Thursday, June 20, 2019

Videogame Nerding -- The Epic Continues

James Rolfe, creator of the epic and uproarious Angry Videogame Nerd series, delivered this classy thank-you to 3 million fans for supporting his 15 years of independent videos:



These interactions between digital artists and fans are far more historically significant than you might think. In an age of unparalleled political regression, videogames and its ancillary art-forms (podcasts, machinima, live-action comedy) have been revolutionizing the entire production, consumption and reception of transnational media. Since 2013, the AAA-tier studios and giant media corporations have been losing their chokehold over videogames, and by 2017, Infinite Fall's Night in the Woods marked the moment that open insurrection broke out among the studio artists. This insurrection is now spreading to every branch of the videogame industry.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

From Bolivarzilla to Kleptopia

Reuters has this scathing investigation of the rubble of Venezuela's energy-rent populism, a sad tale of how Venezuela's elites sabotaged Chavez' goal of national development.

It's worth emphasizing that the Chinese companies aren't to blame for the disaster. Rather, elites milked grifted state contracts and bribed officials to look the other way. The Chavez and Maduro governments promised development for all, but delivered the privatization of state energy-rents on behalf of the wealthiest few.

The fundamental lesson progressives and citizens should take to heart is this: the strategy of "sowing the oil" is broken. "Sowing the oil" has worked in only one nation: Norway, which was already a wealthy industrialized nation to begin with. It has failed everywhere else. In retrospect, "sowing the oil" was the final chapter of the oil nationalizations of the late 20th century. These latter were supposed to bring modernization, but produced nothing but massive corruption, broken economies, and despotic petro-colonialisms everywhere from Iran and Iraq to Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

The entire planet needs to abolish energy-rent capitalism and replace it with a green energy commons -- green electrons from solar, wind and storage, green mobility from batteries, and green buildings for the world's cities. This is especially important for the countries of Africa and South Asia, which are going through their rural-to-urban demographic transitions and will benefit the most from the green energy revolution.

Friday, May 3, 2019

When Corporations Kill

Airframes which were faulty, because profit.

FAA regulators who wouldn't regulate, because profit.

Safety designers who weren't allowed to design, because profit.

Airline pilots who were never told crucial information, because profit.

A mission-critical system relying on ONE SINGLE SENSOR, because profit.

Until there were hundreds of dead people.

Darryl Campbell delivers an devastating expose of Boeing's crimes-for-profits for The Verge.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

May Day

A slightly-belated May Day-themed video from indie Youtuber Super Bunnyhop, all about class struggle in the field of interactive media:





Monday, April 29, 2019

Land of Lakes

Anand Malligavad and a group of fellow citizens are on a mission to restore the threatened wetlands of Bengaluru (Bangalore), one lake at a time:


The Lake Revivers do more than just clean up polluted waterways. They work closely with local residential and farming communities to rebuild each lake as an eco-system. After landscaping each lake back into existence, volunteers and neighbors plant diverse trees and shrubs to restore the lake's natural biodiversity, and help farmers to install tube-wells -- each lake helps to recharge the water table, enabling farmers to grow bigger crops. It's an amazingly successful project, and a timely reminder of India's astounding potential. (Note that if you'd like to contribute, donations are accepted here).

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Lorelai

The latest horror videogame masterpiece from Rem Michalski is here. As the Viera would say, mark ye well these pixels of glory:




If any of you fellow proletarians have any loose change, get it now on Steam. To paraphrase the best line of Metro: Exodus, if we audiences don't support our greatest artists, who will?

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Sony Santa Monica: Industry Class Act

Good studios thank you for being a fan. Great studios acknowledge their debts to the entire fan community for their creativity, their caring, and their sharing: