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Short documentary details the creation of a “fine art videogame”

“What do you get when you take a painter with a penchant for the peculiar and a programmer fluent in pixels?” That is the question posed by JJ Walker’s short documentary, Canvas+Code, which follows Ryan Ford and Brad Henderson, the painter and programmer that make up Globhammer. The documentary has been out for a few days now, and is currently available to watch on Vimeo. The seven-minute-long short film gives viewers a brief look at the duo, with both sharing small details about how they met, their respective thoughts on art and videogames, and just what, exactly, Globhammer means. “When I said [Globhammer], I…

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Feature

The loneliness of the professional gamer

If you haven’t heard of Jonathan Sutak, producer and director of The Foreigner, a new documentary about professional StarCraft II (2010), you can take solace in knowing that you’ve probably seen some of his work. Not, mind you, the two independent dramas—Up The River (2015), a romance, and Don’t Worry Baby (2015), a comedy—he’s produced; you haven’t seen those. What you have seen are the many trailers and TV spots he’s edited, for films as far afield as Everest (2015) and Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015). If not exactly a Hollywood insider, Sutak nevertheless approaches filmmaking from the perspective of…

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News

Documentary outlines how Cities: Skylines is being used to plan real cities

Having enjoyed a brief sneak-peek at Austin, Texas’ SXSW art and technology festival last weekend, My Urban Playground is an upcoming documentary from game publisher Paradox Interactive that tells the story of popular city-building game, Cities: Skylines (2015), and the fans who are using it to plan real-world architecture projects. Set over the two years leading up to and following the game’s release, the documentary is planned to cover how architects, politicians, and fans of the game have come together to create new real-world building initiatives. Additionally, the film will also feature interviews with United Nations development group UN-Habitat, which helps struggling…

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News

That Dragon, Cancer documentary turns to crowdfunding for wider release

While last month’s That Dragon, Cancer is, itself, an artifact worth discussing on a number of levels, especially in terms of its handle on faith and loss, there is more to the story than what the videogame contains. Some of that story can be found in the documentary Thank You For Playing, which is primarily the work of filmmakers David Osit and Malika Zouhali-Worrall. The pair followed Ryan and Amy Green over an 18-month period as they slowly pieced together a videogame about their dying infant son Joel, who was diagnosed with brain cancer, and fought it for a number of…

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News

Interactive documentary has you use the world as a musical instrument

The world is an infinite musical instrument. This is the prevailing idea across the interactive documentary Soundhunters. And it doesn’t mean in the way as I understood it in my college days, drumming out beats onto desk corners with my fingers; it’s less deliberate than that. The idea is to listen intently to the everyday sounds around you, record them, and then bring them together to create a musical tapestry from natural noise. “Today, every sound can be recorded, hijacked, manipulated and reinvented into an original musical creation. That is how a soundhunter works,” reads the project’s documentation. To demonstrate this,…

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News

New episode of Let’s Play takes games beyond the screen

The first three installments of Laurent Checola and Thomas Kimmerlin’s micro-documentary web series Let’s Play invited viewers to examine the new frontiers for game designers, how they are participating in controversial conversations, and how they can challenge conventional notions of play and success. Now, the fourth episode discusses how designers are moving play from the screen to create a more physical, social experience. 

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News

Our documentary look at the art of videogames continues

The first two episodes of Laurent Checola and Thomas Kimmerlin’s collaborative micro-documentary Let’s Play introduced the emerging communities of developers experimenting with how to create exciting new experiences and tell emotionally resonant, even controversial stories within games. The third installment asks both developers and players to challenge the preexisting paradigms of gratification in games to explore new digital and emotional terrains.