Magic and Technology

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Digital Media & Videogames, Magic, Religion, Science

A state­ment often re­peat­ed in dis­cus­sions of tech­nolo­gy, whether within the realm of sci­ence fic­tion (and lite­rary criti­cism of the genre) or with­out, is Arthur C. Clarke’s so-called “Third Law”, which states that “any suffi­cient­ly ad­vanced tech­nolo­gy is in­dis­tin­guish­able from magic”. The reader may refer to Wiki­pedia for a bit of back­ground surroun­ding Clarke’s three laws and pos­sible pre­ce­dents for the third one men­tioned here. While the law obvious­ly makes pre­dic­tions about the per­cep­tion of tech­nology in real life, it is equally rele­vant to fic­tion, par­ticu­larly sci­ence fic­tion and fantasy, where magic and/or tech­nology occupy pro­mi­nent places as plot devices, motifs, etc. […] What inte­rests me in par­ticu­lar are the assump­tions lying behind Clarke’s third law, and how the law and its assump­tions can help (or hinder) us to under­stand the inter­play between tech­nology and magic as con­cepts of acti­vity

Ruins: Digital Dream Poetry

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Death, Digital Media & Videogames, Dreams, Music, Visual Art

This is going to be a very brief im­pres­sion, but there’s an­other game I wanted to share with you. Ruins, deve­loped by Card­board Com­puter, is a new dig­ital art piece in which you con­trol a dog, Agatha, who cha­ses a num­ber of white rab­bits in a dream­like land­scape which is do­min­ated by ruins, trees, fog, and piano.

From Dust: Playing God

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Digital Media & Videogames, Magic, Politics, Religion

Video­games by their very nature often make in­teres­ting argu­ments on the things they por­tray. This struck me quite power­fully while play­ing a recent digi­tally dis­tribu­ted title called From Dust. The game was de­signed by Éric Chahi and deve­loped by Ubi­soft Mont­pellier, and it essen­tially re­volves around being a god and over­seeing the fate of ‘your’ people.

Tale of Tales - The Graveyard (2008)

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Death, Digital Media & Videogames, Music

While devel­op­ment and play on The End­less Forest, the first pub­lic release by Tales of Tales was still going strong, Aur­iea and Michaël had been work­ing on new con­cepts. One of them, which bor­rowed ele­ments from their unfin­ished pro­ject 8, would later become The Path, which was released in 2009, and which will be the sub­ject of our next and most exten­ded fea­ture on this Flem­ish design stu­dio. The other was a shorter, more mod­est pro­ject, and quicker to develop for a final release as well. It was the digital vign­ette called The Grave­yard, and the first of the Tale of Tales titles to be dis­trib­uted semi-com­mer­cially online, bey­ond the con­fines of their own web­site.

Tale of Tales - The Endless Forest (2005 - present)

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Digital Media & Videogames, Social Interaction & Networks

First released in 2005, The End­less Forest is a “mul­ti­player online game” and “social screensaver” developed by Flem­ish stu­dio Tale of Tales. It was ori­gin­ally com­mis­sioned by the Musee d’Art Mod­erne Grand-Duc Jean in Lux­em­burg in 2003, and has passed through vari­ous stages of devel­op­ment since its ori­ginal incep­tion. Ver­sion 3.3 was released in Novem­ber 2009 and presents only the latest of these devel­op­ments: the addi­tion of a new loc­a­tion in the forest.