Weekend Reading: America’s Ghost Wanted

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 Family That Would Not Live, Colin Dickey, Longreads Sometimes it’s a trick of the light, but who knows when you’re sleeping in the most haunted house in America. In an excerpt from Ghostland: An American History in…


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…

Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch wants to be your new, favorite stalker

Cue the establishing shot: a suburban home at night. Its window drapes are open. In the distance, a skyline looms over the horizon like a mountain peak. Inside, a man sits in the dim glow of a television. He’s slouched low, pushed back by the emanations. The marketing rhetoric leans into classic entertainment images: The first 10 seconds of your favorite syndicated situation comedy; The Maxell TV ad of a man getting blown backwards by the cassette tape’s hi-fidelity sound. He’s playing a game. Light strains of composer Koji Kondo’s classic Overworld Theme from The Legend of Zelda (1986) mix…


Virtual war zones and the failure of the military shooter

In October 2008, chaos gripped Mumbai for four days as a series of coordinated bombings and shootings killed 164 people and injured hundreds more. All 10 attackers were highly trained and linked to a command center in Pakistan via VOIP technology. The command center, using TV and social media feeds as intelligence sources, gave the attackers a sixth sense in predicting security force’s movements and reactions. It was a grim portent of where we find ourselves in 2016—a place where the deliberate disruption and destruction of public spaces and networks is the latest tactic in modern warfare, a place videogames…


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…


How videogame fashion inspires real-world styles

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. Fashion designed for the 3D world of PC games is sparking couture style trends, opening new possibilities for cross-industry collaboration. Hoodies and t-shirts from alternative clothing store Hot Topic, with silkscreen depictions of popular and indie PC games, were once the fashionable dress code for anyone steeped in gaming culture. That began to change when high-style brands began connecting with game developers. Every year at New York Fashion Week (NYFW), it’s increasingly evident how technology is digitizing the fashion world with innovations spanning electrified dresses to virtual reality (VR) runway experiences. Beneath the fashion-tech…

Sense and Sensibility

The challenges of making a Jane Austen videogame

Fans of Jane Austen’s work have brought her world into almost every medium that exists—from radio, with the BBC’s six-part dramatization, to film, most recently with Love & Friendship. It was just a matter of time before someone decided that Austen’s novels would be great inspiration for a videogame. Judy L. Tyrer, founder of 3 Turn Productions, is that fan, and has just released a beta for Ever, Jane. It’s a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) set in Austen’s own setting, Regency Period England. To start, players arrive in the fictional English town of Tyrehampton, where they can gossip, attend…


The 1990s, the decade that never ended

In 2013, the New Museum in New York presented an exhibition titled NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star (named after an album by Sonic Youth). It curated art from the year of Bill Clinton’s inauguration. Soon after, New Jersey’s Montclair Art Museum featured Come As You Are: Art of the 1990s (named after a song by Nirvana). Jason Farago, writing about these shows for the BBC, posited that “this wave of 1990s shows marks a welcome effort to impose historical rigour on a period we still sometimes call ‘contemporary,’” but, “they reveal that the gap between then…


Knotting into Dishonored’s decaying city

Heterotopias is a series of visual investigations into virtual spaces performed by artist and writer Gareth Damian Martin. /// There is no such thing as a total vision of a city. Statistics, guidebooks, politicians, newspapers, tourists, maps, and surveys like to suggest otherwise, but theirs is a constricted world, an incomplete image. Those of us who live in cities know very well of their tendency to conceal and reveal themselves with unexpected rhythms, as if at random—surprising us with new configurations and revelations, shifting prism-like with the passing of time or the changing of the light. Perhaps that’s why the most…