Historically, video-game-themed movies and adaptations are the second-class citizens of cinema, frowned upon by critics and audiences alike. But “Wreck-It Ralph” worked. Last weekend, it became the biggest opening for Walt Disney Animation ever, topping the box office with $49.1 million. Does the critical and box office success of “Wreck-It Ralph” spell the beginning of a new era for video game films?
What if your iPad could recognize you, not through passwords, retinal scans or even fingerprints, but a simple touch? Well that’s exactly what technology being developed by researchers Chris Harrison (Carnegie Mellon University), Munehiko Sato (also University of Tokyo) and Ivan Poupyrev (Disney Research) can do. Without wearing silly gloves or extra gadgets of any sort, any object you touch could recognize you.
Kill it with fire!
Originally created to surmise why certain kinds of humanoid robots freak people out, the concept of the uncanny valley has acquired new relevance in the business of character design for films and video games, where techno-driven “realism” has become an obsession. The basic idea is simple: for many reasons (possibly including, but not limited to, our hardwired revulsion toward dead bodies and other disease vectors), anything that simulates the look and feel of a real human in a close-but-no-cigar manner will tend to have a major ick factor; whereas something that acts human but doesn’t come anywhere close to looking human doesn’t bother us at all.
Click through to see more pictures of the undead, and a skin crawling video of a freakish robot-man. You have been warned.