Perception by eL Seed

Post by Mark

egypt

In my new project ‘Perception’ I am questioning the level of judgment and misconception society can unconsciously have upon a community based on their differences.

In the neighborhood of Manshiyat Nasr in Cairo, the Coptic community of Zaraeeb collects the trash of the city for decades and developed the most efficient and highly profitable recycling system on a global level. Still, the place is perceived as dirty, marginalized and segregated.

To bring light on this community, with my team and the help of the local community, I created an anamorphic piece that covers almost 50 buildings only visible from a certain point of the Moqattam Mountain. The piece of art uses the words of Saint Athanasius of Alexandria, a Coptic Bishop from the 3rd century, that said: ‘Anyone who wants to see the sunlight clearly needs to wipe his eye first.’

The Zaraeeb community welcomed my team and I as we were family. It was one of the most amazing human experience I have ever had. They are generous, honest and strong people. They have been given the name of Zabaleen (the garbage people), but this is not how they call themselves. They don’t live in the garbage but from the garbage; and not their garbage, but the garbage of the whole city. They are the one who clean the city of Cairo.

Has to be my favorite work of his to date. You can check out some behind the scenes making of photos on his instagram account [Here]


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Street Art

Post by Mark

streetart


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Other Places: A Series Celebrating Beautiful Video Game Worlds

Post by Patrick

I came across Other Places through Twitter. It’s a website that publishes videos of beautiful environments found in games. I think it’s about time someone does this, we need someone to keep track and archive these worlds. They have a list of games they’ve already covered and even though it’s not a huge list (they’re still adding to it), it’s a great one. So be sure to check it out.

otherplaces


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Hyperkins’ Supaboy Review

Post by Patrick

Photo-Jun-03,-12-11-57-PM

I was born in the 1980′s so I grew up when gaming started to become popular with the rise of the NES, Gameboy, Sega Genesis and the SNES. Because of this I have a certain affection for this era. I love these consoles, the games and the experiences I had with them. When I read about Hyperkin’s Supaboy a few years ago I knew that it was something I would want to own at some point. The Supaboy is a portable SNES that you can play on the go or on your TV. This past month I was able to get my hands on one thanks to a friend of mine who was visiting from Japan. If you’re interested in the Supaboy you can find one on Amazon for $70. Super Nintendo and Super Famicom games sell for as little as $10.

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Let’s get some things out of the way first. The Supaboy isn’t a small. The screen wont blow you away. The device isn’t perfect.

Luckily the Supaboy isn’t heavy. You can play on it for long periods of time and it will still feel comfortable. The screen is kind of small. It’s something that you get used to while you play on the Supaboy. It’s also something you forget about once you connect the Supaboy to your TV. The Super Nintendo’s aspect ratio was 4:3 while the Supaboy can do 16:9 which means it’ll fit the entire screen of your HDTV. The Sprites aren’t stretched out and the games look pretty good.

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When I first booted up the Supaboy for the first time, the D-pad and buttons felt stiff. But after playing on it for a bit longer they started to feel better. The Supaboy comes with a rechargeable battery and the battery-life is about 4 to 5 hours. The problem with the Supaboy is that it doesn’t warn you when the battery is low. You will notice some warning signs though. The biggest warning sign is that the visuals on the screen start to flicker. When it comes to the screen itself, it isn’t of the highest quality but the games still look crisp and colorful.

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Now since my friend was coming from Japan I asked for some Super Famicom games. I always thought the boxart of Super Famicom games were superior to those on the Super Nintendo. I asked for my favorites: Super Metroid, StarFox, Super Castlevania and Panel de Pon (known as Tetris Attack outside of Japan).

The older model of the Supaboy had problems playing StarFox because of the Super FX chip that comes built into the cartridge. This newer model had no problems playing the game. The games all look pretty good on the Supaboy and especially great on my TV. They’ve aged well except for a few exceptions. For instance in the first level in StarFox some enemies kind of blend into the sky. While in Super Castlevania I ended up falling to my death in one stage because I thought I was jumping onto a platform, but it turned out to be part of the background.

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Now a problem came up while I was playing Super Metroid. This is a risk you take when you buy old cartridge games. Cartridge games come with a (replaceable) battery that help and keep your save files safe and the battery’s life-span last about ten years and then need replacing. It’s not a big deal for me since I’ve played Super Metroid more times than I can count.

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Is owning a Supaboy worth it? For $70 I think so. It plays North American, European and Japanese cartridges, it’s a portable SNES and it also looks great when you connect it to a TV. It comes with a rechargeable battery that lasts a decent amount. Keep in mind that you need to buy SNES controllers separately and you’ll need them when you connect the Supaboy to a television. This might be the nostalgia talking, but inserting a cartridge into a console always felt much more satisfying than putting a CD into one.

If you want something not portable, Hyperkins recently released the RetroN5 which has a slot for nearly every cartridge based console, from the Gameboy to the Sega Genesis.


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A Link to the Past 3D Paper Diorama

Post by Patrick

A Link to the Past 3D Paper Diorama

This guy made this. It’s beautiful. And he has a bunch of others fantastic looking 3D paper diorama’s.


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The Analogue Nt

Post by Patrick

The Analogue Nt

If there was ever a luxury item in the world of gaming, this is it. The Analogue Nt is a redesigned NES made for the modern world. It doesn’t emulate the games, but uses original NES hardware to play them. There’s an optional HDMI adapter that upscales games to 1080p. The console doesn’t just play NES games but Famicom disc games as well. The Analogue Nt is made from a single solid block of “6061 aluminum” and it costs $500. You can pre-order your own here.

Analogue Nt

I think that this is a pretty boring and ugly re-design of the original NES. Compare the NES controllers to the Analogue Nt and you see that the controllers hold up pretty well after all these years. They’ve become an icon of an entire generation of gaming. The Analogue Nt is not memorable, is not iconic and the only real thing it has going for it is that it’s made out of aluminum. It’s like the designers were trying to mimic the work Apple has been doing, and failed. Not sure why anyone would pay $500 for it when you could use that money to buy a new console or to build a pretty solid gaming PC.


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Playstation 1 Logo Concepts

Post by Patrick

PS1 Logos

When Sony were branding their first Playstation console they came up with a dozen concepts. The designer they hired to work on this massive project is Manabu Sakamoto, who also worked on branding the Sony VIAO computers. Some of the concepts he came up with wouldn’t have aged well, while the others were just ugly. Ultimately they chose the right option. One that is pretty timeless, memorable and iconic. If you ever wondered why those colors were chosen it is because they represent joy, passion and excellence. It’s interesting to see the process behind something massive like this, especially since the Playstation 1 became such a huge success. Branding plays an integral part in a projects success or failure.


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Gaming Magazine Covers – The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Post by Patrick

covers

Covers, it’s the first thing we see as we glance over magazine racks at the bookstore or supermarket, they communicate a message and inform us of what we’ll find on the inside. The magazine cover plays a part in creating an identity through use of typography, color, the layout and logo. Part of the magazine covers job is to help distinguish itself from the others, and to communicate what you’ll find on the inside the magazine. If you were to remove the EGM, GamePro and Edge logo from a cover chances are you’ll still be able to tell which is which because they each possess their own identity.

I was a fan of two gaming magazines, Electronic Gaming Monthly and Edge, while I sporadically bought issues of GamePro, PSM and Nintendo Power. My least favorite kind of covers were the ones that used in-game graphics (they were never going to age well), 3D rendered characters or ones that reused box art (Fabio anyone?). My favorite kind of covers either featured interesting artwork (1, 2) or used commissioned artwork (more info about those covers here). But even commissioned artwork didn’t always come out great; for instance EGM’s 100th issue had an uninspiring cover illustrated by Allan Ditzig. Who for the record, is actually a good artist and is a veteran of the game industry. The early 90′s was not a good time for magazine covers, they were mostly uninspiring and not very exciting. some early issues of EGM (1, 2, 3) and GamePro (1, 2) were horrendous but they improved as time went on and computer hardware and design software got better.

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Edge seemed to consistently have the best covers. They chose to go the minimalist route and not cram the front with text while choosing interesting and unique visuals for each cover, for instance their 100th issue featured artwork by Shiguro Miyamoto. Besides featuring distinct covers Edge was also different than the majority of gaming magazines on the inside as well. You could only find the names of the contributors at the beginning of the magazine and not under each article, preview or review. They used to also feature various in-depth articles like a Making Of and a Videogame Diary which would by written by different professionals in the game industry discussing their jobs. Edge had a reputation of being hard to please when it came to reviewing a game, since its conception in 1993 they’ve only given out sixteen perfect scores.

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Looking back at all the issues of EGM and Edge it’s difficult to pick just one favorite cover. One of the most memorable and nicest looking covers I remember was a limited edition Final Fantasy X cover made for EGM illustrated by the legendary Japanese artist Yoshitaka Amano. Another favorite of mine was the one that featured Donkey Kong 64 on the cover as it was visually iconic with DK holding out a banana. I think it’s even harder to pick a favorite cover of Edge since they had a lot of special ones. The issue that featured the 100 most significant reviews was pretty cool. The cover was a collage of screenshots from 100 games that formed a large E. Another cover that I have a soft spot for featured Link and was printed on a gold foil so it was nice and shiny looking, making it an even more unique cover to own. Print media has been on a decline and has become less popular as years go by while digital media has become dominant so it’s nice to see magazines embrace the Internet. Edge has since moved online with a nice looking website while the magazine is still being printed and is also available for subscription on tablet devices like the iPad.Electronic Gaming Monthly has become a shell of its former self. It’s still in print but the quality of writing and reviews as decreased dramatically. They also have a website, but it’s poorly designed and maintained.

Even though it’s difficult to get your hands on old video game magazines nowadays some can be found digitally, Edge for instance has made all their covers from 1993 till 2012 available online and there’s also a huge archive of magazine covers at VGMuseum.


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Nice IKEA hack

Post by Mark

ikeahack

Made using natural wood shelves from IKEA along with painted brackets (EKBY TÖRE – KD1.500. Simple hack. [Link]


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Syrian Refugee Camps Under the Shadow of Advertisements

Post by Mark

ads1

12 images portraying how Syrian refugees are attempting to alleviate some of their current tragedies by appropriating splashy advertising banners for luxurious items. The results are modest shelters draped in sensual and vibrant images starkly contrasted by the occupants’ daily drive to survive. [Link]


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