Monthly Archives: February 2008

Mini What?

They did the unthinkable.

They brought back the Fiat 500!

Call it late to the retro party, call it a Mini Cooper or New Beetle rip off, call it a Fiat– whatever. It just shows that you simply don’t know.

There is hope for this world yet.

On the passing of Polaroid…

As you may have heard, Polaroid film will cease to be produced in the near future. This is sad. Some have routinely pointed out that with the advent of digital cameras, there is no longer a need for instantaneous film, or film at all for that matter.

Yes, digital pictures are instantly accessible, and yes, digital prints are easy to create at home or at the pharmacy, but I believe there’s something to be said for the appeal (and marketability?) of a camera that produces not only an instantaneous copy, but a tangible one. How many images are being hidden in unwieldy iPhoto libraries and how many are lost forever on decaying hard drive spindles? It’s good to have a print: you can see them without a screen. Are there any digital cameras on the market that can claim this functionality, without a plug-in photo printer? (Asking genuinely, not meaning to goad you film-haters out there.) Perhaps we’ll see the Polaroid name put to use on such a product, someday.

Expect tears from me when Kodak pulls the plug on Super-8… although others are ready to carry the torch. Maybe we can hope for the same from Polaroid?

Play Passage

You owe it to yourself to play Passage.

Passage is an art game. Although I deplore the term, it is actually the most consistent term we have to describe this genre of game: there is no right or wrong way to play, no stated objective, and, ultimately, no way to win. The game lasts only 5 minutes and represents your character’s condensed lifetime.

The game is an interactive (another term I despise, ranking up there with “multimedia”) reflection on life, the tradeoffs between achievement and exploration, and death. Despite admitting its own purposelessness (the creator notes that even your score “looks pretty meaningless hovering there” in the end) the result of playing even one round is surprisingly powerful. But I won’t draw your conclusions for you…

So go ahead, try Passage. Even if you don’t like games, you have no excuse. It only will take 5 minutes, it runs on PCs and Macs, and takes up a svelte 5 MB. Read the creator’s statement before or afterwards: there are some interesting thoughts on the representation of death in video games as well as explanations of some of the game’s various metaphors.