Inside
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Let a low-rez world of flesh and metal overwhelm you

You should probably take a seat before you watch Mattis Dovier‘s Inside. Just get your head straight, y’know, couple of deep breaths, because Dovier’s animated short is a hugely discomfiting, bleak take on the relationship between people and technology. It spreads like a plague: our monotone narrator guides us through a future where, just beneath a pliable film of flesh, lies a gleaming mechanical skeleton. He dreams of cables sluicing below his skin and bursting from his mouth; a burn on his hand dries and cracks wide to reveal cold metal within. His doctor diagnoses him with “severe hypochondria,” but he knows there’s…

Burrito Galaxy
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It might be impossible to stop grinning at Burrito Galaxy

When someone talks about nostalgia in videogames, there’s a solid chance they’ll also be talking about Metroidvanias or slick indie platformers. Super Meat Boy (2010) ends up being notable for its tight air control and precise jumps—the weird setting and throwback cutscenes are kind of a bonus. But from what I can tell, the upcoming Burrito Galaxy has nostalgia mostly for the weird worlds games let us inhabit. When the vaguely dissonant squeaks of the soundtrack from the new video started to play, I couldn’t help but grin: it sounds like someone made the Wii Shop Channel soundtrack play a game…

Ride the Metaverse
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Hold your guts in as you’re thrown around a virtual reality art space

Created for a Render the Metaverse OTOY and Oculus sponsored contest last year, the virtual reality project “Mashup Between the Clouds” is a surreal journey into a world of stacked pallets, overturned desks, and cardboard boxes. It’s also a virtual reality still, meaning that while you could look in 360 degrees, you are constrained to simply observation. More recently, the project’s creator Moritz Reichartz released a new way to look at his Metaverse, throwing a “collision cam into the scene” to see what happened. The resulting video, “Ride the Metaverse,” is a carnival ride in perhaps all senses of the word. From the sound effects…

Portal 2
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Portal 2 experiment results in beautiful wormhole art

Dear Chell, Where have you gone? This is your fault. You chose this path. The Aperture Science testing environment has been proven entirely safe for each test subject. Yet your typical violent behavior towards the equipment has proven that false. I’d just like to point out that you were given every opportunity to succeed. There was even going to be a party for you. There was going to be cake. Are you dead? I told you: When you’re dead I will be still alive. I said that. Remember? I warned you. I did. It was not a lie. Now you…

Hyperspektiv
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Hyperspektiv, a “modern kaleidoscope” to deform reality

Allan Lavell has broken the fulcrum that holds reality together. Last year he gave us a way to turn any media or camera feed into glitched-out gifs—glitch art as easy as applying Instagram filters. He called it Glitch Wizard. But that was last year. Lavell has moved on since then. Get with the times, people. It’s all about Hyperspektiv now: his newly released “modern kaleidoscope” for iPhone. It’s fucking wild. If Glitch Wizard was a way to distort reality then Hyperspektiv lets you leave it behind entirely. It has a range of FX for you to inject into your phone’s…

funf
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Future Unfolding will let us play with the animals on PS4, and so it should

“Come, bunnies,” I announced to the empty room behind me. “Follow me, your glorious leader!” In Future Unfolding, you run around a forest that has the florid appearance of spilled paint, and you can talk to the animals. As if some glorified Pied Piper, you stride with great bounds across flower patches, painting blue streaks as you sprint between the shadows of leafy trees, a fleet of fluffy animals in tow.  When I started playing Future Unfolding, my controller was disconnected, and so I was left to use either my mouse or my keyboard. “Nah,” I said, and got up…

cab
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An upcoming videogame has you explore the world with a visual scanner

Spawned from his background in photography, Ivan Notaros has come up with a beautiful way to explore a videogame world in his upcoming project Scanner. As the title reveals, it has you seeing through a first-generation robot’s eyes as it ventures into a post-humanity world, constructing 3D images with a visual scanner. Speaking during European Innovative Games Showcase at GDC Europe 2015 (in a video you can watch here), Notaros explains how he arrived upon his discovery. It all started when he began playing with photo-scanning. This is a cheaper alternative to buying a proper 3D scanning device to capture the points…

screen4
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Overland turns the post-apocalyptic road trip into a series of delicate dioramas

Overland has the look of something you could feasibly prod. It comes across as a series of cartoon-coated dioramas that are made to be admired up close. This is no accident. As designer Adam Saltsman explains in a new video about Overland, by having “clear, obvious visuals composed on a single screen,” what is usually an inaccessible genre—squad-based tactics in this case—is made “available to a new wider audience without sacrificing depth or challenge.” The idea is to help a group of people survive a hellish road trip across a ravaged America. The most obvious threat are the sound-sensitive beasts…

APHEX8_990
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An Aphex Twin tribute morphs the virtual body into horrifying shapes

Richard D. James (better known as Aphex Twin) has often seen his songs associated with disturbing, warped bodies. In the early ’90s, the label he co-founded and that produced his music, Rephlex Records, described his style as “braindance.” Pitchfork‘s Paul Cooper wrote about this terminology in 2002, saying that “‘braindance’ escaped the mind/body binary opposition of electronic music– here was a rhythmically hyper, complex genre that retained its club roots by appending fantastically supple limbs to the listener’s fervid imagination.” The corporeal imagery conjured there is hardly an embellishment on Cooper’s part. By that time, the music videos directed by experimental…