life of sundura 6

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…

Pokemon Bones

Look upon the terror of Pokémon Bones

Pokémon don’t have internal organs. At least, that’s what Miles Peyton—a Fine Arts and Computer Science student at Carnegie Mellon—found out when he pulled the skin back on different character models from Pokémon X and Pokémon Y (2013) exposing “skin balloons without flesh or internal organs.” Peyton told me his project, appropriately named Pokémon Bones, is about how 3D models are just hollow, balloon-like representations of things. Using the site The Models Resource, a community-run website where users upload models and assets they’ve ripped from games, he wanted to look at the armature of each Pokémon, the skeleton that determines…

ghost in the shell

An exhibit for admiring the labyrinthian cityscapes of anime architecture

When I visited Tokyo, Japan earlier this year for the first time, I was struck by its block-by-block awe-inspiring architecture. From the woven-like walls of the Daikanyama T-Site bookstore, or the mirrored, cave-like entrance to the Tokyu Plaza Building on the cusp of Omotesando and Harajuku, Japan takes its architecture to highly modernized, nearly impossible heights. And it makes sense, for a country whose animation has been setting the standard for fictional architecture since the early 1980s. Animated architecture that looks to both the present and the old, and twists it into something new for the future. Luckily, there’s a…


The future of electronic interaction can be found in the middle of Kentucky

The reason higher education combines “arts” and “sciences” is because all art is, in essence, an emotional and psychological experiment. People want to experience joy, fear, ennui, etc., but aren’t always able (or willing) to experience the events that would normally create such intense feelings. In this regard, the artist is the mad scientist and the audience members are all rats in her maze. “I’m usually more interested in what’s happening outside the screen than inside the screen,” says Matt Hudgins, videogame developer and creator of Speculo, an art installation that uses a digital camera to record the viewer and…


Download a virtual art exhibit that features original games from around the world

La Triennale di Milano is an Italian modern art and design museum, focused on the relationship facilitated through art and industry. The La Triennial di Milano regularly displays exhibitions of design, architecture, art, fashion, film, and essentially anything contemporary. After a 20-year absence, the Triennale International Exhibition has made its triumphant return. With events and exhibits widespread across Milan, and now even an app-bound virtual exhibit by game designers from around the world, the Triennale International Exhibition has truly been ushered into the modern era. And after two decades away, that’s much to be revered. The chance to see art from the…


New VR game lets you walk around inside a Van Gogh painting

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. THE NIGHT CAFE (PC) BY BORROWED LIGHT STUDIOS The point of going to a museum is to gain a more tactile understanding of a piece of art. Being in front of a picture allows you to see the minute details of creation—the brush strokes and oil drips. Yet, museums keep you at a literal arms length from the art. But a VR Van Gogh experience titled The Night Café hopes to correct this discontinuity. Inviting viewers to step inside the swirling vibrancy of Van Gogh’s Le Café de…

gtav_ollie ma

Photo series shows how GTA V’s bleakness mirrors everyday life

As technology advances and our lives grow more and more digital, the barrier between our physical world and the virtual one grows increasingly blurred. As videogame graphics venture further into the dark lands of the uncanny valley, it seems only consequential that a photographer would eventually utilize in-game screenshots to juxtapose them against our physical world. Pairing our world with one of the most illustrious and life-like of open world games That’s what photographer Ollie Ma’ of Buckinghamshire, England has done, having captured the thematic emotions of disconnect in his photography. In his latest project, “Open World,” Ma’ couples in-game…

Mirrors edge art

Mirror’s Edge and the politics of parkour

As world design in games nowadays trends towards visions of vast, sprawling overworlds, intricately layered and impeccably nuanced, questions of mobility have risen to the forefront: how does the player get from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible? Questions of speed are of paramount concern, of course; no one likes to be held up unnecessarily in pursuit of some arbitrary objective. But, as in any art, games too must also be concerned with not just raw efficiency, but beauty as well: it’s not enough to just get there, but to get there in style, preferably…