During my day spent with Professor Steve Furnell, the good professor told me about all sorts of interesting projects that clamber out of the University of Plymouth's Digital Art & Technology programme. Here is one I just have to share. Behold, the ShockCube, described as "an engaging game environment featuring haptic pain feedback".
Yes, that's right, the players receive electric shocks if they lose. Plus there's a form of negative score embedded in the system: the pain level gets cranked up every time a player loses. It sounds like the Milgram experiment to me, except for real.
ShaunCG wrote over at Arcadian Rhythms: "Equally, though… man, E3. Who gives a shit! It’s the perfect time of year to stop reading the gaming press." Until he said that, I didn't even realise I was being a passive E3sumer, digesting thousands of nuggets of trivia passed along the many grubby hands of the Twitternet.
No one remembers anything about E3 2010. Or E3 2009. What about that awesome thing in E3 2004? No? For all the hype, it's totally forgettable. So did anything catch my eye? I didn't get excited about games at all. Just one trailer. This is the only thing about E3 week I can really remember. It's absolutely stunning CGI work, snappily choreographed to the beautiful track that fronts the show. I'd put it up there with my beloved Dead Island trailer.
Again, this ain't about the game, it's all about trailer love. You know I'm probably not going to play this, right?
I scoffed at consoles until I met Sonic. You monster. As a one-time salute to the blue fuzzball, here's some remixes of his tunes I collected from the web. And when I say web I, of course, mean YouTube.
For those of you who are not playing Left 4 Dead 2 this evening, please enjoy a slice of Falconhoof. Not the newest video on the block but Falconhoof doesn't get old.
I've written about my irritation at the Bioshock trailers' propensity for fabricated gameplay and also how the too-polished quality of the Deus Ex: Human Revolution trailer made me look for other reasons to get excited about the game. But let's put all this moaning and groaning, this arthritic cynicism, to one side. Whilst I distrust trailers as faithful representations of games, they still appeal to me on another level.
I've featured some of my favourites on Electron Dance. Some very earlier STALKER videos promote a game which doesn't exist, but I still return to those trailers, with their foreboding techno track and off-kilter camera angles drifting across the body of The Zone. And there's the wonderful 4fourths music video, juiced with primary colours and exploding blocks. But in fact I have an enormous list of trailers that are close to my heart - take the vibrant and pleasant World of Goo trailer which does an amazing job of evoking the final product.
Have games ever told you to do this?
The good times are over. Capitalism has torn open the floodgates of economic chaos. Governments waterboard their people with austerity as tribute to unseen market demons. And just wars have never looked more unjust. Maybe the world is angry enough to craft games hewn from disaffection and fire. Are there any examples?
I have discovered a real reason to look forward to Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The trailers are cool and everything but, seriously, trailers don't tell me whether I'll enjoy the damn thing or whether the story will match up to the spine-tingling "it's not the end of the world... but you can see it from here."
I followed up who did the music for the recent trailers.
And with enormous cerebral joy I discovered that Michael McCann is the composer. For the game.
I picked up the following video from a tweet by the ever lovely and attractive Copenhagen Games Collective today, a short thing that provokes a few smiles if not laughs.
Placing game concepts in a real world scenario can be interesting and art has often made use of the "reality as game" motif to disturbing effect.
I tweeted this some time back but I don't think enough people took a look at it... and as I've got a crowd of sex-crazed maniacs coming to the site looking at brothelware, I thought I should feed the audience more of the same.
This is Dark Room Sex Game from Copenhagen Game Collective, who I developed an interest in after I saw B.U.T.T.O.N. at the Eurogamer Expo. It's not PC. But when you've got YouTube like this, who cares?