Posts tagged Just
A new study from Yahoo shows that more and more mobile searches are happening in the home, where PCs or laptops are also available. How can marketers take advantage of this?
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You won’t need a cable package (or your parent’s HBO Go login) to watch the next season of HBO’s most popular original series. The cable channel plans to launch its long-anticipated streaming only service in April, according to an internal memo published by Fortune, the same month Game of Thrones returns for its fifth season.
CEO Richard Plepler said in October that HBO is finally ready to take the money of the 10-million broadband-only homes that don’t subscribe to cable, but he didn’t mention a cost or time frame. Now, because of a memo explaining HBO’s decision move to an outside contractor for streaming service, we know to expect the cord cutting in April, though cost is still up in the air. If you remember those HBO Go streaming outages during Game of Thrones and True Detective episodes, or saw the Twitter meltdowns as they were happening, you get a pretty good idea of why.
For viewers however, the big news isn’t that HBO is likely contracting MLB Advanced, which provides streaming for the WWE Network, according to Fortune. It’s that there’s a date on the calendar when HBO Go will be free of its cable package. For entertainment junkies, this is the biggest news since earlier this year, when some of HBO’s original programing became available through Amazon’s streaming service.
Plepler said in October that the stand-alone HBO Go offering will appeal to viewers who aren’t interested in the full cable package, or even a TV connection at all. CBS All Access currently offers 6,500 episodes on demand as well as live TV for $6 a month. As viewership on mobile devices increases and Netflix and Amazon continue to produce popular programming, more legacy TV outlets feel the pressure to finally cut the cord.
View full post on ReadWrite
Android Studio improves on Eclipse, the previous Android software tool, in some significant ways—in part by offering simpler startup, a intelligent code editing and more options for “building” apps from the underlying code. The new environment is built on a popular Java tool, the IntelliJ IDEA (Community Edition) Java development environment, and offers both cosmetic and analytical improvements over its predecessor.
Google launched a preview version of Android Studio last year at its I/O summer conference. The software-making and testing tools were hailed as a leap forward for Android development at the time, so the the full, stable release ought to give app makers plenty to work with.
Features include a first-run setup wizard, sample importing and code templates, emulators and a “User Interface Design,” which lets developers preview Android Layouts in various screen sizes, languages and API versions (see our API explainer).
In the announcement, Android product manager Jamal Eason wrote:
Similar to the Chrome release channels, Android Studio will continue to receive updates on four different release channels: Stable, Beta, Dev, Canary. Canary builds are at the bleeding edge of development, while the stable release is fully tested. With this range of release channels you can choose how quickly you want to get the latest features for Android Studio.
If you used the developer preview, note that this release offers several bug fixes and improvements, among them version 1.0 of the Gradle plugin for app building. “The communication between Android Studio and the Gradle plugin is now stable,” added Eason, “and updating one will not require updating the other.”
For more details or to download Android Studio, visit the developer portal.
Lead photo by Ash Kyd
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We’ve all heard about Andy Warhol’s 15 minutes of fame, but what about 6 seconds? Vine, the ephemeral video app that allows users to upload 6-second videos, has become its own community with highly followed Vine “celebrities” and their loyal fans. But can these new social media stars such as these make their fame last longer than the length of their own fleeting videos?
Oftentimes fans will follow an account looking for one specific personality or theme that they can expect to enjoy. Tony Oswald’s novelty Vine account Tony Only Dances To “Pony” is not unlike this.
Oswald, a producer and editor at Moss Garden Productions, started this account in June of this year, which now has over 68,000 followers. Each 6-second clip shows Oswald dancing to R&B singer Ginuwine’s 1996 hit, Pony.
“I started the channel after dancing to ‘Pony’ at a wedding,” says Oswald, “‘Pony’ came on and someone Vined it. I revined it to my main account which I had before Tony Only Dances to ‘Pony’ and it was successful.”
“This encouraged me to make another Vine on my main account in which I was dancing to ‘Pony’. It also did well. It was after those two that I decided I should just make an entire account dedicated to the act. The rest is history. I did not however expect that account to become more popular than any other thing I’ve done on the Internet,” says Oswald.
In addition to Tony Only Dances To “Pony”, Oswald has three other Vine accounts; his personal Tony Oswald account, a feature length film made 6 seconds at a time on an account called “Tony Besides”, and a community page called LNPP. All of these accounts also hang around the 30,000-50,000 follower range.
Popular YouTube personalities will often create “side channels,” or accounts that are separate from their main channel. This organizes content into different categories. For example, a main YouTube channel might include scripted comedy while a side channel is strictly for outtakes. If a main channel already has a solid following, creating a side channel with more videos only guarantees more views. Separate Vine accounts like Oswald’s follow the same strategy.
Many famous Viners build social media careers from the same theory of finding one theme that works and then rolling with it. Ex-MADtv player Will Sasso is best known for his lemon vines, where in the middle of a mundane situation citrus fruits emerge from his mouth.
Viner Ryan McHenry became best known for a series of vines called “Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal”, where McHenry tries to feed cereal to a noncompliant image of Ryan Gosling.
Some Vine stars, like teen duo Jack and Jack, have been able to make genuine careers out of their humble social media beginnings. But much like the genre of the YouTube star, it is often those who are young, attractive, and male who make it big with the help of throngs of fangirls. Call it the boy band effect.
Oswald tells me that Vine popularity does come from relying on a certain routine, but creativity within that routine is a must.
“I think to get very popular on the app, like millions of followers, you definitely have to have a curated personality,” he says. “But if you only have ambition to hang out where I am in the tens of thousands, I think I am proof that you can basically do anything you want. If you are consistently creative, people will watch.”
And even with followers in the tens of thousands (to compare, highest followed viner Nash Grier has a 10 million plus following), Oswald is still able to do some pretty great things with his social media celebrity—not the least of which include dancing around the Vine offices and actually jamming with Ginuwine.
“After (I was) featured in Buzzfeed, people began to get in touch from the article being shared,” he says. One of those people was Bianca Flores who worked for Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, Tx.” says Oswald, “They orchestrated the meeting between Ginuwine and I. I’ve danced to “Pony” all over the world, literally. There are over 80 Vines on the account that go from L.A. to Paris, NYC to Spain. So meeting Ginuwine felt like the natural apex of this bizarre performance art piece that I had somehow cultivated. He was so kind and gracious. It was a bizarre, surreal and ultimately heart warming experience.”
Tony Only Dances To “Pony” shows that working creatively within Vine’s tiny, 6 second window can indeed create fame with a longer lifespan.
Oswald says that building a Vine career is all about knowing and understanding the platform. Give the people what they want, but also use the limiting nature of the app to push boundaries and get creative.
“People follow Tony Only Dances to ‘Pony’ because they want to see me dance to Pony. I’m not trying to hoodwink anyone. They get what they came for,” says Oswald, “As a creative person I do try to have new themes creep in every once in a while. I just try to push the creativity within the confines of limitation which in many ways is what Vine is all about. Loops, 6 seconds, square format. These are limitations that we have fun trying to work within.”
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On Tuesday, Twitter addressed criticisms of how it handles abusive behavior by announcing changes to its blocking and reporting tools.
Rolling out to all users over the coming weeks, the features were designed to make reporting and discouragement of online harassment easier for people. For Twitter, the updates seem carefully orchestrated to show that, no matter how it seems, the company really does care about protecting the folks who use its network.
Let’s see just how much it cares.
How To Report Abusive Tweeting
Threatening behavior violates Twitter’s terms of service. Yet the company had previously done little to restructure its poorly crafted abuse-reporting architecture.
For instance, Twitter has long barred anyone witnessing abusive behavior from reporting infractions, instead requiring that only the targets of abuse could flag incidents. From the old version of a page in the company’s Help Center (courtesy of Google Cache):
Who can report abusive behavior on Twitter?
In order to investigate reports of abusive behaviors, violent threats or a breach of privacy, we need to be in contact with the actual person affected or their authorized representative. We are unable to respond to requests from uninvolved parties […] If you are not an authorized representative but you are in contact with the individual, encourage the individual to file a report through our forms.
[emphasis added by ReadWrite]
The process of reporting abuse itself practically discouraged people from speaking up, as victims had to plod through clunky multi-question forms.
Now, Twitter has opened up its reporting tool so anyone can flag offending behavior. It also shortened the steps required and made it “mobile-friendly,” making it easier to file complaints from smartphones.
The approach certainly sounds much more convenient. Of course, if anyone can report bad behavior anywhere they see it—or claim to see it—there will undoubtedly be an uptick in random or spurious complaints. Twitter may need to ramp up resources to deal with that, as otherwise the reporting tool could itself become a harassment weapon aimed at unsuspecting users.
Elsewhere, Twitter also revamped its online settings to include a new “blocked accounts” area (available at Twitter.com). Here, you can see and edit your list of blocked users, as well as bar them from viewing your profile.
While not exactly robust, the changes do look like a decent start. It’s long overdue.
Abuse On Twitter Is No Laughing Matter
The network has become a home to online mob mentalities. Negative tweets quickly and easily escalate into streams of hate speech and threats within moments.
A year ago, journalist and feminist advocate Caroline Criado-Perez received a torrential spate of Twitter abuse for proposing that British currency feature a woman’s face. Criado-Perez estimated that she received one rape threat per minute. Twitter rolled out its initial reporting tools shortly after, but the British journalist called them inadequate for the large volume of threats she and others received. (She ultimately quit Twitter.)
Now Twitter’s reaction to another high-profile online harassment case has spawned the latest set of changes. In August, Zelda Williams suffered the wrath of Twitter following the death of her father, comedian Robin Williams. The flood of personal and vicious attacks essentially blamed her for the tragedy, forcing the younger Williams to take a hiatus from the network.
After that, Twitter said it would “evaluate its policies,” and today’s announcements deliver on that promise. But their timing once again makes the company seem like a reactive, reluctant protector of its users’ safety.
Twitter seems to know that, so it promises to make more proactive improvements and soon. In fact, the company acknowledges that its work to improve features—and perhaps its image—has only just begun.
“We are nowhere near being done making changes in this area,” the company stated in its blog post. Twitter says it will launch “new enforcement procedures for abusive accounts” at some point later. Del Harvey, Twitter’s vice president of trust and safety, said in a statement that “we’re also working to take advantage of more behavioral signals—including reports from bystanders—and using those signals to prioritize reports and speed up our review process.” The Verge reports that bulk blocking—that is, blocking of multiple accounts at once—could be on the menu too.
Dealing with online harassment can be tricky, particularly on a network that lets anyone create new or multiple accounts—even if their bad behavior gets a previous one shut down. In that sense, Twitter essentially has a never-ending game of whack-a-mole on its hands. But at the very least, the company finally seems ready to wield a proper mallet.
Lead photo by Anthony Quintano; all other images courtesy of Twitter
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Anti-Uber sentiment has swept the public in the wake of the infamous “dinner party” controversy, in which a company executive threatened to dig up dirt to smear a female tech journalist.
Public outrage has spurred numerous calls to action, trying to convince people to delete the app. There’s just one problem with that: Doing so only deletes the data on your phone. As with other online services, your account and history records remain ensconced on the company’s servers.
That suffices if all you want to do is discontinue your patronage. With no app on your phone, there’s no icon to tempt you when you next need a ride. But if you’re concerned about your privacy and want to fully delete your account, you’ve got more work to do.
Beware: It’s not exactly straightforward.
How To Really, Fully Delete Your Uber Account
You can’t remove your account using the mobile app (before you ditch it, that is). There’s also no online interface for it either: A search on Uber’s support page yielded no results. The only bits of information that come close are pages on deleting employees’ accounts for business users and updating a profile, neither of which cover account deletion for personal users.
A little more digging turned up a Reddit thread that outlines the steps to scrap your account. Judging by this, it’s not difficult, but it’s not obvious either: You have to go to the company’s support request page online, file a support ticket asking for a manual deletion and wait for a representative to get back to you.
WikiHow corroborates this process. According to the crowd-sourced help site, you want to choose a good reason for the removal. In some cases, depending on what your reasoning is, the response times can vary quite a bit. The site advises using the following form, for the best chance at a speedy resolution:
My name is <your name here>. My email is <your email here>. My phone number is <your number here>. I would like to have my Uber account deleted and my payment information disposed of at the earliest possible convenience. I was previously using a company credit card to pay for the service, but I’ve recently changed jobs.
Thank you for your time,
<Your Name Here>
Of course, since it’s a manual deletion, you can only trust that the rep and the company will do as requested. There may still be a chance that your transaction records and location history remain available to Uber and its almighty “God View” tool anyway. But if you’re anxious to extract yourself from the service, at least you know you’ve done everything possible.
Uber Doesn’t Want You To Go, But Makes It Tough To Stay
Of course, Uber doesn’t want you to leave. BuzzFeed, which has become the official town crier for bad Uber behavior after breaking the controversy, reports that the company’s community managers have their shields up in the face of a potential mass defection.
The site described the experience of one San Francisco–based customer who, after citing the company’s “disturbing” practices, tried to have his account deleted. What he got in response was staunchly defensive behavior from an Uber rep who tried to talk him out of it. Others have noted similar experiences, including Guardian columnist Jessica Valenti.
Looks like Uber’s taking a page from Comcast’s customer service handbook.
But as much as the company wants you to stick around, it doesn’t make it easy. The objectionable behavior apparently runs amuck from top to bottom. For instance: Headlines Wednesday morning told the tale of Alexandra Craigle, a cancer patient who was verbally abused by an Uber driver. The reason: She had the audacity to order, then immediately cancel her ride. According to Craigle’s tweets, the driver called her “an animal” and told her she deserved what she got.
At least there’s one Uber staffer who knows how to act appropriately.
But forget Uber kittens, PR damage-control playbooks or customer service manuals. If Uber wants to transform its image and retain customers, it should think about investing some of its vast funds into Munro Leaf’s “How To Behave And Why” instead.
Lead photo (cropped) by Jason Newport
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Pretty Geeky is an ongoing series that explores the role of style and design in wearable technology.
After months of ramping up, Intel’s partnership with design house Opening Ceremony officially made its bid for women’s wrists Monday, filling in a few more details of what its new MICA intelligent bracelet—on sale next month—has to offer.
Good looks are a given. The cool-hunting designers from Berkeley are known for mixing classics with some edge and theatricality. That’s a perfect match for a new device in an emerging category with plenty to prove—mainly, that people should want to wear it.
End result: Intel technology stuffed inside a high-fashion Opening Ceremony design. The hard plastic accessory features an inward-facing, curved sapphire glass display, along with a hinged closure and luxury touches, including semi-precious stones, 18-karat gold accents and Ayers snakeskin exterior (in black or white).
It’s a high-fashion item, and it comes with a high retail price to match: $495. But when you look into the details, that price may actually be cheaper than you think. In fact, it could be less expensive than your typical smartwatch—and more intelligent too.
The Functionality’s Looking Pretty Good
Generally, most wrist-worn devices work primarily as fitness trackers or notifications gadgets. A few others—like Samsung’s Gear S smartwatch, will.i.am’s upcoming Puls cuff and Omate’s TrueSmart watch—attempt to do it all, essentially slapping a shrunken smartphone on our wrists.
MICA (pronounced “meeka”) stands for “My Intelligent Communication Accessory,” so it’s no surprise that it sits firmly in the notifications category. It could have hopped on the step-tracking or heart-monitoring bandwagon too, considering Intel bought quantified-fitness company Basis earlier this year. But it doesn’t.
That’s a strength, not a weakness. While plenty of competitors try to stuff in as many features as possible, MICA has no such identity crisis. It knows exactly what it is and who it’s for: fashionable women who want to know when people contact them. And not just anyone.
The device offers VIP alerts, allowing some selectiveness over notifications. Intel’s MICA lets users create lists of filters, so they can prioritize certain contacts or categories of messages. MICA also respects Gmail’s “Important” contacts filtering, making it easy to delineate which contacts get to reach you on the bracelet.
Granted, message filtering may not seem like high technology, but don’t underestimate its importance. Priority notifications have been a fundamental gap in all the major wearables I’ve tested this year. My wrists have basically become numb to vibration alerts, thanks to an incessant stream of emails, texts, Facebook updates and other notifications, all of which come flooding to my arm. Granular control that narrows them down to just the most important alerts has been pretty much non-existent.
Think of it this way—if you’re putting your phone away, you’re probably engaged in an activity that only the most important messages should disturb.
The alerts may land on that inward-facing screen, or just subtly vibrate. Either way, they don’t rely on your smartphone as the source. MICA is a standalone device, with its own data connection, that functions independently.
Intel claims MICA can run for two days between charges. In reality, that’s not much. But that says more about the dismal state of battery life in all wearables, not just this bracelet in particular. Two days is actually on the longer side of the typical range for any connected wrist gadget with a display.
The Expense Is Just Skin Deep
The $495 price may be average, even cheap, for a luxury designer accessory. This is, after all, a water snake-skin bracelet with high-quality materials. The black version features pearls from China and lapis stones from Madagascar, while the white bracelet offers a tiger’s eye from South Africa and obsidian from Russia.
Even so, it’s still a gob-smacking sum for a market that tends to hyperventilate when prices rise above $250. Here’s what levels the price out: The bracelet comes with two free years of AT&T wireless service.
The details or data limits in the plan haven’t been disclosed, but at minimum, AT&T charges $15 for 250MB of monthly data. Over two years, that’s $360, which means MICA’s hardware actually costs about $135.
Thanks to that connectivity, MICA is not beholden to another device. It can freely pipe select texts, Gmail messages, calendar appointments and Facebook alerts. Built-in GPS also serves Yelp alerts for stores and restaurants in the vicinity, and lets TomTom push “Time to Go” prompts, which know where and when your next appointment is, can estimate travel time based on your location, and tell you when to leave.
And if you somehow lose the bracelet, you can locate it, access it remotely or lock it down from an online portal.
What you can’t do is pay for things—like the Apple Watch or Pebble. But mobile payments aren’t a proven, essential feature yet. Messages, notifications and remote geo-location are.
Likewise, you can’t snap a photo, write an email or track your steps. In terms of entering information, you can only send canned or pre-set customized responses to messages. But that’s a product of feature distillation, not a flaw. MICA doesn’t want to be all things to all people. It focuses on its primary function—to provide useful notifications, and to make sure you look good wearing it.
To start, MICA will launch at Opening Ceremony retail locations in New York and Los Angeles, select Barneys locations in New York, and online at OpeningCeremony.us and Barneys.com.
For more information, you can check out the company’s press release here. Or view Intel’s promo video below, starring Parks and Rec’s Rashida Jones.
Photo of white MICA on a wrist by ReadWrite. All others courtesy of Intel/Opening Ceremony
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Editor’s note: This was originally published by our partners at Kill Screen.
I watch a lot of horror movies. Or, I did, at least.
In the same way that at some point spicy food becomes the only type of food that certain people want to eat, or that a person continues to drink harder and harder alcohol until their liver fails, I hit a point midway through adolescence where I no longer understood the desire to sit down and watch a movie that wouldn’t, at minimum, feature someone being stabbed to death. The net goal was to make the people sitting in the room with me uncomfortable. I may have been doing all of this just to get more of the couch to myself.
And so it would make sense that I also love horror games, but the opposite is in fact true: I hate horror games, even though I play them quite regularly. The sardonic remove that makes viewing horror films so invigorating is stripped away and I am just stuck yelling at the TV screen for my character to move faster, goddammit, why does he turn like that, run! By design, these are stressful experiences.
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These competing emotions made beating Silent Hill 2 a powerfully non-fun experience for me, playing as the game so directly does to both of these opinions in direct succession. On one hand is a game of deep anti-player mechanism: a thudding stretch of exploration and muddy combat through a sprawling, ugly city, in which the player’s primary activity is to pick things up and put them places, often with little inherent logic.
I conquered this expanse with a walkthrough on hand, shouting directions to my roommate in an attempt to bee-line as quickly as possible between the various save points and scripted events. When one of us got exhausted, the other would take the controller. The amount of forethought and careful planning put into each portion probably resulted in a near-perfect run-through, but trust that I feel no pride over this accomplishment. I played the game as a coward would.
Silent Hill 2 Is A Cinematic Marvel
The reward, though, was getting to enjoy one of the three or four best narratives in the history of video games, and I mean that in the cinematic sense: these cutscenes are an audio-visual feast, in their murky way. Because that cathode-ray fog that defined the first Silent Hill is, in the sequel, all-encompassing.
Walls bleed into carpets, a big red-brown run, and the characters look soft, human, although still firmly on the other side of the uncanny valley. The morality is foggy; the unreality is foggy. In one of the most singular scenes in the game, the protagonist questions a man who won’t stop puking into a toilet.
We barely see either actor’s face; the camera just stays in the dark hallway behind them, slowly twisting at a spectral angle as the protagonist plies the stranger for info, and that stranger responds by vomiting ceaselessly into the toilet. This too is the fog.
Throughout this scene—and every other one in the game—the characters speak patiently, in soft, unpracticed tones. The dialogue comes at the alien clip (full of stops and starts, weird peaks and valleys) of so many Japanese-produced video games, but here it feels in service of the game’s tone, adding to the lost, dream-like feel.
The first chunk of the game is spent chasing some little kid around the city, and when you finally find her, giggling under a bed in a pitch-black abandoned hospital, she calmly intones, “What’s the big deal?” When the protagonist realizes she may not be from this world, his response is clipped, “But, last year, Mary was already …” the ellipsis effectively ending the sentence. Then, perking up: “This is no place for a kid! There are all sorts of strange things around here.” The duo jogs back out into hell, never so much scared as dazed.
That deeply standard-definition presentation, and the raw, amateurish performances, combine to create the feel of a medium playing to its weaknesses—and then transcending them.
Video game actors, even the hyper-real LA Noire or Kevin Spacey types, do not look like humans, as we know quite well, and their voice acting is categorically incompetent. But in Silent Hill 2 these limitations congeal into virtues, the stiltedness of the acting and blurriness of the textures becoming bedrock components of this particular vision of hell. It’s a case of the software matching its hardware, the way James Brown’s drums kick harder on the vinyl they were meant to be played from.
But that’s the interesting thing about the game’s aesthetic, singular as it is: it’s near-impossible to experience today, unless you own the PlayStation 2/Xbox original and a fat old TV to play it on. In what is perhaps the quintessential resolution-gate in video games, Konami remade Silent Hill 2 (and its lesser sequel) in HD, to the immediate outcry of its most ardent fans.
How Konami Got The Silent Hill Remake Wrong
This is the type of thing I normally sleep through quite soundly without ever acknowledging. But then, the type of people who would ardently appreciate a game about murdering a sick woman are strange birds to begin with, and in this case they were spot-on: Konami did alter the delicate blend of good and bad that defined the original. That fog that swept around and through every scene, indoors and out, was turned into a weird scrim of white stuff hanging behind the characters, who, now in crisp HD, look pulled from the Thunderbirds:
Most damningly, they re-recorded all of the dialogue with new voice actors. That haunted, diffuse quality is replaced with the same stuff that plagues all other video game cutscenes—specifically, Troy Baker. Eurogamer, for their part, covered the hell out of this controversy as it happened, all of which seems like gamer-caterwauling until you get your mitts dirty and listen to the actual changes. Ignore if you can the general tone of the video below; its juxtapositions make its case strongly enough:
All of which has put me in a bit of a bind. Over the years, I’ve become less indulgent of horror movies’ whims, which rarely challenge themselves or subvert expectations but blankly deliver, in the way one might expect a pornographic film to. And so I’ve doubled down on the horror I know I like—Lynch and Cronenberg and Argento, and, indeed, the cutscenes of Silent Hill 2, which remain inimitable.
Turning Silent Hill 2 Into Art On YouTube
As I’ve attempted to revisit them, though, I’ve found myself stymied. Everything is on the Internet, and the cutscenes are, but not as I remember them. There is this weird, ambitious attempt to stitch all the cutscenes together, along with gameplay footage, into a coherent movie. (This is a fairly common thing with these games.) There are the weird, bastardized HD versions, on which I must side with the angry fans. And then there’s this loveless compilation of them in glorious standard definition, compiled by a person named “y2jarmyofficial,” a frankly baffling name which is written over the screen in a hot-pink font I can only assume is called “sandals.”
And hey: that sucks. It sucks real bad that y2jarmyofficial went and did that, but over time I’ve come to appreciate it. In a way, it adds to the crappiness so central to the entire Silent Hill 2 experience. When James unloads a pistol from a distinctly Blue Velvet-esque closet at Pyramid Head the violence has the feel of a snuff film. As James confronts a lost soul in a burning stairwell at the game’s operatic climax, y2jarmyofficial stays plastered on the screen, almost mocking the mournfulness of the story. On the other hand, maybe a broken game—a game about brokenness—is unbreakable.
What none of this changes—not the HD remixes, not y2jarmyofficial’s bad font choices, not even Troy Baker—is Akira Yamaoka’s score, which remains unsullied. The Lynch comparisons with the game are easy, but the shoe fits, and Yamaoka’s long, maundering synthesizers are pretty direct evocations of Angelo Badalamenti’s soundtrack work for Lynch.
But Silent Hill 2’s triumph is that Yamaoka doesn’t stop at this evocation, but layers percussive intrigue over top: the almost random vibes of “World of Madness” sound more like Oneohtrix Point Never; “Ashes and Ghost” has more in common with the depravity of early Swans; and the sprightly, almost uptempo “Null Moon” recalls the influential Japanese hip-hop producer Nujabes.
Yamaoka’s soundscapes are what hold Silent Hill 2 together, despite all its wild iterations, and they’re what I’ve come back to over the years, even streaming behind hot-pink YouTube usernames. It’s not enough to say that I just like the soundtrack of the game, but that the soundtrack is emblematic of everything I like about Silent Hill 2.
Where so much modern horror delights in the mere delivery of gore, or in subtle, inside-baseball variations on that delivery, Silent Hill 2’s pleasures are much smaller; they’re knotty and internal and wholly of its own creation. We normally talk about the series as being psychological, in contrast to perhaps the viscerality of Resident Evil, but I think it’s more than merely psychological. Silent Hill 2 is character horror—it’s personal horror—and it’s all the more remarkable for the dank slop of audio-visual vomit through which it relays its ideas.
My point is that this is worth revisiting, in any old form you can stand it.
More From Kill Screen
- When You’re Gone, The Game About Breakup-Purgatory
- This Thread Devoted To Video Game Scan Lines Is A Reason To Wake Up In The Morning
- Mineblock Kickstarts Its Way To A Kid-Friendly Minecraft Experience
For more stories about videogames and culture, follow@killscreen on Twitter.
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Business 2 Community
Expanding SEO – It's Not Just About Websites
Business 2 Community
When the people looking for your products and services find your website near the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) your website is considered “optimized” for the terms that were searched. The trick is to find the words and phrases people …
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Mozilla has a new Firefox browser in the works that isn’t just for anyone. According to the company’s announcement Monday, this upcoming project will be “the first browser dedicated to developers.”
The new browser will integrate some of Mozilla’s most popular developer tools, WebIDE and the Firefox Tools Adapter. These tools are currently available for download to anyone on up-to-date versions of the Firefox browser, but the average user never touches them. This developer-specific browser will put them front and center.
“When building for the Web, developers tend to use a myriad of different tools which often don’t work well together,” the announcement on Mozilla’s blog reads. “This means you end up switching between different tools, platforms and browsers which can slow you down and make you less productive. So we decided to unleash our developer tools team on the entire browser to see how we could make your lives easier.”
Apart from a video that rehashes the words of the announcement, there isn’t a lot of information available yet on the new browser. However Mozilla promises that all will be revealed on its launch date, November 10.
Photo by Nayu Kim
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