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Hardcore Henry and the problem with immersion

This is a preview of an article you can read on our new website dedicated to virtual reality, Versions. /// A fight scene is a dance: not just between the characters in conflict, but between stunt people and the effects crew, between the cinematographer and choreographer, between the editor and sound designer, all of them moving together at once. The best fight scenes have a narrative arc, however slight or implied. Think of Bruce Lee adapting to and punishing Chuck Norris’s brute power in Lee’s 1972 The Way of the Dragon, or the feral, hallucinatory slaughter that ends Kihachi Okamoto’s…

Gone Home
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Videogames and the art of spatial storytelling

French philosopher Guy Debord talked about the idea of the dérive, a mode of travel where the journey itself is more important than the destination, where travelers “let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there.” But to think of dérive as a kind of random stroll dominated by chance encounters would be to miss Debord’s essential point: spaces, by virtue of being inhabited or shaped by humankind, possess their own “psychogeographical contours, with constant currents, fixed points and vortexes that strongly discourage entry into or exit from certain zones.” Spaces can be…