Latest Blog Posts

by Eric Swain

6 Dec 2011

Penn and Teller: Smoke and Mirrors is an unreleased mini-game compilation for the Sega CD. Around the time of its planned release, the company that was publishing it collapsed.  As a result, the license was lost and so a finished game fell by the wayside to seemingly become an odd footnote in the history of a failed console and a flailing console maker.

Among other things in the collection is quite possibly one of the worst games ever made: Desert Bus. In it, you are the driver of the titular desert bus, who must make the journey from Tucson to Las Vegas in real time. At 45 mph, the in-game bus’s top speed, that trip takes eight hours—in real time. Once you do this, you earn one point and the option of driving back for another point. You can’t just tape down the gas button and press forward because the bus will list to the right, and you have to correct for it constantly.  If you go off the road, the bus will break down, and you will have to be towed back to Tucson, again, in real time. The game cannot be paused. What kind of madmen would make this game and what type of madmen would dare play it?

by Sean McCarthy

6 Dec 2011

Be it writing online user guides for software programs or writing news articles, I’ve come to accept that the majority of what I write is disposable. An article for the newspaper will soon become the liner for someone’s bird cage. Another article will be quickly skimmed over and then forgotten as yet another article gets someone’s attention. It’s all part of the profession.

I could have worse jobs. As for others in the writing profession, I can’t think of a less enviable task than the writers for the 300-plus books that are scattered throughout the vast land known as Skyrim, the latest in the Elder Scrolls series. Last month, Bethesda’s massive, immersive role-playing game racked up more than $400 million in first week sales.

by G. Christopher Williams

5 Dec 2011

Deus Ex: Human Revolution was a game that closed out the usual doldrums of summer gaming.  We actually recorded this episode just a week or two after the release of the game, but due to a number of scheduling conflicts, the episode just slipped for some reason into this, the closing moments of the holiday game season.

Nevertheless, the release of this new Deus Ex is one of the more memorable gaming moments of the year, so while you may be crawling through Skyrim or reuniting with Drake or Ezio Auditore, take a break and return with us just a couple of months to consider the success or failure of a prequel to one of the most admired games of ten years ago.

by Nick Dinicola

2 Dec 2011

A good menu can set the tone for the rest of the game to come, or when done poorly, it can be a nuisance that players try to skip as fast as possible every time that they boot up a game. I’ve written twice before about some innovative menus, and since then, I’ve played three more games that I feel deserve special mention for how they handle this normally bland part of a game.

by Mark Filipowich

1 Dec 2011

On May 20 of 2010, Pablo Picasso’s painting, Le Pigeon aux Petits Pois (The Pigeon with the Peas)—along with a handful of other paintings—was stolen from the Paris Museum of Modern art. The work of art, now destroyed, no longer exists. For visual art and even literature, there is usually a “real” master copy that came directly from the artist. An inch by inch replication of a work of art can only be a copy, even if it is indistinguishable from the original. The original is sacred; anything like it is a cheap imitation that can never substitute the real thing. At least this is the thinking behind traditional understandings of artistic production.

A part of art has always been the experience of witnessing a piece for the first, brief time. Making a pilgrimage to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa or the final stop on a band’s reunion tour is a part of the almost religious experience of art. The location, the crowds of people, the journey to see the piece are a part of the artistic ritual, and for Picasso’s Pigeeon, it’s an experience that can never be had again. With the painting destroyed, the ritual can never be carried out again.

//Mixed media

How Röyksopp's 'Melody A.M.' Brought Electronica Into the Mainstream

// Sound Affects

"With their debut, the Norwegian duo essentially provided the everyman's guide to electronic music.

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