EACH SPRING, BERLIN emerges from the frozen temperatures of Central-European winter with an incredible show of color: thousands of cherry trees blooming all across the city.
CLOCKING IN AT 536 pages, NES/Famicom: A Visual Compendium offers a wealth of retro goodness for die-hard gamers, nostalgia seekers, and pixel-art fans alike. In addition to its eye-popping visuals, the book includes features on major developers like Konami and Capcom, extensive box art, interviews with developers from both Japan and the west, and fan tributes both written and visual.
IN THE SUMMER of 2020, Yoyogi Stadium (also known as the Yoyogi National Gymnasium) will come full circle, playing host to the Olympics for the second time in half a century. Built for the 1964 Tokyo games, the stadium’s striking combination of viking-ship roof and brutalist concrete is the work of acclaimed architect Kenzo Tange, who also designed the Hiroshima Peace Memorial.
GAME ON IS A massive exhibition spanning the entire history of videogames, from Tennis for Two to home consoles, and from massive arcade cabinets to VR headsets. Originally curated by the Barbican Centre, the exhibition came to Tokyo’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) in Spring 2016.
I’VE BEEN WANTING to write about The Witness for several months now, but kept getting hung up on how to address the elephant in the room (or in this case, on the island): namely, how difficult the game is, both in the classic hard-to-solve sense and in how much it asks of players conceptually. There’s no question the game’s hundreds of puzzles are exceedingly difficult, and require an iron stoicism to complete without rage-Googling. But the second layer of difficulty runs deeper, and is more open to debate: assuming one plays the game “right”, i.e. avoids any and all online discussions of the game (and only requires assistance from one’s spouse or partner on—I don’t know, let’s say 10-20% of the puzzles), and somehow, through perseverance, luck, page after page of maniacal scribbling, and the aforementioned pre-internet Genuine Human Interaction factor, manages to complete the game—is it worth it?