Art exhibit blends video games with religious iconography

An art exhibit currently showing in New York imagines video game scenes as if they were religious frescoes from the late Middle Ages. The one shown here is "Defenders of Ataros," by Dan Hernandez, plainly referencing Atari's Missile Command. It's part of "Genesis 2014," showing now at the Kim Foster Gallery in Chelsea. Hernandez, notes the Gallery, mixes religion, mythology and pop culture in his work. "Hernandez blurs boundaries, rearranges hierarchies, and calls into question our notions of iconography, collectibles, violence and devotion," the gallery says. The show is running until next Saturday. Other paintings in the collection reference Street Fighter 2 and Space Invaders. See them at this link.

See The Fifth Element imagined as a 16-bit video game

YouTube satirists CineFix have done about two dozen interpretations of popular movies as old-school video games, and their latest endeavor is delivering all the key scenes of The Fifth Element in 8-bit — "and a little 16-bit," they say — style. CineFix has a robust series of these movies, including adaptations of Fight Club, Inception and Pulp Fiction (though its recent Happy Gilmore parody was removed from YouTube on a copyright claim by NBC Universal.) Incidentally, The Fifth Element, which was released in 1997, did have a video game adaptation, for the PlayStation, and it was a critical failure.

Here's a picture of Rupert Murdoch trying Oculus Rift, he loved it

Business and media mogul Rupert Murdoch, head of News Corp. and 21st Century Fox, tried out an Oculus Rift headset this week, according to the Murdoch Here Tumblr site. According to Murdoch Here, where 21st Century Fox chief of staff Natalie Ravitz posts behind-the-scenes dispatches from Murdoch's daily adventures, Murdoch visited the New York branch of design and graphics studio Framestore on April 16. Joining him were Ravitz; Paul Cheesbrough, chief technology officer of News Corp.; and Joel Klein, former chancellor of the New York City Department of Education. Framestore is the firm behind the "Ascend the Wall" Oculus Rift demo. In the virtual reality experience, players climb the Wall from Game of Thrones, the HBO TV series based on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire...

Oculus Rift helps dying woman experience the outside world virtually

Game artist Priscilla Firstenberg used an Oculus Rift dev kit to help her grandmother experience the outside world before passing away, The Rift Arcade reports. Cancer patient Roberta Firstenberg had become too weak to enjoy her favorite pastimes or walk around her yard. At the time, Priscilla — who worked on stealth survivor game République at Camouflaj — had a discussion with her co-workers about next-gen systems. After their talk, she got the idea to contact Oculus VR and request a kit. Customer service lead Kevin Crawford responded to her shortly with kind words, telling her that the decision to send her a kit was unanimous. "Unfortunately, we can't send you out a brand new unit as we're still trying to fulfill our backlog queue of existing orders, but, we have just received...

Coachella brings in arcade machines to save nature

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Annual Festival has partnered with Global Inheritance to create an arcade that encourages visitors to earn game tokens by performing nature-saving tasks. The Nature Saving Arcade is a solar-powered video game arcade full of classic titles. Visitors can win prizes like tickets to see The Arcade Fire if they play in the arcade, but to do so they'll need to earn tokens. Some of the nature-saving tasks visitors can do to earn tokens include recycling three bottles or cans while at the festival, showing a photo of themselves carpooling to Coachella with three or more friends, photographing themselves composting, charging their phone using the energy seesaw or showing the organizers their refillable water bottle. Weekend one of Coachella took place from...

EB Games Expo 2014 to take place in Sydney, Oct. 3-5, ticket sales begin April 24

EB Games Expo 2014 will kick off in Sydney, Australia on Oct. 3-5 at the Sydney Olympic Park, the company announced today, confirming the attendance major publishers Activision, Electronic Arts, Nintendo, Sony, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Microsoft. This year's expo will see the addition of a new pavilion, expanding event's space to 35,000 sqm, which will hold demonstration sessions from U.K. television series Robot Wars. Sessions will feature Q&As, photo opportunities and allow visitors to "get up close" with the robots. As well as giving attendees the opportunity to get hands-on with the latest releases from the publishers, the event will offer Tumbletown playground area, Family Zone Café, the Lovesac Handheld Lounge & Stage, Free Play City, Retro Central...

Animation hack in Telltale games is hilarious and terrifying

Telltale's games have gotten a little saucy, thanks to a fan-made hack that manipulates characters into moving outside of their usual range. A video of the mod first appeared as part of Telltale's Fables-based episodic game, The Wolf Among Us. The clip features protagonist Bigby dancing without a care as his companions continue on with business as usual. Another gif, posted by Telltale director and senior cinematic artist Nick Herman on Twitter, features characters from The Walking Dead with similar intentions. Someone figured out how to play animations in our shipped titles. The results are glorious. — Nick Herman (@ItsMeNickHerman) April 14, 2014 A Telltale representative told Kotaku that the modification was made using...

Half-Life record breaking speedrun clocks in under 21 minutes

Quadrazoid, a speedrunner group, has set a record Half-Life run time with 20 minutes and 41 seconds, shaving minutes off the previous record of 29 minutes and 41 seconds. The run was completed on the hard setting with seven team members doing runs: quadrazid, CRASH FORT, coolkid, pineapple, YaLTeR, Spider-Waffle and FELip. The run is composed of 317, 249 segments and 107 saves/segments were made "only to cause and abuse save glitches." "Starting back in the summer of 2010, the estimated time for this run was thought to be roughly 27 minutes," quadrazoid wrote on the YouTube video. "However, after almost four years of painstaking planning, theory crafting and execution, we have arrived at our final time, smashing all of our wildest expectations. Not only do we owe this new...

Swedish politicians compete in StarCraft 2 tournament ahead of election

A group of politicians in Sweden took part on a StarCraft 2 tournament this past weekend to "raise awareness about eSports in politics, and politics among gamers," The Daily Dot reports. The tournament, called Politikerstarcraft, was created by Jonathan Rider Lundkvist in 2010. Lundkvist was a member of the Swedish Pirate Party, which formed in 2006 to focus on issues like net neutrality, censorship, copyright and patent reform. Politikerstarcraft is held just for fun, but the 2010 winner Mathias Sundin coincidentally won the tournament for his party, which ended up winning the election that year. This year's tournament was the second Politikerstarcraft held, and featured commentary from Swedish StarCraft 2 casting duo Living on the Ladder. Participants included candidates for local...

Snoop Dogg voice pack coming to Call of Duty: Ghosts April 22

A Call of Duty: Ghosts Snoop Dogg Voice Pack will be available on Xbox Live on April 22, according to a video developer Infinity Ward released. The video shows snippets of voice-over work the rapper provided, including lines like "Rack up points by reaching the enemy portal, you dig," "Squad member active — my brother from another mother," and "Homies out the joint, it's party time." "What interested me most about the project is my voice can be connected with a game that's so hip and so hood," Snoop Dogg said. "It says a lot. It's associated with greatness." The voice pack will be released for other platforms at a later date.

Can you play Pong with Titanfall's vortex shield? Yes, say mythbusters

One month after its launch, and after thousands of hours spent playing the game, certain "myths" have emerged about Titanfall. This video busts a couple of them, but it confirms that the vortex shield can be used to "play" a kind of Pong between two titans. If two titans have the shield equipped and charged, they may use it to infinitely pass a rocket back and forth, as YouTube's DefendTheHouse demonstrates. But a titan cannot melee a flyer. And it cannot destroy a dropship when falling from orbit - unless the dropship is close enough to take splash damage from its impact. DefendTheHouse does mythbusting episodes for other popular series, including Grand Theft Auto 5, Halo 4, and Call of Duty: Ghosts.

GaymerX2 will be the convention's last

This year's GaymerX2, the convention that celebrates the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community in games, will be the last largely due to the growing financial burden, the event's organizers announced via its official Twitter account. "We decided that we could no longer continue as a convention as the price of running a yearly convention downtown in San Francisco was just too high — we weren't able to get the corporate sponsorship that we needed to make it something sustainable, and we were racking up huge amounts of debt to put this years con on," organizer Matt Conn told Polygon. "That being said, we're going to make the very best convention we can and we're super eager to see a rise in more alt-cons in the future, making gaming accessible to everyone." While...

Every NBA team's logo reimagined as Pokémon

Last year, someone went to the trouble of designing the logos for all 30 National Hockey League teams around Pokémon. So it seems inevitable that someone would do it with all 32 members of the National Basketball Association. From artist Micah Coles, here are the New Orleans Pidgeys, Boston Bulbasaurs and, who else but the Orlando Magikarp. The remainder of the league can be seen in this imgur gallery. The names don't precisely match the species of their mascot; in some cases the nickname is taken from a move — for example the Portland Self Destruct. Their fans might identify with that.

The crazy covers of Iraq's bootleg video game market

One might assume that the cover of a bootleg work would be a throwaway affair. But someone put some effort into these covers on pirated PlayStation 2 games being sold in Iraq. For example, the Matrix 2: Path of Neo cover shows Agent Smith with, for some reason, a tattoo of a perk icon from Fallout. Shadow of the Colossus features characters from ... Dynasty Warriors? And Darksiders? Redditor Slink7 posted this gallery for you to enjoy. Check it out and see what other insane mashups you can spot.

Marathon gamer sets record for longest run on a single quarter: 85 hours

The games may be more than 30 years old but the hardcore record-hunters of the classic arcade gaming scene still find new marks to shoot for. And John Salter now has two world records to his name. Salter, of Oakland, Ohio, played 1980's Armor Attack (pictured) for 85 hours, 16 minutes on a single credit, reports Patrick Scott Patterson. Salter's time beat the old mark of 84 hours, 48 minutes, which George Leutz set on a single credit with Q*Bert in early 2013. In playing that long, Salter also racked up a score of 2,211,990, which beats Armor Attack's previous world record of 2,009,000—- a record that had stood since Sept. 25, 1982. Salter began play on Wednesday morning and ended yesterday. Eighty-five hours is more than three days straight, and Salter did not take it on without...

Watch Mario wreck someone's home in this fan-animated short

Bored and snowbound in Buffalo, N.Y., animator John Huffnagle came up with an idea to blow off some steam: Have Mario destroy his parents' house. Huffnagle, 26, created this film, "Mario is Destroying My House," which imagines what would happen if the console is turned off but Mario keeps playing. Inside the house. It's gotten about 600,000 views so far on YouTube, and drawn attention to Huffnagle and his studio, Studio Hoofnail. The real-world footage was shot in February, with all the animation taking place since then.
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