My second day at PAX East began in the expo hall with an intense, emotional video. The Gambit Game Lab of MIT gathered some data about hate speech in gaming communities, and then they recorded actors performing the collected comments out loud. The video doesn't analyze the data collected or attempt to argue with the hate speech in any way, and the presenters at the booth told me they considered it to be more of an art project to increase awareness rather than an official study.
A truly immersive gaming experience hinges on atmosphere.
And I would argue that few video games burrow under our skin as
effectively as the ones that drop us into the middle of a desolate
universe, and force us to Figure Shit Out in wordless solitude. It's
what's made the Metroid series so haunting. (Until Team Ninja decided to take a rusty icepick to Samus Aran's prefrontal lobe
Valve, who are basically the best video-game development house, like, ever, have announced the sequel to their wonderful 2007 first-person puzzler Portal. We're excited, but we're not going to make any references to "cake" or "the party submission position" or the companion cube or anything like that, though, as GLaDOS's lines have been abused enough by the internet by now. Portal 2 will release this fall.
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