26.8.11

the anti-social network

In the wake of the over publicised and much maligned riots that rippled across England earlier this month it appears that technology and mass social interaction over the internet is once again being put forth as a scapegoat and proving once again that without any actual communication with social media providers or their users the government is at high risk of losing its footing on the last of the slowly slipping common ground with the modern public.
Facebook, twitter and RIM (Canadian founders of the blackberry system) are being called upon as spokespeople for the millions of users on their networks, most notably consumers who are suspected of using the networks to incite and organise violence and looting during the disturbances.

19.8.11

Bioshock: Rapture - a review

As will become apparent to anyone reading more than a few of my posts here I am a huge fan of the Bioshock series. I believe them to be a shining example of how sophisticated and powerful the medium of gaming can be if treated with the passion and respect a creative venture deserves.
Bioshock is for the most part a narrative driven game, an in depth story unravelling in both directions of time with strong allusions and reverence to important works of literature and philosophy. The plot not only deals with the subjects of idealism, faith, loyalty and dystopia it also focuses on the concept of choice, both in the real world and in the meta-philosophical sense of gaming itself. Throughout the game you are directed onwards by well formed and believable characters while learning about the games past events through found audio diaries scattered around the game environment. While this drip feeding of information appealed strongly to the completist in me, attempting to form a logical timeline out of these morsels proves to be difficult especially when factoring in the addition of a sequel based in and around simultaneous events in the ailing city of Rapture.

12.8.11

should Wii ridicule or revere?

As the heavenly shaft of light thins to the closing doors of this the age of seventh generation game consoles, there will come a period of introspection and reflection as to what effect these machines will have on the future of technology and the shape of human/computer interface.
The past six years has seen great leaps and bounds in gaming technology and developed the gaming market to a level comparable with the ailing music and movie industries. Gaming has gone social, controller-less, portable, casual, and into the 3rd dimension all to please its pleasantly spoilt fans. E3, comic-con and PAX are now huge events on the media and social calendars, drawing vast crowds and big name celebrities to conventions which were once snubbed and brushed aside for only the lowliest of socially inept geek to covet a place in its now thronging exhibition halls.

The main perpetrator of this popularity; the machine that brought children, grandparents and whole families together to bring gaming to its new rank of social acceptability?

5.8.11

the perpetual muse


When I record somebody else's song, I have to make it my own or it doesn't feel right. I'll say to myself, I wrote this and he doesn't know it! 
 - Johnny Cash

There has been a spate of programs across the BBC recently regarding music; or rather the BBC always has something on about music but this so happens to be regarding genres and ideas in music that interest me. In ‘Secrets of the pop song’ the beeb commissioned Guy Chambers (40 million record selling Robbie Williams collaborator) to write three pop songs of a distinct theme, the ballad, the breakthrough single and the anthem.
The later one struck me as odd because I’d always thought of anthems as something more fluid than the usual songwriting fare, more organic in the way they surface, essentially a song becomes an anthem as opposed to being written for that specific purpose. The appropriation of a song by an emotion is what really causes music to stick to our lives like internal postcards of places and times; it’s said that memories are better triggered by smell than by sight, where does sound fall into that hierarchy?
It becomes apparent that no matter how a song is written or by what intention it is produced it is the relevant appropriation by the public mindset which defines how a song will play out through musical history. One of the easiest ways to see this is through the cover version, songs molded and remodeled by other artists as tribute or by means of sharing the emotion they felt when they first heard the song.