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.
Liam Neeson surprised us all back in 2008 with Taken, a film that saw his reputation in action movies propel to heights even Neeson himself would be confused about. It was a fast-paced revenge story that saw Neeson play a man trying to find his kidnapped daughter.
Since then, Neeson has only starred in one other action movie that I would recommend to anybody. That was The Grey back in 2012. It was good but nothing amazing. As far as I’m concerned, Neeson’s career in action movies should have stopped with Taken.
Then comes Non-Stop, a film that I found so hard to watch, I ended up treating the last 30 minutes as a comedy. It is bad and I am sad to report that Neeson is one of the main reasons for this.
Neeson plays U.S. air marshal, Bill Marks, who faces a race against time when an unknown threat on his flight, through a series of text messages, puts the lives of all passengers on board in danger.
$150 million must be transferred into an off-shore account or a passenger will die every 20 minutes. Continue reading
Tom Hooper aka Atomp
Plague Inc. started life as a mobile game, the developer who from what I’ve read created it in his free time attempted to use as accurate modelling as possible whilst making the game fun, it’s now coming to PC and is currently an Early Access title on Steam. The game itself is a little grim in its nature, the player controls the genetic makeup of a disease, altering the traits of the disease according to need. Progression occurs as the player unlocks new types of disease; bacteria, virus, fungus and so on. An interesting tid-bit of information is the fact that the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) took an interest in the game when it was still on the mobile platform and hosted the developer at their headquarters where they talked with him about the game, how the spreading algorithms and such worked and even gave some feedback on improving the title. When a game focussed on disease spreading is picked up on by the CDC there’s certainly some interest to be shown, I’ll include a link to the blogpost about the visit.
The main screen of Plague Inc. is a world map which is broken down into the various nations on the planet, each of which have different properties which alter how they respond to infection. This information is all available in an info screen and it is wise to take note of the information provided. Wealth, climate, population, population density and level of development are all measured and will alter the uptake of your disease. These nations are interconnected via land routes but also by sea and airports, each of which can be shut down or limited, requiring different genetic adaptations. The disease itself can be modified initially with genetic boosters which are unlockable through completing elements of the game and will give an initial stat bonus to your disease. Then during the game the disease has modifiable transmission traits, symptoms and abilities. These are unlocked with the DNA resource and follow a tech-tree style unlock style. The three different trees are not mutually exclusive and changes in one will combine with changes in another, for example certain symptoms can make transmission far more likely especially when combined with certain transmission traits or abilities. Progression occurs through the unlockable differing disease types and this goes some way to breaking up some of the repetition involved as the disease types essentially create different game modes and require differing strategies. The bacteria for example is fairly easy to control and can be dispersed quietly before becoming lethal however other later unlocks have time sensitive natures or progress out of control and need differing strategies.
The modelling is really quite well done, what with the variables I mentioned above combined with symptomatic variables arising on an individual victim scale whilst having a significant effect. It is possible to include neurological effects in the disease which depending on how many points are sunk into it will produce anything from insomnia to Continue reading
Everyone is excited for the Relay Season to arrive. The Relay for Life of Second Life is going to have its major events starting this March up until the Wrap up Party in August. The RFL of SL is in its 10th Year of fundraising for the Relay for Life (American Cancer Society).
What happens in Relay for Life?
This is one of the biggest events that happens in Second Life. There are shows, events, parties, shopping, games, etc. that take place. The designers, builders and creators come together to put forth a mega event. All the proceeds go to Relay For Life organization. The total funds raised and the details can be viewed in the Totals Page.
What is special this Year?
The Kick-Off Journey
March 7th, 2014 at noon SLT until March 9th, 2014 at 10:30 pm SLT.
American Cancer Society (ACS) Island
How can I contribute to Relay for Life in Second Life?
Apart from being an active participant in the season, you may help in three other ways: Continue reading
From the livingroom carpet mixtapes of Samiyam to the smoky jive of Knxwledge, the wonky instrumental hip-hop scene has proven by several artists to be great music to just hang out to. It doesn’t demand your attention the way lyrically-driven raps would, but it’s not a sound prone to dissolve into the background like straight-up ambient music, either. The beats are the heartbeat that keeps the vibe alive, and the soulful, jazzy instrumentals lay you out and spread you smoothly like jelly on toast. Some artists have achieved incredible things in pursuit of this ideology (look no further than Cosmogramma by Flying Lotus), and it’s incredibly fun to watch players on the scene in hopes that they’ll someday accomplish equally impressive things. In particular, I’m looking at you, DZA.
Situated in Moscow, Sasha Dza in a nutshell crafts your garden variety hybrid of wonky electronics and sexy hip-hop beats, ideally music that someone should rap over in the future. Though experts of this sound (like the aforementioned Flying Lotus) have succeeded in making their music interesting and vibrant enough to rarely need to be littered with verbal language, Five Finger Discount still somewhat aches to be rapped over. Not that the music isn’t pretty occupied here; tattered and distorted synths writhe between scratchy beats on “Eskimo”, just before a smoother, warmer piece massages your mind down in the form of “Shifty” only to have “Uproar in Heaven” pick things up with a calming, slightly unnerving oriental beat. The mood is consistently dank and mellow, and each song has a new idea to show off, some of which do so with a subtle elegance (“Softgram”). In general, not enough of these ideas really come off as super memorable, nor is the album’s flow terribly exciting despite a charming vinyl crackle weaving each song together (and an occasionally annoying ringing noise that sounds like tinnitus). In spite of this, however, I can’t help but see potential in the whirring, effervescent electronics of “Homeparty,” the dramatic Rap Supervillain theatrics of “Out of Time,” or Atari’s night out in Vegas in “Hey Rake!” Even every now and then I’m reminded of jewels like Los Angeles through some cavorting beats and jovial energy, evident on “Downtown Honeymoon.” Continue reading
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.