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Inside The Void explores isolation horror on an alien planet

Inside The Void evokes a similar sense of isolation horror as Solaris (1972) or Event Horizon (1997). Both films place their protagonists on rescue missions; neither of which sound all too promising for the rescue crew—and both of which quickly descend into a series of mysteries and hallucinations. Several crews of researchers have already been dispatched to Inside The Void’s remote alien planet. All have gone missing, though they’ve left little notes—log entries—on their findings. Many of them are grim; they speak of being transported to endless voids through seven alien structures on the planet, of unsuccessful attempts to reach the structures’ cores. Besides looking at occasional…

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Live the life of a lonely introvert in a hikikimori simulator

The blinds are drawn. A tiny sliver of light manages to brighten up the room, casting a jagged shadow against the wall that trickles down the length of your bed. A brightly colored poster and several polaroids decorate the walls. A casual guitar riff plays softly in the background, accompanied by the sound of the outside world—traffic and pedestrians. This is the beginning of Hikikimori Simulator (alternatively named Solitude), a “five minute experience” by Alexandre Ignatov. “Hikikimori” is a Japanese term that refers to (usually male) reclusive adults/adolescents who pull away from social interactions. You play as a man who…

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Why visit your relatives when you can send them creepy robot cats?

Well, this is creepy. Toymaker Hasbro has taken it upon itself to solve the problem of senior isolation by creating “Companion Pets,” which is a less horror film way of saying “mildly robotic cats.” These cats do not even appear to occupy the uncanny valley. They look stiff and plasticky and move in about three mechanical ways. But maybe they could occupy your grandmother, and wouldn’t that be nice? At this juncture, I should clarify that “Companion Pets” is apparently not a hoax. The toy’s website includes the following statement: “HASBRO’S JOY FOR ALL is proud to support Meals on…