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INFRA asks what you’d do to stop an urban crisis

In the face of professional pressures, the profit motive, and a basic desire to survive, what can average citizens expect of the poor souls who inspect public infrastructure? This unfortunately timely question is at the heart of Loiste Interactive’s INFRA, which is out now for Windows. You play as an engineer tasked with examining the structures in the city of Stalburg. You are competent though not exceptionally motivated. This is a job, not a crusade. While carrying out your professional duties, however, there are some things you can’t help but notice. Namely, the whole city’s going to shit. Structures are…

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How temporary structures inspire architectural innovation

In many ways, the architecture of modern metropolises largely consists of simply lining each city block with minor variations on the same massive, contemporary rectangle of a skyscraper. The sheer size of these structures is impressive at first but, after a while, their similarity can leave a city feeling drained of personality. It’s difficult to blame corporations for choosing “safe” designs on multi-million dollar buildings that are meant to last decades, but once the initial impact of their size wears down, these soulless monoliths fail to leave much of an impression. So what happens when architects are given the freedom…

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A game about American railway bridges collapsing isn’t as absurd as it seems

There’s a moment in every child’s life, when posing as an amateur builder, when they realize a simple but fundamental principle of design: things work better when you stagger them. In bricklaying, Lego or otherwise, the staggering of joints is called a running bond. In Mark Ellis: Train Bridge Inspector, it’s nonexistent. The game, a physics simulator rendered in a few different shades of brown, plays with this principle by letting locomotives loose across bridges held up by precarious arrangements of monochromatic blocks. At the start of each level, you choose whether or not to give a bridge the Mark…

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The end of the (online) world as we know it

The prevailing mood around tech is that there is no limit to the power and size of the Internet. Humanity’s most impactful creation since, well, probably the automobile has spread so far and so wide, that according to a recent piece in Salon, network-enabled gadgets (smartphones, tablets, computers) will outnumber the population of earth by the end of the year. That’s more than 7 billion Internet capable-devices. Obviously, there is still a massive divide between the haves and the have-nots. Many of us have upwards of ten connected devices, and I’m sure that number spikes ever higher the closer one gets…