August 2006 Archives

Adapted paper crafts

Black paper cut out.I have a soft spot for some of the paper and other crafts of Mexico, handiwork that I often associate with holidays. Awhile ago I read about an artist named Dylan Graham on We Make Money Not Art who has adapted traditional Mexican paper cut outs to modern themes. Here, I've chosen to show a detail from his work Armada which highlights its delicacy. To see it in context, take a look at Graham's web site.

Activist Artists

While reading Dr. Menlo, I ran across a link to a wonderful website about political street posters, called Visual Resistance. It's the hub for various artistic efforts, including a gallery of street art, a network of activist artists and fundraisers for various causes.

Saint Nintendo

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A Gamecube in a wooden reliquary.While reading Make Blog. I came across this handmade GameCube reliquary that I so wish I had for my own home. Gamers and A/V enthusiasts are always trying to find attractive and efficient ways of integrating game consoles into their home theater systems, and this is the most lovely and apt solution I've seen.

Perhaps you haven't heard of Saint Nintendo, so I'm reprinting his life story here:

Born Marius Nintendus, Saint Nintendo was born approximately 284 A.D. to a noble Roman family. He is often depicted as a child, although his martyrdom is said to have occurred after he reached full manhood.

One day, Marius Nintendus was chosen to attend the Roman games as part of a festival in honor of the Emporer. But Marius Nintendus chose to bypass the games in order to indulge in the simple pleasures he so loved, such as collecting stray coins along the streets of Rome and, of course, hunting wild mushrooms.

Marius Nintendus was later called upon by the Prefect to account for his whereabouts during the games. The famous question posed to Nintendus translates roughly to, "Why were you not at the play station at the appointed hour?" Unsatisfied with Nintendus's response, the Prefect ordered that he be publicly tortured and put to death. Marius Nintendus last, inspiring words were said to have been, "But I shall always have the higher score."

Marius Nintendus is the patron saint of truffle pigs.

What are you wearing?

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I like the way blogs allow people to express different sides of themselves. Some blogs express what seems like a full personality, while others hone in on one area of interest, showing us just the enthusiast aspect of the author.

Recently, I read through the entirety of Wataru Maruyama's blog, Costume GET! devoted to "the finer points of videogame character costumes." It's a wonderful example of an enthusiast blog. One of the things I like about it is that it has rules. As anyone who has ever had an obsession knows, it is often necessary to establish rules ("I will allow myself to drive by her house only three times on my way home") as a way of establishing boundaries for one's interests. Costume GET!'s philosophy and rules are prominently posted in the blog's sidebar.

Maruyama places an emphasis on female costume, but there is definitely attention given to male costume as well. In his costume reviews, Maruyama points out inconsistencies in costumes and is particularly attentive to practical issues. For example, he'll mention if a character is wearing armor or an outfit that would make certain in-game activities, like crawling through a cavern, difficult or impossible.

Some of my favorite entries are Maruyama's descriptions of him playing games. I have to hand it to a guy who is willing to play the same scene over 40 times just to unlock every possible costume combination for a given character. Before reading his blog, I didn't even realize so many games come with unlockable costumes.

Although I don't consider myself obsessed with game costumes, I feel like the site provides me with plenty of interesting game information I want that I don't find elsewhere. For instance, because of his interest in costume detail, Maruyama provides a unique perspective on console game graphics. His dedication to a single topic also makes Maruyama an excellent scout for game information I might not have found otherwise. Without Costume GET!, I never would have found the awesome Japanese-only Rumble Roses XX website.

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