The new mundanity of space games

The conference floor was full of astronauts, engineers, and students. Bodies quickly filed past each other to find an open seat. My team of 4th graders waited impatiently to sit. Before I could join my fellow classmates, a hand reached out to guide me to a new seat, away from the others. Instead of sitting a few rows back, I was ushered toward the front. Next to me was John Glenn. Former astronaut. The first American to orbit the Earth. Fifth man to travel to space. I stared up at him in awe. He’s been to outer space. I want…


Beautiful drone photos depict the warped cityscapes of our future

Photography has always possessed this peculiar quality of contorting a space as well as documenting it. For instance, take motion photography, which captures the momentum of a moving object in a static image while often at the same time distilling the background into a blur of bokeh and light trails. Or tilt-shift photography, where the selective focus of a frame reduces the enormous minutiae of daily human life into a diorama of dramas. Filmmaker and photographer Aydin Büyüktas’ Flatland series, named after Edwin Abbott’s multi-dimensional novella, shapes the world of its subjects while at the same time revealing them. multifaceted…

Fallout 4 Bobble Girl

How female modders are bringing better diversity to videogames

For as long as we’ve had games, we’ve had mods. They’re an integral and maybe necessary part of gaming, used either to personalize an experience or simply as a creative outlet. As a South Asian, I’ve banked on mods to make characters that actually look like me and not a version of myself that looks like, you know, I jumped in a tub of baby powder. So I’m grateful for mods and big-name games like The Sims (2000) that have actively encouraged modders to further customize player worlds as they see fit, even going as far as to advertise popular…


The Year in Space

“Why Is NASA Exploring Pluto? NASA sends spacecraft to other planets because exploring space is exciting.” NASA Educational Technology Services, 2015 The Sputnik Planum, Pluto It emerges out of the ancient, cratered highland of the Viking Terra like a great lake, rippled with vast waves and sectioned into polygonal pools. It is of course, exceptionally dry, though hills of water ice rise up in aligned ripples like the rake marks of a zen garden. It is young, at least comparatively so, like the cheeks of a child yet to be marked with the scars and pockmarks that life accrues. Its…