Archives: Unmanned



Brandon Boyer

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[Fantastic Video is a regular Venus Patrol feature where we recap the goings-on of the 2012 installment of Austin's Fantastic Arcade, the indie-game spinoff of Alamo Drafthouse's genre film festival Fantastic Fest. You can find all the Fantastic Videos by clicking here, and find out more about Fantastic Arcade here!]

In this latest installment of Fantastic Video, we’re joined by Paolo ‘Molleindustria‘ Pedercini — the peerless leader of using games as socio-political commentary — and Jim Munroe, artist, novelist, filmmaker, indie game creator (who you may recall from his latest interactive fiction work, Guilded Youth) and co-founder of Toronto indie-collective Hand Eye Society.


The two discuss their latest game, Unmanned, an accessibly-light-hearted but ultimately sobering and prescient investigation of the life of drone pilots, which was in part an attempt to answer the question “how do you make a videogame about war, when war already has become so videogame-like?”


The hour long video also includes an in-depth discussion on Phone Story, Pedercini’s commentary on the practices and social repercussions of manufacturing the technology we use every day — specifically, our ubiquitous iPhones, which itself was presented as an iPhone minigame collection that was ultimately banned from the App Store, later resurfacing on the Android marketplace.

As a bonus, below the fold you’ll also find Pedercini’s “reverse propaganda” machinima film “Welcome to the desert of the real”, referenced in the video above and discussed at much greater length here by researcher Simon Ferrari.




Brandon Boyer

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Today marks the first day of Fantastic Arcade proper — the yearly indie-game celebration run alongside the Alamo Drafthouse’s genre film festival Fantastic Fest — which means updates to Venus Patrol will become slightly spottier through to the end of the week until I can emerge with a handful of stories to tell of how the event went down.

In the meantime, a brief slideshow from the past several hours, including, above, some of the first screenshots of Hotline Highball, a custom version of Dennaton’s fantastically brutal Hotline Miami that takes place inside the actual locale of Fantastic Arcade itself, featuring the greeting you can see by festival co-organizer Wiley Wiggins, inside its own custom arcade cabinet.