading: This Is Not My Repugnant House, But That Is My Messy Life

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. /// McMansions 101: What Makes a McMansion Bad Architecture?, Worst of McMansions Wish you had better ground to criticize McMansion houses beyond them being the thematic villain of Poltergeist and the assumptions that its inhabitants only listen to EZ…

IOTx
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The cyberpunk dystopia we were warned about is already here

This is a preview of an article you can read on our new website dedicated to virtual reality, Versions. /// It’s the Sunday morning following a busy week, and my wife and I are attempting a calm moment. She’s flying out in the afternoon for a week-long company retreat, so these last few hours together are significant, our chance to recharge batteries before entering the world of teleconferences and deadlines. Unfortunately, the routine business of maintaining a household—the multitude of obnoxious little tasks that make up most of our days—has gotten away from us over the course of the week,…

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The invisible women of videogames

When I was a young girl, I read an anecdote about Lara Croft—it said that her iconic look was created when her designer wanted to enlarge her breasts by 50 percent but accidentally entered 150 percent in the window. When he saw the effect he decided that it was great and that’s how the heroine should look—and thus the legend was born. I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s plausible, and the fact that it is tells us something about female characters in videogames, and how we think about women in general. Or maybe—how we look at them. It’s…

TheLongDark_Hibernia
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The Long Dark and the legacy of Canadian literature

Your plane has crashed in the wilderness of the Canadian North West. The houses are empty, the cars won’t start, the radios are silent. If you seek shelter or answers in the nearby Hydro dam you are greeted by neither. Instead, a rabid wolf is likely to tear you in half. This is The Long Dark, a Canadian survival game where you play as bush pilot Will Mackenzie. In this otherwise realistic game, wolves—who normally avoid humans—have become Will’s top concern. The mysterious geomagnetic disaster that the game depicts has disturbed the minds of all the wolves. Okay, but that…

FFVI Header
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Magic and gender in Final Fantasy VI

Final Fantasy VI (1994) is deeply concerned with the relationship between human beings and technology. The game liberally borrows elements from Western heroic fantasy and science fiction, yet the story and action are centered around two young female protagonists, Terra and Celes, who are variations on the “magical girl” and “beautiful fighting girl” archetypes of late-20th century Japanese pop culture. Placing Final Fantasy VI within the broader context of Japanese society in the 1990s can give us a new perspective on a classic and iconic videogame while also enhancing our understanding of many of the narrative tropes and conventions of…

pik
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Weekend Reading: Stuck In The Past, Covered In Pink Granite

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. /// Privacy Scandal Haunts Pokémon Go’s CEO, Sam Biddle, The Intercept Pokémon Go, a game that, despite being so underdog, obscure, and seldom referred to on an hourly basis in the media, has become one of the most downloaded…