Hitman: Blood Money
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The power of silence in Hitman: Blood Money

War games have consistently failed at making me feel like an invader. Their stories, almost always, involve Western troops on top secret missions behind enemy lines—myself and my AI squad mates are supposed to be interlopers, constantly vulnerable amid a foreign, hostile environment. And yet, we master our surroundings, and our enemies within them, entirely. On-screen objective markers tell us where to go. An arsenal of science-fiction weaponry ensures our safety. Videogames are sycophantic. We, the players, must always be comfortable. We must be provided with the necessary equipment and navigational tools so as not to become stuck (or even…

Vainglory screenshot
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Why the future of esports is mobile

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. Popular new mobile titles like Vainglory (2014) and Clash Royale show the promise of competitive esports on the go. While esports competitions continue to emphasize PC games like League of Legends (2009), new titles available on mobile devices are shaking things up for players and fans. According to a report released last year by the NPD Group, younger kids are playing games on their phones more than any other device. Game studios have taken note, creating mobile games that appeal to core and casual players alike. “Somebody’s going to create…

Aug Aware ad
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[Sponsored] Man Beaten with Own Leg in Back Alley

Fear piques in post Panchaea era. The fear over the augmented community has boiled over into the streets, as evidenced by this video footage which shows an argument turning into a brutal fight. Unlike the Panchaea Aug Incident, the humans took this round, as a beast of a man ripped off an Augs leg and used it to beat him. “There is reason to be concerned,” says AugAware.org, the organization responsible for releasing the footage. The AugAware.org website seems to indicate that their anti-Aug awareness campaign is just beginning—check the site on May 26th to see what’s next.

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The irresistible appeal of roguelike storytelling

A 20-something girl stands in an elevator. There’s an eye patch on her face, a shotgun on her back, and a pistol in her right hand. The door opens, and she hits the ground running into a room full of drones. They hover over her, firing red lasers completely bent on killing her. After all, why wouldn’t they be? Molly Pop is the head of the Zero Sum Gang, and she’s on a mission to topple the Fero corporation by raiding their bunkers one-by-one. She wastes no time, shooting down the flying robots in seconds, then travelling down a hallway…

Myst
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Myst and the truth of objects

This article is part of our lead-up to Kill Screen Festival where Robyn and Rand Miller, creators of Myst, are keynote speakers. /// Your job in Myst (1993) is to assemble books. Set aside for a moment the impossible grandeur, hermetic mythos, and resonant cultural legacy of the game and this is what you’re left with—red page, blue page. Eventually there’s a white page. These pages are objects. Any decent open-world game of the last few years will allow you to cart around hundreds of pounds of literature without slowing your upswing, because in these games, the books aren’t objects.…

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Weekend Reading: In Cyberspace Everyone Can Hear You Shred

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. /// Virtual Reality Owes a Lot to the Air Guitar, Meghan Neal, Motherboard Some think virtual reality was created for games. That certainly was the attitude when Oculus launched their Kickstarter campaign. Others think it’s for film, and many…

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Teen Patti and The Rise Of Mobile Gaming in India

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. You can play Teen Patti just about anywhere these days. A half-sister to Texas Hold’em, Teen Patti games were once mostly contained to the felt tables of Indian casinos. All that’s changing. With the use of smartphones soaring in the country, mobile games are becoming accessible to millions for the first time. In 2014, smartphone use in India more than doubled. Experts are also projecting the number of smartphone owners in India to surpass the US as soon as next year, with 219 million smartphone owners in the country. The advent of…

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Why adults are drawn to teenage stories

As you walk into Gallery 625 of the European Paintings department in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you confront a rather puzzling work. Madonna and Child, by Italian painter Duccio di Buoninsegna, is much smaller than its neighbours, barely the size of a standard US letter. While its peers float in ethereal realms of shining gold, Duccio’s gilding lacks lustre, the tracery of cracks on its surface evincing the painting’s extreme age. Even the colors are not as bright. Mary’s dress, which dominates much of the scene, appears to be painted in somber azurite, rather than the brilliant ultramarine that…

No Man's Sky
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The future of archaeology starts with No Man’s Sky

This is a preview of an article you can read on our new website dedicated to virtual reality, Versions. /// Destructive treasure hunters like Nathan Drake and Lara Croft tumble through decadent crypts, dismantling rare artifacts in their wake. Their scrabbling work, however incidental, is the antithesis to the careful field of archaeology. Yet, in marketing materials they’re labeled both as explorers and, yes, archaeologists. It’s for reasons like this that I’ve found myself, as a student of archaeology, increasingly disillusioned with the way videogames treat artifacts and history. The problem is that these types of games tend to disregard…