Nuit Blanche Chiptune Performance

The all-night art fest Nuit Blanche hit Paris last weekend. During my wanderings I came across some projected videos, a couple installations, and a giant disco ball. It wasn’t all that inspiring. To make matters worse, I made the classic Nuit Blanche mistake of heading out too early (basically, anytime before 2am) so anything of any possible interest was flooded with people. After a couple hours of this, I grabbed a crepe near Les Halles, got on the Metro, and…

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Jennifer Jupiter Stratford Photography

When I came across Jennifer Jupiter Stratford’s portfolio, I was instantly smitten. A whole series following Leslie “Sweater Lady” Hall? A look into the forgotten visions of tomorrow gleaned from video game console? Another series about videogame cosplayers and the overall nerdy spectacle? This picture of a forlorn Tails? To say that this is relevant to my interests would be an understatement. Add to that a series on inflatable mascots, giant speakers, and a collection with the hopes to understand…

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Monumental

I got off the Berlin bus in front of the Brandenburg Gates at half past six in the morning. This was my first time there since I was eleven, in 1991, when unification and the fall of the Berlin Wall was still fresh in the minds of the locals. The sun was just starting to rise and the whole place was deserted save for two lone photographers, probably two wayfarer visitors with no time for sleep, like me, wandering around…

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The Return

This time next week I’m going to be flying over the Atlantic towards Paris. I spent four months in London and Paris last summer and it was great. I didn’t do much of anything, which is why it was so great, but I did start jogging and I read more and I got to know my camera a lot better. Ever since my Canadian return I’ve sworn that I would go back and I’ve been working hard over the last…

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YMO OMY

OMY – “Volley” I randomly* came across the above video from OMY (quaint, out of date website), “Oriental Magnetic Yellow”, yesterday. The mid 90s homage-band, if there is such a term, to YMO, “Yellow Magic Orchestra”, is interesting because it consisted entirely of Japanese videogame music veterans, all of whom worked at Namco: Nobuyoshi Sano, Hiroto Sasaki, Takayuki Aihara, and Shinji Hosoe. Most of these guys contributed to the music of Tekken and Ridge Racer. After discovering the existence of…

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Battlefield 1943: Registration

Despite my earlier negative experiences (which I put into an unresearched from-memory historical context), I eventually did buy Battlefield 1943 and I did, and continue to, enjoy it. It won’t have legs unless there is serious post-launch support (new maps), because the three included maps will get tired after a while, but for an affordable download-only release it is super solid and enjoyable. But this is not a review of the game. What I do want to talk about is…

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Battle Failed 1943

Back in the halcyon days of XBox Live, when it was still new and fresh, EA was not on board. Microsoft was providing a, mostly, peer-to-peer distributed online network with centralized, on Microsoft’s servers, messaging and match-making and friend management and this did not suit EA. A decentralized network meant that they could not gather the proper metrics or control their own online experiences to the degree that a large corporation as EA wanted. So for a while, in the…

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Knights of Charlemagne

Right from the start, Reiner Kniza’s “Knights of Charlemagne” is in my good graces. It does something that all apps in the App Store should do: it doesn’t mute my music on start. I have an iPod Touch and an iPod is primarily, above all else, a music player. If it’s on, chances are it’s playing music. Any app that mutes it without my consent makes too many suppositions about its place and role on the device it’s on. “Knights…

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Two iPhone Knizia Games: Poison

There’s a pair of Rainer Knizia games currently available in the App Store. Both are based on already existing physical games, neither of which I’ve ever played, but seeing Knizia’s name attached to anything is enough to pique my interest. Add to that instant availability, portability, a low price, and remove the need for another physical human opponent and the purchase becomes a no-brainer. I bought both games, Poison (iTunes link) and Knights of Charlemagne (iTunes link), and have been…

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Elsewhere and the Korg DS-10

Despite a desire to consolidate my web presence, I have gone off and spread myself even thinner by creating a new Tumblr at nerdmusic.tumblr.com. I had neglected to mention it here. There’s eight pages of it already, including some of these favourites: 16 Bit – Changing Minds; Dr. Mario: The Perfect Drugs; some brief reminiscing on the Gargoyles theme; and Nintendo DS concert, live performance (Electroplankton + KORG DS-10). The last of those is the most notable as I’ve been…

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Conflict-free Competition

As I plunge deeper into the world of (mostly German) boardgames I develop a new perspective on my long entrenchment in the videogame world. Their game designs and themes are a breath of fresh air relative to the constant frustrations and repetitiveness that competitive videogames are providing. The highest rated and most popular of these games (according to BoardgameGeek), Puerto Rico and Agricola, are especially profound because they are highly competitive without ever having direct conflict. Take Agricola for example.…

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1 vs 100 Beta, in brief

The 1 vs 100 Live beta took place in Canada yesterday and I was one of the lucky not-so-few (at one point I saw that 12000 people were playing along) to have a go at it. I’m saving my full opinion for later, but in the meantime the following video summarizes my experience: “Pffffttt” Connection problems, though most had less amusing timing than the above, were frequent. I managed to get a few full games in and I did well…

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Rock Band Ripped

It seems as though some enterprising individuals have managed to rip the music tracks from Rock Band. This might seem unremarkable at first until you remember that most of the in-game songs were based on the masters and were stored as multitracked audio, with isolated guitars, drums, vocals, etc. The files, which are saved as multitrack ogg files, can be easily opened in Audacity and easily manipulated. This is prime mash-up material. This, on its own, isn’t that big of…

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