Rethinking the shooter for the VR age

This is a preview of an article you can read on our new website dedicated to virtual reality, Versions. /// Header illustration by Gareth Damian Martin Although videogames have been around since the early fifties, the first known electronic shooter actually appeared in 1936. The Seeburg Ray-o-Lite, best described as a sort of proto–Duck Hunt (1984), was a light-gun game utilizing a photosensitive vacuum tube and a moving target painted to look like a duck in flight. Whenever the player pulled the trigger, a beam of light would issue from the rifle controller; if she managed to hit the sensor…


The future of electronic interaction can be found in the middle of Kentucky

The reason higher education combines “arts” and “sciences” is because all art is, in essence, an emotional and psychological experiment. People want to experience joy, fear, ennui, etc., but aren’t always able (or willing) to experience the events that would normally create such intense feelings. In this regard, the artist is the mad scientist and the audience members are all rats in her maze. “I’m usually more interested in what’s happening outside the screen than inside the screen,” says Matt Hudgins, videogame developer and creator of Speculo, an art installation that uses a digital camera to record the viewer and…

Pokemon Go

The purpose of Pokémon Go

This is a preview of an article you can read on our new website dedicated to virtual reality, Versions. /// I remember the first time I saw Abney Park chapel. I was already in a state of wonder, having discovered that behind a busy high street, not 10 minutes from my flat, a vast forested cemetery lay silent—cut through with dappled paths, lined with ancient graves. But on top of that, to discover the chapel with its derelict spire, its empty rose window and sprigs of green that grew between bricks and tiles and stone, was to enter another world…


Thumper is set to blow your damn face off this October

Thumper may not be the first rhythm game to feature a craft accelerating down winding paths in sync with the beat, but its aggressive assault of color and sound and speed promises to perhaps be the most hypnotic. The intense and otherworldly  “rhythm violence” of the game has been gestating since developer Drool formed in 2009, and now, like its titular chrome beetle, is finally set to emerge on October 13th for PlayStation 4, PlayStation VR, and Steam. “an overwhelming sense of speed and monumental dread” In a recent PlayStation blog post, co-founder Marc Flury discussed what you should expect when…


Mare will use your gaze to guide a lost girl through mystical ruins

On June 3rd, 2016, a little over a week before E3 2016 began, Visiontrick Media quite boldly announced a new game. Called Mare, it’s to be the studio’s first virtual reality game, one that places an emphasis on exploration and the player’s senses. In the announcement post, Visiontrick noted that they’re still working on their other game, Pavilion—a fourth-person puzzle/adventure game we’ve been eager to get our hands on—but they felt it was time to let the world know about Mare too, especially as it was to appear at E3 as part of the IndieCade Showcase. Visiontrick wanted to make Mare while…

here they lie

Here They Lie might be the horror game VR needs

What happens when you combine nightmares, beards, the claustrophobia of VR, and leaving behind AAA development? Apparently, surreal horror games are born. Here They Lie, announced during E3 last week, is a new title for both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR, developed by Tangentlemen Studios. The new studio is made up of other industry veterans, some former Call of Duty and Medal of Honor developers, as well as co-creative directors and lead designers Cory Davis (creative director and lead designer for 2012’s Spec Ops: The Line) and Toby Gard (designer of the original 1996 Tomb Raider and the iconic character of Lara Croft).…


Star Wars fan uses VR to make his lightsaber dreams come true

This is a preview of an article you can read on our new website dedicated to virtual reality, Versions. /// Star Wars and videogames have had a long, fairly complicated relationship. What began with the Kenner toy line of 1978 ultimately grew into an unprecedented licensing juggernaut. The Parker Brothers’ scrolling shooter The Empire Strikes Back brought the movie franchise to the Atari 2600 in 1982, followed shortly after by the Star Wars (1983) arcade cabinet and the multi-platform Return of the Jedi: Death Star Battle (1983). To date, there are more than 70 electronic games taking place in some iteration of…


SUPERHOT VR might end up being the most meta VR game yet

The Superhot Team announced SUPERHOT VR for the Oculus Touch this week, a project that’s been in the works since late 2013. Anyone who’s completed the original game, released earlier this year, will surely shiver with anticipation at the countless storytelling possibilities this virtual reality endeavor presents. If, on the other hand, you’re someone who avoids spoilers and has plans to play the current build of SUPERHOT, you should probably read no further. SUPERHOT is a special experience—one that owes much of its brilliance to VR-centric cyberpunk works like The Matrix (1999) and William Gibson’s Sprawl sequence. An inventive, tongue-in- cheek critique of traditional first-person shooters, SUPERHOT introduces…

Giant Cop

Giant Cop brings outlandish VR to dystopian police states

Other Ocean Interactive revealed their upcoming game, Giant Cop: Justice Above All, at the PC Gaming Press Conference at E3. It’s a virtual reality game about policing the town of Micro City as a Godzilla-sized officer of the law, and it looks just as silly as it sounds. All the characters (including the giant cop) appear as caricatures, and the citizens have equally over-the-top voice acting to match it. tossing dissenters into the ocean The trailer promises giant missions and a giant world to go along with your Giant Cop. The citizens of Micro City, however, seem pretty divided on…