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Playing Paris like a game

I have never been to Paris. In my provincial life I’ve never even left the United States. Despite or, perhaps, due to my localism, I was beguiled by the vision of the city given by Luc Sante in his 2015 book The Other Paris. Sante provides an underground history of the city, of its crime and prostitution, its low-wage work and lowbrow entertainments, its intoxications and insurrections. As fluent as he is with tales of murderous gangsters and wayward streetwalkers, what really comes across in The Other Paris is Sante’s deep mourning for the lost topography of the city. The…

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Bird lawyering game Aviary Attorney to flock to Steam next week

You might remember Aviary Attorney as the only lawyering videogame that features a crack team of attorneys straight out of Animal Farm. Set in 1848 Paris, the game only uses public domain drawings from that time to depict the trials and tribulations of bird lawyer Monsieur Jayjay Falcon. All characters have been lifted from Scènes de la vie privée et publique des animaux (Scenes of the Public and Private Life of Animals), by French caricaturist Jean-Jacques Grandville. As Aviary Attorney creator Jeremy Noghani told Kill Screen after the Kickstarter launched a year ago, “It was amazing how much of the humor carried across from…

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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…