Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

 
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Wednesday, Nov 19, 2014
by Brian Crecente / Tribune News Service (TNS)
If the Xbox One’s launch were a movie, it would fit very neatly into a three-act structure, and we would be witnessing right now the console’s final, biggest moment of crisis.

The video game industry’s most exciting story this generation can’t be found in the likes of The Last of Us, Halo 5 or the latest Call of Duty.


The most compelling narrative to arise out of this new crop of consoles isn’t coming from any video game, it’s the Xbox One’s Miltonian fall from grace and its attempt at redemption.


If the Xbox One’s launch were a movie, it would fit very neatly into a three-act structure, and we would be witnessing right now the console’s final, biggest moment of crisis. What happens next in the launch’s third act seems to rest entirely with the new(ish) head of Xbox, Phil Spencer.


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Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014
by Brian Crecente / McClatchy-Tribune News Service (MCT)
If backed through crowdfunding, Hell Mountain will be the world’s first feature-length horror movie that can be watched from inside the film with the Oculus Rift.

Despite what I’m told repeatedly, heart attacks are likely not going to be caused by this latest experiment with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.


But that doesn’t make a foray into immersive horror film creation any less tantalizing.


If backed through crowdfunding, Hell Mountain will be the world’s first feature-length horror movie that can be watched from inside the film with the Oculus Rift.


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Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014
by Brian Crecente (McClatchy-Tribune News Service)
Oculus Rift is the closest thing yet to a consumer-bound product that can deliver what virtual reality experts call presence.

Despite the soaring plaudits from professional technophiles, despite the growing support from the video game industry, the latest run at mainstreaming wearable virtual reality is doomed to be a commercial failure.


Yes, the Oculus Rift has reignited an interest in virtual reality goggles not seen in decades. And yes, the company behind the technology was purchased by Facebook for billions.


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Monday, Aug 18, 2014
by Brian Crecente
That technology is being used to examine and perhaps shape Ulysses’ understanding, isn’t that surprising. After all, there was a time when books were considered technology.

An award-winning Irish filmmaker and animator just received crowd-sourced funding to kickstart his work turning James Joyce’s Ulysses into a virtual reality video game.


The concept is to immerse players in Joyce’s stream of consciousness by dropping them into the shoes of the work’s two protagonists Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom.


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Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014
by Brian Crecente
This is Chess 2, a chess variant created by MIT grad and famed game designer David Sirlin and given computer game life by developer Zac Burns, to correct what Sirlin views as major design flaws in the original board game.

The weekend’s chess matches with my father ended as they always do, but with a twist.


I lost, mostly, but it wasn’t to a checkmate. Instead it happened four times when he managed to get both of his warrior kings across the board’s midline. That last midline crossing happened despite my defensive line of elephants, wild horse and pawns.


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