« September 2006 | Main | März 2007 »


AVIT->C3 Berlin 2006 & 23C3

Its this time of the year again - no not the crazy "I can spend money faster then anyone else" festivities - the Chaos Communication Congress is nearing and with it an attached AVIT VJ conference.
Ill be there (so not playing) and if you are identifying with the vj or/and hacker culture this is the place to be between the christmas roast and new years eve vodka.

The international VJ Conference AVIT>C23 will present a programme at Berlin's iconic BCC from December 27th to 30th, while showcasing VJ works across Alexanderplatz the M12 gallery, and closing with an 'plug-in' a/v jam at c-base. Part of this year's 23C3 Chaos Communication Congress, AVIT>C23 is built on the committment and involvement of the VJ community: More than 20 presentations, VJ-talks, techniques and technology lectures, and experimental work-groups will be offered and over 90 visual artists will present their showcases, all with the aim of fostering peer-to-peer development of this emergent scene.

AViT>C23 is proud to welcome over 30 musicians and over 90 visualists from Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Israel, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States of America.

For further information please see http://www.visualberlin.org/avitc23/


Wiiiiii Mania hits me too....

Well, I have been playing Tekken two times in my live and before that four times Zelda on an Original Nintendo NES (no 64bit no gamecube the original one I am talking about here back in the days when all was better or something). I never had the urge to go out and get a gaming console - it just never appealed to me and I never grew accustomed to the "analog/cross joystick" thing and the arcane button combination to remember to make dat special move. Along comes Nintento in a highly competitive "next generation console gaming race" being mainly fought by Sony and Microsoft. In the last round of that race Nintendo was almost called out - like Sega - as the looser, but something happened that was already foreshadowed a tiny bit with the Gamecube. There was a sense that Nintendo wanted to appeal to a different species of people then the normal hardcore Battlefront Killergame player - their focus was on innovative games with innovative gameplay. Fastforward six years (or whatever that timeframe was) and the next round looks to make something obvious so obvious. Better graphics, higher Frames per Seconds, High Definition output spiffy multimillionpolygon physics accuracy are all not that important. Its the gameplay stupid and with that the tactile input. While Microsoft and Sony Battle it out in the former erea Nintendo has hit a home run through the back door with its innovative Wii controller scheme. Your very own movements are translated onto the screen, swing a baseballbat like a baseballbat, punch in boxing by swirling around your fists.
Now if this all sounds like a commercial for Nintendo to you - it did to me too until last night where I was able to test out the beast at the Nintendo Wii Lounge in Berlin. A stylish flat with two Plasmas a big bed lots of couches a refreshment bar where you could get your energy up (only Jolt Cola, RedBull and some yet undefined new Energy/Fruit Drink where served - as if you are in a Gym meets Hacker workout area). I went on the invitation of Tim Pritlove and in the end we were a team of four banging on the console that was ours for some time.
After registering our Wiimotes (the controllers) with the console we rocked some Tennis and it was very apparent that this works - right away without learning anything other then swinging your hand backside, frontside. After the first round of Tennis-double made us all hype up we decided on some box sparring. Here the controls did not work as smoothly as with the Tennis and we gave up on that when I got a knockout in round 5. We decided to give the other games available a go - formost Monkey Ball. Its 50 "party" games in one package and they range from snowboarding to Rocketlanding to birdflying to some obscure not clear what the purpose is to some "Quake for kids". We played a lot of them and the guys in the team found the "Quake for Kids" very cool (one controller looks the other walks - best controller scheme for a 1st person "shooter" ever). I did like snowboarding as well (and I won here of course :). Then we decided to give Zelda a try - the game that introduced me to console gaming so many many many moons ago - we (accidently) put in the Demo mode Disc and Tim played the Demo Level introducing the control with arrow shooting boomerang throwing to the death sword fighting (scarecrows). We rounded up the evening with a much better then the first game of wiiii-tennis and were completely perplex when we figured out that we just spend almost three hours in the white wiii dungeon.
Playing the Wii is an overall lovely experience, the more people in the room the more fun it is I would say. Its the first game console were people not playing have as much fun (watching their friends doing spastic movements in thin air) as people actual in control. While there are some small perks, like registering the Wiimotes every time you put in a new game in an obscure "hold down two buttons and pray" process and the boxing game not overly convinced us with the directness of the movement controls the overall experience is that no matter what your prior contact with gaming consoling is - this is something completely different, your mom can play it your sister can play it your grandpa can play it and all the while its absolutely great for the experienced gamer as well. Nintendo gets a big head up for going along with this (r)evolutionary approach to gaming and I am sure their sales numbers will reflect it. I would even venture to guess that it will put one of the other two consoles into third place. I would even go as far to say this is the iPod of gaming consoles.

Some pics from the session:


And some movies: