Lens flare

An official and objective ranking of London’s 14 major rail terminals. The redevelopment of the ‘number one station’ involved the demolition of the old, idiosyncratic Britain at War Museum / someone is doing a fine job of preserving many largely unseen nuclear test videos: the LLNL Atmospheric Nuclear Tests playlist (via kottke) / Nippon Wandering, a playlist of 4k walks around Japan / Girl Talk in a Box, ‘control your favourite song’. Slow Billie Jean down 75% and it sounds like Massive Attack. If someone could add some Pro Tools magic please / music and more at Mystic Sons / a List of directly imaged exoplanets / digital H20 part 2: Water Rendering in Super Mario Sunshine and Beyond.

Sort of related, Minecraft and Me, a rumination on the familiar, unfamiliar, and comforting value of virtual spaces. By Will Wiles. See also his re-review of Wolfe’s From Bauhaus to our House. Wiles also references Heterotopias, ‘a digital zine and website, hosting studies and visual essays that dissect spaces of play, exploration, violence and ideology’ (twitter). With the prevalence of ‘photo modes’ in open world games, virtual sightseeing is increasingly chronicled: The Last of Us; Josh Taylor Creative; Virtual Geographic; Xenophotography; the art of in-game photography; the Video Game Tourism Flickr Group. Lots of alien planets, shiny cars and armoured warriors, but also some genuinely odd moments and views. From the article:

Minecraft palpably draws on the idea of the sublime, tilting its mountainous and arctic landscapes towards awe and spectacle rather than naturalism and geological authenticity. The game’s inner procedures are remarkably adept at turning out extreme environments: fanged mountain ranges, sheer cliffs, vertiginous waterfalls, impenetrable forests, yawning caves, terrifying rifts. Much of the game involves digging and tunneling, so the subterranean world is almost as enthralling, filled with abandoned mines, vast lava-lit chasms, grim dungeons, and caves upon caves upon caves. One of the player’s frequent sensations is the frisson that comes when you break into a hitherto hidden cavern, which in turn can lead to a far-reaching network of monster-infested pits. That sensation is sublimity.

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