A hard truth for the lovers of the traditional dramatic arts: wide spread appreciation for opera is long gone. Blame it on the medium being less accessible, or the fact that its profound melodramas, its weighty melodies are no match for today’s instant, multi-stimuli interactive media.
But what’s to say opera can’t be engaging and readily consumable, even in this day and age?
|Recommended by Rhys Dipshan||Monday, February 22nd, 2016||No Comments »|
It’s Horror Week on (The) Absolute! We’re reposting some of our spookiest, creepiest recommendations every day leading up to Halloween. Enjoy!
We’re big lovers of interactive fiction, and Dave Morris’ reimagined version of Frankenstein is a real treat for those who love discovering new, original approaches to storytelling. Created for iPad and iPhone, the novel puts you in direct contact with main character Dr. Victor Frankenstein as you’re asked questions that steer his actions. After each paragraph, you’re given prompts that allow you to choose where the novel will go. Although all choices lead to the same inevitable conclusion, the journey is what makes Frankenstein an interesting experience. You have the power to condemn the doctor or reassure him (through dialogue), and as you travel across the world looking for Frankenstein’s monster, maps and old school anatomical drawings from the 17th century give the novel a sense of place and mood. Although the prose can feel stilted and overwrought at times, in the realm of tablet fiction, this one is an absolute must. Head over to Inkus Studios to test drive it before you buy.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Tuesday, October 27th, 2015||No Comments »|
It’s officially October, which means the majority of my recs will be shamelessly biased toward horror. So you can imagine how happy I was when a web series geared as an “interactive murder mystery” waltzed across my Tumblr dashboard one day. Interactive web series are hit or miss, and I honestly can’t think of one that I thought was worth my time. But the best thing about Virtual Morality is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously, nor does it try to pat itself on the back for being oh-so clever or innovative. Instead, it takes its formula from slasher flicks: cheesy, bloody, fun.
Virtual Morality puts you in the POV of Abbie, a shy Catholic girl who’s attending her first house party. Throughout the show you’re given options on how you want Abbie to act. She can either hang out with the vapid, popular girls or snort coke with the attractive guy who looks like The Weeknd. The choice is yours…kind of.
Each episode has the same beginning, so whatever choices you make in the previous episode don’t carry into the next episode. But the series is designed with the intention that you, the player, will replay the episode several times to see as many endings/possibilities as possible, which is exactly what I did. So I guess your choices not affecting later episodes don’t matter.
What matters is the story, which focuses on a murder at a house party that gets published to Instagram. And if you’re thinking this series is a satirical jab at social media culture, you’d be correct. Hell, there’s even a guy getting stabbed with a selfie stick. Its message isn’t subtle.
If you’re looking for something fun and different to get you in the Halloween mood, check out episode one. There are three episodes in all and it should only take you about an hour to play. But most importantly: Don’t like, don’t share, don’t subscribe (or else).
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Friday, October 2nd, 2015||1 Comment »|
If you wanted to ask Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinska, who make up the Polish web design Hipopotam Studio, why they created Bubloe, the answer is not far from their homepage: “Because =)”.
Because why not create your own typeface? Why not load it with your own beat box sounds? And why not let users design their own monsters in endless amounts of ways, from mutant animal heads to showgirl legs, and make them fight? Bubloe never hides the fact that its existence is fun, and its fun is contagious.
Though as far as traditional game play goes, Bubloe may seem at first a dud. Think 1980s Street Fighter arcade games but with less functionality: you can punch and you can block, and other than that, it’s all timing.
|Recommended by Rhys Dipshan||Tuesday, September 8th, 2015||No Comments »|
Open landing at Bio Bak, one is immediately presented with a host of questions, and none more pressing than, “Just what the hell is this?” And after the initial shock: Why does the French-accented narrator with a megaphone for a mouth have such a long, pimpled tongue? Will the crabby, foul-mouthed metal detector ever wake up again? And don’t those kids know where jam really comes from?!
Such is the chimerical world of Dutch web designer Coen Grit, whose gritty, phantasmagoric creation defies the boundaries of art and websites. It is at times a game, a still life labyrinth of connected and seemingly random creatures and situations, and other times an interactive landscape that begs for exploration.
|Recommended by Rhys Dipshan||Monday, August 24th, 2015||No Comments »|
We stumble across lots of cool, interactive projects designed by coders/animators who are looking for new ways to blend art with the digital experience. VOID, a new project produced by Hi-REs, is another interactive experience to join the fray. The project takes you on an immersive experience through space as you fall through a glittery black void, hence the name. The experience is structured much like a book, with a prologue, chapters, and an epilogue. However, the narrative is nonlinear, telling the tale of various black mirrors and ice that can be clicked to reveal cool effects. But if you approach VOID expecting an actual storytelling experience, you’ll be disappointed. Instead, forget trying to figure out the point of VOID and instead focus on simply enjoying the experience, especially the interactivity. Each chapter has a different, cool effect to play with, making it fun for mindless tinkering. Sit back, and fall into it.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Thursday, July 2nd, 2015||No Comments »|
In 1975, after Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese army, millions of people fled the country. Nam Le’s short story “The Boat,” which appears in an anthology of the same name, is an emotional look at the experience of refugees who fled by boat to Australia. To mark the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, the short story was adapted into an interactive comic produced by SBS and illustrated by Matt Huynh.
Huynh is no stranger to the subject matter. His comic Ma is also about the experience of Vietnamese refugees, and his distinctive style works perfectly with Le’s story. With more than 300 illustrations created, including 59 with custom sound and animation, the interactive comic is an experience that echoes the tragic, claustrophobic ambiance of the original. There are also little side stories to explore via arrows that go more in-depth about the refugee experience. If you have 20 minutes to kill today (and let’s face it, you do), take a moment to explore every morsel of this well-crafted adaptation.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Wednesday, May 6th, 2015||No Comments »|