A month after its release, Naughty Dog
's sweeping interactive epic The Last of Us
is being hailed as one of the best games of all time
, with perfect scores even from notoriously demanding critics
Inspired by an eerily beautiful segment from the BBC's Planet Earth
, the game portrays an America twenty years after a pandemic of the zombiefying Cordyceps
), leaving behind lush wastelands
of elegant decay
teeming with monsters
and beset by vicious bandits, a brutal military, and the revolutionary Fireflies.
Into this bleak vision of desperate violence
journey Joel, a gruffly stoic Texan with a painful past, and his ward Ellie, a precocious teenager who may hold the key to mankind's future.
Boasting tense, immersive gameplay
, compelling performances
from a diverse cast, a movingly minimalist score
from Oscar-winning Gustavo Santaolalla
, and an array of influences from Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men
to Cormac McCarthy's The Road
, it's already being slotted alongside BioShock Infinite
and Half-Life 2
as one of modern gaming's crowning achievements
. And while it's hard to disentangle plot from action, you don't have to buy a PS3 to experience it -- YouTube offers many filmic edits of the game, including this three-hour version of all relevant passages
And don't miss the 84-minute documentary
exploring every facet of its production. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jul 14, 2013 -
It's debatable whether the troubled World War Z
signals the end of the ongoing zombie craze, but the film that started it all is much more clear: Danny Boyle's
bleak, artful cult horror-drama 28 Days Later
, which saw its US premiere ten years ago this weekend.
From its iconic opening shots of an eerily abandoned London
(set to Godspeed You! Black Emperor's
brooding post-rock epic "East Hastings"
) to the frenzied chaos of its climax
, Boyle's film -- a dark yet humanist tale
of a world eviscerated by a frighteningly contagious epidemic of murderous rage -- reinvented and reinvigorated the genre that Romero built (though many insist its rabid, sprinting berserkers don't really count
And while sequel 28 Weeks Later
with its heavyhanded Iraq War allusions
failed to live up to the original (despite boasting one of the most viscerally terrifying opening sequences
in modern horror), and 28 Months
looks increasingly unlikely
, there remains a small universe of side content from the film, including music, short films, comics, and inspired-by games. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jun 28, 2013 -
In 2003, the BBC reported that a population explosion of Great Gerbils
had destroyed more than 4 million hectares of grasslands in China's north-western Xinjiang region
-- an area about the size of Switzerland. By 2005 the damage covered 5
million hectares, and the Xinjuang Regional Headquarters for Controlling Locusts and Rodents were reported to be breeding and attracting pairs of golden eagles to curb the gerbil population. So McSweeney's Joshuah Bearman was assigned to the story. His report: An Investigation Into Xinjiang's Growing Swarm of Great Gerbils, Which May or May Not be Locked in a Death-Struggle With the Golden Eagle, With Important Parallels and/or Implications Regarding Koala Bears, The Pied Piper, Spongmonkeys, Cane Toads, Black Death, [and] Text-Messaging.
posted by zarq
on Sep 18, 2012 -
. Feeding off a earlier column
in the WSJ by Daniel Akst, who wrote, "no fabric has ever been so insidiously effective at undermining national discipline," conservative columnist George Will takes up the (denim-free) banner in the crusade to rid America of "the plague of that ubiquitous fabric, which is symptomatic of deep disorders in the national psyche."
posted by Liver
on Apr 16, 2009 -
"Virtual Virus Sheds Light on Real-Life Behavior."
A researcher at Tufts University's Center for the Modelling of Infectious Diseases, Dr. Nina Fefferman,
is studying the behavior of World Of Warcraft players during the recent plague that broke out in Ironforge (discussed on Metafilter here
But Dr. Fefferman is not the first academic to study MMORPGs seriously. Edward Castronova
, an economist, arguably pioneered the field with his 2001 paper Virtual Worlds
, in which he argues that the economy in Everquest produced a GNP per capita somewhere between that of Russia and Bulgaria. (He has followed up that paper with many more
on similar subjects.)
posted by dersins
on Oct 5, 2005 -
Thomas Campbell Butler
at 63 years of age, is completing the 1st year of a
2-year sentence in federal prison, following an investigation and trial that was initiated after he voluntarily reported that he believed vials containing _Yersinia pestis_ were missing from his laboratory at Texas Tech
posted by warbaby
on Jun 1, 2005 -
Bubonic plague strikes again...
It seems that bubonic plague
has never actually gone away with reports of occurences in Madagascar, Bolivia
and now it seems, from New Mexico. Given that the disease has been diagnosed and treated outside of the host cities in the cases of the Bolivian woman and the couple in New York, I think this highlights how diseases we tend to classify as third world health problems, are merely a plane ride away from causing an outbreak here.
posted by gloege
on Nov 7, 2002 -
Dot-Com Deaths = Black Plague?
Toronto Star Internet columnist K.K. Campbell takes a look at the startling simularities of the dot-com deaths and the black plague.
"The Dot-Com Death resulted primarily from a little parasite (Internet hypesters, Bombasticus bullroaricus) carried on the body of another parasite (Wall Street IPO underwriters, Securitus scammus maximus) on corporate stocks moving along business capital routes."
posted by bkdelong
on Mar 30, 2001 -
Synthetic virus nearing reality
Scientists will have the technology to create a wholly artificial virus within the next five years, a major conference in the US has been told. This is the quote I like best... Prof Hutchinson added: "Am I worried about a synthesised virus? No, you only worry about it if someone does it out of malicious motives."
posted by zeoslap
on Feb 22, 2001 -