Announcing the seventh issue of videogame arts and culture magazine Kill Screen. This time we’re headed to the Great Outdoors!


Want to know what our on-screen lives teach us about our off-screen ones?

In this issue: Breaking into Chernobyl with Russian videogame kids. Going ape with iPad games for orangutans. Hunting for Bigfoot in San Andreas. Looking for Xbox after the apocalypse. Hunting eagles on steppes of Kazakhstan. Astronauts. Rock-climbing. And more.

Let’s take a walk!

Cover and gif by Timothy Reynolds

On Cleverness

I think that past the age of thirty there is no obligation to be clever at all. Cleverness is a burden after that. You are supposed to settle down and be a good person, raise your children, and be good to your friends, which you may not have been back when you were clever.

Garrison Kiellor, via the Paris Review


Introducing CREATE, a $45,000 game jam presented by Kill Screen + OUYA. More details here.


Introducing CREATE, a $45,000 game jam presented by Kill Screen + OUYA. More details here.

How to Settle a Dispute

Ken Feinberg, via the NYT magazine:

In all the negotiations I do, there’s a priority list: One, know the facts. Two, be dogged. Three, keep an open mind. Next, be creative in getting to “yes.” Finally, a very important basic proposition: Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.

"EBooks Are Winning."

[via TechCrunch]

For 2012 YTD ebooks have outstripped hardcover sales for the first time ever.  They still make up only 30% of book sales overall, but it certainly looks like ebooks are replacing print, whether we like it or not.  

The proliferation of free content in the early days of the internet has obviously made it difficult for companies to convince consumers to pay much (if anything) for digital media.  And as much as I love the tactile, screen-less print reading experience, I confess that I’m finally being won over by how much cheaper eBooks often are.  It’s Econ 101: an adequate substitute for a product (let alone at a lower price) will reduce demand, and as we grow more accustomed to digital formats with each passing day, we will naturally continue the move away from print.

If there’s a silver lining for aesthetes like myself in this, it’s that print, as it continues to exist, will become more totemic.  As a medium, print will need to matter in order to survive.  As this Slate article points out:

As it loses its traditional value as an efficient vessel for text, the paper book’s other qualities—from its role in literary history to its inimitable design possibilities to its potential for physical beauty—will take on more importance.

So with all this in mind, it’s interesting to go back to the chart at the top and look at the numbers.  

  1. Hardcover may be the benchmark that eBooks have outstripped today, but hardcover sales were actually up 2.7% year over year.  Which makes sense because hardcover books still have a sense of permanence and collectibility that eludes most paperbacks. 
  2. Paperbacks, which offer the least advantage over ebook formats,  are clearly the loser here, down over 13% if you combine the two categories.  
  3. Total publishing revenues are up 1.8% year over year.  

It looks like it’s not just ebooks that are winning—everyone is.