English feature

T raf Teil 1 von Hotline Miami noch auf ungeteilte Begeisterung, scheiden sich bei Wrong Number die Geister. Zeit, Klartext zu reden. Dieser Artikel erschien ursprünglich für Haywire Magazine.

Hotline Miami 2 is a bad game.

There’s perfectly nothing controversial about that statement: it wants to be a bad game, at least as far as its desire to be deliberately frustrating instead of entertaining is concerned. Wrong Number picks up where the first game left off in terms of difficulty and revolves around such delightful activities as getting stuck on objects, trying to figure out whether lines drawn across its top-down environments depict solid objects or decoration, and being shot from off screen. Don’t worry though, it’s all part of the plan. The game is showing me what a monster I am because of all the fun I’m not having hurting others.

Games can be more than mere entertainment. In our column Alt+Home, intermedia artist Kent Sheely explores the ways independent developers are challenging the status quo, creating brand new experiences, and making a difference in the world.

The Magnavox Odyssey, which made its debut in 1972, was the first video game console released to the public. It was exceptionally crude by modern standards, relying on translucent overlay sheets placed onto the screen of the television to provide context for the rudimentary graphics. Every game was governed by a handful of illuminated bars whose movements were controlled by either the game controllers or by simple program routines calculated within the console. The Odyssey itself shipped with other tactile components such as poker chips, dice, and pre-printed score sheets, which made it seem much more like an adaptable board game than a video game console; a large portion of the gameplay was moderated by the players.

Games can be more than mere entertainment. In our new column Alt+Home, intermedia artist Kent Sheely explores the ways independent developers are challenging the status quo, creating brand new experiences, and making a difference in the world.

In public service communities, such as those based on political activism, social work, and counseling, close empathetic attachment is a requirement for being good at the job. The ability to be compassionate and attentive to the needs of others is a wonderful gift, but often comes with the cost of personal well-being; thus, having a regimen of activities that allow the psyche to rest and recover is a necessary tool for making sure one’s own emotional batteries stay charged. This practice is generally known as “self-care,” and can entail any number of exercises, mental or physical, that keep the individual in good mental condition. Even for people who don’t work in the aforementioned areas, such activities can be invaluable for combating daily stress and psychological drain.

"Bridging Worlds" is a series by LA-based artist and VGT guest author Eron Rauch about the blurred line between games and art. These articles are intended as conversation starters about the burgeoning intersection between the fine art world, academic studies of games, virtual photography, and video game creation. This time, Eron visited Indiecade - again - and, at first, found himself alienated. The photo project that resulted from this encounter with the "oasis that is Indiecade" can be seen in full on Eron's own site; the following article and selection of photos is a look not only at an event most European readers will most likely never experience themselves, but also a glimpse into Eron's creative process.

Sequels, re-boots, stagnation - it's a pity that games rarely attempt the revolutionary, the never-before-seen, or even the impossible. The Games That Never Were is a series of thought-experiments: Games that never existed, and that may very well never come to be. This time, Mike Grace from Haywire Magazine premieres as the first contributor in English - and takes us to a familiar place that's feeling brand new. I'd play that.

Gotham, the city, is almost as famous as it's playboy billionaire/chiropteran-influenced-superhero. Up until now, only vague fragments of the city have been released. With the latest release, you can finally go into the infamous city itself, see how it ticks, and influence its development.

1697

In our ongoing series WORD/PLAY we look at the fusing of literature and games. The link to the the written word is almost as old as the videogame itself, and recent developments both on the side of literature and the videogame have shown that the relationship between the two media is as vital and strong as ever.

It's no secret that we here at Videogame Tourism are smitten with the work of the Swedish development studio Simogo. After all, we dedicated several thousand words to Year Walk, one of our favourite games of 2013. What we didn't talk about in such a verbose way, though, is that Simogo released a second game in 2013, Device 6, which is equally intriguing: A stylish fusion of classic graphic design, Cold War-thriller chique and typographical text that, thanks to Simogo's trademark cleverness in using the features of mobile devices, becomes navigable in hithero unknown ways. We talked with Simogo's Simon Flesser about literary influences, finding your work on the other end of education, going tactile, and much more.

1670
Casey T. Brooks, NYC based photographer and video artist,  recreates a fictional photographer's personal street photography in Los Santos of GTA V. His photo essay "You Only Live Forever" is a special kind of in-game photography, less concerned with high-gloss aesthetics or, indeed, videogame visuals, and instead concentrating on an aspect often underrepresented in gaming's world of non-stop spectacle: the mundane, the everyday, the ordinary and personal. 
 
Casey was kind enough to answer a few of my questions by email. 
 

1573

Joshua Taylor was one of the screenshot artists I featured in my original article on in-game photography; his series "A Distant Sadness" collects haunting images of a war-torn Battlefield 3. I asked Josh a few questions on his latest project.

1555

"Bridging Worlds"  is a series by LA-based artist and VGT guest author Eron Rauch about the blurred line between games and art. These articles are intended as conversation starters about the burgeoning intersection between the fine art world, academic studies of games, virtual photography, and video game creation. 

Imagine the scene: Paris 1874. The city is still in turmoil from the massive fallout of the Industrial Revolution. There are wild all-night cabarets, horse races to bet on, and salons where drinks and culture are passionately discussed. A great obsession with all things Japanese is the fashion amongst the newly well-off as the world continues to grow smaller. You’re at a party, sipping champagne, talking about the most important art event in the Western world at the time, the Salon du Paris.

1551

R

esearching for my article on "First Person Walkers" I sent a few questions to some of the developers regularly accused of producing "walking simulators", a term mainly used in a derogatory fashion. Tale of Tales, godfathers of artistic indie (not-)games and makers of quite a few games where walking is central to the gameplay, shared their thoughts on the topic.

Do you find the term "walking simulator" used to describe your games derogatory?