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We can’t pause here. This is goomba country.


We’ve seen amazing Popeye the Sailor and One Piece forearm tattoos that cleverly use the wearer’s hand as part of the image, but this is the first time we’ve see the same concept executed using a foot. This awesome tattoo depicts Dhalsim from Street Fighter delivering a powerful kick. It’s the work of Lima, Peru-based tattoo artist Alain-head.

[via Kotaku]


Apparently, answering a question that someone asked me about a video game project on kickstarter is a big, scary no-no among certain fringe contingents of the internet.

I will make their argument clear-no people of color of ANY kind in 15th century Bohemia!!! (If you read the link above, you can see screencapped replies from the game developers themselves-all “ethnicities” were excluded.) Therefore, everyone in their game can, and apparently, SHOULD be what we would consider “white” today.

Here is a fairly salient passage that was apparently beyond the reaches of those crying “debunkery!”:

Although many of these Bohemian images seem to reproduce or extend external approaches first developed at the time of the Hohenstaufen, in one respect there is a substantial difference in these two eras. There is no evidence of the actual presence of black people of African descent at the court of Charles IV or in Bohemia. Instead, part of the appeal for Charles, and for Bohemian artists and audiences, may have rested in the notion that the Czechs, like the Ethiopians, were a group on the edge of the Christian world. The fair skin and golden hair of the Czechs, emphasized by Giovanni dei Marignolli, one of Charles’ court intellectuals, may have been seen as defining one extreme of human beauty, just as the Black Ethiopians represented the other extreme.

The Image of the Black in Western Art v. II Part II: From the Early Christian Era to the Age of Discovery; From the Demonic Threat to the Incarnation of Sainthood by Bindman, Gates, and Dalton, p. 19.

This seems to support the concept of an all-white Medieval Bohemia pretty strongly! Let’s explore this, especially in light of the CONTRAST made in the above passage, that in that court there was no evidence of Black people, while in another previous court in the Holy Roman Empire, there WAS.

The House of Hohenstaufen, mentioned above, were a dynasty of German/Holy Roman Empire rulers who conquered areas of Sicily and surrounding areas, specifically, a great deal of “Black Moslems”. This major shift in demographics and the way that it was represented in Hohenstaufen imagery is detailed and explored in Black Africans in Hohenstaufen Iconography by Paul H.D. Kaplan (Wake Forest University). <—that’s behind a JSTOR paywall, but you can read the first page at the link which gives a decent abstract.

But you can also see that the influx of immigrants from Germany, which I already mentioned before in this source [ Central Europe in the High Middle Ages: Bohemia, Hungary and Poland, c. 900-c. 1300 by Nora Berend, Przemysław Urbańczyk, Przemysław Wiszewski, Chapter 5: Society and Economy (p. 250), and Chapter 7: New developments of the 13th Century (The Mongol Invasion; p. 244).], would have probably changed the ethnic or “racial” makeup of Bohemia and central Europe significantly at that time. This influx was so massive they actually referred to it as “proto-colonization”, as I frigging mentioned before.

The German influence on Bohemia continued into later centuries, even after the waxing (and waning) of French influence on art and culture.

Although in many things, Charles of Bohemia followed his the example of his uncle, Charles V of France, in this instance he broke with French tradition, which had always depicted Saint Maurice as white; at Karlstejn the Magdeburg model was adopted. To decorate the chapel, Charles IV called upon a painter named Theodoric, who may have come from western Europe but was steeped in local tradition.[…]Probably painted before 1367, Maurice is a Black man characterized not only by color but by the hair and facial traits; he carries the sword, the banner, and the shield with heraldic bearings. So far as we know, this was the first picture of the martyr of Aguanum painted on a panel, and like the Magdeburg statue, it was a brilliant stroke.

The Image of the Black in Western Art v. II Part II: From the Early Christian Era to the Age of Discovery; From the Demonic Threat to the Incarnation of Sainthood by Bindman,Gates, and Dalton, p. 155.

Here’s an example of some of the Bohemian art influenced directly by images out of Germany, specifically in the style of images from Madgeburg, which made a rather large impression on the Bohemian gentry and royalty:




Enameled glass feat. Saint Maurice w/ armorial bearings of Magdeburg, Bohemia, 1568.

These disturbances and their influence on art and culture are corroborated and documented in Kymberly N. Pinder’s Race-ing Art History: Critical Reading in Race and Art History p. 44; 59 (Article by Jean Devisse; originally published in Image of the Black in Western Art, but more is visible/accessible in the preview ebook)




Now, does this necessarily mean “Medieval Bohemia was full of Black Moslems”?

No, not particularly. But it *does* allow for their presence. And that’s what I’m doing here: I’m opening doors instead of closing them.

As for the Mongolian invasions, Here’s a bit more on the History of the Battle of Legnica from The Mongol Conquests in World History by Timothy May p. 47-48:





ANYway. Toward the end of the Empire, cities like Karakorum (the capital in the 13th century) became hubs of trade and wealth from all over Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. As described by Timothy May (p. 114-115):




Here you can read the full account of William of Rubruck (a Flemish man, who lived farther away by a good deal than Bohemia) and his opinions about Karakorum, and the people who lived and/or traded there.

If you want accounts that connect Bohemia and the Silk road as well as Medieval intercontinental travel, here’s some bits and bobs which spent centuries apparently ignored for whatever reason:

Henry Yule and Henri Cordier, tr. and ed., Cathay and the Way Thither, Being a Collection of Medieval Notices of China, III (London, 1916; repr. 1998), 209-269, preceded by a useful introduction, 177-207.

^ That’s a primary source, so it ban be a bit thick. But the best part? This is the account of Giovanni (John) dei Marginolli, the “court intellectual” of Charles IV mentioned in the first paragraph of this post.

There is more evidence about Central Europe and other regions, including massive movements of various people, at the Fordham University Internet Medieval History Sourcebook.

There’s also the connection between the Duchy of Bohemia and the Byzantine Empire, which is full of rather intricate and confusing politics but forms another connection: that of any empire with travel, movements of the population, assimilation AND diversity. It’s another open door, rather than a closed one.

Now, every last person who reads this can feel free to disagree with it, ignore it, or choose to ally themselves with other sources that state THEIR position more to their satisfaction. As I have said over and over again, there is evidence, and there are interpretations.

The creators of the game have made it their prerogative to exclude any people of color whatsoever from their video game. And guess what? They can do that. Their game is already funded. I assume it will, in fact, be made. And I’m sure many of the white men who funded it will enjoy playing it very much. As for women and/or people of color, maybe not so much.



Playable female characters are optional and less important than two different types of music for the game; people of color have been purposely excluded. I’m not making that up, that’s all right there for anyone to look at, from the developers themselves.

The only thing that seems to be under debate is whether or not this exclusion is “historically accurate” or not. The problem is that apparently this is perceived as something that would absolve the game developers and their choices, which it was never meant to be. This blog was created as a frame to work from to counteract assumptions, namely that “historical accuracy” absolves anyone creating media that is all-white, for whatever reasons given.

Read these, or don’t. Play the game, or don’t.

But this entire conversation, the reaction of the developers, my response, and its subsequent backlash just go to show that perhaps this game was only meant for white men to play and enjoy. Maybe I’m the only one who feels that way. But I don’t know, the message seems pretty clear: stay out of “our” history, stay out of our Middle ages, stay out of our game.


I made this easy collage to educate everyone on the big difference between hardcore American games and Japanese waifu pandering garbage.

(via abalidoth)







My sim has a very unique painting technique which involves him dislocating his arm, planting his face into the canvas and painting on the back of his head.

as an artist I can 100% confirm the effectiveness of this technique

(via tuiteyfruityundead)


For those of you that have been waiting for MYST, your wait is over. I bought my copy today at Egghead software. ☯93SEP



This week we get a chance to talk with Ron Guyatt, an illustrator and designer from Canada who is one of our favorite creative people on the Tumblrverse. You’ve most likely seen and marveled at his art before, now you can get to know the mind behind the fantastic design work.

Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? Where do you live now?

My name is Ron Guyatt. I’m a Graphic Designer / Illustrator originally from Peterborough ON Canada.

Currently I reside in Toronto with my Fiancée with whom some of you may know… the wonderful Indy Lytle.

What is your day job?

I am a full time freelance Graphic Designer & Illustrator.

Most of the time I am working on Illustrations for Games / Film Studios or working on Commissions and travelling across Canada to attend conventions.

I started working freelance in 2010…just over three and a half years now!

How long have you been designing/illustrating? What’s your “origin story”?

I have been drawing for as long as I can remember so yes I am self taught in that respect. Designing is something relatively new that I didn’t realize I was missing for the longest time.

I started my design career in 2007 alongside my now fiancée with the one year Design Foundation Program at George Brown College here in Toronto. After we both completed with Honours we decided to sally forth and pursue our Advanced Diploma’s in Graphic Design.

I’ve always naturally had an inclination to art but I think my parents gave me some of the initial seeds. My mother was always very hands on with helping me with creative projects early on and my father who is blind gave me a deep rooted appreciation for the visual world. After that they gave me the freedom to pursuit my own destiny.

What influences your art? Is there a particular person’s style that has influenced you?

I’ve been asked this many times and I always get taken back by the artist that says something or someone specific. For me it is the world around me … everything is an influence, everything has something to teach you.

I think this perspective has helped define my style as unique amongst others. This is not to say I haven’t been more heavily influenced by a few things. Growing up I loved Art, Geography & Math, it turns out that that is a great recipe for Design.

Today though I find joy in Propaganda Posters, Art Deco and Art Nouveau to name a few. Artists that I look towards would be Adam Hughes, Sean Gordon Murphy, Ashley Wood, Feng Zhu, Stanley Lau, Mike Mignola, Phil Noto, J Scott Campbell and of course Michelangelo (The Artist & The Turtle)

What medium do you typically use when creating your art?

Though I grew up in the 80’s and started with what I like to call Analogue Art, I have grown very accustomed to the Digital Realm. I frequent my Sketchbook, Copic Markers, Photoshop on my MacBook Pro and my Cintiq now as well!

What got you into creating video game artwork?

 I started making gaming posters in 2009 as part of a semester long project in my Advanced Imaging class. Shortly into the new year (2010) while working on my final thesis project which involved the rebranding of the iconic Bloor Cinema here in Toronto, I was approached by Digital Devolver in the U.S. to create a series of posters for their latest installment of Serious Sam… this was officially my breaking into the industry point and the job that pushed me to make more! Of course that and needing to fill the countless hours watching my Fiancée play games :)

Tell us about your Space Travel Posters. Where did the idea come from for that? How badly do you want to visit the places you’re illustrating?

My Space Travel Posters have been a pet project for me that started almost two years ago. I was seeing a lot of travel posters on Tumblr and DeviantArt at the time and came to the conclusion that I hadn’t seen much for off world locations. I’ve always had a fascination for space and the universe and this was a great way to scratch that itch. I started by doing concepts that fell into the regular Travel Poster realm but it wasn’t what I really wanted. So I tried a more graphic approach… but there was very little preplanning. After posting online I got an amazing response and got featured shortly after on amongst a handful of other sites. So I pushed forward… blindly. I quickly realized I needed to re-approach the project and decided to go big. So after months of contemplation and debate I relaunched the series at the start of July this year. I decided I would do one poster a week for 52 weeks, exploring the solar system as well as the world of Graphic Design.

So far the response has been amazing… I’ve been contacted by Space lovers, Art Lovers, Scientists & Educators around the world. I was also approached by Spacevidcast, a group dedicated to promoting space and space exploration to produce a short series of Space Themed Educational posters. As for visiting the places… I would love to see them all! If I get to see just one of the 52 in my life I would be thrilled!

What is the best art advice you have ever received?

Make art about the things that you love the most.

Odds are that there are many others that love it just as much.

It hasn’t failed me to date.

Tell us about your current projects.  Any upcoming shows?

I’ve got some great projects in the works, most of which I can’t discuss at the moment. But I can say that I am working with Xbox Europe on something fun.

As for Galleries, nothing is set in stone at the moment but I did just get in touch with Bottleneck Gallery in New York about some upcoming shows. I should know more in the coming weeks.

Beyond that I still have two conventions left for the year here in Toronto and in Ottawa in early Dec.

Do you have a favorite video game series?

This is a tough question .. I loved Fallout and Bioshock but my all time fav is probably SimCity.

Are you playing any video games currently? Any upcoming titles that you are excited about?

Haha yes… SimCity 5 actually. I gave up some of the last Gigs of hard drive space on my laptop to play it. It really is a guilty pleasure.

As for Console games … I am playing GTA 5, Batman: Arkham City and waiting in line on the shelf are Metro: The Last Light, & Batman: Arkham Origins.

I am most looking forward to Watch Dogs and Thief. I’m interested in the new Assassins Creed… and of course someday Fallout 4 :)

If you could be any video game character who would it be and why?

They say if you ever have the option to be Batman then be Batman. So yes… Batman!

If you could be a dinosaur with any super power, which would you choose and why?

T-Rex… Stretchy Arms or Invisibility. Deadliest creature to ever live and nothing is out of reach. The true apex predator!


Want to keep up with what Ron is working on? You can follow him on Tumblr for all his latest art and updates. You can purchase his excellent artwork at his Etsy Shop. Also, be sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter, and check out his Website and DeviantArt Gallery for a full collection of his work.

(via tuiteyfruityundead)


I’ll stop when I’ve saved the world and fallen in love.



I’ve never seen this species of tree before.

I believe it’s a lackatexturus of the filiklixturus family. It’s an unique family of sentient trees.

Apart from it’s sheer visual annoyance this member of the filiklixturus is completely harmless and only wants to be loved.

Other members of this extraordinary family however, such as the explodesinyourfaceturus and the holyshititscomingrightatusturus, are known to have homicidal tendencies towards humans.

Very little is known about these this particular species of trees since more often than not observers and researchers mysteriously disappear due to encounters with a wild explodesinyourfaceturus or holyshititscomingrightatusturus. The only recorded footage of these trees in action is often considered fake.

(via anachronistic-dinosaur)


sometimes i think about how portal was a game with no male characters, featuring a WOC protagonist and an excellent female antagonist who were both anything but sexualised, and yet somehow still managed to create an interesting and engaging experience for female and male gamers alike, win awards, and get a sequel, and then i look at people who say “games with female protagonists don’t sell” and i laugh. for a very long time.

(via thebombasticbookman)

Dead Island Backwards Trailer - Live Action (by MachinimaPrime)

Oh wow. This is awesome. Hat tip to Nerdist, who have a side-by-side of this version and the original.




Mandatory difficulty vs optional challenges is a detriment to a game’s accessibility. Everyone should be able to buy and enjoy your game. It’s on you as a designer to structure your game’s difficulty so that is possible. Even if that just means adding an “easy mode” switch.

Is there any particular reason why a game should be accessible? Authors arent expected to write books with easier words and less adult themes every time they write a book. Pretty much every good piece of media is tailored to its audience in one way or another, why is that a problem?

Authors are expected to write books with easier words in them, that’s what editors tell authors. Publishers say “hey we’ll invest money in printing your book and distributing it to stores but you gotta help us make sure it’ll sell well to as many people as possible.” It’s a different marketplace from, say, movies, which are the most extreme version of accessibility-driven media because they require a much higher financial investment than books.

Video games are rivaling movies in their required financial investment and have similarly centralized audiences. But the difference is that video games are still a new medium and their potential audience hasn’t hit total saturation yet, as with movies.

Actually I’m gonna illustrate what I’m talking about by comparing the marketing directions of the last generation of consoles. Nintendo’s strategy with the Wii was to make games accessible to everyone and Microsoft and Sony’s strategy was to cater to existing gamers. This isn’t just “marketing” as in promotional materials, but it’s inherent in the actual designs of their games; Nintendo focused on making their games playable by non-gamers whereas Microsoft and Sony got in an arms race of making their games cater to existing gamers in more extreme ways.

Look at the market places those have created for those two respective brands. Setting aside Nintendo’s missteps with the branding of the Wii U itself, the actual market for the Wii and the 3DS is a lot more diverse than the market for Microsoft and Sony games which is much more centralized. Diversity in the market place means that new things are possible and that more people can play their games.

Because Nintendo spent the last few years intentionally expanding their market place and reaching out to older customers and female customers they now have a new demographic to cater too. Which means they’re doing things like adding more female playable characters because more women are buying their games. It also has lead to some really interesting stuff like Mario 3D World which is a more casually-minded and streamlined approach at 3D Mario, compared to the Mario 64 model which was too complex and game-y for non-gamers to easily figure out. If you make every game an entry point for any gamer you grow the market place which allows you to ultimately invest more money in things that aren’t catering to a single ideal customer.

The counter example would be Bioshock Infinite, a game that has a really interesting story and concept but was literally forced by the publisher to shoehorn in a bunch of fratboy FPS gameplay elements. The reason only fratty dudes want to play Bioshock Infinite is because Microsoft and Sony has spent the past decade catering to fratty dudes. The publishers literally told Irrational Games they could only have the money needed to make the game if they make Elizibeth sexier, they made Booker manlier, they made the violence bloodier. Personally, I found the game unplayable. I’m no good at FPS gameplay and I found it unplayable even though I was mostly along the ride for the story. I ended up watching the story on YouTube and it felt like a trite Hollywood movie ending.

This is sort of a broad and sweeping explanation that also leans a little on the fanboy side so I’m going to give another example in the completely opposite direction: Anna Anthropy’s game Dys4ia. There is no publisher backing this game, there’s no financial investment, but there’s still an emotional investment. The goal of Dys4ia is to convey the experience of gender dysphoria to other people who have not experienced it first-hand. She accomplishes this goal by making the game extremely playable and accessible despite being about a very narrow and specific subject. It’s very successful in that regard.

I am no way an objective authority, and I believe that some people subscribe to the philosophy that their media should only appeal to people who are exactly like them. I do not agree with this philosophy. The purpose of media is to take your ideas and convey them to others. If you’re going to convey your ideas to others, why not convey them to as many people as possible?

Adding an “easy mode” in your game is of no detriment to hardcore players. Viewtiful Joe was one of the most intense games I’ve ever played in my life and I’m able to talk about it with a lot of other people who played through it on “Kids Mode.” Adding an easy mode costs very little in terms of production and detracts nothing from players who are going to choose to play the “hard mode.” Some games do this without discrete modes, but through inherent design choices; Pokemon is only hard if you choose to make it hard and compete against other trainers who are playing on a competitive level, but almost anyone can finish the story mode. Mario does optional challenges with star coins. Zelda does it with Hero Mode.

What’s the value in making your game unplayable by certain people? What’s the value in making it possible for a person to buy your game and not experience most of the content? Why would you want to make media that only people who are similar to you can consume? That ideology stems from elitism and I don’t like it.

(via elhuesudoii)




videogame journalism is a huge joke

If you want actual video games journalism, you pretty much have two choices: Rock, Paper, Shotgun and PC Gamer.

(via theobscurereference)