Whoa! Hot on the heels of the discovery in Kenya of 1.5 million-year-old human footprints, there’s this story of a bird with a 19.7-foot wingspan that apparently existed from 50 million years ago to 2.5 million years ago. Crazy!
“Last week, when the hard-core gamers of the world were supposed to be firing up [T]he Lost and Damned, a new, downloadable episode of Grand Theft Auto IV, I instead decided to spend more than $400 for the privilege of playing a $10 game. I bought a PlayStation 3—a system I had consciously avoided to date in favor of the Xbox 360 and the Wii—so that I could download Flower, a little marvel of a game that casts the player as a series of petals floating in the wind.”
If you own a PlayStation 3, there is no reason you shouldn’t own Flower.
“The Pentagon lifted its ban Thursday on media coverage of coffins of war victims as they arrive at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, according to a senior U.S. defense official with direct knowledge of the decision.”
Guinness World Records just completed a list of the 50 most influential console games of all time. Topping the list, as the headline might have told you, is Super Mario Kart. That’s a little surprising to me. It’s a great game, which spawned some even greater games, but most influential of all time? I would have put Super Mario Bros (listed at 17), or Super Mario Bros 3 (not listed) at the top. To me it was those two games which defined and then redefined console games.
Putting Tetris at number 2 makes sense, especially with the influx of casual games in the past few years. It’s also interesting to put Halo above Goldeneye. As shooters go, nothing available today would be as good as it is without Halo, but would Halo have existed without Goldeneye releasing four years earlier?
The top 20 are listed below. The full list located at Kotaku.
1. Super Mario Kart 2. Tetris 3. Grand Theft Auto 4. Super Mario World 5. Zelda Ocarina of Time 6. Halo 7. Resident Evil IV 8. Final Fantasy XII 9. Street Fighter II 10. GoldenEye 11. Super Mario 64 12. Tomb Raider 13. Metal Gear Solid 14. Call of Duty 4 15. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 16. GTA San Andreas 17. Super Mario Bros 18. Zelda: A Link to the Past 19. Gran Turismo 20. Final Fantasy VII
I love the way music, whether a song or an album or an artist/band… connects to my memory so immediately. The way my memory immediately conjures up an event or a person the moment a song comes on is one of my favorite things.
My life is music… I work in music for film now, I was a program director and DJ for college radio years ago, before that I was in band class, pep band, and garage bands that never saw the light of day. I used to need music to fall asleep. I basically constantly have music playing, whether in the car, at home, or at work. I play hardcore when I am angry. Electronic or pop when I am happy. Hip hop when I want to party. Indie folk or emo shit when I am unhappy.
But there are certain songs that take me back. Certain bands eternally connected to a friend or ex-lover. Sometimes, it’s simply because I was introduced to something by someone. Like last weekend Amanda told me about her friend’s band Port O’Brien. I’ve been listening to them a lot and it makes me think of bowling or In N Out or being up at 6 am still drinking, smoking, and talking about life.
Jimmy Eat World always makes me think of driving to Hacienda Plaza in Dublin, CA to see a movie with my ex Jenna. A whole host of bands make me think of my best friend back home, Gina. We used to go to 924 Gilman in Berekely all the damn time. And Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco.
Low Vs Diamond and Ghostland Observatory will always make me think of my friend Jess who had the show after mine at KSCR. And how we drove to Long Beach on a whim to see LVD play in a pizza joint when I should have been writing a paper, and how we brought Ghostland to play in Studio B (nice guys, by the way!).
Third Eye Blind and Stroke 9 make me think of my roommates and best friends of 14 years who have never moved past the 90’s San Francisco rock scene, haha. All Time Low will always remind me of the time I went to Kat and Annelise’s place near the Staples Center when I was listening to lots of stuff in that vein for TMNT at 2am one night, and The Pink Spiders make me think of being at a their place for a party and thinking they were douchebags, esp the dirty bass player Kat was sort of kind of dating.
And of course thanks to the v4 explore page… MGMT and Bon Iver make me think of Tumblr. Haha. I could go on and on and on… but the point is: I love how the two are so interlocked for me. Even songs that make me think of bad situations, or former friends, or horrific moments in life… I am thankful for the reminders.
Yep, I love that too. I used to always listen to music while I was reading, so Coheed and Cambria’s In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 will always take me back to my senior year of high school, when I whiled away the days reading The Lord of the Rings. I can provide more examples, but … yeah.
House of Cards - Radiohead Fall off the table and get swept under Denial, denial The infrastructure will collapse From voltage spikes Put your keys in the bowl Kiss your husband goodnight Forget about your house of cards And I’ll do mine
This is the trailer for I Love You, Man, an upcoming comedy starring Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Rashida Jones, and Andy Samberg. It’ll be in theaters in less than a month — on March 20th — and it looks pretty funny! A red band trailer (i.e., a NSFW trailer) and a clip are available on the movie’s website if you enter your name, zip code, and birthday.
[It’s a Flash widget, so doing it as a video post didn’t quite work. Click onto my Tumblr to see the actual trailer.]
It seems clear to me that by the time my children are adults, video gaming will be a medium whose importance and cultural ubiquity are at least as great as that of film or television. Whether it will be an artistic medium of equivalent importance is less clear. One of the problems is that the new consoles are difficult and expensive to create games for: no one can create a game for the PS3 or Xbox 360 without access to significant amounts of capital. The next generation of consoles is a long way away, and this will likely be even more the case by the time they’ve grown up. As the tools of filmmaking have got cheaper, those for game making have got more expensive; this might mean that the game industry never gets to move on from the need to create blockbuster equivalents. Already the industry suffers from an excessive proliferation of sequels — always a sign that the moneymen are in charge. Games do a good job of competing with blockbusters, but it would be a pity if that was the summit of their artistic development.
This article is a wonderfully well-written look at the current state and future promise of video games as a medium. Lanchester turned 47 today, which is probably why he considers himself out of the target demographic of games like Call of Duty 4 (he also says he finds many games too difficult). But that doesn’t make his essay any less insightful; it’s an all-encompassing discussion that ranges from topics such as video games versus other media (films, books, etc.) to the reasons behind the preponderance of violence in games. It’s a great read if you’re even midly interested or invested in video games.