When it comes to the words "video games," most people think about a fast-paced, action-oriented setting, possibly with lots of shooting and maybe even some splashes of blood for good measure. But gamers don't only crave that type of experience - in fact, both gamers and critics alike give rave reviews to titles that cultivate intellectual and even spiritual gaming leanings.
March 13 marks the official launch of the fourth game from indie studio thatgamecompany, known for their interesting and beautiful titles that defy conventional standards. Called "Journey," this "interactive parable to experience a person's life passage," as it is described on the official website, places the player in the role of a silent robed figure standing alone in a sea of glimmering sand dunes.
In the distance, a great mountain is silhouetted against the sky with a glow of light at the peak. Your destination is to reach that place, and learn what it may contain. The metaphor is clear: This is our life journey, and we will walk it to pursue whatever may lie at its end.
Unlike most current games, "Journey" is a very pared down, simplistic experience. In fact, the game only contains one word of text: The opening title. Beyond that, there is no dialogue, only the sound of your character's feet slicing through the sand as it presses forward. From start to finish, everything about this mysterious and beautiful experience is entirely open to interpretation, and the overall feeling of playing is one of serenity and peace. FULL POST
America is no stranger to cute animal culture. Memes featuring lolcats have been popular since 2006, Cute Overload spearheaded the cute animal blog movement in a huge way years back, and a cleverly shaved Pomeranian named Boo has more than 3 million fans on Facebook.
Clearly, people really enjoy animals, and the way they have been idolized as a part of Internet culture comes across loud and clear. Simply put, an animal brings a smile to the face of most, and it's hard to wear a frown when you're watching a baby lemur happily hold up his arms for a massage.
Leave it to Japan to take something like cute animal culture and put a new spin on it. And the animal celebrities of Japan are quite distinctive.
Shironeko and his cat family are not new to the Internet (English websites have called him "basket cat" because of his propensity for sleeping in baskets), but they are something of a phenomenon. With 540 YouTube videos, a blog and even a Twitter account, it's apparent that Shironeko and his family members have major presence when it comes to Japanese fans.
Each day, a new video is uploaded of one or several of the cats, although Shiro is featured predominantly. The most popular videos in the series show the cats sitting calmly as their owner stacks fruit on them, dresses them in empty ramen bowls and more. It's kind of like the Japanese version of Stuff on My Cat, but more bizarre. FULL POST