June 2013 • Issue 1 reinventing the urban labyrinth • hunt library • is drm here to stay? • user interfaces best seat in the house • "would you kindly" • next-generation gaming • megalopolitan modern
Keep up to date with the new Patent Pending digital magazine online! Patent Pending Digital Magazine
+Patent Pending Digital Magazine
Plus, visit us on our website for all the latest issues, news, and more! www.PatentPendingMag.com
2 | J u ne Issu e
Best Seat in the House User Interfaces 18
Is DRM Here to Stay?
Megalopolitan Gaming Modern
Reinventing the Urban Labyrinth Hunt Library 10
Business and Government
Evolution of Technology
From the Editor's Desk
"Would you kindly." 20 Next-Gen Gaming 22 Megalopolitan Modern
20 Patent Pend ing | 3
G RIFFIN G AST
J OHN G RIFFITH
J ACKIE H ALULA
is an award winning professional photographer with almost a decade of photographic experience mixed with a drive for creativity. As a young person, Austin is in full support of student lead projects that promote independence and free thinking. Austin is excited to get in on the ground floor of â€œPatent Pendingâ€?.
is a student at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in Economics and Philosophy. As a philosophy major, John finds the search and study of perfection rather compelling, especially in areas like design and innovation. He is eager not only to contribute to the Patent Pending project, but to learn from it as well. 4 | J u ne Issu e
is currently a double major in Dramatic Arts and History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He attempts to focus his writing on video games and the impact they can have on gamers and non-gamers alike mainly just so he can have a valid excuse to sit around and play video games for hours on end.
is going to be a freshman at North Carolina State University with a concentration in nothing... yet! She thoroughly enjoys design of all types and is addicted to coffee. It is her goal to travel the world and share her experiences with anyone who will listen.
In this Issue...
AUSTIN C LARK
S TEPHANIE KELLEY
is currently a senior at Cardinal Gibbons High School. Frequently found hidden between the pages of a book, her first loves are writing, reading, and getting too cozy with the iPhone Netflix app. Sheâ€™s interested in everything to do with literature, feminism, technology, and grassroots activism.
C ATHERINE M C M ANAMON
is an avid intermediate photographer who enjoys capturing the beauty of life and nature on her iPhone. She is obsessed with any piece of Apple technology and could not imagine life without an iPad. Catherine is attending the Franciscan University of Steubenville for business management and marketing.
is an active tech enthusiast who enjoys reading up on all the current events in the consumer electronics world. He has been said to have an obsession with smartphones and other mobile devices. Aaron is excited to bring his ideas from the robotics team and video club at high school to print in Patent Pending.
D ANIEL O'C ONNELL
is a sports enthusiast and enjoys reading about various stories and innovation in sports. He loves keeping up with new technology and how it improves sports and the viewing experience. He finds the expansion of instant replay technology as well as 3D technology particularly fascinating.
D AVID TORRES
is currently in the Urban and Regional Studies program at Cornell University. When not at home reading urban blogs and books he can be found drinking coffee or road biking just for the sake of it.
Patent Pend ing | 5
MANAGING EDITORS Megan Izzo Nicholas Schuetz
Austin Clark Catherine McManamon
Brooke Eichenlaub Griffin Gast John Griffith Jackie Halula Christopher Johnson Stephanie Kelley Daniel O'Connell Henry Plaskonos Aaron Ruff Karthik Sundram David Torres
MARKETING TEAM Daniel DiLeone Carl Hiltbrunner Aaron Ruff
SPECIAL THANKS TO BORIS VARGAS, FOR DESIGNING PATENT PENDING'S LOGO AND TO JACOB MOHR FOR DESIGNING THE CARTOON FEATURED ON PAGE 15! ALSO THANKS TO ISSUU FOR PUBLISHING OUR MAGAZINE ONLINE!
6 | J u ne Issu e
F ROM THE
DESK OF THE EDITOR Hello, and welcome to the first issue of "Patent Pending!" Whether you found this magazine on the web, through our publisher, Issuu, or by word of mouth, we are excited to share with you the project that has been in the works for the past I have had the great experience of working with a very talented team of writers, photographers, editors, and designers, who have taught me so much about how to run a media publication--and how to effectively use coffee some late nights. When I first started asking around about who was interested in working on a magazine about design and innovation, I was blown away by the response. A large team quickly assembled--some of whom you will find in these pages and some who like to remain hidden. What is "innovation" and "design?" The team asked me the same question when we began brainstorming ideas in our first meeting on a Google+ Hangout. While we all sat at our computers, trying to make sure all our microphones and cameras were all working (they never did), I wondered why things don't just work when you want to use them. It's exactly the sort of things that do "work" that we want to cover. To the annoyance of several writers, we do not have a specific "focus" in the traditional sense. instead, "Patent Pending" has more of a direction; and that's to the right. Before you think that's some sort of political statement, I'll explain that there are two types of innovation: wrong innovation and right innovation. When something not only is usable, not only works well, but looks good at the same time, that is correct innovation. Those ideas just work. In this issue you will see struggle towards perfection in urban ecology, consumer electonics, architecture, and other interesting niches of innovation that the writers found. Though seemingly disconnected, they all move towards the right. And thence into the future. I hope you thoroughly enjoy this issue and are able to take something away from it that inspires you and ignites a flame driving you to achieve perfection in your own life, work, and interactions with others. N ICHOLAS D'ANDREA E DITOR-IN -C HIEF
Patent Pend ing | 7
Reinventing the Urban BY S TEPHANIE KELLEY
Following the emergence of sprawling highways and suburbs in the 1950s, the way people designed cities changed perceptibly. I say “people” because a term like “cityplanner” seems insufficient and too broad — these days, an incalculable number of perspectives are taken into account when designing cities. The engineer slaves in the hopes of building higher and higher while preventing collapse, the architect utilizes form and design to create skyscrapers unimagined — but that’s everything we’re used to hearing about. These days, simple terms don’t really fit. The advent of an information-saturated age of technology has completely transformed the way individuals interact with one another, scrapping traditional conventions. In short, everything is now more labyrinthine than meets the eye, and cities, like their inhabitants, are today often much more complicated than the sum of a few components. So what does Facebook have in common with sidewalks? The answer to that very question reveals a lot about the way humans think about city-building today. Despite the traditionalist view that the building of cities is something unnatural, this couldn’t be further from the truth: it’s intuitively true that humans and beavers are driven by the same urge to create. Cities are a lot like ecosystems, in that both represent humans’ interaction and influence on their environment. To answer the aforementioned question — many agree that Facebook is more than just a website: it functions as an intricate web, threading individuals together and weaving tight-knit communities. Why not, then, think about cities in the same way? After all, what are buildings, institutions, and facilities if not physical manifestations of human connection? It seems absurd, at first, 8 | J u ne Issu e
to think about — after all, the subjects of discussion are large, resolutely inanimate slabs of concrete and stone, not living people — but then again, why not think about it this way? Why not acknowledge and analyze the tangible impact websites like Facebook and Twitter have on urban life? Why not view these online interactions as similar to natural phenomena? Why not think of the Internet
Location of Twitter users by tracking georeferenced tweet
NASA Visible Earth imagery depicting urbanization of the
Labyrinth age as a catalyst for a whole new type of city? Physical objects — library cards, credit & debit cards, and tickets of all kinds — are moving from physical existence to habitation in iPhones, Androids, and other smartphones. Within a decade, public access to WiFi has gone from a precious commodity to an expected luxury. It’s harder to find someone
empty-handed, no smartphone in hand or pocket, than in possession of one. Google is seeking to (insidiously, some say) transform daily experiences of life into informationsaturated technological endeavors. Whether this is for better or worse is anyone’s guess, but here’s something really mind-blowing: when comparing a map showing the geography of Twitter users, it looks startlingly similar — one might even venture to say identical — to a similar map demonstrating the geography of urbanization. The conclusion is clear: the growth of cities and the growth of technological communities are one in the same. While we think of them as separate entities, perhaps the online world and the physical world are closer than we think.
Despite decades’ worth of outcries that technological advancement can be a deleterious force that ought to be stopped, perhaps it’s time for societies to stop beating themselves up, at least a little. The beauty of not only the ever-cliché term “city lights,” but also the webs of online connection that lay underneath, are awe-inspiring forces to behold. The physical reality of technology at work in cities raises as many difficult questions as exciting ones — with email and internet servers constantly “pushing” information to cellular devices, do we ever truly leave the workplace or the classroom, even after the day is over and we’ve vacated the physical space? When we ceaselessly leave digital footprints, how does the concept of privacy in urban spaces change? And perhaps most intriguing of all: what can we, the curious pioneers of a new age of urban development, seek to learn from the cities in which we live?
Patent Pend ing | 9
â€œWhat is unique about the Hunt Library is its conception of what a 21st-century learning environment should be. It transitions from being a place you go to take away information in book form to a place that provides an intellectual home for you to deeply experience the knowledge that you are interacting with. It encourages hands-on capabilities to take the knowledge that you might find in conventional libraries and apply it in creative, interactive, innovative ways to explore what knowledge can do. . . . NC State is unique in having access to such amazing technologies and spaces.â€? R. Michael Young, Professor of Computer Science, North Carolina State University
10 | J u ne Issu e
James B. Hunt, Jr. Library When someone says “I’m going to the library,” inevitably you think of a dusty, warehouse-like building with bad lighting and outdated technology--or perhaps one of the few stunning private libraries only seen in pictures. This unfortunate image of a library is usually a universal conception—but conceivably not for long, and definitely not on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. The students of this university have access to one of the most sophisticated libraries in the world: the James B. Hunt Jr. Library.
"The most advanced and abundant technology to be found in a university library" The Hunt Library has some of the most advanced and abundant technology to be found in a university library on the global level. With over
4,000 televisions around the building—most with touch screen capabilities—it seems as if there is a screen on every single wall. Whether that is true or not, without a doubt there is no need to wait for someone to finish watching Dr. Who in order to beta-test your newly designed video game. Think that is impressive? Don’t forget to print out a model of your favorite video game character on one of the 3D printers available. But these printers do much more than just cater to students’ whims. If you know how to work them, 3D printers can do everything from designing your newest prototype to making a scale model of the Hunt Library itself. Despite all these ingenious additions to the library’s technical repertoire, nothing can come close to competing with the bookBot as far as the implications of its existence. This robot allows for bookshelves to be stored horizontally and then stacked. The bookBot will go and pull the correct bookshelf down when someone requests, for example, Crime and Punishment (or its Sparknotes!). Its design permits space that would be otherwise dedicated to teaming
Patent Pend ing | 11
The World bookshelves in an average library to be designated for other uses. Only about eleven percent of the space that would traditionally be used for books is used for the Hunt Library’s two million books.
"Attention to small details..." The newly freed space has been converted into spacious lounges, conference rooms, and presentation rooms that naturally lead to the ability to work with people in other disciplines and collaborate with them
12 | J u ne Issu e
on school related problems as well as real world issues. Such collaboration is encouraged in the very design of the smaller rooms, as they are nearly covered in writable surfaces: whiteboard walls, glass windows, and glass tables—all with the sole purpose of being used to share and express ideas. It is attention to small details which emphasizes the architect, Snøhetta, and his team’s desire to go above and beyond to achieve more than what any other building had previously accomplished in a library: an atmosphere where it is acceptable, even encouraged, to discuss with your peers and learn what they have to offer.
As for the future, there is no doubt that this incredible buildingâ€™s advances in architecture, as well as the amenities it has for students to utilize, will soon be evident in other structures and libraries around the world. Even now, only about six months after its official opening, many businesses are examining the Hunt Library in order to see what the future of education at NC State and the rest of the world looks like. Their ultimate goal: to learn how they can best adapt their companies to accommodate the changes that are being seen in design and architectureâ€”and most importantly, in the minds of the graduates themselves. J OURNALIST - J ACKIE H ALULA P HOTOGRAPHER - AUSTIN C LARK
Patent Pend ing | 13
Business and Government
Is DRM Here to Stay? BY J OHN
Do you really own the music, movies, TV shows, games, and eBooks you have purchased? For the lawabiding readers who have paid for your digital media, it seems reasonable to say, well, “Of course!” On second thought however, you don’t really own most of your software and files in the same way that you own your laptop, furniture, car, or box of breakfast cereal. Within the legal limits, you can do almost anything with your physical property: sell a laptop, give away furniture, disassemble a car, and share breakfast cereal with as many strangers as you like. You can’t do these things with most computer content though. In fact, some of these programs and files have very restrictive rules—rules that, if broken, can be grounds for criminal prosecution. These types of constraints are lumped together in something called Digital Rights (or Restrictions) Management. DRM, for short, is the category of restrictions on how a file or piece of software can be used, 14 | J u ne Issu e
"You don’t really own most of your software and files"
transferred, or redistributed. Examples include limitations on copying CDs or songs, requirements to authorize or access products online, and restrictions on how a book or movie can be viewed. Since DRM provides prohibitive and inconvenient restraints, it reduces the value of the digital content: Most people would prefer a product they can use freely over one with ingrained restrictions. So why do most companies offering music, television, movies, software, eBooks, etc include DRM? Despite what some producers say about the supposed “increased functionality” that their DRM contributes, its primary purpose is to defend their merchandise from pirates—people who acquire a digital product without paying for it. These protections do not only just simply exist, but
the law actually criminalizes people who try to bypass them. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 is a recently passed law being used to prosecute people for copyright infringement and DRM circumvention. People found guilty are often loaded with unreasonably-high penalties. This, of course, has brought illegal distribution of digital content to a complete standstill. Actually, just kidding. By most accounts, DRM is preventing almost no serious piracy. It tends to only restrain casual users, who may try to lend out a piece of software or transfer a protected file. Online distribution of everything digital remains undeterred despite all the built-in restrictions and legal consequences. Programmers are still able to quickly outsmart the DRM and
circulate software to counteract it (sometimes even just hours after a piece of software is released). One industry which has tried DRM, but is now giving up on it, is the music business. Too many people were pirating songs instead of paying for them, which was significantly reducing music sales. As a result, services like iTunes and Amazon now offer their mp3 downloads without any digital prohibitions beyond the US law itself. The foremost music CD manufacturers no longer include DRM on their disks, but simply the digital media itself. If the music industry is beginning to abandon the practice, are all of the other digital providers going to follow this precedent? There are a lot of good reasons: it costs more to include DRM
measures, it inconveniences legitimate customers, and not only do these measures not stop illegal downloads, but it’s
buy comparable software from Electronic Arts after a bomb like SimCity, then similar software will continue to be created. A drop in revenue is probably the only way for producers to see that DRM isn’t worth it. Regardless of whether DRM is worthwhile or not for providers, there’s still a bigger question at play here. If a company can tell you what you can’t do with its product, then there seem to be only two conclusions: 1) either the producer is still the owner of the good you purchased, and he is simply letting you license it according to his demands, or 2) he has the legal right to intrude and control use of your property. Regardless of which option it is, neither is particularly comforting.
"DRM is preventing almost no piracy" actually possible that piracy may actually when DRM is removed from the product1. Seems like all the digital goods will be DRM-free pretty soon, right? Well, that will rely on the consumer and whether he keeps buying the DRM-protected merchandise. A recent story comes to mind: SimCity 5’s release was immediately considered a disaster largely because of all the disabling protective features, which prevented eager players from accessing the game except through the crowded online servers. If customers are still willing to
"Sure, he's marrying her, but I'm still keeping the licensing rights."
1Rice University. "Removal of restrictions can decrease music piracy, study suggests."ScienceDaily, 10 Oct. 2011. Web. 13 Jun. 2013.
Patent Pend ing | 15
Evolution of Technology
Best Seat in the House BY D ANIEL O'CONNELL
Johnny Unitas brought in a $125,000 salary at the peak of his career in 1973. Just a couple months ago Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco signed a deal worth 20.1 million dollars a year. Salaries in professional sports are unquestionably rising as the sports gain popularity. The question is: where is this money coming from? Well, it’s certainly not coming from ticket sales, thanks to modern high definition television. Even the NFL, America’s most popular (and profitable) sport is facing a 4.5% decrease in ticket sales since 2007. And it’s not just the NFL struggling with ticket sales; MLB and other leagues are facing the effects of modern television. Today, sports fans can take a seat on their couch and flip the switch on their 60 inch high definition television to enjoy any game. The temperature is perfect, they do not need binoculars, and they do not see important plays once; they see them three or more times from different angles. Cost? A couple hundred a month at most. On the other hand attending an NFL games costs at least $70 per ticket, $15 for parking, and $30 for food. Oh, by the way, either your face and toes are freezing or your neck is dripping with sweat, and you are starring down from the upper deck through binoculars trying to keep
16 | J u ne Issu e
track of the play. The game ends, and your day is finished. Thanks to high definition television, fans no longer feel they need to attend games to take part in the game day experience. Modern television has brought the game day experience to your home. Fans can follow the action from their couch as the picture changes instantaneously from multiple camera views. The viewer never feels as though he is more than a few feet from the action, and often the camera can focus on players seeming mere inches away. Nothing sends goose bumps to a hockey fan like ice chips flying into the wall as a player slams his opponent into the boards. Cameras track the action as to transplant the fan across the playing surface with the action. Analysts often say “it’s a game of inches.” Which game? That is the point. All sports are ‘games of inches,’ which plays perfectly into the hands of high definition television. Replay technology offers multiple views from opposite sides of the play slowed down to hundredths of a second of action per second. Fans can therefore appreciate the skill and precision involved in game winning touchdown catches or home runs. Multiple camera views allow the viewer a 360 degree
view of the entire play to dissect all the pieces of the play. For example, in football, replay can determine exactly how close a pass came to hitting the ground (and if it indeed did), illustrate the handful of grass strands between the receivers foot and the out of bounds line, and exactly when (to a tenth of a second) the player’s knee hit the ground. Basketball fans can relive the game winning shot brushing off a player’s finger tips with fractions of a second on the clock and resurface their passion. This technology draws fans and allows them to not simply enjoy it but understand it. They do not feel ostracized, but instead an insider on whatever sport they are watching. Of course none of this is possible at the venue. At NFL games, even fans a few rows up on the fifty yard line are left guessing whether the ball actually touched the ground. They simply do not have the benefit of high definition replay; only
those of long sweaty restroom lines and greasy over priced food. As the twenty first century progresses though, HD replay, surround sound, and close camera shots do not occupy the headlines. Soon, they will not suffice. Sports television is growing up as it truly aims to bring the action home to viewers with 3D television. Marquee events are already being televised in three dimensions by companies such as AT&T, Time Warner Cable, and DirecTV, in conjunction with NBC, ABC (incl. ESPN), and FOX. However, this service is provided at an extra cost to viewers. In addition, it is often on a delayed tape, and covers few events. None the less, this technology underscores the in game experience fans can encounter from their couches. The area of three dimensional television looks to be a promising one as fans understand ‘the best seat in the house’ is truly in their house.
J u ne Issu e | 17
Evolution of Technology
User Interfaces: Functionality and Form BY AARON RUFF
It’s that time again. Your contract’s up and you’re in the market for a new phone. What do you look for? Do you choose a phone based on the hardware? the name? the features? For the average consumer, the user interface (UI) can be the biggest dealmaker or breaker, whether they know it or not. When a consumer is wandering around the store and trying all the cool new phones, one of the first things an average user is going to look for is an operating system with a comfortable UI. For some, they may know what operating system they want, but the UI is what interests them. Since Xerox introduced the first desktop UI in 1973, the user interface has changed from an extremely eye-jarring, settings-lacking, functionality-driven interface to the eye-catching, customizable, intuitivelydriven interface that is evident now. Whether it be Android, Ubuntu, iOS, or Windows, they've all changed over the years to all accomplish the same purpose. The fight for functionality seems to be dying now, and manufactures are fighting for the most powerful and elegant devices. Many will swear allegiance to their favorite OS, or
18 | J u ne Issu e
manufacturer, but sometimes it is best to evaluate the interconnectivity between all systems with an unbiased view. It is true, that while Apple and Google were fighting to make their OS the most popular with the most functionality, and ease of use, Microsoft trashed their original Windows Mobile OS and released its now growing Windows Phone platform. Their goal was simplicity and eye candy, while keeping functionality. With this came an unfortunate lack in customization, but Microsoft showed that it is capable of making a functional and fluid mobile OS despite its slow growth. The UI is covered in elegant typography and smooth animation; an area that the two larger are lacking but now trying to implement. Still, with Apple’s recently announced iOS7, we see that they have finally implemented some of the much needed missing features that could be found on other major platforms. Apple has finally decided to implement a new wave of eye candy that iOS had been desperately lacking. Jony Ive and Apple’s development team have done a great job distinguishing its UI from the rest. While
keeping the recognizable homescreen of iOS, Apple has added more dynamic features such as live wallpapers, fluid animations, updated folders, and much needed typography updates. Apple’s UI update has given itself a strong new position in a developing fight: the battle for the best looking UI. On the Android side of things, Google has finally matched iOS in fluidity, and its freedom of use is loved by many handset makers, such as Samsung, Sony, and HTC, who love to “skin” the operating system. Unknown by many, Google’s stock Android version (AOSP), the “Android Open Source Project” does not make it to many phones, save the Nexus line and very few others. It is unclear what the future of the AOSP UI will be, but with such releases as the Galaxy S4 Google Edition, and the HTC One Google Edition, it might mean that Google would like to start releasing more devices using its stock interface in addition to its Nexus line. It is also
possib le that they may soon be offering an option to switch on and of manufacture skins and the consumer's leisure. If this is the case, Google is now facing more obligation to release a more dynamic UI. Despite having live wallpapers, and minimal animations, Google’s eye candy isn’t as apparent as Windows Phone and the new iOS7. There is no debate that the UI has grown over the years and that the mobile market is growing. A great path to the future of devices was paved when Xerox released the first desktop UI. Desktops, tablets, and phones are all examples of it. The recent OS updates and releases are suggestions that the competition for functionality may be coming to a close and the fight may be shifting to fluidity and eye pleasantries.
J u ne Issu e | 19
"Would You Kindly..." A powerful phrase. A familiar phrase. BY G RIFFIN
To many, that phrase is not actually that familiar. They might hear it one day when walking down the street or perhaps even uttered by a friend in need of a favor, but it does not hold that much weight. To most gamers, however, those three words, that simple phrase can be one of the most fear-inducing utterances ever to be spoken aloud. “How could this be?” one asks, “It is just a polite way of asking for help.” But to those gamers who know the hidden meaning behind the phrase it is more than just a polite request. It is a symbol of slavery and the taking away of choice. The phrase is more than just a symbol though. It is a reminder to all people, even those who never even touch a video game controller, of how we always have a choice if we put the effort into searching for it and warning to stay away from blindly following the ideas, actions, and commands of others. The phrase “Would you kindly?” carries so much weight due to its importance in the video game Bioshock. In the inventive first person shooter, the player takes control of a young man named Jack who finds himself in an underwater city named Rapture ruled by guns and genetic modifications called plasmids after a plane crash and quickly befriends a man who calls himself Atlas in order to survive the terror that has befallen Rapture. This is where this article is going to take a turn for the spoilers-y so if you, dear reader, ever have the desire to play Bioshock with a fresh mind,
20 | J u ne Issu e
then I would advise you to leave right now. Leave this article and go find something else to read, something about computers the size of your fingernail or buildings a mile high. Now, dear reader, since you have remained I hope you will not mind if I spoil a few things. Atlas’ main goal is to kill Rapture’s founder Andrew Ryan because he believes that Ryan has become a dictator and he enlists the help of his newfound friend Jack to do it. Once Jack makes it to him, Ryan reveals that Atlas had been using a mind control device the whole time, the phrase “Would you kindly?” The game quickly flashes back to all the times Atlas had said the phrase and the player realizes how many there really were. After revealing this to Jack, Ryan uses the phrase to force Jack to kill him with a golf club. Ryan’s dying words? “A man chooses. A slave obeys.” Those three phrases echo in the mind of every gamer who has ever played Bioshock because they are symbols. The represent a basic conflict inside of Jack and inside of us all: the struggle of choice. They are not just interesting parts of a game’s plot however. They are also major commentaries on both video games and choices in general. The entire “Would you kindly?” plot of Bioshock pulls into question how much we as gamers blindly follow the instructions given to us. We assume that when given a task we have to complete it to proceed along in the game. We don’t ask why we have to do this or what the impacts are if
we do it. We just do it to keep the game moving. In a way the phrase basically makes fun of how focused on getting to the end most modern games have become. On top of all that, Andrew Ryan’s dying words (“A man chooses. A slave obeys.”) serve as reinforcements to the idea of choosing one’s own path, rather than following (or obeying) someone else’s. “Would you kindly?” forces us to be active in what we do in games. Sure we cannot actually change it because we have to complete it, but at least now we are thinking and not just blindly following. Just because we, as players, can’t change things in a video game, that doesn’t mean that we as people can’t change things in our own lives. The part about “Would you kindly?” that I personally find most interesting is how it (and Andrew Ryan’s dying words) can apply to the simple act of making choices in our real lives. Take the effect this one phrase had on gamers in making them aware of how much they were blindly following the game’s set path rather than think about each action they performed and apply it to everyone. If everyone knew about this phrase and the power it wielded in one circumstance, it could cause everyone to be more conscious about how they make decisions. It might even make them more active in ways like creating their own options that were not there before. And it is there where Ryan’s words come into play in the larger picture, asking how we view ourselves. Now of course few people would actively choose to label themselves as slaves rather than people, but take a pause to think not about the labels and rather what they mean. Do we, as individuals, want to obey everything ever given to us in exchange for relative safety or do we want to choose our own paths even if
those paths might be more dangerous? This is basic question asked by “Would you kindly?” and some would even argue the basic question of Bioshock overall. This single phrase places into question things like careers, self-image, and even one of the big questions: what it means to be human. This single phrase has the power to lead even the most stable and certain people to question the basic tenets of their lives. We as human beings fear change and fear losing what we know as normal and regular. And that right there is the answer to the question “How could this be?” that was posed earlier. The phrase “Would you kindly?” inspires fear (or at least tensed up nerves) in all those who know what it really means because it causes them to question whether they are a man or a slave.
J u ne Issu e | 21
Next-Generation Gamin BY N ICHOLAS S CHUETZ
The 2013 E3 event on June 11-13 hosted some of the final major reveals for the gaming industry for the year. At the event, the new generation of consoles were given a more sure face. Earlier, on May 21, Microsoft introduced the new generation of the Xbox, 2013. This next generation, called the Xbox One, is meant to be a direct competitor with the Playstation 4, announced late 2012. These companies previewed the consoles at their own releases and revealed a more polished version of the consoles at the E3 event. Console gaming has remained stagnant in the last few years with the most recent release from Nintendo with the Wii U. These new consoles are meant to be a new competitor to the personal computer, which has improved much more over the last few years with the addition of better graphics cards, improved memory systems, and faster processors. These improvements have been slowly leaving the aging consoles behind. The new generation is supposed to meet current PC standards while pushing
22 | J u ne Issu e
forward with future advances. The specifications of these consoles, however, are roughly equivalent to a decent personal computer. Neither of them offer much of anything new, nor are extremely future-proof. The designers were focusing on the use of their consoles over industry shattering specifications. Both of these consoles are attempting to unite everything within the entire living room. They want to enhance the way we watch tv and interact socially. The Xbox One links the entire system with television, games, music, and movies. The idea is to integrate everything into one clean, easy to use interface. The Xbox One will control every aspect of the living room, not just games, using the sound of your voice wthrough the optional voice control feature. The Playstation 4 is definitely more focused around gaming; however, it plans to add social media features to gameplay including live game streaming to friends and more interactive gameplay with the use of its new and updated cameras. After the initial confusion, most
ng people seem to have became more receptive to the idea of a connected interface system. It is surprising that it is the gaming industry that will bring this integration about the most successfully. Various televisions also tried connecting television with games and music. However, they were not central enough to the household to successfully create this combination. People who game on consoles use it regularly enough that they easily combine social media with games, tv, and music. The new consoles made several enemies at their initial release with the apparent intent to move away from games and into social media. Gamers, though, generally want to play games and are less concerned with a machine that opens social media. Afterall, a console's inherent purpose is to play a video game. At heart, these two consoles are meant to game. The question that remains however, is which one will dominate the gaming field and how much the user is willing to sacrifice in order to game. Graphic designers are looking to introduce better graphics into
games, but the old consoles are unable to handle them. The hope for these new consoles is to handle these â€œnext-genâ€? games with ease while preparing for even higher standards in the near future. However, the focus for both of these console was around the user interface and the connectivity of the gamer. At the E3 event, the new consoles show that they have the ability to still play video games at high frame rates with impressive graphics. The consoles will still be able to appeal to gamers while moving in the new interconnectivity direction that is being envisioned by the corporations. The key to success for these corporations in the gaming industry no longer lies in playing games the best, but by who integrates the living room into a seamless experience the best. The group that integrates the smoothest with the least compromise will win the new console war.
J u ne Issu e | 23
B Y D AVID TORRES
If there was ever a case of something that we don’t notice, but affects our daily lives, it’s cities. But iPhones and…uh…the Internet, David? I mean, come on! Nope, cities. While most of you, I’m sure, are thinking of New York or some other global megalopolis, I’m really talking about all types of cities. Even the one you live in is an amazing phenomenon: only a few species such as ants, termites, bees, and humans have evolved to build cities. Cities provide the most efficient way to allow humans to interact (in both negative and positive ways). Many of the issues facing humanity, such as global warming and energy shortages, have solutions which can be solved by building cities—just look at the difference in efficiency between cities and rural areas. In this
column, the main issues I plan on covering are related to the social, economic, cultural, and even healthrelated topics which are affected by cities and affect cities themselves. That’s my plan, and we’ll see where it goes from there. Before I let you go, let me rattle off a few fun facts about American’s most metropolitan metropolis you probably didn’t want to know, but are going to learn anyway: An average New Yorker use one-third less oil than the average American, or the same amount of energy as the average American from the 1920’s. New York City has a larger population than all but 11 states. New York’s subway system is longer than the rest of all American subways combined. Well, hope that blew your mind, and tune in next issue for some David-esque city-talk. D AVID IS THE WRITER OF THE M EGLOPOLITAN M ODERN S ECTION OF P ATENT P ENDING . YOU WILL BE ABLE TO FIND HIS
REFLECTIONS ON CONTEMPORARY URBAN THEORY AND TRENDS IN THE SAME PLACE EVERY ISSUE .
24 | J u ne Issu e
Look for the next issue of Patent Pending in the upcoming months! and... A sincere thank you goes to all readers of our magazine. If you would like to see the talented team of Patent Pending return even stronger for issue two, please consider funding our Kickstarter project. We will be using the funds to purchase better software, provide an even better looking magazine, and publish apps for iOS and Android. As always, Patent Pending is dedicated to finding the perfect instances of design and innovation. With your help, we will be able to provide a digital magazine that reflects the same type of design that we praise in our articles. A link to our Kickstarter page will be placed on our website (www.PatentPendingMag.com) and on our social media outlets. See you in a couple months!
Image Credits: 6 - First Monday/SGI Global Twitter Heartbeat 6 - First Monday/SGI Global Twitter Heartbeat/NASA Visible Earth Imagery Page 18 - Nokia Lumina 925 Press Image - © 2013 Nokia Page 19 - Nexus 4 Press Image Page 20 - Bioshock Rapture - © 2K Games/2KGames.com Page 22 - PLAYSTATION®4 Press Release - © 2013 Sony Page 23 - Xbox One Press Kit © 2013 Microsoft Page 20 - BuildingsTallHouse0056 by Jonas De Ro/CGTextures All other images and work © 2013 Patent Pending Digital Magazine 1 Page
J u ne Issu e | 25
All content ÂŠ 2013 Patent Pending unless otherwise stated