Carl Burton’s first videogame reveals the surreal secrets of the city

Airport luggage gallops, potted trees ride escalators, and soda cans cyclone in Carl Burton’s first videogame ISLANDS, released today for PC and iOS. It’s a “surreal trip through the mundane,” concerned with those transitory urban locations that lie between destinations. Its subtitle, “Non-Places,” is taken from Marc Augé’s book, Non-Places: An Introduction to Supermodernity (2009). “In the prologue, there is a description of someone traveling, moving through these kinds of liminal spaces,” Burton said. “They’re everywhere, but feel curiously isolating and neutral.” This might be a town square or a waiting room; places that serve no meaningful purpose other than to…

Back to Bits

Artists pay tribute to NES games with a collection of GIFs

Videogame GIFs are one of my favorite things on the internet. Retro game nostalgia less so, but that hasn’t stopped me enjoying the NES game-inspired GIFs that are being showcased on Back to Bits. The website launched today and is a curated animation project created by Washington-based artist Jerry Liu. His reason for putting Back to Bits together is simple: he wanted a way to bring likeminded artists together and to celebrate the games of his and their childhood. a range of different art styles and approaches The GIFs that you can see today were created by more than 40 different…

Small Radios Big Televisions

Escape into a new game’s dreamy cassette tape worlds with these GIFs

If you’re being overwhelmed by all the presidential election noise today you might be looking for a temporary escape to another world. Small Radios Big Televisions should prove an adequate host. Out for Windows and PlayStation 4 as of yesterday, Small Radios Big Televisions doesn’t have just one world for you to explore, but several. Inside its depopulated factories you’ll come across cassette tapes that act as plastic gateways into these dreamy realms—each labelled with a single descriptive word like “ROAD” and “COAST.” Upon finding them, you watch as they’re slotted into the tape player, the reel unwinding to the glitchy…


Carl Burton’s gorgeous GIFs are being turned into a videogame

Shopping malls. Airport bookstores. Hotel lobbies. Carl Burton—the artist and animator behind Serial‘s second season GIFs—is creating a videogame that exploits the “boringness” of these liminal, corporate spaces. Using the foggy, surrealist art style of his GIFs, ISLANDS is a videogame you experience, rather than play. Anthropologist Marc Augé calls these spaces non-places—”If a place can be defined as relational, historical, and concerned with identity, then a space which cannot be defined as relational, or historical, or concerned with identity will be a non-place,” Augé wrote in Non-Places: An Introduction to Anthropology of Supermodernity (1992). A parking lot is a non-place, too. It’s a…