g r o t t o 1 1

Peeve Farm
Breeding peeves for show, not just to keep as pets
Brian Tiemann
Silicon ValleyNew York-based purveyor of a confusing mixture of Apple punditry, political bile, and sports car rentals.

btman at grotto11 dot com

Read These Too:

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James Lileks
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As the Apple Turns
Entropicana
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Capitalist Lion
Red Letter Day
Eric S. Raymond
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Aziz Poonawalla
Corsair the Rational Pirate
.clue
Ravishing Light
Rosenblog
Cartago Delenda Est



Cars without compromise.





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Friday, June 6, 2008
10:45 - SimSafari
http://theablegamer.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=148:new-afrika-

(top)
Mark sends me this trailer for a game coming out for the PS3 (in Japan) called Afrika:



Looks pretty interesting, though a trailer never gives much sense of what actual gameplay is like (I love how the ads for sports games always show these great motion-captured animations of players celebrating after touchdowns and homeruns and things, which is probably great fun to watch, the first 35 times you see it); but I do find it interesting to see what kinds of new game genres become possible when the technology supports a better and better facsimile of photorealism.

For instance, the Gran Turismo games were able to look so far ahead of their time eight years ago for the same reason that Pixar was able to get away with CG animation in 1995: their subject matter was shiny objects that look good in computer renderings. It's no accident that Pixar so carefully avoided rendering humans in their early attempts—anyone who's seen the baby in Tin Toy knows the horrors of the Uncanny Valley. But they gradually got better; A Bug's Life pushed the boundaries of humanlike squash-and-stretch while keeping within the safe boundaries of characters with shiny exoskeletons, but Monsters Inc. made hair and fur look good for the first time—and though Pixar still tends toward concepts that benefit from CG rather than being hobbled by it (Cars, Wall-E), one can hardly accuse them of shying away from more "difficult" textures and settings, what with Ratatouille and the like.

So it is with these game companies. There's still some creepy-crawliness to the figures in this trailer, and when they splice in some actual real-life footage toward the end, the difference is striking—but it's getting closer and closer to the day when we won't even be able to tell. And this concept, which is my main point, would have been ludicrous just a few years ago. As ludicrous as, say, a computer program that lets you travel all over the earth and see terrain and satellite imagery mapped to it at the street level and embedded links to photos and user comments and Wikipedia articles and such. ...Ahem.


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