Video Games Are Better Without Stories

[..] [G]ames are the aesthetic form of everyday objects. Of ordinary life. Take a ball and a field: you get soccer. Take property-based wealth and the Depression: you get Monopoly. Take patterns of four contiguous squares and gravity: you get Tetris. Take ray tracing and reverse it to track projectiles: you get Doom. Games show players the unseen uses of ordinary materials.

[…] The true accomplishment of What Remains of Edith Finch is that it invites players to abandon the dream of interactive storytelling at last. […] To dream of the Holodeck is just to dream a complicated dream of the novel. If there is a future of games, let alone a future in which they discover their potential as a defining medium of an era, it will be one in which games abandon the dream of becoming narrative media and pursue the one they are already so good at: taking the tidy, ordinary world apart and putting it back together again in surprising, ghastly new ways.

Video Games Are Better Without Stories – Ian Bogost

STALKER TRAILER – New Restoration 2017

STALKER TRAILER – New Restoration 2017

One of the most immersive and rarefied experiences in the history of cinema, Andrei Tarkovsky’s STALKER embarks on a metaphysical journey through an enigmatic post-apocalyptic landscape. A hired guide – the „Stalker“ of the title – leads a writer and a scientist into the heart of the Zone, the restricted site of a long-ago disaster, where the three men eventually zero in on the Room, a place rumored to fulfill one’s most deeply held desires. Adapting a science-fiction novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, and making what would be his final Soviet feature, Tarkovsky created a challenging and visually stunning work, his painstaking attention to material detail and sense of organic atmosphere further enriched by this vivid new restoration. At once a religious allegory, a reflection of contemporary political anxieties, and a meditation on film itself-among many other interpretations – Stalker envelops the viewer by opening up a multitude of possible meanings. Restored by Mosfilm from a 2k scan of the original negative.

The Tommy Westphall Universe

The Tommy Westphall Universe

Tommy Westphall was an austistic child on the TV series St Elsewhere who, it was revealed in the closing moments of the final episode of that series, had dreamt the entire run of the show. […] St Elsewhere has direct connections to twelve other television series – many of them direct crossovers of character to and from the series. Others make mention of specific parts of the St Elsewhere fictional universe, placing them within the same fictional sphere.

Open (World) Peer Review: Leveling a Lowbie PhD Thesis

Video game archaeology perhaps is the first example of a new New Archaeology, one that is post-material and post-human, one that not only intersects past and present, but that also uses the screen as the sole method of accessing new archaeological spaces. These spaces are made by people (or by machine) for other people to use, and are invested with creativity and examples of material culture. They are kinetic and also kinesthetic. They contain their own space-time. Each game is its own discrete entity, its own site. At the same time, each game exists in multiple, identical copies, circumventing the problem of the “unrepeatable experiment” of total excavation. They pose both classic and new questions to the archaeologist who operates in both the real and the virtual simultaneously using very real archaeological craft.

Andrew Reinhard, Open (World) Peer Review: Leveling a Lowbie PhD Thesis | Archaeogaming

Using technology to address gender bias in film

Using technology to address gender bias in film

Dubbed the Geena Davis Inclusion Quotient (GD-IQ), the tool not only can identify a character’s gender, but it knew to a fraction of a second how long each actor spoke, and were on-screen.

 

How fantastical Atari box art taught the world what makes video games special · Art of the Game

The graphics were simple and borderline abstract, but they were also an experience unlike anything most households had ever seen. The box art was meant to coalesce that excitement into something tangible. A static screenshot from the game couldn’t possibly relate how dynamic the experience was to a neophyte audience. The impressionistic nature of the 2600’s graphics also allowed for ample interpretation of what that experience would resemble.

How fantastical Atari box art taught the world what makes video games special, Nick Wisnerski

Maniac Mansion Design Notes

A early mock-up of the Maniac Mansion UI, which would influence many later Lucasfilm adventure games.

A map of the mansion, interestingly the limited disk space of 320k played a big role in the mansion size and layout.

Source: Grumpy Gamer – Maniac Mansion Design Notes

Generating fantasy maps

Generating fantasy maps

Make maps that look like something you’d find at the back of cheap paperback fantasy novels.

Face2Face: Real-time Face Capture and Reenactment of RGB Videos (CVPR 2016 Oral)

Face2Face: Real-time Face Capture and Reenactment of RGB Videos

We present a novel approach for real-time facial reenactment of a monocular target video sequence (e.g., Youtube video). The source sequence is also a monocular video stream, captured live with a commodity webcam. Our goal is to animate the facial expressions of the target video by a source actor and re-render the manipulated output video in a photo-realistic fashion.

David Kriesel: SpiegelMining – Reverse Engineering von Spiegel-Online [33c3] – YouTube

SpiegelMining – Reverse Engineering von Spiegel-Online

Wer denkt, Vorratsdatenspeicherungen und „Big Data“ sind harmlos, der kriegt hier eine Demo an Spiegel-Online.

Seit Mitte 2014 hat David fast 100.000 Artikel von Spiegel-Online systematisch gespeichert. Diese Datenmasse wird er in einem bunten Vortrag vorstellen und erforschen.