Coming off of fashion week, I’m guilty of instagramming and texting while walking more than ever- who has time to sit down to send an email? Meanwhile in China, a 165-foot stretch of pavement has been split in two lanes with a fresh line of white paint, one side designated to phone-occupied pedestrians to use at their “own risk,” and the other marked strictly “no cell phones.” Naturally, people have been happily snapping photos of the new lanes on their phones, but not staying in them.
—by Veronica So, Editor-in-Chief
No Man’s Sky isn’t simply a game. It’s a work of wonder on every conceivable level—a defiant stand in the face of linear, quest-based MMOs, set in a procedurally generated megacosm waiting to be mapped, explored, catalogued. In the words of Hello Games’ founder Sean Murray, when No Man’s Sky first launches, its universe will be as unexplored and unknown as ours was so many centuries ago. Players will have no information about its worlds – everything will be marked as an “Unknown,” and as more players choose to roam through space, their movements will slowly populate a map of the universe. This is the game that science fiction loyalists will hold up as a return to Star Trek’s big-picture “final frontier” mentality, albeit without the restrictions of a Prime Directive, because players are free to do whatever they want to the new lifeforms that they encounter. Science fiction games today, says Murray, are mostly an extension of the ongoing dichotomy between warring factions – a future war, where you find a thing, shoot the thing, and move on to the next quest in chain. Not here – in this case, players are scattered across a vast expanse of space and time, with slim odds of actually meeting each other. After all, the beauty of No Man’s Sky lies in its infinite promise – all of its planets would take five billion years to fully explore without breaks – all 18 quintillion of them (the exact number is 18,446,744,073,709,551,616).
—by Alexis Ong, Gaming & Interactive Culture Editor