What once was a necessary distraction for me over the course of the pandemic, and a source of my unfiltered passion for the emergence of new and exciting tech, my VR headset now sits mostly unused at the back of my apartment’s closet.
The internet and technology fight to control our every waking moment. Too often have I felt this pull: At times when I would otherwise daydream, I now reach for my phone. There’s always some new notification, some new tidbit from the constant feed, and there’s enough “content” to fill a millennium should I ever feel the need.
Sitting in a carrel in the library, tip-tapping his way through another paper, Paul was immersed once again in the pure joy of turning the assignments on his syllabi into substance. His eyes were glazed over from this miracle of mental expansion, and his palms were sweating from the excitement of racing to make his next crucial deadline.
It’s your hundredth attempt on this obstacle. In a heightened state, between spikes and sharp precipice, you’re being asked to press X, aim true and make a gap. You feel the weight of the mountain and the thinness of the air at this moment.
Things can get pretty intense in online-multiplayer games. With no regulation comes unmitigated bitterness and salt, rage and shattered glass—it’s just too easy to throw stones from behind a screen. And so it’s no wonder why, when home over summer break, I was hesitant to start down this toxic path.
As we sit on the verge of an AI revolution and our emails autocomplete as our art is being generated, it’s easy to feel that the human experience is losing a shred of its aura. Because after being thoroughly throttled by bots on the chessboard, and now reading villanelles penned by poet ChatGPT, we of humble humanity are posed with a question: What do we still have over the machines?
Playdead is an independent game company that has produced two of the most striking and surreal platformers that the genre has ever seen. The gamescapes of “Limbo,” its first project, and “Inside,” its second, are both abstract, rendered heavily symbolic and may at first seem as obscure as our most cryptic dreams.
There’s nothing more scrumptiously subversive than a game that deals in delayed gratification. It’s something not commonly associated with screens, with spending hours upon hours in the world of instant inputs, stunning colors and frantic beep-bloops.
Over this year’s holiday break, in a moment of serendipitous nostalgia, I stumbled upon my childhood copy of “Kirby’s Epic Yarn.” And lifting the case from its stack of stagnant clamshells, I was struck by some vaguely profound memories.