Sniper Elite V2's hyper-realistic, surgically accurate KillCam feature takes you inside your victim's body to see precisely how your bullet will end his life. Will gamers embrace the gore, or is the KillCam a step over the line?
The creators of Sniper Elite V2, a third-person World War II shooter released this week, know that the success of a modern video game comes down to the details. They worked closely with historians to nail the feel of 1945 Berlin, all the way down to the pattern of the wallpaper inside a typical German home. The typeface on the Nazi propaganda littering the crumbling virtual urban streets is Antiqua, the preferred font of the Reich.
But the primary subject of research for the team was more, shall we say, internal: what happens when a sniper's bullet enters a human body? They consulted medical experts, ex-military snipers, photography of real-life gunshot victims and x-rays of bone fractures, gathering a mountain of data and funneling it through the incredibly powerful software and hardware used to create today's videogames. The final result: a realistic simulation, rendered on the fly, that they call the "KillCam," in which the camera follows a bullet as it leaves the sniper's gun, flies through the air, hits its mark, and invades the body--with all the bone-crushing, organ-bursting, blood-spewing destruction that entails.
If you buy a cheapie laptop, you're going to get onboard graphics--historically underpowered, since they exist on the same die as the CPU, and thus historically crappy. To play serious games, or do any real video editing, you'd need to upgrade to a discrete graphics card.
The Louvre Museum in Paris overhauled their digital tour guide system last week, replacing it with, surprisingly, a stock of Nintendo 3DS consoles. Now you can browse the Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa in...3-D! Or in real life, I guess, since you're already in the museum. (The resolution's better in real life.)
The creators of this video and project describe it as a "game," which it isn't, really, but it is really, really cool: you make a sort of extra-firm Jello-like product by mixing water, agar agar, and some food coloring (optional, but why wouldn't you want your final product to be blue or pink?) in a mold. After it firms up, you put it on the "game board," actually a capacitive sensor with an embedded Arduino microprocessor, which detects different kinds of touch on the Jello mold and converts it into theremin-like noises. Fun (and a little appetizing)! Video below.
This is extremely impressive. It can multiply, divide, trigonometrize, figure roots, graph quadratic functions, and everything else you always need to do when you're playing a video game. All the calculations are done by blocks.
How quickly can an organically grown network of manhunters find five fugitives in five different countries? Later this month, the U.S. State Department aims to find out. The Tag Challenge will pay $5,000 to the people who find all of them first.
Okay, so: The obvious question here, in 2012, is "Is there any reason to buy a dedicated portable gaming system when I already have a smartphone?" And I will say yes. I'm not a hardcore gamer, and I found the Vita to be not just the most powerful handheld console ever made, but also an awful lot of fun.
By Amber WilliamsPosted 02.16.2012 at 10:04 am 5 Comments
The National Toy Hall of Fame awarded “oldest toy” to the stick. Edward Bleiberg, a curator of Egyptian art at the Brooklyn Museum, says that Neolithic balls made from mud are probably out there, but in any case it would be difficult to determine if they were playthings.
As one commenter for last year's annual Toy Fair wrap-up pointed out, there was once a time when Lincoln Logs were considered a cutting-edge toy. It was never so clear as it is now, though, that the heyday of the analog toy has long-since passed. 2012 shall be the year of the app-enabled toy.
What would the creators of some of the most beloved and widespread American toys make, if given a completely blank slate? We asked the driving forces behind toys like K'Nex, LEGO, Tickle Me Elmo, and Nerf to really explore their craziest impulses--and man, did they come up with some craziness.