Unravel
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Burn in hell, Yarny

A videogame called Unravel will be released tomorrow. It may be a good game, and it is certainly a good-looking one, with a soft focus and hazy depth of field; tree leaves rustle convincingly and thick snowflakes pile up as the camera pans ever right-ward. It appears to make use of this tactile world for a series of physics-based puzzles, like moving rocks to get up on ledges and creating makeshift vines with which to soar across little ponds. These may be very clever puzzles, building toward a resolution that is very satisfying, but I will never know, because I will never…

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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…

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GIF GJ is a Frankenstein’s monster of millennial internet culture

I think it’s time we accept that the GIF has become our symbol for this moment in the digital age. Fleeting, repetitive, ephemeral and yet always the same, the GIF captures the essence of a generation built on the internet: a never-ending loop of recycled information spreading on and on and on, ad infinitum. Giphy’s GIF GJ feels like the chaotic logical conclusion to millennial remix culture. Deriving from the cult of the mashup, GIF GJ combines digital DJing with GIFs by replacing a musical playlist with a soundboard of animated graphics. According to Giphy, the software is a call…

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How do cats see the world? This bewildering psychoscape has a rough idea

This cat is out of place. But maybe all cats are out of place. The one in Psychic Cat is probably no more suited to its environment than, say, my cat Smudge who fell through the roof of the greenhouse last year. The temptation was to call Smudge a klutz at the time (and let’s be fair, Smudge, you are an absolute dingbat at times). But it’s not his fault. We humans invented glass and the concept of a greenhouse. Imagine how strange glass is to a cat. Some hard invisible material that seems to trick light. Think of the puzzling…

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Watch 11 hours of cats being adorable to celebrate the best cat game on the planet

We don’t need an excuse to talk about cats here. Cats are a pretty big deal. We have a “cats” tag and it’s probably the most valuable thing we’ve got. That is, before we set-up our sister site Kitten Screen and take over th– okay, that’s not actually happening (it is in my dreams), but a “Kitten Screen” is actually why you’re here.  This week has been declared “Game Week with Google Play” in Japan. And part of that involved celebrating one of our favorite videogames from this past year: Neko Atsume. You know what developer Hit-Point Co. did? I…

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Hiroshima’s Street View for Cats is basically an RPG

“Japan just created a Google Street View for cats,” reports Vox’s Margarita Noriega, which sounds like a pretty good deal. A series of maps and visualizations created by Hiroshima prefecture’s tourism board, show a number of popular routes from the just-above-ground POV of a feline. As you stroll through marketplaces and other thoroughfares in street view, abstracted cat icons indicate the homes of other furry friends. These maps are of no use to Hiroshima’s cats  These maps are, of course, of no use to Hirohsima’s cats, which may appear online with alarming frequency but cannot actually navigate the internet. As the Wall…

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The world is okay and here is a cat you can tease with yarn

Life is a brutal slog. You spend the majority of your waking hours working, and spend the remainder recovering from the toxic effects of that work. Your body is constantly deteriorating, unless you are like a little kid, in which case, I have this to say: it is all downhill from here, bub. The planet on which you are oscillating between work and nonwork is literally dying. From a cosmic perspective, the human race is merely being obstinate. And yet. We wake up. We find meaning in the work. We build families, and the families help each other. We wend…