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The greatest technical feats in No Man’s Sky

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. A veteran explorer, low on supplies, lands on an uncharted alien planet with a cyan ocean and ruby-red grass. Enormous, dinosaur-like creatures with horns graze nearby, but at least there doesn’t appear to be any acid rain, unlike the last place. After some scavenging, the explorer hops back onto her spaceship to tackle another one of the 18 quintillion planets ahead. The space exploration game No Man’s Sky, released in August 2016, is already famous for its singularly beautiful digital world. But it’s also an unprecedented technical marvel, one…

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Internet communities help beginners build computers

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. The PC modding community turns building computers into a social art form that people of all technical skillsets can enjoy. Constructing a computer from spare parts sounds intimidating, but it’s not just for hardcore geeks anymore. PC modding, the term used for customizing or “modifying” a computer, is going mainstream, and the online PC modding communities are happy to share the craft with newcomers. “I truly believe anyone ages eight and up could learn to build a computer with no problems due to the abundance of information available on the subject online…

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Robot Sports bring man and machine together

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. From cage matches to laser tag, artificially intelligent machines are opening a new world of sports competition. The finale of the Syfy Channel’s 2013 Robot Combat League was one for the history books. Never before had competitive sports fans witnessed one-ton robots, towering eight-foot high, face off in a mechanical death match. The two competitors, Crash and Steampunk, banged chests as sparks and smoke filled the arena. Just outside the ring, each robot was controlled by a team consisting of a robo-jockey wearing an exosuit that controls the robot’s arms…

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How videogame fashion inspires real-world styles

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. Fashion designed for the 3D world of PC games is sparking couture style trends, opening new possibilities for cross-industry collaboration. Hoodies and t-shirts from alternative clothing store Hot Topic, with silkscreen depictions of popular and indie PC games, were once the fashionable dress code for anyone steeped in gaming culture. That began to change when high-style brands began connecting with game developers. Every year at New York Fashion Week (NYFW), it’s increasingly evident how technology is digitizing the fashion world with innovations spanning electrified dresses to virtual reality (VR) runway experiences. Beneath the fashion-tech…

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The overclocking community gets nostalgic

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. Like car fanatics who modify new or classic models to make them look and perform better, a growing overclocking community of passionate PC modders is pushing the limits of old and new computer technologies. In the world of computer modding, overclocking is the dark art of custom tuning computer parts to achieve a performance boost. The unbridled passion for tinkering with chips and specs is spreading across generations, pulling this dark art out of the shadows. “Overclocking has evolved into a sport,” said Dan Ragland, an engineer at Intel. “It…

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Sanjay’s Super Team brings Indian mythology into the digital age

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. Pixar’s Oscar-nominated animated short Sanjay’s Super Team (2015) premiered last year, delivering a personal story about Indian culture and spirituality to a global audience. A largely autobiographical tale directed by Sanjay Patel, it centers around the duality of his Indian-American identity, a largely underrepresented demographic in the Western-dominated field of animation and digital storytelling. In an interview with The Verge, Patel said “It felt really important to me to have America see this, and have Pixar and Disney say it’s normal.” In the short, little Sanjay is enamored by a Transformers-like…

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The rise of women working in Indian videogames

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. Many see gaming as a “boys’ club,” but Indian women are proving them wrong. Aside from the growing demographic of female players, Indian female game designers are also telling their own stories in innovative ways, showing just how creative the medium can be. While The Economic Times reported that women only made up 20 percent of the Indian gaming population in 2010, data gathered by Mauj Mobile this past April told a different story. Men still dominate the total percentage of players, but on average women proved to be more…

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Nioh brings a real-life samurai legend to videogames

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. Fumihiko Yasuda, the director of upcoming samurai game Nioh, has been learning a little bushido lately. To bring the way of the warrior to life, he and his fellow developers at Team Ninja focused on how to translate a historic samurai legend into videogame mechanics. Emphasizing the distinct samurai fighting style, Yasuda took up the sword himself to ensure the game would feel as authentic and satisfying as possible. “I’m a little scared of how cleanly I can cut through things [now]. I’m a little hesitant,” he joked at E3, having…

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The physical intimacy of Push Me Pull You’s design

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. The multiplayer game Push Me Pull You builds a sense of community with the help of a bizarre but goofy premise. In a world populated by strange two-headed “sports monsters,” players must face off against each other in a friendly game of ball without getting too tangled in their own bodies. Despite the odd (or slightly queasy) concept, Push Me Pull You draws players in with undeniable charm, creating a welcoming environment for people from all walks of life, regardless of age, race, or skill level. Created by the small…