The ugly, The bad, The good, The list™
For as long as I can remember I have been having a vision. Not always, not every night, but recurring throughout my life. The vision always appears at the crepuscular boundary between waking and sleep, when I settle down in my bed and prepare to leave the day behind.
Last month, I made my debut in Unwinnable Weekly magazine with a piece on the preludes to Kentucky Route Zero. If, like me, your anxiously awaiting the fourth act of that game, it can’t hurt to take a look at the (free) games that came before. You can download A House in California, Ruins, and Balloon Diaspora from the Cardboard Computer website. I also briefly wrote about Ruins here before, back when I was a wee lad. Or actually, a couple of years ago.
If you’re interested, you can read an excerpt from my article for free on the Unwinnable site, or better yet, subscribe or purchase the whole issue.
A personal piece about waking dreams, mysticism, and verticality in Scandinavian theatre and videogames. I discuss Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder and When We Dead Awaken, next to a special level from Nifflas’ Knytt Stories.
There’s something to be said for the idea that art can find expression in any medium. For Jake Elliott and Tamas Kemenczy of Cardboard Computer, their medium is the strange blend of audio, video, text, and interaction of digital games. As their earlier game Ruins showed, the studio has a penchant for the poetic and the dreamlike, and you’ll find those elements in spades in their latest (and currently ongoing) work Kentucky Route Zero. It’s an adventure game in five parts — the first released in December 2012, with later instalments to follow this year.
What did I read in 2012? I’ve found looking back at my last year in books helps me chart some themes and developments in my (mental life), so I’ve decided to do it again this year. I read 92 books in 2012, a little fewer than in 2011, but they were bigger books, and my page total ended up higher. This doesn’t count all the articles I’ve read, but we’ve got to draw the reading nerdage line somewhere. It’s all slightly arbitrary anyway.
This week, a call went out from the provincial library of Fryslân, Tresoar, announcing the start of a ‘cold case’ program. Selected pieces from the archives are to be shared with the public, to see if they can shed more light on some unsolved mysteries. The first one is a manuscript from the 17th century, and it’s a corker! The manuscript is thought to be a letter, as it is only a single page and appears to be signed in some way, so I will refer to it as the Sminia Letter, for that’s the Frisian family out of whose archives the piece comes. The letter is written in a hitherto unknown script, and as such the language of the letter is unknown as well.