The Cultural Gutter

taking trash seriously

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." -- Oscar Wilde

The 25 Best Horror Games of All Time

Gameranx dares name the Top 25 Best Horror Games of All Time! (via Denis at The Horror?!)

A Tyrannosaurus is in your Guest Center killing your ‘raptors.

Wolf Gnards explores the many ways a tyrannosaurus can get into a theme park guest center–or any building, really.  We vote for “Those tiny arms have evolved over millennia to pick locks.”

Second Place Ain’t Second Best

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Previously, I wrote a column about Meredith Duran, who got her start in publishing when her first novel, the astonishingly good Duke of Shadows, won the Gather.com First Chapters Romance Writing Competition. I liked the interesting and collaborative nature of the online contest. Entrants posted their first chapters on the Gather.com site for the community […]

Fooling the System

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“Fisher,” they’d cry, “we’re going to find you.” They were looking in the wrong place. I was already somewhere else. And as they approached the last position they saw me, that somewhere else was right behind them. Either a clean bullet to the head or some other form of quick, close, personal death, they slump […]

Kirkbride, Castles of the Midwest.

Kirkbride Buildings are the castles of the American Midwest. They’re also 19th century State Hospitals.

Shape of–An Unpayable Mortgage with My Face on It!

“What the Wonder Twins Would Take the Form and Shape of  if They were Sent to Correct the Subprime Mortgage Crisis” is a McSweeney’s article that is most likely not providing cover for a heist.

A Magician in the C.I.A.

“In 1953, [John] Mulholland was hired by the C.I.A. to adapt his craft for its agents. The documents he produced…were discovered in 2007 by two C.I.A. historians, who have recently published The Official C.I.A. Manual of Trickery and Deception. What could a magician teach spies? Much sleight of hand… used for dosing drinks, passing pills […]

Old Becomes New

The Vintage Game Club starts Thief: The Dark Project soon.

Vive La Difference!

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Britain and France have a long history together. Okay, much of that history consists of having wars with one another. But if you look at the past as a whole, having wars is pretty much what Britain did. First, it fought at home, its various tribes jockeying for position, struggling with invaders, taking over other […]

More Ninjas!

Ninjas throwing swords and flipping in the forest and Ken’ichi Matsuyama from Death Note and Detroit Metal City plays another manga hero in Kamui Gaiden.

Bond, Jane Bond

Back in the day, HK studios assumed films with male leads couldn’t cut it in the theaters. So during the 1960s spy era, Hong Kong had Jane Bond films featuring masked spies in catsuits way before Maggie Cheung in Irma Vep. TarsTarkas gathers the resources all in one place, all you have to do is […]

SpyCast!

Get the skinny on spying with the International Spy Museum’s SpyCast.  The Background Briefings about East Germany’s “Romeo agents” and “Spies of the Kaiser” are pretty neat, too.

Sebastian Faulk’s License to Kill

Chandler had his Poodle Springs. Ian Fleming might have his Devil May Care. Sebastian Faulk takes up James Bond on his centenary. Excerpt here.

Psychedelic Spies and Swanky Podcasts

Like your spies swank, Sixties and psychedelic? Jiangtou from Spiltpopcorn found The Pschedelic Spy, a 5-part BBC radio drama over at Greylodge, where there’s a whole lotta podcast swank going on.

Mary, Queen Of Hearts

Mary Stewart

Despite being a rapacious reader of just about everything, during my formative years I managed to miss any number of writers who are the bedrock of their particular genres. For instance, I read Terry Brooks long before Tolkien (and yes, I’m aware of the gravity of that mistake). I didn’t discover Diana Wynne Jones until […]

Ask a Ninja!

A compelling case for the importance of editing in video: compare Ask a Ninja 1: Ninja-Mart Store to the latest, brilliant Ask a Ninja Special Delivery 4: Net Neutrality.

Teaching the Value of Human Life

Handcuffs or hand grenades?

When you’re put behind the crosshairs of a gun, do you assume you have to shoot to kill? Better still, do you have to shoot to win? For the majority of First Person Shooters, that is certainly the case. What if you were given the choice to avoid unnecessary bloodshed, but still be able to […]

Ninjas vs. Pirates

It’s an idea whose time has come: Ninjas vs. Pirates! Sounds homebrew too: “Almost all scenes in NVP were shot in front of 9 sheets of 30-cent green posterboard in a 12’x13′ apartment living room, lit with $12 Wal-Mart halogen work lights.”

Indie-meets-industry shindig

Buckets of beer at the GDC.

It might have been the buckets of beer or just the balmy San Francisco night that had me feeling so upbeat after the Game Developers Choice Awards and the Independent Games Festival but even in sober retrospect it was pretty remarkable. On a basic level, it was simply seeing the best videogames of the year […]

Antagonistic Amusement

A biomod or two is OK, but the Omar go too far.

Now that the Matrix franchise has collapsed under its own hype and mystical mumbo-jumbo, it’s refreshing to see a well-executed cyberpunk tale in what is perhaps its ideal medium: the videogame. Because it’s not just about the style — the leather overcoats and the sunglasses — that shit was embarrassing in the ’80s when it […]

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    Tom Burtonwood has created Folium, a book of three-dimensional printing of bas relief, for the Art Institute of Chicago from its collection. (Via Boing Boing)

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    We have been bereft since GWAR lost Oderus Ungerus. But lift up your heads and rejoice, fans of GWAR, there is a new member. She is Vulvatron! (via @saladinahmed)

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    Throne of the Crescent Moon author Saladin Ahmed has posted “a micro-mini Crescent Moon Kingdoms world guide that had previously only been available as part of a UK-exclusive ebook” for people to use in their roleplaying games. But even if you aren’t a gamemaster, it’s pretty sweet.

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    At We Are Respectable Negroes, Chauncey Devega interviews friend of the Gutter Mark D. White about the virtues of Captain America. “In this, the ninth episode, of the second season of WARN’s podcast series, we talk about what comic books and superheroes can tell us about philosophy and politics, work through what makes someone ‘heroic,’ the ways that the general public often misunderstands and misreads the Captain America character, as well as how American exceptionalism, race, and identity relate to superhero and other types of comic books and graphic novels.”

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    Alexander Chee writes about difficulty some have in evaluating comics or even in taking them seriously. “As a frequent juror on prizes, colonies and fellowships, I am, it could be said, so tired of this, that in fact, I will fight you for Roz Chast’s right to be on this list. I will fight you for the right for Bechdel to get that MacArthur. In a ring, covered in grease, MMA style. That is how sick of it I am.”

    And Dylan Meconis has some suggestions on how to improve writing about comics. “This leaves all the critics who are just beginning their journey into comics reading, or who have yet to be entirely won over to the medium but want to keep an open mind (perhaps due to peer pressure: I remember a literati cocktail party where somebody near me anxiously muttered ‘I guess we’re all supposed to read graphic novels now.’) These brave souls are willing to give it a try, but they tend to make a lot of mistakes when they first start out.” (Thanks, Gareth!)

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    At Black Girl Nerds, Jamie Broadnax writes a powerful piece about racism, cosplaying, police violence and the homicide of Darrien Hunt. “The first thing we need to do is NOT let this story scare us nor intimidate us into believing that we should be fearful of cosplaying.  We should still encourage others who may not yet have participated in cosplay to know that there are several communities for people of color to have safe spaces where they can be embrace and be their nerdy selves. If there is little to no news about this incident on other mainstream geek sites that feature cosplayers, then framing this around race is pertinent and they should be called out on their silence.  Even IF this is not an incident where Darrien Hunt was actively cosplaying, the tone has already been set and anyone who is a part of the cosplay community should address this matter.  Many Black cosplayers are concerned about this, and still wonder if they would be viewed as ‘suspicious’ walking down the street.”

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