Remember when all your phone was used for was actually ringing people and maybe the odd game of pixel shaped snake eating while waiting for someone to hurry up?
I bet you didn’t think that way back then that you would be buying every app from the store and doing a hundred things at once. (That you didn’t need to do)
But was it worth it? Did you really need to be constantly attached to the ‘Social’ Networks.
Remember when modern technology just did what it was supposed to? Like the Xbox dashboard for example.
For this story to make any sense we have to go back a while. Back to the last major Dashboard update that was on Xbox 360. It may seem like it was just another way to make the Xbox look more professional but in reality it marked a new era that was to be ushered into the seventh generation.
It was the time when the Xbox went from being a gaming console to become a ‘Family gaming system’. It seemed during the build up to the new update there was a sudden heavy focus on the Xbox becoming more user friendly, especially with the release of the Kinect.
The Kinect seemed to offer something brand new that would open up the hands-free experience that no other console had really grasped. We were shown everything from sports games to A.I simulation during the build up to its release in 2010.
But the reality was that these were not aimed at gamers, it was aimed toward families and as a result the Xbox gaming community began to have to suffer mediocre releases. The first dashboard update in 2010 didn’t infuriate the community as much as the next but on November 1st 2011, everything changed.
T he new dashboard also began to bring grief for Microsoft as it moved toward the new ‘Metro’ interface that was used by many other Microsoft products. This is where I hope to make my stand. Now, although there have since been other updates since 2011, none have been as distinctive or as disputable as the 2011 ‘Metro look’.
It drew a clear line in the sand creating and arguments amongst gamers and Xbox users alike. The main complaint was that the dashboard was never designed with gaming in mind and for a gaming console it seemed like a misguided move.
A common complaint was that the gaming tab on the new dashboard was four along from the home tab. Surely, thought every gamer ever, it should be second to the home tab on a ‘gaming’ console. Now the dash itself is a smooth and tactile experience but there seems to be little emphasis on gaming and more so on ‘apps’.
The ‘App’ culture has become a common thing; you can get apps on your phone, your tablet, your laptop and all major new consoles. I have no personal problem with it but I do see the argument against it on consoles.
It’s hard to disagree with a lot of the apps that are available on the Xbox because use of them has become so common. Such apps as the Sky Player and Youtube are amongst the top reasons the Xbox is now used.
I accept that people don’t want to or need to play games all of the time, that the Xbox is now a multi-media system that has become user friendly. My problem doesn’t lie with the fact that Microsoft is adapting to every bodies new needs, in fact I applaud their effort.
I would applaud it more though if they were getting people to use their console for gaming rather than an entertainment system. It would be nice to see the same sort of support given to the entertainment aspect of the Xbox being given back to the gaming culture on the Xbox.
Moaning about the Xbox dashboard system may seem like a null point to make as it’s something that surely won’t change due to a few opinions. The fact of the matter is that the Xbox 360 is a bigger thing now then it’s ever being.
It’s more than just a gaming console; it’s become a whole new entertainment system that anybody can adapt too. With the Kinect, new doors were opened but I feel like rather than taking the new opportunities that they played it too safe with family based games.
Instead of investing in things such as Project Milo, an innovative A.I response, they opted for the generic ‘Wii-type’ games such as ‘Kinect Sports’ which mimicked what the Wii had already done and maybe even slightly better.
It felt like a total loss of opportunity and with the new generation dawning I can’t help but think that most of their focus lies on new work rather than ensuring their old system gets better use.
After all you do have to praise Xbox for their efforts and for putting their foot firmly on the ground of everything new and impressive. They created a system that could be used in a lot of different ways, from ‘hardcore’ gaming to light entertainment and without isolating any age group or demographic.
I mean after all the moaning is said and done, it’s only moving across four tabs to reach gaming right?
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For years now directors and screenwriters have being trying to create the perfect Neo-noir film and on very rare occasions they will create something beautiful. This is one of those extremely rare occasions and could easily be the holotype for all other neo-noirs to adhere to.
Brick (2005) wasn’t some big studio project nor was it funded with millions of dollars. It was a budget independent film written and directed by Rian Johnson. In fact, this was his first attempt at writing and directing a feature film and after watching Brick, it’s almost unbelievable.
The film revolves Brendan Frye (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a student who finds the body of his ex-girlfriend Emily Kostich (Emilie de Ravin). Soon enough Brendan falls into the seedy hidden world behind senior American high school students. It’s full of liars, cheats and more femme fatales than you could shake a stick at. The film seems to stick to the rules of classic Film Noirs without it seeming cliché at all, it does this through clever character build ups by giving you only an inch of the character in plain sight. The rest of it is up for you to work out.
Another notable significant joy of this film is the way it is written. The language flows more beautifully than a Raymond Chandler novel while still sticking to a modern theme. With a clever use of quick sentences and metaphors, the film almost feels like extended poetry rather than a crime story at heart. The techniques are a joy to the eye also and instead of spending thousands of dollars on expensive special effects, he instead creates the right shots using a mixture of clever camera techniques and fades. The entire look of the film leaves you feeling eerie and on edge at all times with it’s clever use of colour and long steady shots.
What I find more impressive is Rian Johnson’s way in which he treated the entire film as a whole. The advice he gave to all of the actors was to stay away from Film Noir all together and instead read more hard boiled literature and watch certain Wilder comedy movies. He wanted to stay clear of good actors acting badly, playing up to the roles they’re meant to fit. This seems to give the feel a more genuine feel as none of the actors seem to play up to the stereotype but fit them perfectly.
Nobody would have thought that perfect neo-noir could be set in an American high school but Rian Johnson saw something that very few directors or writers do. He saw the underlining of how a high school works and adapted the film noir ethic to it, it’s almost genius in the way he does. After watching the film, it suddenly shocks you of how well it all truly works and how all the characters fit beautifully into place.
Brick is another example of way independent cinema seems to be on the rise for quality while the mainstream is still playing up to it’s stereotypes. With films like Brick, it gives hope that credibility will be restored to cinema as a whole.
By Adam Kozlowski
~*GIVEAWAY: F#$! YEAH THE LAST OF US’ TLOU RELEASE CELEBRATION GIVEAWAY!*~
With the release of The Last of Us finally here (and man has it been an exciting 2 weeks), it’s time for a giveaway! As I mentioned earlier this week, the lovely babes over at Naughty Dog had sent me some signed goodies and things to giveaway and now is your chance to score some awesome The Last of Us literature! Read below to find out how:
- Following is not a requirement (but if you love TLOU, then why not? :D)
- You must reblog this post (once; twice if you feel like it but PLEASE NOTE that it does not count as two entries)
- Multiple reblogs do not count as multiple entries
- Likes do not count
- *Since I anticipate this giveaway to receive quite a bit of attention, I am going to run this giveaway only for the weekend. This will make it easier for me when going through the notes and cleaning up the list (depending on the number of notes of course :D)
- Giveaway ends Sunday June 30th, 2013 at 11:59pm
- There will be 7 winners, omg!
- Winners will be picked using a random number generator
- Signatures include Evan Wells, Christophe Balestra, Neil Druckmann, and Bruce Straley
- Giveaway is not limited to location
- Tumblr is not affiliated/responsible for giveaway, etcetc.
*Prizes (In order in photos):
- 1rst Pick - 1 signed Limited Edition The Last of Us Strategy Guide (w/ stickers)
- 2nd Pick - 1 signed The Art of The Last of Us Art Book (w/ stickers)
- 3rd Pick - 1 signed (non-limited) The Last of Us Strategy Guide (w/ stickers)
- 4th Pick - 1 copy of The Last of Us American Dreams Issue #1 *cover w/ Riley* (w/ stickers)
- 5th Pick - 1 copy of The Last of Us American Dreams Issue #1 (w/ stickers)
- 6th Pick - 1 copy of The Last of Us American Dreams Issue #1 (w/ stickers)
- 7th Pick - 1 copy of The Last of Us American Dreams Issue #1 (w/ stickers)
I just want to thank you all for the support you’ve given the blog! Since The Last of Us released, the TLOU community on Tumblr has grown and my following has become even more amazing. You all rule and I appreciate the love and support you constantly send my way <333
If you have any questions, feel free to send me an ask! Thanks for everything and good luck everyone!
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