Nonexistent clothes

What is virtual clothing and why is it becoming popular?

Reading time 4 minutes

Imagine that you browse online stores in search of new clothes, and your eye involuntarily clings to a magnificent jacket. After a moment of thought, you decide to purchase it. But instead of ordering this jacket and getting it in your hands, you send one of your photos, and after a while you get it back. The only difference is that now you are depicted in a new jacket.

виртуальная одежда
The collection of virtual clothing by “Carlings”

This concept of digital clothing may seem strange, but it was based on games and applications. The users spend real money on their virtual character’s clothes and hairstyle. Thus, the profit of the game “Covet Fashion”, which allows players to try on designer clothes and accessories using digital visualization, amounted to $ 53.4 million for 2018.

The first collection of virtual clothing, which was released in November 2018 by “Carlings”, instantly gained popularity. “In real life”, says Kiki Person, a manager of Scandinavian company, “such designer clothes cost thousands of pounds and are worn only once —to be posted on social networks.”

виртуальная одежда
The collection of virtual clothing by “Carlings”

Digital clothing has received many positive reviews and has become a trend not only in Scandinavia. So, the influencer Daria Simonova was one of the first in the world to try on virtual trousers and a jacket. The girl noted that the concept was interesting and in line with modern trends.

“Firstly, it is eco-friendly, and secondly, clothing these days is more of an art on social networks. Virtual clothing is very convenient, and its design potential is huge, because it is cheaper to create.”

 Since 2018, digital clothing has spread throughout the world. In May 2019, a virtual dress was sold at a charity auction for £ 7,500. “In ten years, everyone will be wearing digital clothes”, says Mr. Ma, a buyer of this dress. “It’s definitely very expensive, but it’s a bit of an investment”, he added.

виртуальная одежда
The collection of virtual clothing by “Carlings”

There are also companies producing digital clothing in Russia. The “Грань” brand presented a collection that was advertised by Alyona Pole, a virtual model: “I experiment a lot with digital materials, because I believe that new fashion should be environmentally friendly and should not destroy the environment.”

 

 

James Gunn returns to the director’s chair for «Guardians of the Galaxy 3»

The director gets rehired after being fired for his scandalous tweets

Reading time 4 minutes

According to the report from Deadline, the company decided to reemploy Gunn several months ago. Alan Horn, the Walt Disney Studios president, was meeting with James and Marvel representatives in order to discuss the project. Gunn publicly apologized for his controversial  statements in Twitter. Consequently, Horn let him to film the third part of «Guardians of the Galaxy».

Съемки фильма должны были начаться в начале 2019 года. Однако из-за увольнения Джеймса Ганна с поста режиссера проект заморозили
Shootings were to start in the beginning of 2019. However, when the director was fired, the project got frozen

It all started in July 2018. At that time James Gunn was accused of his offensive tweets that he had been publishing from 2008 to 2011. The director joked about AIDS, violence and pedophilia. Gunn wrote that he was laughing at sick people, because laugh is the greatest remedy. In addition, he said that he did not mind violence and cannibalism when someone is really hungry. Then, Disney announced that James’s views were contrary to the values of the studio. That is how tha company broke all ties with the director.

Подборка оскорбительных твитов Джеймса Ганна
Some of Gunn’s offensive tweets

But how did it occur that the last tweet of that kind he had written in 2011, and got caught only in 2018? It’s pretty simple: Gunn’s account was full of not only jokes, but also criticism. Through Twitter, he judged Ben Shapiro, an editor of a conservative political website Breitbart. It got noticed by The Daily Caller website, where its representatives did not like Gunn’s comments. They decided to dig deeper and read the director’s old tweets. There the dirt got revealed.

James Gunn accepted his suspension with understanding and admitted his mistakes. First of all, the director had deleted all tweets with offensive jokes. And then, he blocked his account, however, it got reactivated soon. Gunn confessed that he had been trying to maintain the image of provocator through his statements. He also declared that had changed since then.

«Guardians of the Galaxy» decided to support the director as well. Gunn’s fans signed the petition, which called for permission for the director to return to work on the film.

Открытое письмо
Signatures of the cast in the open letter in the director’s defence

It all ended where it had started: the director confirmed the news of his return in Twitter. He will film the third part of the blockbuster after the shooting of «Suicide Squad 2». It was impossible to find a replacement for him, despite all the attempts. The third part of «Guardians of the Galaxy» will be filmed by the same director who had shot the first two — James Gunn.

Джеймс Ганн с кастом «Стражей Галактики»
James Gunn with the cast of «Guardians of the Galaxy»

He foresaw his death

Football player "Cardiff City" Emiliano Sala wrote a farewell message from the aircraft

Reading time 4 minutes

The shocking news of the death of Emiliano Sal — Argentine footballer, Cardiff City striker — spread on January 22, when a private plane heading from Nantes to Cardiff disappeared from radars in the English Channel. It is noted that before the disappearance, the pilots requested an emergency landing. According to The Sun, experts in the field of aviation called the possible cause of the crash of an aircraft icing wings. Near the alleged crash site were found the wreckage of the aircraft.

Two days before the incident, Emiliano Sala signed a three-year contract with the Cardiff City team of Wales. He became the most expensive transfer in the history of the club and cost the leadership of 20 million euros. After the signing of the new agreement, the Argentine striker returned to France, where he played since 2010, to say goodbye to former teammates and friends before moving to Wales.

Before the flight, Sala sent several emotional messages to the group chat with his friends. “I am aboard a plane that looks as if it is falling apart now, I’m going to Cardiff. If in one and a half hours there will be no news from me, I don’t know if they will send someone to look for me, because they will not find it, but … you already know. Father! I am very scared,” the Clarin newspaper quotes the words of a striker. 

 

Сало с одноклубниками
Форвард приехал во Францию попрощаться со своими друзьями и одноклубниками

Famous football players, including Messi, Mbappa, Gundogan and others, together with the family of the missing person, are making their efforts to continue the search for a football player. But the chances are negligible. “I don’t think they are still alive,” the GFFN quoted the air search officer. 

Фанаты скорбят по футболисту
Футбольные фанаты возлагают цветы в память о своем кумире

On January 29, a match in the memory of Emiliano Sala between Cardiff City and London Arsenal took place as part of the 24th round. Before the meeting, the team captains laid flowers on the field. At the request of the football player’s family, the players of the Welsh team will not be mourning symbols: faith in the good does not leave the family to the last.

Nintendo Switch Online hides games

In the program’s code, dataminers found 22 unrealised games for SNES

Reading time 3 minutes

From the launching of a paid online service for Nintendo Switch, a lot of console’s fans complained about a shortage of games in a starting packet: Nintendo Switch Online still offers exclusively 8-bit NES games. However, the situation can change very soon.

Dataminor with a nickname Kapu announced his discovery in one of his Twitts. After an  investigation of the latest update of the NES app, he found 22 hidden games for another retro console – SNES. Presumably, these games will soon become a part of a new paid service for Nintendo and will be officially announced at the next video presentation of the company.

Список игр SNES, обнаруженных Kapu
A list of games that Kapu has found

Moreover, Kapu with a group of other dataminers found out that the app contains not one, but 4 emulators at once: Kacikachi, Canoe, Hiyoko and Count. At the moment, there is information about only two of them – Kacikachi and Canoe, which are used in NES Classic and SNES Classic consoles. The presence of several emulators in the program code also suggests possibility of library extension for Nintendo Switch Online, where other games from old versions of the console might appear as well.

Твит OatmealDome относительно найденных эмуляторов

Prior to this, in the interview for The Hollywood Reporter Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils-Aime, announced that the company will keep producing NES Classic and SNES Classic consoles, which at the moment are almost the only legal tools for company’s classic games. If the rumor about the appearance of new games in Nintendo paid service’s library gets confirmed, it is likely this service will become a new platform for classic projects of the big N.

 

A video game as a piece of art

Can games ever rise in aesthetic and intellectual levels?

Reading time 8 minutes

From the ancient times people strive for expressing themselves via art, inventing more and more tools for this. Literature, fine arts, statuary, architecture, music, photography, cinema – all of these are media created in a result of technological progress and a drive for sharing new ideas.

Video games is a form of creativity as well, however, they are not construed as a real art yet. Although, a couple of examples can make people doubt in this statement.

Journey

Speaking of aesthetic qualities and audiovisual sequence of video games, we should look a little closer at Journey by thatgamecompany.

"Захватывающее и медитативное приключение" - так часто описывают Journey
An exciting and meditative adventure is a common description for Journey

Journey tells us a story about a nameless figure in a vast desert, traveling towards a mountain in the distance where he expects to find something that he needs for some reason. The game lacks any kind of speech or dialogue what creates space for  personal interpretation of the story. The game never tells anything directly, but the surrounding world gradually reveals the veil of secrecy around the place and our main character. All of these creates a unique magic atmosphere of journey where adventures await at every turn.

At the same time a meditative and exciting game Journey has conquered the hearts of most people and earned the recognition of critics.

Cuphead

Another example of a video game as an audiovisual piece of art is Cuphead by Studio MDHR Corp.

Even a promo cover sends us to the 1930s

A visual style of Max Fleischer’s animation of the 1930s, hand-drawn characters and backgrounds, and an unpretentious story about a cupheaded boy attach the feeling of an interactive cartoon to this game.

Cuphead is a synthesis of old-school creative techniques and up-to-date technologies. The game has been fully appreciated by players as well as by critics.

Stanley Parable

Not all of the games can boast a vivid and memorable visual image like previous ones. But the main distinctive feature of Stanley Parable game is its story, or, to be more precise, the absence of it.  

На мониторе больше нет указаний, и Стенли отправляется в путь
The main screen of Stanley Parable

This game can be colloquially called a walking simulator. At first sight, the game is pretty obvious: nothing interesting is happening and the character can only wander around and interact with a short amount of objects. Nevertheless, this kind of games can be very surprising when it comes to a unique way of storytelling.

Stanley Parable’s main character is clearly Stanley, an ordinary office worker who does not have anything to do but pushing the buttons on his monitor. However, one day all his colleagues disappear and the flox of commands on his screen stops.

During the course of the game, speechless Stanley is being guided by a storyteller who voices over all character’s moves and gives him hints of what to do next. The player can either listen to the invisible narrator or disobey his suggestions, on which the guide will immediately react. The game encourages the players initiative to make their own decisions, giving them a control over situations and total freedom. To be completely honest, the reality is that every single step is already planned by creators of the game, but it only means the games plays chicken with people pretty well.

This is the Adventure Line at the beginning of the game. Although, you don’t have to follow it

Stanley Parable is hardly a first experiment with an interactive form of narrative, but it is one of the most successful and highly rated ones in this peculiar genre.

Papers, Please

Even the most seemingly boring professions turn inside out in video games. For instance, the Papers, Please game tells the story of a typical border crossing immigration officer.

Even by looking at logo of the game, we can find a lot of common features

The main character is an immigration officer in the fictional dystopian country of Arstotzka. His motivation is pretty simple: the more people he checks the higher his salary is. Every day the government introduces new rules and changes the list of necessary documents for which you have to closely monitor. If you make too many mistakes during checking you will get a fine.

Very soon there is going to be too many documents that it will be impossible not to miss something

Looking through the documents, the player gradually finds out more and more about Arstotzka and the surrounding world. Although, the work at border crossing post is not that easy as it might seem at first. One character forgets his or her documents at home, or has an important operation, but does not have a necessary pass, another might have all required documents, but he is a suspect in following people he wants to kill. These and many other moral dilemmas give Papers, Please a new depth.   

What can be more lame that checking documents the whole day? But this dark, Kafkaian game immerses players into the story and does not let go until the very end.

There should be mentioned much more fascinating projects which go beyond these usual “shooters” and  “puzzles”.  But, as with any work of art, you better play these games once instead of hearing about them a hundred times.