Is this Twitter bot the next Bob Ross?

Bob Ross is a man that needs no introduction, but I’ll write one anyway. Bob was a television host from long ago that taught the world how to paint. His signature afro, calming voice, and beautifully hand-painted vistas made him a household name in the 1980s and 1990s, until he lost his battle with lymphoma in 1995. Though Bob has remained a legend, still. And now there’s a Twitter bot paying homage to Bob’s life’s work. Happy Little Painting 594282521-9 — Bot Ross (@JoyOfBotRoss) January 26, 2017 Created by Brent Werness, the Twitter bot generates an endless cascade of new…


The invention of BARCHboi, the videogame deity

For the past couple of years, the digital artist and game maker known as BARCHboi has kept himself secretive. His primary online identity has been a logo of a portrait with a black bar across the eyes, overlaid with glitches. Now BARCHboi (real name: Joseph Dowsett) has made himself naked. His new “exploration glitchventure game” DEIDIA comes with an autobiographical making-of document that traces his creative history as far back as 2007, when he was 13 years old, going through all the struggles between then and now that brought him to make his latest interactive artefact. The document is fascinating…


Fake your way through the art world in Passpartout

If you’ve ever had a table at a convention, or had your work in a gallery, you’ve experienced the sharp sting of a stranger’s silent judgement. “How are you enjoying the show?” you ask as they walk by. They look down at your work and scowl, moving on wordlessly to buy some crappy fan art from the next table over. Your soul wilts. Now you can experience that virtually to, with Passpartout, a simulation of the French art world. You play as a painter, struggling to strike a balance between authenticity and paying your bills (rent, wine, baguettes). You start…

The Lion's Song

Uncover the hidden psyche of Vienna’s elite in The Lion’s Song: Episode 2

The second episode of the point-and-click game series The Lion’s Song is now available to purchase and download on Steam. It’s a doozy, letting you dive into the imagined fears of real historical figures that were part of Vienna’s artistic elite at the turn of the 20th century. You play as an aspiring painter called Franz Markert who is desperate to gain recognition for his work. He does this by using his talent to strip people (sometimes literally) of their flaws and emotions that they try to hide and then bring that to the canvas. However, while doing so, Markert also has…


Find bliss in the noisy glitch-visuals of RŌA

RŌA is best seen rather than described. But, as I have to use words, I’ll say that my first impressions of it were that it looks like someone turned datamoshing into a videogame (if you don’t know what datamoshing is, there’s a whole site dedicated to it). Colors belch into each other across the screen, glitching, frazzled, swirling like electronic liquid. Among these colors you can sometimes make out figures, stood in a group, all of them frozen in their animation. These figures seem to affect the shades and tones of the pixels of color around them, while they themselves…


Japanese artist creates music with obsolete technology

A lot of newer music has been deemed inane and ridiculous for sounding like broken technology. Dubstep’s sound, for example, has been compared to the sound of hitting a metal pole with a chainsaw, the sound of robots dying, the sound of a root canal. According to Wendy’s: “Dubstep sounds like a broken Frosty machine.” Dubstep sounds like a broken Frosty machine. — Wendy's (@Wendys) March 6, 2012 However, artist Ei Wada embraces the sounds of the old and broken with music that repurposes obsolete fans, TVs, and radios by turning them into instruments. Wada’s work with such technology tends…


Now you can hang ICO and Shadow of the Colossus paintings on your wall

There isn’t a lot of videogame art I would hang on a wall. In fact, to date, there is only one piece of videogame-related artwork in my house, and it’s Judson Cowan’s rendition of Lordran from Dark Souls (2011). Now, I think may have found it some company. Cook & Becker, an art dealership, is now selling prints of the paintings that Japanese game director Fumito Ueda did when conceptualizing ICO (2001) and Shadow of the Colossus (2005), limited to 500 copies each. You’ll recognize the painting for ICO if you live in Europe or Japan, as it was used as the…


An upcoming microbiological videogame looks pretty chill

Existence is stressful. This is what the passage of time teaches us as we trade our carefree childhoods for a decision-ridden adult life. Modern life can fill us to the brim with anxiety. Our brains conspire against us, pumping our minds full of negative thoughts, paralyzing our bodies with indecision as we are asked to confront the long road of our lives and the individual choices that form the paving stones beneath our feet. Wow, that got a bit real there. But, hey, if ever you need a respite from the chaos of everyday life, return to the basics in…


Aww, a game about lonely robots evokes the best children’s animation

A young boy, seen through a viewfinder, discusses the ocean with his mom. The screen buzzes; the boy disappears; two eyes blink open. They belong to a little metal carapace that scrambles around an empty room, tugging at switches and saying, “Hello?” The boy is nowhere to be found, but the bot keeps looking, earnest and determined. This is Abi, a new story-focused puzzle game from Grant&Bert Studios. It resembles WALL-E (2008) in its story, which similarly follows a pair of robots wandering around the remnants of Earth after human beings’ mass exodus. You play as two droids that used…