UK factual documentary maker Back2back Productions (www.back2back.tv) are looking for couples to take part in a documentary about relationships which start in Second Life or similar sites and progress into ‘real life’. We are interested in speaking with people who have solid relationships/marriages as a result of meeting in these online communities but also couples who are together online but not yet in real life. The programme is an entirely positive exploration of these relationships and plans to overturn people’s misconceptions through honest storytelling. If you are in a relationship that started through online avatars, or know someone who is, please get in touch with email@example.com or on 01273 227700. All conversations will be strictly confidential.
1. Ghostbuster Harold Ramis Passes Away
Actor and Director Harold Ramis passed away at age 69. Ramis was known for his portrayal of the character Egon Spengler, one part of the legendary quartet, the Ghostbusters. He was also known for directing classic comedies such as National Lapoon’s Vacation, Groundhog Day and Caddyshack. In 2010, Ramis contracted an infection that resulted in Vasculitis, a disorder that affected his blood vessels. He passed away on February 24th 2014 from complications with the disorder. He is survived by his wife and three children.
The Israeli embassy has donated over 300 copies of Anne Frank’s Diary to Japanese public libraries after it was found that more than 100 of the books were vandalized. 265 books were found to have the pages ripped from the books. It is not clear who was behind the vandelizm. The Mayor of Tokyo’s Suginami ward, Ryo Tanaka, commented, “Through this incident, I believe that people also learned about the horrid facts about history and of racism.”
Linden Lab has released a press release announcing their intention to stop development on external projects Creatorverse, dio and Versu. According to the short PR, due to a number of factors a decision was made to cease development on these projects stating, “ We’re grateful for those who took the time to experiment with these products in their early days, but ultimately Continue reading
Title: “Guilty Gear”
Developer: Arc System Works
Publisher: Arc System Works
Released: Japan: May 1998
US: October 1998
EU: May 2000
This week I am going to indulge myself. Mainly because, (as I am writing this), there is a film on the TV called “MirrorMask,, a brilliant British film written by Neil Gaiman with visual effects by The Jim Henson Company. It’s a visually stunning blue-screen adventure. Ask the site’s film guy (Josh Barton) and watch his brain fumble. For a British film, it only had a US release back in 2005. So firstly, go watch “MirrorMask.” When you’re done, come back and I’ll talk about a 2D fighter from 1998 or 2000, depending where live in the world, that is visually stunning as well.
“Guilty Gear” is a 2D fighter from the PlayStation 1, but has lasted all the way to modern times with the latest incarnation “Guiltily Gear Xed” being released in arcades last month. As players of fighter games may know, there isn’t much story. There never is in fighter games. Trying to fit in story or dialogue is like the fighting talk in “DragonBall Z.” One fight lasts for hours because of the piles of exposition that gets dribbled out. That’s partly because of the ‘hierarchy of knowledge’ film theory and no I don’t need to prove I was at least conscious during the failed University experiment. Continue reading
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, this Sunday sees the 86th Academy Awards take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
With 24 awards available and with such a wonderful array of films over the past 12 months, this could well be the hardest awards show to call in history.
This is the first year I plan to watch the show live so I am going to try and predict who I think will win a golden statue.
Unfortunately, I haven’t seen all of the films nominated in every category so there will be a few awards that I will, for obvious reasons, be missing out.
I will be focusing on the biggest 6 awards available; Best Film, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Director.
So without wasting anymore time, let the predictions begin… Continue reading
Tom Hooper aka Atomp
I’ve something of a soft spot for silly, arcadey driving games and as Next Car Game is installed and my net connection is down thanks to scumbag copper thieves it will be this weeks review. The more serious and hardcore games/simulations tend to be a little dull and are designed to appeal to an audience that like to get all sweaty over cars and take the whole thing far too seriously. Me, I’m not particularly fond of cars in real life in much the same way I’m not particularly fond of murder in real life (the two are often related but passed off as “accidents”), but in digital form where consequences don’t matter such things can be quite fun. This is where the ever so creatively named Next Car Game enters the fray, with its destruction derby basis this is a game about racing and smashing up battered old cars in a variety of settings. The game is Early Access and is in active development with the developers taking into account community feedback after each update, which is nice to see as the game may well benefit from having such feedback. The studio is also responsible for the FlatOut series of games, so despite this being Early Access this isn’t exactly an inexperienced and untested indie.
The game currently consists of a functional racing engine with a few tracks, however the garage and progression elements are not in the game yet. This means that in its current state the game is very playable but not complete. The recent patch added a figure-of-eight derby track to the lineup and this is magnificent fun, reminding me very much of the old Destruction Derby games I played on the PS1. Other tracks include a gravel track, a tarmac track and a derby stadium with each playing slightly differently. The car selection at this stage includes a generic American muscle-car, a generic small European car, and a generic American sedan. These all have different handling and damage characteristics, for example the rear/center engine mounting on the European car makes it able to sustain significant damage in head on collisions without too much worry over critical engine damage as opposed to the muscle car which is best suited to reverse collisions. The damage modelling Continue reading
inVerse Graphics creates 3D designs for the metaverse. It s about melting art, tradition with futuristic designs. Taking guidance from nature, inVerse creates houses and 3D buildings for Second Life metaverse residents. Their unique selling proposition is to have high detailed textures with low prims and low impact on land. The creations elaborate a mix of modern and traditional lines imparting value and meaning.
Their creativity is not limited to metaverse. they develop trademarks brand signs, websites for clients outside the purview of metaverse. Developing new brand logos and improving existing ones helps their customers have an impressive visual identity.
Please tell us when and how did inVerse Graphics start? Continue reading
As I sit in the midst of The Magic Place trying to assemble words that describe the ethereal world I’ve been transported to, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to remain professional and avoid falling off the tightrope into effervescent poetry and word vomit, losing my credibility to recommend this subtly beautiful piece of music at the price of self-indulgent imagery. As much as I’d love to give you a tour of my mediocre poetry skills, I’ll try not to lose my readers as I escort you through the pathways of a sound that is, in fact, very easy to get lost in.
This album’s substantiality is less a sound to describe and more so a world to explore. Barwick embellishes the album from top to bottom with lush, dreamy vocals and serve as sort of the force field that makes up a drifting, formless realm as if there to remind you that there’s a soul to this otherwise bleak, ethereal dreamscape. Her voice provides a calming ambiance and angelic nature on top of being the core of the music, utilizing choir-like chants and Enya-isms in the mix as well. The atmosphere created by her voice is incredibly lush, and much like the album artwork accurately defines, is very forest-like, and occasionally chimes in a rather Celtic fashion.
Title: “Lego Island”
Released: October 1997
“The Lego Movie” is doing well isn’t it? $200 million worldwide (so far) is certainty a good take by movie standards. I was so good ‘Warner Brothers’ said they are doing a sequel set for 26th May 2017. So why not talk about Lego? Lego as in Lego the block is a bit boring to talk about but Lego as in Lego video games sell really well. Or at least reasonably well depending on the title. So why not talk about where the Lego video game empire all started.
“Lego Island” was a third party game that was released and developed by Mindscape. Mindscape is still around but is only as a publisher. Short version: they was the parcel in a game of pass-the parcel between EA, The Learning Company and Gore Technology Group, (with sprinkles of Ubisoft). More proof that the industry is the story of companies buying other companies rather then making games.
The game sees you play as a Lego person wondering around Lego Island, an island made out of Lego’s. So what is, basically, now the ‘Lego City’ range circa 1997. Before you draw comparisons to “Lego City Undercover”, “Lego Island” is nothing like Undercover. You can play as police officers, Nick and Laura Brick, it is not even cosmetic. You can choose to play as five different characters, the aforementioned Nick and Laura police officers who’s relationship is (I think) paternal, or as Mama and Papa Brickolini and their adopted son Pepper Roni. Mama and Papa run the island’s pizza place while Pepper delivers them. This was the 90’s after all. Continue reading
5) Crowdfunding site hacked
Fundraising platform Kickstarter was hacked last week. The hackers did not get away with any credit details, as Kickstarter do not store that kind of data. Only two of the hacked accounts show any signs of unauthorized activity. Though the passwords were encrypted, officials still recommend that all users change their passwords, just in case.
4) Olympians failed doping test
The Winter Olympics in Socha, Russia was shaken on friday morning when two cases of doping was revealed. German biathlete Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle (pron: Saxenbacker Stel) and Italian bobsledder William Frullani both tested positive for performance enhancing drugs.
Frullani admitted to having taken the restricted substance Methylhexanmine while Evi still claims she’s innocent.
This makes the 4th and 5th case of doping in the Winter Olympics. Earlier in the games, two Russian and one Lithuanian biathletes also tested positive for banned substances.
3) Swedish princess born in New York
Princess Madeleine, younger sister of Swedish throne follower Princess Victoria, had her first daughter on the Thursday evening. The royal married the US banker Christopher O’Neill in june 2013 and they did not expect the child to be born for another two weeks. The child is reported to be in perfect health.
The newborn princess will inherit Madeleines title of Dutchess of Halsingland and Gastrikland and is currently fifth in line for the Throne of Sweden.
2) Underground youth hit becomes film
‘The 5th Wave’ has been praised in the UK as a modern sci-fi masterpiece and has been called “The holy grail of publishing” in the US. Last week it got awarded with the Red House Children’s Book Award in the UK, voted for by children.
This surprising hit has been relatively unknown until now, but have already landed a prestigious movie deal. Famed actor and producer Toby Maguire have signed up to transfer the book to the big screen.
‘The 5th Wave’ is inspired by famed physicist Stephen Hawking’s quote “If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which did not turn out well for the Native Americans”.
1) Gamer Garry breaks own records
Garry Newman, the lead developer behind the popular sandbox game Garry’s Mod announced that the game broke $30 million in sales early February. The game has been at the top of the Steam selling list for 9 years. However, he also announced his newest game, Rust, that has only been for sale for a few weeks, broke that with $3 400.
Newman said the reason for the huge overtaking by Rust is that they get more royalty for that game and it costs $20 against Garry’s Mod’s $10.
Both a heartfelt and captivating film, Her is a love story like no other.
Joaquin Phoenix stars as Theodore Twombly, a writer going through a divorce who decides to purchase a new operating system to meet his every need. The trouble is that it does more than that when he falls in love with the operating system named Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson).
Set in 2025, Her shows us a world where people rely on technology even more than they do today. So much so that some people are more comfortable having a relationship with their computer software than another human being.
The initial idea of the film is one that could alienate an audience but I recommend that you should give Her a chance. It really could turn out to surprise you.
The film is funny, wonderfully written by director Spike Jonze and beautifully shot by Hoyte van Hoytema.
Theodore and Samantha are played exceedingly well by Phoenix and Johansson. They have a genuine chemistry and that is quite an achievement for a film that has only one human in the relationship.
That is one of the most interesting aspects of Her. Johansson’s performance as Samantha makes you think of her as more than just a voice. Some of the emotional exchanges between Theodore and Samantha are very moving.
There is also some good work from the supporting cast. Amy Adams plays Amy, Theodore’s friend who breaks up with her husband and also finds herself becoming close with an operating system. You can always rely on Adams to deliver, whether it be in the main role or in a lesser supporting role.
Rooney Mara brings a steeliness to Theodore’s ex-wife, Catherine and Olivia Wilde shows up briefly as Amelia, a woman who Samantha sets Theodore up on a date with. Theodore’s struggle to let go of Catherine and his lack of interaction with humans make this date all set to fail.
Her is an alternative to all the love stories that are released in the cinemas nowadays. Her is also a film that is so relevant in today’s world, of course with the relationship between man and machine taken to a whole new level.