Adam Robezolli doesn't see video games the same way that most people do. To him, instead of an escape or simple entertainment, games are a medium with infinite potential. And now he's trying to build a space in Los Angeles to celebrate and explore that notion.
The LA Game Space (see their Kickstarter) will be a communal place for game developers and players to learn, create and gather. Artists and developers will collaborate on unique new experiences. Studios big and small will send their best talent to host live talks that will stream online. Months-long exhibits will present the best the industry has to offer. Benefit concerts will expose listeners young and old to the beauty and nostalgia of chiptunes. Members will play games on every system from every decade since Pong, contributing to future research projects as they rack up headshots. And that's just a fraction of what Robezzoli has planned.
We at G4 are no strangers to the urban legends of the gaming world; we've touched on the topic more than once in the past. But today we'd like to take a special look at five of the most terrifying myths about games—the ones that make us lock our doors and unplug our N64s for fear of pixels coming to life in the night.
It's Halloween, after all. And if a demonic version of Sonic is going to show up in your bedroom, or a song in a Pokemon game is going to influence you to kill yourself, now is when it's likely going to happen. It's probably best to avoid playing any creepy games at all right now—but that's not going to happen, is it?
Unless you want your loved ones to have to somehow explain in your eulogy that you were killed while playing Minecraft.
Hunting ghosts is serious business. The spirits of the dead are all around us, and with Halloween approaching; their restlessness is becoming palpable. Nevertheless, they'll only reveal their secrets to those with the tools to hear and see them.
To that end, we've put together this handy guide, with five must-have gadgets for aspiring and experienced ghost hunters alike. This high-tech gear would have cost a small fortune a decade ago, but today for the first time amateur spirit seekers can get in touch with dead relatives and old haunts just as easily as the pros. Here's everything you'll need to get started—now leave your skepticism at the door and jump in.
What you'll need: Handheld infrared night vision camcorder w/ optional Sima IR illuminator
How much: $99.95
Sure, EMF meters and audio recorders are essential, but what good is finding a ghost if you fail to capture any proof? Trust us—no one's going to believe you. But you don't need to carry around some shoulder-mounted monstrosity or military-grade goggles just to catch a spirit in the act.
This little night vision camera from GhostStop fits easily in your pocket and takes great daytime video, and it's easy to switch to night vision mode when a particularly bashful ghost might otherwise get scared away by the fury of your P2X flashlight. It outputs directly to AVI format and uses standard SD cards, so sharing footage of any "orbs" or other visual phenomena with other enthusiasts is as easy as uploading to Youtube. The optional Sima IR illuminator helps extend the night vision range, and the camera is even waterproof up to 16 feet for capturing lagoon-creatures and other under underwater apparitions.
Gamers are no strangers to unusual passions, and in reality, April Arrglington's isn't all that weird. In fact, "transmedia" entertainment simply describes what everyone is already doing anyway - things like tweeting while they watch TV, or making up fan fiction on message boards. But for Arrglington, a Panama native who moved to Los Angeles in 2003, it's the embodiment of her passion for storytelling, and according to her, proof that she can see the future.
Her most recent project in transmedia - essentially, telling a story or sharing an experience over multiple platforms - was the roughly ten-week-long Miracle Mile Paradox, an alternate reality game (ARG) involving time travel and a historic LA neighborhood. She served as story producer and project manager for the game, which was equal parts online discussion and real-world problem solving.
Arrglington and I met at a bustling LA cafe on a Sunday night, and her foamy cappuccino and pineapple cake sat untouched as we delved into the theories and practices of transmedia storytelling. She had just come back from an augmented reality conference in Long Beach, Calif., and was looking forward to the second annual StoryWorld transmedia convention in October. There, she and her colleagues at Transmedia LA will present their findings from the Miracle Mile Paradox.
One of the biggest games this year turned out to be a downloadable game that you could beat in only a couple of hours. No guns, no bosses, and no equipment to speak of; Journey offers far more than your typical game as you explored the endless rolling sand dunes or the crumbling ruins of a dying civilization with a complete stranger. It’s a game that invites the player to discover a world unlike any other both in gameplay and visuals.
G4 sat down with thatgamecompany's Jenova Chen and Matt Nava, Journey's creator and art director, respectively, at the launch of "The Art of Journey" art book in LA. The book compiles concept art, sketches and more from the game's three-year development, and our discussion touched on everything from thatgamecompany's future games to sexual themes in Journey.
How did Journey come together visually?
MN: With a lot of time. It took three years to figure it out. But you know, it's a great game because it's a new IP. It's a blank canvas, you know? We really had the freedom to do whatever we wanted, and to make something that made sense for the gameplay in terms of visuals. It took a lot of time to figure that out.
What was your inspiration?
MN: Everywhere! But a lot of it was - I traveled a lot when I was a kid. In high school I went to India. I've been to Japan, Mexico, and lots of ruins. Stuff like that. So it was really great that we're making a game about climbing over ruins in the desert, because it's kind of like oh, I kind of know about that stuff.
I got to kind of take my life story and kind of take bits and pieces of it, you know, and put it into the game. And I think that that's what the game became, it kind of became this life story in a very universal sense for people to experience. So these people can kind of reflect in that way.
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