Quantitatively speaking, I prefer Plants vs. Zombies to every game, ever. Plants vs. Zombies is not my favorite game. I'd say it's not even in the top 20. That honor belongs ICO, a game that typically lasts less than six hours and that I have played exactly four times, to net less than a fifth of the hours I have spent playing Plants vs. Zombies. ICO is my favorite game because of how it makes me feel.
For October, G4 hosted its very first "Epictober Film Festival". This festival afforded G4tv.com's Creative Director Joe Lynch the opportunity to work with three talented directors to create three unique and inventive video game-inspired horror films. The first film of the festival was Sam Balcomb's The Hunt, the second was Drew Daywalt's Kart Driver and the third was Gregg Bishop's The Birds of Anger.
The world of Portal seems to be as compelling a place for movie makers to lose themselves in as it is for gamers. This is the second Portal short film I've seen this year that could only be described as a jaw-dropping accomplishment. The other seems a bit more light-hearted, but both capture Portal superbly. This particular short film is even more extraordinary when you consider how it was made.
Artist Andreas Heikaus created this video as part of his Bachelor thesis at University. Combining CG with live-action footage, Heikaus takes the world of Super Mario Bros. and throws it onto the sidewalks of (presumably) Hannover, Germany. You don't have to look very long to see it how clever it is.
Now that E3 is a few weeks cold, I'd like to write a little about my personal game of the show, and the man behind it, Vander Caballero, who is inextricable from his pet project. I didn't go into the convention thinking about winners and losers, but Minority Inc.'s Papo & Yo was a definite winner for me, one that has stayed on my mind continuously since the show's end.
Hanno Hagedorn is a 3D artist that worked on Crysis, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and the upcoming Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. After promising (mostly himself) to create an online portfolio of his works, it's (mostly) done. Most impressive among his work are these digital sculptures of characters from Among Thieves. If they could be recreated in resin, I'm sure they would be mounted proudly on the bookshelf of every Uncharted 2 fan.
Starting this Thursday (Feb. 24th), the New York University Game Center will begin screening it's first Film Series. This series consists of four short films, each dealing with at least one aspect of the gaming culture. Each film will feature a brief introduction by Game Center Researcher, Charles Pratt, and followed by a Q & A session with the creators of the film. The event begins this Thursday (February 24th) with the screening of Play! at 7:00pm in the Tisch School in the Skirball Center for New Media at 721 Broadway, Rm 006. The series is open to students, faculty and the general public.
Are videogames art? Many in the industry have been asking that question for a while and it has spawned many a debate. Those who believe they are in fact art, point to games featured in a museum or gallery exhibit as a sign that they are and that people outside the industry are viewing them as such. None other than The Smithsonian American Art Museum is putting together an exhibit called The Art of Video Games. But the museum and its curator are asking gamers to help select which games will be featured in the exhibit.
To categorize cinematic action games as intrinsically shallow or lacking in value would be the worst sort of genre-as-pejorative thinking. Their approach to game storytelling has produced many strengths, but one central characteristic of the genre is also a critical weakness. The great artistic limitations of cinematic action games come from their disinterest in the player as a creative force.
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