The Creepy, Empty And Uncanny World Of (Dead) Tactical Multiplayer Shooter “Ground Branch”

RND/ To imagine PC screenshot art / virtual photography of a creepy, empty and uncanny world of (possibly Undead On Arrival) tactical™ multiplayer shooter called “Ground Branch”:

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With its souless, dead eyed character models, its deep shadows, largely featureless universe, bizarre poses and janky physics, Ground Branch delights in a sinister way. Consider the delicious possibility of such an online space if such ‘features, not bugs’ – and not merely the act of shooting / t-bagging – were deliberate, and emphasized. What might existing in such a world entail – perhaps some kind of cool, spooky shit seem in felt in other, classic PC gaming titles like F.E.A.R. (In any case, why does the main gameplay focus – shooting – have to be in any way separate from the creepy weirdness of the presentation? Why are the delightfully janky Early Access aesthetics never once acknowledged for having their own unique style and appeal – and instead merely ‘AAA-polished’ away into Generic First Person Bro-Shooter oblivion?)

One detects an occurring theme developing here – of throwaway games, virtually dead on arrival. Digital ships that pass in the night, with only a few passengers on board, only to have tracelessly sunk with all hands on deck by the next cold light of a Steamy morning. The inherent obscurity and in-built obsolescence of constantly trying to appeal to so-called ‘hardcore’ (white, male) gaming audience. Where the ‘next big thing’ makes all the laughably big splash of a dime in a gaming pond the size of Lake Michigan.

Heck, the only thing apart from the (alas, rapidly fading) creepy weirdness that games like Ground Branch have going for them is the arms-race style oneupmanship of the ‘more-tactical-than-thou’ player game tags (ala ‘L33tsold1er’, ‘ColdK1ll3r_42’, ‘downsightHer0’, ‘DrM0rb1d’, ‘CallMeCap’, etc.)

FusionVille 1 Mod (Half Life 2): Widescreen Virtual Photography Screenshots

RND/ To consider widescreen virtual photography screenshots (noclip style) for FusionVille 1 mod (Half Life 2):

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Most of the maps are pretty good; the Cthuluesque map “Shadow Over Ravensmouth” in particular is recommended.

// how to play big science

Phoenix Contact Map (FusionVille 2 Mod): Widescreen Half Life 2 Virtual Photography Screenshots

RND/ To consider widescreen noclip virtual photography screenshots of Phoenix Contact map by Ildarion.

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A beautiful urban desert map with a mysterious, melancholy feel – perfect for electronic meditations into the synthetic natures of The Video Real.

// how to play big science

4K PC Virtual Photography Screenshots from “The Architect: Paris” Videogame

RND/ To consider some – at this late stage in the game of AAAA Global Videogaming (/Culture) – ‘plainly odd’ screenshots of Paris, as much a fantasy as place – a grand displacement:

In their nascent incompleteness, indeed in a form still more dreamlike than actual, these technologies are ripe, as it were, for various imaginary schemas, projected futures, dreams, hopes, and fears. Just as the emergence of steam, electrical, telephonic, and other technologies clearly exerted powerful effects on the imaginations of the populaces in which they appeared (which seem to decrease to the degree that these technologies become normalized and socially integrated into the banalities of everyday life), exponential growth has also occurred not simply in technological advances but more significantly in cultural fantasies surrounding the eruption of new and altogether different futures from those we had previously envisaged.

Cyberspace and virtual reality (VR) represent arguably the most intensely concentrated focal points for this phantasmatic explosion, firing the imaginations not only of the technologically literate but of those interested in entertainment, knowledge, and information – in short, of global populations.
– Elizabeth Grosz, Architecture from the Outside: Essays on Virtual and Real Space (The MIT Press 2001)

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