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News

Digitizing your ex: How men are using RPGs to cope with breakups

Videogames are a medium often used to escape the cruelties of reality, fostering a safe place for players to take a load off and step into a world that is familiar and comforting. Using a digital space to cope with complex situations or emotions isn’t a new concept, but it seems that some users are taking to the environment of RPGs in order to deal with their break ups. More specifically, Cecilia D’Anastasio of Motherboard explains how men are digitalizing their exes and placing them in games to be downloaded and shared among the modding communities.  Cited as both a…

knucklesandwichlead
News

Knuckle Sandwich shows us how to fight boxing bees and giant noses

As most of your teenage or 20-something friends can probably tell you, working in food service isn’t exactly the most rewarding way to spend your time. Customers will yell at you for mistakes you didn’t make, your manager will ask you to work overtime just as you’re heading out the door, your coworkers will come in having skipped one too many showers, and you’ll have to clean up more than your fair share of mystery slimes throughout your illustrious career. But hey, when you get home, you can always relax with a nice videogame, right? Just turn it on, pick…

Let it Die
News

Let Suda 51 Die

It is rare that a piece of key art is worthy of comment. That ugly, industry-saturated term, “key art”, tells the whole story, bringing to mind images of focus testing promotional images usually of men with guns facing away, silhouetted in the light of an explosion. But this bit of key art, this is something special. Let’s just lay it out here, for your enjoyment. Observe the faded tones, the dappled light. Look on the grim reaper, posed classically, one hand stretched towards a prostate victim. Take in the towering pile of city, punctuated with plumes of smoke, the distant…

hyperlight drifter2
News

See how far Hyper Light Drifter has come before its arrival next week

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) wasn’t a tough sell. It had audiences entranced from its first trailer. A desert slashed with muted yellows and clay reds set against a crisp aquamarine sky spoke for itself. The dies irae of Giuseppe Verdi’s “Requiem” was only there to make sure you never forgot. The first trailer for Hyper Light Drifter was different in almost every way, but the effect was the same. Alex Preston introduced his stylish action-RPG not with an apocalyptic bang but with the rhythmic chiptune meditations of a specialty Baths track. Grounded in Will Wiesenfeld’s introspective beat, Hyper Light Drifter wrapped its precious pixel art…

MYMMO
News

A videogame about making the kind of game you’re not supposed to make

There’s a succinct piece of traditional wisdom in videogame development: start small. It’s common for nearly everyone who wants to make a game to have a great idea for a massively multiplayer online game, but if you’re just getting started, that’s a pretty tough project to get off the ground, to say the least. At the end of 2014, Aaron John-Baptiste made a game called TMO (Tiny Multiplayer Online) for the weekend-long game jam Ludum Dare. The jam theme was “Entire Game on One Screen” and the tiny MMO-maker plays like a small “clicker game”—you put down Level 1 combat…

thedivisionlead
Review

The perverse ideology of The Division

In the first few hours of The Division, you will be bombarded with phone recordings, resources and consumables, an overwhelming litany of damage numbers and weapon mods. It puts you in such a constant state of information overload that after a while it’s easier to ignore everything but the essentials. You come to assume that, as long as you are shooting, progress is being made. Stalking the cold streets of an abandoned New York City, running missions to collect supplies for upgrades, assaulting strongholds and rescuing hostages, the rhythm of the game is a familiar one. It’s one that has…

mgsprison
Feature

The Art of Escape

This article was funded with support from Longreads members. * * * No one wore stripes that spring and summer in Leavenworth. Stripes were for rule breakers, and no one was breaking the rules. “Baseball As A Corrective” read the front page of the New York Times that May. It was 1912 and “the magic of baseball” had “wrought a wonderful change in the United States Penitentiary.” For the first time in Leavenworth’s history, for months at a time, everyone behaved, because everyone wanted to play or watch the baseball games. “Chronic trouble makers began to be so good that the…

Stardew Valley screenshot 2
Review

Stardew Valley brings in a full harvest

There is no point in kicking sticks around over Stardew Valley’s similarities to the Harvest Moon series, Natsume’s long-running farmlife simulator. Not to be confused with the also really good Neil Young album, “Harvest Moon”, which Stardew Valley does not riff upon outside of the honkey tonk atmosphere in the single’s bar waltz music video. And that is probably a coincidence. Stardew Valley is an homage, a send up, and there is little mistake to make about that. It likes Harvest Moon a lot, and those who like Harvest Moon will probably like it in return. It likes the graces of…

Aurion
News

Beautiful African fantasy RPG Aurion comes out April 14th

In 2011, Elder Scrolls took players to the overtly Scandinavian nation of Skyrim. This week, Fire Emblem Fates will welcome Western players to the heavily Japanese Hoshido. And now we know that, on April 14th, 2016, Africa will finally get it’s due when Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan opens up its Cameroon-inspired planet of Auriona. Aurion aims to do for Cameroon what Never Alone (2014) did for Alaska’s native Iñupiat people. It’s to be the first installment in its local developers’ planned Kiro’o Tales, which hopes to advocate for African culture through games, comics, and cartoons. Last September, Aurion earned $50,000 in a…