Interesting anaylsis of how 'cinematography' and 'visual effects' are intersecting from the point of view of the Academy awards.# Wednesday Mar 12, 2014
I have the weirdest hetero man-crush on Casey Neistat. This behind-the-scenes video of how he works reminds me a lot of Stanley Kubrick's Boxes, just how weirdly obsessive he becomes about every little thing. C.f. Neistat's organisation of little red boxes according to the relationship of contents of the box to the other boxes around it.# Sunday Feb 16, 2014
Netflix teamed up with the Cards Against Humanity guys to promote the second season of House of Cards. We've already seen how CAH have a habit of thumbing their nose at the established way of doing business, so how did this work out? Predictably. Here's how CAH introduced this new pack:
Last month, someone in the Netflix marketing department had an epiphany: House of Cards andCards Against Humanity both contain the word "cards." When we got a phone call from Netflix, we enthusiastically agreed that the two products indeed contain the word "cards."
You know how Cards Against Humanity works, right? It's sort of like Apples to Apples. The black cards have sentences with blanks in them and the white cards have potential answers for those blanks. In the House of Cards set, the first black card says "I can’t believe Netflix is using to promote House of Cards."
I don't think Cards Against Humanity will be getting a call from Netflix again any time soon.# Thursday Feb 13, 2014
# Thursday Feb 13, 2014
Enter HAMLET, skateboarding
OPHELIA: My lord, I–
HAMLET ollies over OPHELIA’s head
HAMLET [offstage]: we were never dating
Your new favourite podcasts.# Tuesday Feb 4, 2014
A collection of the people one player meets in Day Z. This is exactly what I love about these sandbox online games - the stories that come out of them are fascinating.# Tuesday Jan 28, 2014
I've never much liked their music, but I've always admired Noel Gallagher for his glorious, foul-mouthed candour. I love that he can even apply this to his own work.# Thursday Jan 23, 2014
Interesting. I've been getting really spotty sleep for the last couple of months, and I've noticed that it's worse any time I think got bad sleep, even if my sleepcycle tells me otherwise.# Thursday Jan 23, 2014
Real-world 'quest' cards, where almost everything is designed to brighten someone's day, or at least make it more interesting. The multiplayer aspect almost turns it into a card-based ARG.# Thursday Jan 9, 2014
Felix Salmon has a great write-up on the recent changes to Netflix's recommendation scheme. Basically, Netflix is a victim of its own success.# Tuesday Jan 7, 2014
The host of one of my favourite podcasts, The Incomparable, has put together a great guide for anyone who wants to watch Doctor Who but does't know where to start.# Wednesday Dec 11, 2013
Allie Brosh (of Hyperbole and a Half) gave an amazing interview to Terry Gross a while ago where they cover a lot of subjects, including her struggles with depression. It's the most honest and raw interview I've ever heard and I don't want to ruin it. But she also talks about why she draws in such a deliberately crude style, which I found fascinating.
The reason I draw myself this way is that I feel that this absurd squiggly thing is actually a much more accurate representation of myself than I am. It's a better tool for communicating my sense of humor and actually getting across what I'm trying to say than, say, being there in the flesh. ...# Wednesday Dec 4, 2013
It's me on the inside. That's what I'm like when I view myself. I am this crude absurd little thing, this squiggly little thing on the inside. So it's more of a raw representation of what it feels like to be me.
We called our contact at Amazon and explained the idea for the sale to them. They thought it was funny but were also pretty annoyed - apparently monkeying with pricing on the biggest sales day of the year isn’t as funny to Amazon as it is to us.
I wish more companies were as playful or as honest as the Cards Against Humanity guys.# Tuesday Dec 3, 2013
Agrippa (a book of the dead) is a work of art created by speculative fiction novelist William Gibson, artist Dennis Ashbaugh and publisher Kevin Begos Jr. in 1992. The work consists of a 300-line semi-autobiographical electronic poem by Gibson, embedded in an artist's book by Ashbaugh. Gibson's text focused on the ethereal nature of memories (the title is taken from a photo album). Its principal notoriety arose from the fact that the poem, stored on a 3.5" floppy disk, was programmed to encrypt itself after a single use; similarly, the pages of the artist's book were treated with photosensitive chemicals, effecting the gradual fading of the words and images from the book's first exposure to light.
There's something really magical about this. I love Jason Rohrer's Chain World, a game that is played once then passed to another player. But there's something special about the physicality of Gibson and Ashbaugh's book. Something beautifully ephemeral.# Monday Dec 2, 2013
Between my love for 60s illustrations and my love for a well-designed A-Frame, this book is pretty much pornography for me.# Thursday Nov 28, 2013
A short online lecture on how to start doing interesting things with Processing. So well done.# Wednesday Nov 27, 2013
God, this kid can write. He should be a writer or something.# Thursday Oct 17, 2013
Even though I know these are all real, my brain can't process them. They're like something from an alternate reality.# Tuesday Oct 15, 2013
I sometimes worry that my old-man nostalgia is getting the better of me, but looking at these cartridges just nailed it for me. The covers of 8-bit games were things of beauty. Never mind that the graphics could never live up to the promise of the cover = your imagination filled in the details.# Friday Sep 20, 2013
For a place that has been abandoned for over 30 years, this place is eerily well-preserved.# Wednesday Sep 11, 2013
To give you an idea of just how under-powered a t1.micro actually is.# Saturday May 4, 2013
For the next 18 days, StoryBundle are offering 7 great DRM-free videogame books for whatever you want to pay. Pay more than $10 and you get 3 more books, including 250 Indie Games You Must Play.# Friday May 3, 2013
This is really interesting. Even though the song is back in the charts, the BBC will only play 5 seconds of 'Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead' on the Chart Show. They're not censoring a song, they're censoring a context.# Saturday Apr 13, 2013
After he finished filming The Raven, Roger Corman decided that since he already had the large, gothic sets built, he could re-use them (and sets leftover from other films) to quickly knock together another film, The Terror. He effectively got two films for (roughly) the price of one.
With another console cycle just around the corner, we can expect a tidal wave of news stories about the rising cost of game development. "Now that everything is in super-high-res 4K HD, creating art assets costs more than the GDP of some European nations" they'll probably say.
This is why I love what Ubisoft have done with Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. Rather than just scrapping all the work they did on Far Cry 3, or even just knocking together some boring DLC for extra multiplayer maps, they're re-using the assets in a completely new and interesting way. A way I'm really excited to play.# Saturday Apr 13, 2013
The voyeuristic intersection of knolling and packing porn.# Thursday Apr 4, 2013
Heartbreaking.# Tuesday Apr 2, 2013
I've mentioned this before, but I always find it weird when I read about these "hidden" places that I've visited in a videogame (in this case, I think a level of The Darkness took place in this subway station). It's weird to have memories of places you've never visited before.# Friday Mar 22, 2013
Thumbs and Ammo - "Real tough guys don't need guns, they just need a positive, can-do attitude".# Saturday Mar 16, 2013
If Hotline Miami was a fishing game, it would probably look a lot like this. €2.89 on the iTunes store.# Thursday Mar 14, 2013
This site has broken down the 10 most popular porn search terms based on their country of origin. #1 in Ukraine is "Raincoat". Wow.# Wednesday Mar 13, 2013
Dead End Thrills is a lovely blog that takes screenshots of beautiful games and presents them as best they can. For example, to generate this lovely image from Stalker, they used nine graphical mods. These are things you can add to the game to make it look even prettier. To produce the image from Kentucky Route Zero above? None. Just a bit of offline antialiasing in Photoshop to smooth some of the lines.
It's a beautiful game. And now you can buy it on Steam.# Wednesday Mar 6, 2013
I've been following this routine for a couple of weeks now and, so far, it seems to be working. I process my inbox a couple of times a day and then spend the rest of my time in the 'starred' section, clearing out anything that needs some attention. One thing I've noticed about this is that I'm much more likely to reply to an email now, even if it's just a two-word response. I'm usually prone to procrastinating about replying to people, especially if the answer is in the negative. Strange that this email strategy seems to have broken me of this.
Unfortunately, Sparrow seems to be the only desktop Mac mail client to support Gmail keyboard shortcuts. Mail client developers: support Gmail keyboard shortcuts!# Tuesday Feb 26, 2013
Remember Guy's American Kitchen and Bar? The restaurant Pete Wells slated in the New York Times? Its domain name is guysamerican.com. Bryan Mytko bought the domain guysamericankitchenandbar.com and produced this. And it's glorious. "35 oz of super-saddened, Cheez-gutted wolf meat" is one of the best lines I've read since the hey-day of Charlie Brooker's TV Go Home.# Wednesday Feb 20, 2013
Michael Heilemann's site is to Star Wars what Lee Unkrich's The Overlook Hotel is to The Shining. Exhaustive and written by a true obsessive. Beautiful.# Tuesday Feb 19, 2013
Even if you're not suffering from depression (or if you think you're not suffering from depression), you should play this. Touching and extremely well-done.# Tuesday Feb 19, 2013
Part of Austin Kleon's Love Blackouts# Friday Feb 15, 2013
This is interesting. Netflix analysed its data and concluded that a lot of people liked political thrillers, a lot of people liked Kevin Spacey and a lot of people liked films directed by David Fincher. And so the first show they've bankrolled is a political thriller starring Kevin Spacey and directed by David Fincher. And rather than some lowest-common-denominator, design-by-committee bullshit, it actually turned out pretty good.# Thursday Feb 14, 2013
I am guilty of this myself, of course. When Half Life started and the creators were showing me the living, breathing world outside of the rail car, I was too busy to notice, trying to jump out of the car through the window. In Half Life 2, when Alyx was telling me something important, I couldn’t hear it over the explosions of the grenades I kept throwing at her.
This week's This American Life has a story about how babies are like scientists, and by doing things like, say, dropping their forks on the ground, they're actually working out the logic of the world. Because each game is different, with different rules and different logic, players have to do their own experiments. It's just a bonus that these experiments so often lead to hilarious, ridiculous situations.# Friday Feb 8, 2013
I think that Berg's Little Printer is a great idea. It's right in the middle of the junction between magical technology and tactile physicality (I also think its £199 price-point is insane). This is a really nice insight into the design process behind it.# Thursday Feb 7, 2013
I know I talked recently about the problems with fetishizing the form of a book and not the content, but sometimes you can't help it. The form is just so damn lovely.# Tuesday Feb 5, 2013
Q: Wait a minute. Didn’t you just buy a house in Northampton?
A: Yeah. We’re already moving. It’s a little more in the country. They want to have chickens and grow flowers and stuff. We got rid of TV, there’s no computers, no electronics. It’s old school. And the kids haven’t said peep about it.
Q: How old are the kids?
A: Three, five, six, eleven, and thirteen. It’s so loud. It’s crazy.
Q: You do loud and crazy.
A: Yeah, yeah. Everybody’s loud. Let me show you some pictures [on his iPhone].
Do you see what happened there? "No computers, no electronics. It's old school". But he still has an iPhone. Everyone has a smartphone now, but they're so ubiquitous that no-one even thinks of them as being a "computer". Warren Ellis was totally right. People don't even think about or recognise the magic around them.
(Incidentally, Middlemojo.com is just wonderful. A blog about creative people approaching middle age. Why hasn't this been done before?)# Friday Feb 1, 2013
This is some serious dedication to messing around, legal contracts and everything.# Wednesday Jan 30, 2013
Because my Pocket queue wasn't long enough.# Wednesday Jan 30, 2013
Storyboard was born of my insane desire to consume videos without actually having to watch them. Normally that would involve putting the TV on in the background and ignoring the video while listening to the audio, but what about the reverse? All visual without the audio. On my kindle.
This reminds me of the line in Douglas Coupland's Microserfs about people turning on subtitles and watching films in fast-forward because it's more time-efficient.# Wednesday Jan 30, 2013
So detailed. So impressive.# Wednesday Jan 30, 2013