Marvel’s Contest of Champions leaps from video game to comic book – In yet another sign that entertainment genres are simultaneously and paradoxically diversifying and merging, Marvel has announced that they will be creating a comic based on the video game Contest of Champions, which features kidnapped superheroes forced by the mysterious “Collector” to fight with each other. According to CNET, this move from video game to comic book is new, and its implications potentially significant:
The move not only recognizes the video game industry’s story-telling prowess and growing influence, it could lead to a shift in the way comics are written. While Marvel will still rely on comic writers for its Contest of Champions, video game makers could offer up new story lines, drawn with a potentially different artistic perspective. Perhaps most important, the effort will give readers and gamers a deeper connection with the stories’ characters, participating in the game’s side-plots while reading their favorite characters’ thoughts and motivations in the comic.
“Video games have really become an important storytelling medium for us,” said Peter Phillips, head of Marvel’s interactive and digital media group, who added the company has rallied its television, movies, comics and games groups together for this and other initiatives. “We’ve gotten smarter as an organization.” –CNET
FLORIDA MAN, ACCUSED OF TERRORISM BASED ON BOOK COLLECTION, SET FREE – Marcus Dwayne Robertson, an Islamic scholar from Florida, has been fighting a series of federal charges since 2011, all stemming from statements a family acquaintance made to federal authorities – then recanted – suggesting that Robertson was “grooming him to go abroad and conduct violent jihad.” Although the family acquaintance suffered from substance abuse and mental illness, his statements – along with Roberton’s collection of ebooks – were used to elevate a “minor” income tax fraud charge to a terrorism charge. Fortunately a federal judge slapped the government for its extreme over-reach (ironic, given the accusation that Robertson was an extremist), but it’s still scary as hell to think that a book collection could be used to beat up the First Amendment and serve as primary evidence to support a charge as serious as terrorism.
Robertson’s case attracted national attention after prosecutors attempted to argue earlier this year that the contents of his book collection constituted evidence of his connection to terrorism. Prosecutors singled out roughly 20 titles from the more than 10,000 e-books Robertson owned, highlighted a selection of controversial passages, and used that to argue that he should be sentenced as though he were a terrorist. –THE//INTERCEPT
Infographic: The History of Science Fiction – This infographic has actually been around for a few years, but when Nate Hoffelder posted it the other day, I didn’t remember seeing it when it was first making the rounds, so I figured some of you haven’t seen it, either. And given the fact that we’re still in the (seemingly interminable) season of the Hugos, you may find it interesting – assuming you can make it large enough to actually view in detail. –Ink, Bits, & Pixels (The Digital Reader)
Virtual Shoe Museum – That’s right, folks, it’s a Virtual Shoe Museum. Of the new exhibit, SHOEting Stars 5 Sinne & Mehr, the website rhapsodizes,
The exhibited shoes have sprung from the creative power of designers, artists and architects. Most of their experimental shoe creations are one of a kind or have been produced in small series only, made out of high-tech or natural materials as wood, ceramics, paper, leather or fabric. The spectrum ranges from an architectonic approach through experiments with materials to the shoe as a fetish object. The manifold possibilities inherent in shoes as a creative medium are reflected not only in the shoes themselves but also in installations, photographs and videos, and include the positions of various Austrian artists and designers.
Liza Snook, curator of the Virtual Shoe Museum and composer of this exhibition says: ‘Shoes symbolize passion and sensuality. They can move you in different ways. They can inspire and impress you. Shoes can be your second skin and bring you in or out of balance. In the hands of designers, artists and architects these fashionable everyday objects turn into spectacular and unique sculpture. Wearable or unwearable; as an art object, as a fetish. I think shoes acquire an autonomous artistic statement beyond everyday use.’ –Virtual Shoe Museum