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Philip K. Dick?
12.07.2009
11:07 pm
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Interesting essay on how the work of late science fiction author Philip K. Dick can be seen to have prefigured today’s role playing video games over at the mighty Pop Matters blog.

The thesis of author “L.B. Jefferies” is straightforward enough: “Philip K. Dick?

Posted by Richard Metzger
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12.07.2009
11:07 pm
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Big Daddy Photoshoot at Georgia Aquarium
11.23.2009
10:40 pm
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Here’s a replica Big Daddy costume shot at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. The designer of the 60lbs costume says,

This costume is a replica of the Bouncer-type Big Daddy from the videogame Bioshock by 2K. This piece was completed in 7 weeks for its debut at DragonCon 2009, where it won 2 awards for “Best Journeyman” and “Best Professional Design.” After initial press after DragonCon, I was contacted by Ken Levine of 2K games who said, “You are the Big Daddy.”

This Bioshock Big Daddy costume is currently up for bid on Ebay.
 
See more of the photoshoot here.
 
(via Nerdcore)

Posted by Tara McGinley
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11.23.2009
10:40 pm
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Remembering Nintendo’s Suprisingly Cool Comics
11.22.2009
12:21 pm
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Back around 1990, there was nothing in the world cooler than the NES. Michael Jackson tried with the “Dangerous” album. Macaulay Culkin tried to steal some attention. But outside of lingering buzz from Michael Keaton’s Batman, there was NOTHING in the world of the prepubescent male that could usurp the importance of the Nintendo, especially now that Super Mario Bros. 3 (aka God’s Latest and Most Important Transmission to Mankind Since the Angel Gabriel Dictated the Qu’ran to Mohammed in a Cave) was out.

That was why we were suckers enough to watch The Wizard with Fred Savage, collect Nintendo sticker books and eat Nintendo cereal. Hell, I didn’t even HAVE a Nintendo and I still did all that stuff just to compensate!

Then there were the Nintendo comics, published by a young Valiant press, later to become famous for resurrecting the Key superheroes (Magnus, Turok, Solar, etc.) and making them edgy and getting them video game contracts.

Comics Alliance reports on those lost gems:

The Super Mario Brothers aren’t just the stars of this week’s biggest video game release on the Wii, nor were they simply the heroes of one of the most disastrous films of the 1990s - they were also comic book legends.

Well, legends might be pushing it, but brothers Mario and Luigi certainly have some comic book credibility to their name. TRsRockin.com has an extensive rundown of the plumber brothers’ many comic appearances, including a lengthy Valiant Comics run.

There are some definite gems among the Valiant work, including a story titled “Beauty and the Beach” found within the pages of “Super Mario Bros.” #4. Mario, Peach and Toad wash ashore on a mysterious island filled with Toadstools and secretly ruled by King Koopa himself. Things go south when a volcano threatens to erupt, prompting the selfish Koopa to flee the scene while Mario and his pals save the day. It’s really cute, if only for Toad’s hilarious swim trunks.

Ah. Set adrift on memory bliss.

(Comics Alliance: Remembering The Super Mario Bros.’ Surprisingly Cool Comic Books)

Posted by Jason Louv
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11.22.2009
12:21 pm
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Buzkashi, Or Quidditch, Kabul-Style
11.18.2009
03:55 pm
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“Bloody, barbaric, free-for-all,” or the must-see ticket for the 2012 London Olympics?  Welcome to the wonderful and frightening world of Buzkashi, a sport which, thanks to our prior scrubbing of the Taliban from Afghanistan, is now bigger than ever:

Is the world ready for a sport played with a headless goat carcass?  Haji Abdul Rashid thinks it is and has big plans: corporate sponsors, television rights and beyond.  “We want it to become an Olympic sport,” says Rashid, who heads the Buzkashi Federation.

To understand how ambitious ?

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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11.18.2009
03:55 pm
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Tanooki: It’s Real, It’s Cute, It’s Endangered
11.09.2009
05:27 pm
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Tanooki. The mysterious animal suit you get at the higher levels of Super Mario Bros. 3 aka the greatest video game ever made. It lets you fly. It lets you turn into a statue. It is inscrutably Japanese. And, apparently, it’s REAL. Oh yes. The tanooki is real.

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Also known as the Raccoon Dog, the Tanooki is endangered. Check out info here.

Domestic dogs and raccoon dogs are killed in brutal ways for their fur in China. The raccoon dog is a wild member of the dog (Canidae) family with markings resembling those of a raccoon. They are known to be skinned alive for their fur in China, where they are caged and killed in large numbers. Clothing with fur trim from Raccoon dogs has shown up in U.S. stores.

The Humane Society of the United States filed a legal petition with the Federal Trade Commission seeking to enforce the Fur Products Labeling Act against 14 major retailers and designers concerning false advertising and false labeling of fur garments.

(Raccoon Dog: Protect It)

(And… New Super Mario Bros for Wii!!!)

Posted by Jason Louv
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11.09.2009
05:27 pm
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The Path: Art-Horror Video Game for Mac and PC
11.02.2009
03:03 pm
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Discoverd via the 4Chan /x/ forum (Oh God please make this horrible addiction stop!), the Path is a horror video game for PC and Mac that looks like a very interesting take on the genre. I do think that (despite all screams to the contrary from traditionalists… traditionalists like myself), video games will be the most dominant art form of the next several decades. (Tim Martin of the Daily Telegraph, for instance, called The Path “an Angela Carter novel, as siphoned through The Sims.”) I’m hoping to see much braver experimentation with the form and I don’t think that I’ll be disappointed in the coming years. The Wiki says:

The Path is a 2009 horror personal computer game developed by Tale of Tales for the Microsoft Windows operating system and later made available for Mac OS X by TransGaming Technologies. It is inspired by several versions of the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, and by folklore tropes and conventions in general, but set in contemporary times. The original Windows version was released on March 18, 2009 in English and Dutch. The player can choose to control one of six different sisters, who are sent one-by-one on errands by their mother to see their sick grandmother. The player can choose whether to stay on the path or to wander, where wolves are lying in wait.

Check out the game’s site, where you can download a demo (PC and Mac) and purchase the game as well.

Posted by Jason Louv
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11.02.2009
03:03 pm
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