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The most memorable novels and gameplay in 2022

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In the year that led to continued experiments in games, as well Refine the methodIt can be said that it was a throwback that attracted me the most. “Return to Monkey Island,” The revitalization of a franchise that had been dormant since 2009 was a wonderful throwback to a largely bygone era of point-and-click adventure games.

However, “Return to Monkey Island” strikes me not so much as a work of nostalgia as a reminder – a statement piece about the power of interactive storytelling, and a look at how much the medium has evolved since “Monkey Island” creator Ron last directed Gilbert game in the series, in 1991. Gilbert was once again in command of Return to Monkey Island alongside longtime collaborator Dave Grossman, and what could have been just a celebration of all things old—check out Gilbert’s 2017 special The Game Thimbleweed Park” – was instead a relatively thoughtful meditation on getting older.

Set in a mysterious pirate world with unsolved treasure-hunting mysteries, Return to Monkey Island ultimately celebrates the small moments – telling a story to your kids in a park, or walking into an old neighborhood pub only to discover the regulars you know are all gone. Perhaps there is no real need to try to relive past adventures. It’s a game that prioritizes relationships, even those with enemies, over big plot-focused storytelling.

I was grateful for the opportunity to guide pirate Guybrush Threepwood around the world of “Monkey Island” again. Its puzzles, most of which require Guybrush to communicate with others, allowed me time to think — to get to know the locals, so to speak. Interaction is used here to form relationships, an argument often not related to the stories we tell – or play – but the communities we build.

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The original 1990 game, “The Secret of Monkey Island,” was a milestone in video game storytelling, a work that asked us, with a few very notable exceptions, not to solve Byzantine puzzles but to use tantalizing situations to build relationships, often with banter. It reminded me of “Back to Monkey Island” The reason I fell in love with video games It wasn’t for the challenge or the desire to win or compete, but for the enjoyment of discovering a story at my own pace and in my own direction. Partly because of this, I think, the games I’m drawn to in 2022 have been those that not only prioritized narrative, but did so with patience — and often with experimentation.

Many of the games I loved the most this year—Immortality, Wayward Strand, and Beacon Pines among them—seem to think in terms of traditional narrative structure. Not only have they toyed with technology, but with how we experience story. There is real power in that, and not just because we are active participants. We are always in a state of curiosity, wondering where the storyteller leads us and when it is we who the tale leads us to. It’s not just a game – it’s a dialogue.

Eternity is a love letter to cinema as well as a treatise on how to reimagine cinema.

(half mermaid)

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“Immortality is kind of a multi-film combo,” says Sam Barlow, director of “Eternity,” its live-action follow-up to “Her Story” and Telling Lies. “Audiences will get to collect three films from the 70s, but also behind-the-scenes clips that accompany them as well as Some promotions, such as late-night television appearances, have the primary objective to piece together the life of a particular actress, Marissa Marcil, portrayed by Marion Gage, and discover why she has suddenly stopped working.

“When you have a game, and the audience is interacting and expressing itself, you don’t have to watch the ball as carefully as you would for the movie,” says Barlow. “You don’t have to worry about getting 90 minutes to have a beginning, middle, and end. Their level of curiosity and engagement means you can bring them in and say, ‘Here’s the story in sprawling form and you can choose the direction and explore the pieces you want.’” The joy I have in creating a story is giving people Some of that. It allows things to get more personal and earning.”

“Eternity” is at once a love letter to the films but also a heart for them.

Her interaction is not in choosing narrative choices and directing the actor to take action over the other. Instead, we zoom in on different parts of a scene—an actor’s smile, a mask in the corner, a kiss, or a director’s scorn—and then switch to another scene with a continuous image. The first few moments can be upsetting. We go from an interview to a gothic movie to a sleazy detective story, sometimes to a movie within a movie and sometimes to behind-the-scenes moments. But after about 30 minutes, we’re used to the time jumps, dealing with the exaggerated images of each movie and getting to know Marcel.

Three stickers on fire.

In “Eternity” we uncover the secret of actress Marissa Marcel (Manon Gage) by clicking on different parts of the image to reveal narrative threads.

(half mermaid)

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As the story unfolds, there are hints of something more sinister beneath the surface, but “Eternity” also feels spot on. It deals with abuse in the workplace, personal identity and work issues and our society’s often inability to see beyond the superficial. Barlow cited Britta Hayworth and her chiseled, shape-shifting image as inspiration, as well as some of her off-camera turmoil. Eternity also aims to capture the shift from a studio-driven discipline to the so-called auteur era, poking holes in one genius’ idea along the way.

“Going from a studio that runs things and controls power to a director that runs things — still controls their talent and maybe now sleeps with them at the same time,” says Barlow. “When we were talking to women in the industry around the 1960s and 1970s, a recurring theme was the failure of the sexual revolution. That these freedoms were granted, but that many of them benefited the man in the end.”

that he conveys such themes and ideas in a series of single, random scenes—some of which can be as short as a few seconds; others a few minutes – a victory. Not only was Immortality the best game I played this year, it was the most unique, a game that argues that narrative structure as we know it isn’t necessarily as codified as we sometimes think.

“Wayward Strand” was also loose in its approach to the story, a charming, heart-warming tale about visiting the elderly in a floating nursing home in the sky.

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Animation of a child, man and woman in a bedroom.

The Wayward Strand allows players to choose which stories to follow.

(stealth style)

“Wayward Strand” reminded me a bit of immersive interactive theater — the long-running New York production “Sleep No More” was an influence, say its creators. Early on, “Wayward Strand” throws players into a tailspin when a character suggests that those we meet will give us tasks to complete. But these tasks are never fulfilled.

Instead, “Wayward Strand” is just about discovering different stories. We meet Esther, a woman who seems to have mysterious powers. maybe. Esther may be adept at using astrological charts to tell people what they want to hear. There’s Mr. Avery, who fancies himself a famous writer, and Grandma Ida, who has had a traumatic past but passes the time knitting scarves.

We hear tales of World War II, tales long lost, and home dramas of hospice care. We are in the nursing home only during working hours, and the clock will help us maintain the routine. The hour also ensures that we will miss a number of narrative threads. It’s our choice of which stories we choose to follow, and it’s a decision we make by who we talk to.

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“We embraced the fact that players were always going to miss the things that were going on,” says Jason Baker, a Wayward Strand developer with Ghost Pattern.

“We tried to keep it fairly short, so if someone missed something they could play it again,” says Becker. “But the atmosphere of the game — the themes of the game — is about being okay with having a limited window or perspective on a certain reality and living with that and thinking about that. Fortunately, in our game, because of the setting, you don’t expect these amazing things to happen in the corner that you miss. “Even though there are interesting things happening near you that you miss. But I think players are satisfied with spending time with the characters, and that was our goal.”

“Word Strand” reminded me of some other games I’m just beginning to scratch the surface on – for example the historical fantasy of “Pentiment”, where our perspective on ambiguity depends on who we talk to. But its primary mission, that we all have a story to tell and we may all have unreliable narrators, is something uniquely suited to interactive drama, where we can choose which tales to follow and investigate. Instead of exploring a story, we walk through a fully realized universe, finding our own stories within that universe.

“I think what we found in making Wayward Strand is, by not being able for the player to ‘solve’ the characters, it allows the characters to be a fuller representation of humanity,” says Baker.

An open book on the roof.

In “Beacon Pines” we rewrite a story by discovering new words.

(Hide Spot / Companion Traveler)

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The world of “Beacon Pines” seemed a little smaller, but no less creative. Set in a fairy tale-like environment with cute talking animals, the game allows us to constantly remix the story. It’s a little more traditional than Eternity and Wayward Strand, but its ideas about how to revamp the choose-your-own-adventure narrative structure kept me hooked. The game is set up as if we were exploring a book, only the book is constantly being rewritten.

We are thrown into a world with a number of dark foundations. Our hero’s mother is missing; his father died. An abandoned factory on the outskirts of town is suddenly brought to life, only to leak neon green goo that can have drastic effects on everything it touches.

Our young creature wants to find his mother and get to the bottom of what’s going on in the city, but to do so he has to navigate life with his protective grandfather and a group of odd townsfolk, as well as become a master of language. As the story progresses, our actions are noted in an interactive book. The more words we discover, the more we can go back in time and change the course of the narrative.

In all of these games, the puzzle is simply piecing the story together. Barlow recalls the original “Metroid”, but only replaces action with narrative.

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“I always associate these games with the way a Metroid game works,” says Barlow. “Metroid changed the game because instead of just going left to right, you go left to right and up and down and you can re-traverse rooms. So the act of playing “Metroid” is slowly building a mental map in your head of the planet you’re exploring. You have a deep appreciation for the rooms. You’re traversing again with a new force that opens up a different way for you to move around the room. There is an act of re-traversing space and gaining mastery of space. Half of what happens in the game “Metroid” is the version you have in mind.

“Doing that, but clearly with the content of the story, which is what these games do, is really fun,” says Barlow. “You allow people to open the layers and see a piece of content that opens up a new interpretation of what you’ve already seen.”

Where we click, who we talk to or which adjectives we choose are all completely driven by our curiosity. The effect is not just about exploring a world someone else has created, but about visiting a world that feels like it was made just for us.

Return to Monkey Island

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Lindsay Lohan, Jake Paul and Otras Celebrate Acosadas de Empulsar Las Cryptomonidas

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En el último ejemplo de lo que se ha convertido en una tendencia en el mundo de las criptomonedas, la Comisión de Bolsa y Valores anunció el miércoles cargos cont una gran cantidad de celebridades por impulsar los criptoactivos sin revelar adecuadamente que se les pagó por sus patrocinios.

Entre los acusados ​​se encontraban la estrella de “Mean Girls” y “Falling for Christmas” Lindsay Lohan, la personalidad de las redes sociales y el boxeador Jake Paul y el rapero Soulja Boy, según un comunicado de la SEC. Porn movies Kendra Lust y los músicos Lil Yachty, Ne-Yo, Austin Mahone y Akon también fueron nombrados en la denuncia de la agencia.

El foco teacher de los cargoes de la SEC es Justin Sun, descrito como un “empresario de activeos criptográficos” que posee un puñado de empresas relacionadas con las criptomonedas, including la Fundación Tron y la Fundación BitTorrent. Ha sido acusado “for la oferta no registrada y la venta de valores de criptoactivos (TRX) y BitTorrent (BTT)”, dijo la SEC en su comunicado.

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Sun, de 32 años, es un ciudadano chino que realmente es elesentable Permanente de Granada ante la Organización Mundial del Comercio y se cree que live en Singapore o Hong Kong, dijo la SEC.

Vegas celebration nombradas por la SEC fueron acusadas de “promocionar ilegalmente” los tokens criptográficos TRX y / o BTT “sin revelar que fueron replaceados por hacerlo y el monto de su compensation”.

La denuncia fue presentada en un tribunal de distrito Federal in Nueva York. El Presidente de la SEC, Gary Gensler, dijo en un comunicado que Sun “indujo a los inversores a provar TRX y BTT al Organizar una campaña promocional en la que él y sus promotores famosos ocultaron el hecho de que a las celebridades se les pagaba por sus tuits”.

Con la excepción de Soulja Boy y Mahone, las celebridades accordaron pagar un total de more de $400,000 para relver los cargoes, sin admitir no negar los hallazgos de la SEC, dijo la comisión.

“Se contactó a Lindsay en marzo de 2022 y desconocía el requisito de divulgación”, dijo Leslie Sloane, portavoz de Lohan, en un correo electónico. “Ella accedió a pagar una multa para resilver el asunto”.

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Ninguna de las otras siete celebridades, o sus Representantes, responseieron de mediato a las solicitudes de commentarios. Sun no pudo ser contactado de mediato para hacer comentarios.

La industry de la criptografía, que realmente atraviesa una recession prolongadaha tenido durante mucho tiempo una relación acogedora con las celebridades, que ofrecen publicidad y legalidad al mundo financiero, que de otro modo sería un nicho, complexado y, a menudo, plagado de estafas.

The Super Bowl of 2022 estuvo inundado of criptoanuncios repletos de estrellas (which is not available for use since 2023), y un segontró de “Tonight Show” de ese mismo año encontró a Jimmy Fallon y Paris Hilton mostrando sus tokens no fungibles (o NFT)una subclass specialmente espumosa de criptoactivos.

Pero esa relación cripto-celebridad no siempre termina bien.

En octubre pasado, la SEC multó a Kim Kardashian with más de 1 million por impulsar diferentes activos criptográficos, tokens criptográficos EthereumMax, en Instagram sin revelar que le pagaron por hacerlo. Se Presentaron Cargos Similar to Floyd Mayweather Jr. by DJ Khaled in 2018 and Steven Seagal in 2020.

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Una demanda colectiva reciente buscó responsabilizar a Tom Brady, Larry David, Steph Curry, Shaquille O’Neal y otras celebridades y atletas de renombre por su promoción de FTX, la plataforma de comercio de criptomonedas que colapsó repentinamente a fasines del año colapsó repentinamente a fasines del año collapsó repentinamente a fasines del año colapsó.

Las últimas Presentaciones de la SEC arrojan Mas luz sobre las relaciones financieras en juego entre las personas famosas y la criptoeconomía.

An indica document that Lohan se le pagó $10,000 in February 2021 for promotional TRX tokens on Twitter. Según una captura de pantalla incluida en la presentación, Lohan tuiteó, usando el lenguaje que le dio una de las compañías de Sun: “Explorando #DeFi y ya me gusta $JST, $SUN en $TRX. Súper rápido y 0 fee. Buen Trabagojustinsuntron”.

Casi al mismo tiempo, según otra presentación, Paul promocionó TRX en Twitter “a cambio de un pago de criptoactivos, valorados en aproximadamente $25,019.” Nuevamente, Tron “le proporcionó a Paul el lenguaje específico para incluir en el Tweet”, dice la presentación de la SEC.

Read this note in English click here.

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Opinion: A ban on TikTok in the US is unlikely

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the The most downloaded app in the world It looks like it’s in hot water. The Biden administration last week demanded that China-owned TikTok be sold or face a national ban in the United States over security and privacy concerns. TikTok’s CEO will testify about those issues before Congress on Thursday.

The app presents real national security risks that the US government must deal with. But the truth is that a ban or forced divestment would be hard to come by.

Concerns are growing about TikTok’s troubling history of user data protection. class action Claiming that the app sends private, personally identifiable and biometric data to third parties without user consent settled for one of the largest payments in history. privacy claims – $92 million – in 2021. FBI and Department of Justice They are also investigating ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, for using the app to monitor US citizens, including journalists. The United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and the European Union already TikTok ban on government devices. India banned the app nationwide in 2020.

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ByteDance relies on the Chinese government’s approval to operate, which exposes it to pressure from companies like Meta to flee. Yet even while raising countless red flags due to its ownership structure and privacy concerns, TikTok is outperforming other major social media companies in the US, significantly shaping how people get information and remaining wildly popular. The company is more than 150 million monthly active users In the United States alone.

TikTok has already survived an attempted ban by the US government. The Trump administration first proposed banning the app in 2020, but that effort has stalled it Federal courtsWhich questioned the solidity of claims about national security risks and ruled that the move range exceeded of the emergency economic powers of the administration.

Additionally, banning the app raises significant First Amendment concerns. In 2020, along with a proposed ban on TikTok, the Trump administration attempted to ban WeChat, a Chinese-owned messaging and social networking app. But the US District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that because The role of WeChat As the only means by which many individuals can reliably communicate in China, the app has constituted a unique form of communication. Hence the prohibition of its use would be violated First Amendment rights. While TikTok doesn’t play the same primary communication role, similar arguments for the app’s distinction as a communication tool could subject any ban on private citizens’ use to widespread and time-consuming legal scrutiny.

For now, rather than ban, the Biden administration is proposing that ByteDance sell TikTok. There are some precedents for this process, including the US government’s successful effort to change ownership of Grindr via the multiagency federal agency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (that TikTok review). In March 2019, the commission used the power given to it under the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act to claim Grindr’s then-owner, the Chinese company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co. Ltd. sale, quoting we National security concerns The application accesses sensitive personal information. Just over a year later Forced divestment announcedAnd Grindr has been acquired by an investment group called San Vicente Acquisition Partners based in West Hollywood.

But since that sale, China has erected firewalls to protect TikTok and other Chinese tech companies. Amid legal challenges to banning TikTok, the Trump administration has tried Force a TikTok sale for an American company. But China’s Ministry of Commerce has since updated its list of “prohibited or restricted technology exports” to include “Personal information recommendation services based on data analysis. What this means in practical terms is that the Chinese government would need to approve any sale of TikTok that would allow foreign companies access to the app’s algorithm.

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The Chinese government has also implemented a law allowing national security data audits for all Chinese companies, including ByteDance, to acquire gold shares, or a government financial stake, in ByteDance Company. In addition, the wide spread of TikTok is an opportunity for ByteDance to gain more users and develop powerful new technologies in areas such as artificial intelligence, Deep fakes and facial recognition. Under China’s civil-military integration program, these technologies have also become Chinese national security assets. Any divestment in TikTok would likely require the cooperation of the Chinese government in a deal that works against their interests.

For the United States, the political costs of banning TikTok will increase the longer there is no solution. More users are joining the app every day, making it an even more important communication tool. Concerns about TikTok’s security may be bipartisan, but they haven’t yet overcome the social media app’s popularity.

Aine Kukas is the author of Trafficking Data: How China is Winning the Battle for Digital Supremacy.

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Lindsay Lohan, Jake Paul, and other celebrities have been accused of promoting cryptography

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In what became the latest in years, the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday stated charges against a group of celebrities promoting crypto assets without properly disclosing that they paid for their endorsements.

Among the defendants are Lindsay Lohan, Jake Paul, Soulja Boy, Austin Mahone, Kendra Lust, Lil Yachty, Ne-Yo and Akon, according to a statement from the SEC.

The SEC charges focus on Justin Sun, described as a “crypto-asset entrepreneur,” who owns a few crypto companies, “for the unregistered offering and sale of crypto-asset securities Tronix (TRX) and BitTorrent (BTT), the SEC said. at its release.

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Meanwhile, the celebrities Named by the SEC, whose backgrounds range from music to social media to influencer pornography, they are accused of “illegal promotion of TRX and/or BTT without disclosing what they were compensated for doing so and how much they were compensated.”

The complaint was filed in federal district court in New York. In a statement, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said that Sun “induced investors to buy TRX and BTT by organizing a roadshow in which he and the popular promoters hid the fact that the celebrities got their tweets.”

With the exception of Soulja Boy and Mahone, the celebrities agreed to pay a total of more than $400,000 to settle the charges, without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, the commission said.

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