RND/ To consider the silent emptiness of Formula One 2020 videogame by (literally straight up evil Hypercorporation) Electronic Arts. Hot, airless, bland, and absurd:

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Round and round the track we go
And why we bother nobody know$

// how to play big science

RND/ to consider P.A.N.I.C.S. – An Open Crowd Sourced F.E.A.R Game. In the sense of an Eternal Return.

From an idea by Roosterteeth. Images via Zero Hour game (Steam Community screenshots), 1920 x 1080:

It is 1984. You are Frank Custom, rookie member of Brav0 Squad, a special military group secretly formed to battle ‘supernaturally weird’ enemies and save survivors in the disturbingly empty city of Fairport.


Featuring the following conceptual elements:

  • Overwhelming emphasis on Atmosphere and ‘cinematography’.
  • Smalltalk at (somehow predictable) odds with the wider immediate (action-adventure) context.
  • A spiritual successor to F.E.A.R. An ‘otological horror shooter.’
  • Has as bizarre style / Unlife of it’s own.
  • It’s all about actively avoiding being Killed, Mutilated or Possessed by Dark Strange Imaginary Forces – and the shocking social consequences if you are, eg. no longer being invited to parties.
  • Intense, camera-never-pulls-away-scenes of ‘People behaving oddly’.
  • No gore, just Gut Churning Dread.
  • Takes place in Fairport, also known as Ghost City; turns out the entire city is a mass virtual grave and it’s very reality is Haunted (ie. no supernatural events per-say take place.)
  • “It Was Supposed To Be A Routine Mission”
  • You Imagine It’s X But (It’s So Much Worse), aka “There’s something very wrong with this place.”
  • Having to work at some point with the Perps you’re fighting in order to survive
  • R.D.S Radical Desimulation Scenario aka “Zero Hour” – ‘all these dimensions are starting to collapse’.
  • “There’s something weird in Room 302.”
  • “There’s a perfectly logical explanation.”
  • “You need to be thinking about the system.”
  • Helmet ‘Chuck’ noise.
  • Secret code word “Corduroy.”
  • “Wild-ass freaky shit.”
  • Fearing totally cool team mates Spoon, Herzog, Vapor, and Wizard with PhD’s in Badass Mother-ology.
  • Frosted cinnamon Danishes.
  • Charged electric skeletons.

// how to play big science

RND/ To consider PC screenshot paintings of the supreme emptiness of Apex Legends:

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To consider Apex Legends one of the more aesthetically ugly (neckless, safe, generic, corporatized, sterile, wishy-washy, bland) games around. As though the developers threw every single known style at the wall and kept whatever failed to immediately slide off back into the toilet. For what exactly the style or ‘look’ of the game? Not that this is even that important in the modern age where the overall spectacle of the game is what counts, and not the look; the meaning of the look. The meaning of the look of Apex Legends appears to be ‘Anything’. A style of non-style. The style called ‘Mishmash’. Not exactly ‘tribal’, not entirely ‘cyberpunk’, nor truly ‘anime’.

One can easily imagine looking back at this game, not with ‘fond’ memories but with ‘decidedly mixed’ memories. What was it, exactly? What kind of universe was Apex Legends? Dark Souls, now that’s a universe with it’s own style. Same with the original Doom, or Quake. But Apex is the Apex Of Emptiness. Of hollow aesthetic signifiers, of a ‘Born Sterile’ art style. Almost like its creator’s didn’t give too shits what was being shown on screen, just as long as players played it. What counts is engagement with the platform, the amount of shitty cosmetic skins, animated banner poses, $100 dollar loot boxes filled with empty digital dogshit. In many ways, consider Apex Legends an (/inherently evil) hypercorporate Free To Play model made Violently Bland Virtual Flesh.

Virtual Photography Exhibit: Global Videogame Capitalism and its Existential Threat

// how to play big science