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This is a glimpse of what virtual reality could do for DJing

Virtual reality is suddenly a high-profile topic everywhere, from Facebook to gaming. And while such ideas have been around as long as computer graphics, consumer tech is finally catching up with the vision. Here’s the thing: now as we move from sci-fi to reality, it’s not totally clear what this tech is for. Sure, it’s fun for immersive games, but beyond that? One way to find out: try it yourself. Benjamin S. Hopkins writes us having done just that. This is definitely a hack – a proof of concept experiment to see what might be possible. But what’s clever about …

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The Terror of Watermelons and Your Niece Screaming: Interactive Sonic Fear in Dead Space 3

Wilhelm wasn’t going to cut it for A-list game release Dead Space 3. Meet the young Amelia, instead, screaming. And behold the sheer horror that only a squishy watermelon can produce. I always knew fruit and toddlers were up to no good. Kill Screen, the indie game mag, collaborates with The Creators’ Project to go behind the scenes at developer Visceral Games to talk about the audio design and interactive sound system in Dead Space. Producer and editor Jamin Warren tells CDM it was his favorite of the series yet. In addition to examining sound design and field recording, the …

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Journey Game Out Today; Designing Feeling, Timeless Design

“Can a game move me?” That’s the deceptively-simple quandary posed by producer Robin Hunicke of thatgamecompany on the eve of the release of their new PS3 title, Journey. But it’s a serious question, one that lies at the heart of all we do in creating digital music and motion. I often have conversations with other makers about whether the ephemeral aesthetic objects of our creative output are meaningful. To put it more bluntly: are we actually doing something productive with our lives? (Oh, admit it. The question must have occurred to you now and then.) But this idea of transforming …

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Touch, Plus Tactile: In Gaming as in Research, Physical Controls Augment Touchscreens

The gaming industry has made their bet, and it’s that touchscreens go better with tactile controls. Might digital musicians reach the same conclusion? A funny thing has happened on the way to the touch era. The vision of a device like the iPad is minimalist to the extreme: an uninterrupted, impossibly-slim metal slate, as impenetrable as some sort of found alien scifi object. The notion is that by reducing physical controls, the software itself comes to the fore. It’s beautiful conceptually … and then you find yourself tapping and stroking a piece of undifferentiated glass. For navigating interfaces – and …

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Platforming as Musical Interface: Jonathan Mak Shows Sound Shapes for New PlayStation Vita

Load up an Ableton set or mix samples, and you’re already in the domain of interactive music. With joysticks and arcade buttons and other controls, the blending of game and musical interface into generative compositional fusion is even clearer. It’s little wonder many electronic musicians take an interest in the nexus of gaming and music. Any discussion of interactive music scores for games would be incomplete without Jonathan Mak. His self-produced title Everyday Shooter used classic top-down space combat as a musical experience: not only do sound effects in the game act as musical elements, but even the flow of …

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Game Meets Album: Behind the Music and Design of the iPad Indie Blockbuster Swords & Sworcery

Jim Guthrie was a rockstar long before the iPad was. Paired with pixel-intense artist Craig D. Adams (aka Superbrothers) and the co-design and coding effort of a crack team of video game “wizards” at the indie studio capy, he’s made a soundtrack that’s destined to be a gaming classic. But if you don’t want to play it, you can still listen to it. And if you’re playing it, you may find that it feels as though you’re listening to it, and gazing into its artwork. From the moment you tap to launch it, Swords & Sworcery plunges you into a …

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PS3 Eye Camera Drivers Updated for Windows: Fixes, Performance, Options, Awesomeness

Whoo! That’s three cat/leopard/dog photos in a roll! And now… I’ll stop. Photo (CC) csullens, who I hope doesn’t object – do you need model clearance for felines? What counts as really big news in my special technology world is, I’ll admit, a little different than everyone else. But it’s tough to really convey the special love affair I have for the Sony PS3 Eye camera – just as it was hard to explain to the local GameStop employee that, no, I don’t actually have the PS3 game system. So the big news for me today: rocking out new Windows …

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Sony Eyes Motion Control, Augmented Reality

2009 will be remembered as the E3 game event that embraced computer vision. Far from me-too answers to the Wii’s gestural controllers, we saw remarkably different visions of how computer tracking might work. As expected, Sony had their own motion tracking system to unveil at their press conference. But unlike Microsoft’s 3D camera, Sony opted to build on their already-lovable PlayStation 3 Eye camera with wands with spheres. The controllers look ridiculous, and lack the magic of the Microsoft demos. But don’t dismiss them out of hand. (Sorry, there’s no way to write this story without lots of abstract puns.) …

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Linger In Shadows: Demoscene Makes it to the PlayStation 3

I first saw Linger in Shadows on the Playstation Store Dashboard – the poster image was intriguing, and the game itself is only $2.99. Curious, I clicked through for more information… Holy crap. It’s Interactive Art. On my Playstation. The developers are Plastic, a Demoscene group from Poland. Gamespot UK reported on it earlier this year, writing that Sony actually approached these folks and got them hooked up with PS3 dev kits. Looking to the product itself, I’ve found it to be visually engaging, as well as a bit confusing. Instructions are eschewed in favor of simple icons and a …

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