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We’ll Meet Again takes collaborative gaming offline

The Ear Force PX51 is a lot of headset—$296.95 worth of headset, to be precise. It is billed as an “advanced gaming audio system.” It comes with many features that are prefixed with “dual-”, which makes sense insofar as most people have two ears. All of that is a complicated way of saying the PX51 allows you to hear what is happening in a game and communicate with others, all for the princely sum of $296.95. That’s nice, I guess, but what if you wanted to play a game and talk to someone else with slightly less technological intermediation? We’ll…

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Hitchhike across a small-town conspiracy in The Long Way

Last year, games such as Glitchhikers and Three Fourths Home addressed us from behind somber masks as we drove down their lonesome roads. The former took us on a spiritual journey to have us question the direction our lives were headed. While the latter acted as more of a reminder to continue to treasure those we hold dear with its cruel, twist ending. Now, The Long Way, which also uses the format of the road to talk to us, sheathes a mystery amid its lurid horizons.  Out of those two previous thematic cousins, The Long Way‘s fiction starts out closest to Glitchhikers—it has that same…

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Höme Improvisåtion: if IKEA made videogames

No no, it’s not official, but it does look like a group of game designers may have managed to capture the infernally infuriating experience of putting together IKEA flatpack furniture in virtual reality. Höme Improvisåtion as the game is called (complete with appropriate Scandinavian accents) is apparently one creation to come out of last week’s Global Game Jam, a 48-hour event challenging developers to create the best games in a presumably messy weekend of pizza and coding. Declaring itself “the world’s most fun and accurate cooperative furniture assembly experience”, the below video gives an amusing introduction to the objective and gameplay. Apparently, the game…

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Tokyo 1923 conveys one of Japan’s worst natural disasters

In reading Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa’s memories of the Great Kant? earthquake of 1923, there appear two images more striking than the rest. The first one is the bloated corpses that lapped up against the bank of Sumidagawa River: a dirty red assemblage of death that made Kurosawa’s knees weak, and that he tried to shutter his eyes to but was forced to stare at by his brother. “I remember thinking that the lake of blood they say exists in Buddhist hell couldn’t possibly be as bad as this,” Kurosawa wrote.  The other image is much less gruesome but equally…

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The Global Game Jam game that teaches you how to do it, kinda

How Do You Do It? is a quick game about one of those precious formative moments, when as a child, you realized that there was such a thing called sex that people did to each other, and though you were uncertain about the specifics, you undressed two dolls and tried to get them to do it. (Full discclosure: it was made by a team including our former intern, Nina Freeman. Sup, Nina.) In my case it was He-Man in a loincloth and Ariel from Little Mermaid with her velcro tail taken off. The game character’s dolls look like a traditional…

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Crush is the first-person game about cubes (and people) with anxiety disorders

“Anxiety is the Dizziness of Freedom,” the theologian Søren Kierkegaard famously wrote in his philosophical work The Concept of Anxiety. What he meant was this: because we are autonomous beings, having the ability to think for ourselves, we are prone to worrying over the choices we make. You could say that once you start thinking about anxiety, you already have a problem. It follows that the creator of Crush, a browser game that illustrates the overpowering effects of anxiety, is personally familiar with the disorder herself. – – – Created during Global Game Jam 2013, Crush is a short, abstract…