Category Archives: Art

Found in Translation: The Risks and Rewards of Video Game Localization

Video game localization has come a long way since a sub-par port of Zero Wing gave us the classic “All Your Base are Belong to Us” meme. As  game companies have gone international, and as their products have ballooned from small-batch text-and-sprite diversions to interactive blockbusters, the industry that makes those games accessible to other cultures has done its best to keep pace – despite too often being treated as an afterthought by game companies .

Find out how this process has evolved from basic text translation to fully embrace cultural norms, preferences and taboos as I explain …

How Video Game Localization Works

 

Eureka! I Have Lost It!

The original keyboard cats.

Left to our own devices and allowed to live without constant fear of death by hunger or violence, we devise some pretty startling stuff.

Sure, some of our better efforts don’t outlast our calamities, or go obsolete before their time or simply never get their chance to shine because no one yet recognizes the need for them. But you can’t keep a good idea down forever, as I explore in this list of …

10 Times Humanity Found the Answer (and Then Forgot)

The Global Genetic Coronal Phosphorescent Thermohaline Economic Asteroid-Earthquake Singularity War That Will Doom Us All

“The Last Day of Pompeii” by Karl Briullov.

In the real world, disasters aren’t just a matter of scale – they’re a question of preparedness and of a society’s capacity to handle the fallout. Vaccines, rapid-response teams and early-warning systems can move the needle from calamity toward recovery, while poverty, corruption and ignorance slide it toward catastrophe. So, cue announcer: “In a world … where real disasters aren’t single events that arise from simple problems that are solvable in 93 minutes  …”

10 Possible Future Disasters

The Topsy-Turvy World of Trendspotting

Poster of Alexander Trend forecasters project everything from staffing and hiring needs to next year’s “it” color. Through a combination of instinct, experience, statistical modeling and not a little bit of finger-crossing, they tell clients where best to place their billion-dollar bets. Even granting the occasional self-fulfilling prophecy, it’s never been an easy gig, and the consequences of failure can be ruinous.

Today, big data is changing the field, providing unprecedented amounts of information even as it churns out predictive algorithms no one quite understands. In this article, I take a look at the past and future of this prognosticative trade and examine …

How Trend Forecasters Work

The Scientist and the Sea Serpent

Monstrous tree roots break the surface of the sea, silhouetted by the sun.
Sea monster — or tree trunk? Photo by Colin Park.

Most seafaring cultures have sea monster myths or folktales. They are preserved in manuscripts, in the margins of old maps, on the walls of Hindu temples and in the rock carvings of American Indians. Tales tell of monstrous sea gods and their fearsome servants as well as other assorted briny beasts. But is there a drop of truth to any of these tall tales? And how might we find out? Join me as I explore…

How Sea Monsters Work