RIOT. Managing a protest in a pixelised reality

The global riots are spreading everywhere since winter 2010. From Tunisie to Egypt, from Wall Street to Syria, everyone is revolting against a capitalistic and corrupted system0. Thanks to the italians (national proud) Leonard Menchiari, ex Valve editor & cinematographer and Mattia Traverso, a talentuos game designer, we can participate and manage a virtual protest. And in doing so, we are not phisically exposed to the violence of the police and the army (but after this tutorial we could organise one in our city). Splendid!

RIOT has been elaborated as a protest simulator in which the player can pick a side: the rioters finghting aginst a world of injustice or the cops following the orders of the corporations and annichilating the violent crowd. But the story is judging no one. the aim of the game is creating a “playable documentary” (quoting Menchiari in his interview at the Verge)explaining how the different sides are acting and understanding their organisation and logistics.

What would be interesting to see in this game will be the amount of reality that the designers are putting in the game. Since “part of the money raised through crowdfunding will go towards travel expenses, so that the team can document and experience live riots going on in Italy, Greece, Egypt“, I expect that they will reproduce (or be strongly influenced from) a factual reality in order to make the players feel the vibe of a real protest and not just assist without power to a video on Youtube.

An inseparable characteristic of the game is the beautiful Pixel Art with which the game is being presented. It is the trademark of the new wave of Indie games (Like Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery: just to mention a superb example).

The Game has been remarked since its first days on IndieGoGo, on which it easily reached the modest goal and greenlighed by the Steam community.  The developers are preparing a multiplatform publication. as written on IndiGogofrom the IndieGoGo campaign and will be released on PC, Mac, iOS, Android and OUYA.

The game isn’t ready yet and the developers haven’t announced any release date (luckily, for the end of the year) but, personally, I am excited to try this game out fighting brutally for your rights or trying to calm the violent crowd down for the sake of the nation(or the interests of the corporations).


Tehnika Molodezhi. Russian futuristic enthusiasm during the Cold War.

I was thinking of Russia as cold, rational or, at least, less fancy concerning the space conquer and the imagination of the future. But that is not the case. Some days ago, Tehnika Modolezhi, a Russian technological magazine for teeenagers, published the covers of the magazine from 1952 to 1975. What comes out is that we don’t see any red star, any sickle nor hammer but colorful spacecraft or white collars going to work with their last floating car.

Also in Russia, as Philip K. Dick wrote, they were “Dreming of electric sheeps”. Thanks to this publishing we can notice that Russian dreams about the future during the cold war was exactly the same as the American one. It was characterized by a positive feeling of discovery and innovation thanks to the launch in orbit of the dog Laika and, four years later the first successfull orbital lap by Yuri Gagarin.

The feelings of optimism which permeates from these drawings made me rediscover Communist Russia.

Ah. there is als the Death Star!

Pac-Mac & Super Mario meet Portal.

Developers sometimes have nothing to do. That’s a fact. But, since are developers, they always find something to do. This equation brings to the creation of two games which integrate the videogame Portal to the two most famous games of history: Super Mario Bros and Pac-Man.

The first one, called Mari0 is available to free download here and it enpowers Mario with a Portal gun adding puzzle game mechanisms. As you’ll see in the video presentation, this fusion remains fluid and gets a new fun dimension. The game allows to play in 4 (every player had his own portal gun) and, thanks to a map editor, you can modify some features (dowloading a map pack) enhancing the game experience.

Pac-Man: The Portal has been created by Russians developers and the introduction of a Portal Gun radically modifies the game. In a certain way it makes it easier allowing you to easily escape to phantoms. Everytime you shoot a portal, it shows you where you will appear in the map and the orientation of this one changes depending on where you shoot it. The longevity of this gameplay is really short (compared to the Super Mario Bros version) but it’s still worthed to give a try. It can be downloaded here.

Level 10 M. The future of gaming mouses?


Comparing this game mouse to a basic gray mouse is like comparing a high-preformance car to a family van“. This is what the makers of the Level 10 M, gaming mouse created in partnership bewteen Thermaltake and BMW, said.

The materials are first-class since the same alloy is used by aeronautics. The design is really innovative (the top part is peirced allowing a good ventilation for the hand). The internal software cand read the DPi rates and adjust them automatically to the program or game you are using. Finally, alike the majority of the top quality gaming mouses, the top part is adjustable in lenght and inclination.

I personally think that it cannot be considered an evolution but the DPi reader is surely an interesting innovation that will be used in every next generation gaming mouses. At the moment, still fascinated by the classics, I prefer my old but beautiful R.A.T. 9.

As the BMW Press release explains, the mouse will be available in all the retail stores and online shops of Europe and US for the price of 99$.

Instacube. An unnecessary gift for Instagram maniacs

Since the first time I noticed Instacube on Kickstarter, I immediately remarked how useless it is. But, unlike many other Instagram viewers, it has many integrated options that are a delicacy for Instagram maniacs.

After connecting it to your wireless and your Instagram account, it shows you the feed that you want (your photos, the ones of your friends or the most popular ones). What’s more you can witch between the feeds and like the pictures with a heart-shaped button on the top.

Instacube is runned by Android and i’ts perfectly portable (recharged by a lithium battery).

The device is planned for Q2 2013 and it has already reached the $250.000 pledged (there are still 24 days to go and $326.000 gathered) so why not thinking about it next year as birthday present of one of your Instagram maniac friends (everyone has at least one)?


Sand Iron (Plastic) Man

Oh Noooooo, I am at the end of my summer holidays and only yesterday I discovered this marvel: The Handtrux Shovels. These plastic gloves allow you to become the king of the beach stupefying everyone with plastic “cybernetic” implants to your limbs appearing almost like a Cyberpunk character.


With these everyone could create work arts like Gunilla Kingberg appearing a bit like Tetsuo. The perfect tool for becoming a Sand King.