Category Archives: virtual worlds

Riese the Series: A New Steampunk Web Show

Riese The Series

I guess I’ve been living under a rock, because I only now just found out about Riese the Series, a super cool new steampunk show coming soon to Internets near you!

The story centers around Riese, a mysterious traveller being chased by assassins. Here’s an excerpt from the official website:

Riese The SeriesRiese, a seemingly random wanderer, is being hunted by a terrifying religious cult, The Sect. Traveling from nation to nation for years, she is accompanied only by a wolf, Fenrir. Together they must evade the assassins sent by the Sect – who’ll stop at nothing to complete the task they failed to achieve many years ago.

Her past is shrouded in mystery, as even Riese can’t recall the events of the tragic night when her entire family was slaughtered and she was forced to flee into the wilderness.

“Riese”, a unique and original steampunk-inspired web production shoots this August using the cutting-edge technology of the Red One camera system and slated for an Autumn launch.

I can’t wait to watch this! Sounds like a great combination of steampunk, fantasy, mystery and action. Ohhhh yes.

For some great insight into the production, be sure to watch the behind-the-scenes videos, and checkout these aweseome promo stills and concept artwork. Episodes should start airing this October.

Riese The Series

Riese The Series

Riese The Series

Riese The Series

Riese The Series

Riese The SeriesRiese The Series

[via RieseTheSeries]

Posted in art, retrofit, steampunk, video, virtual worlds | Leave a comment

James Cameron’s Avatar Movie Trailer

The trailer for James Cameron’s upcoming movie Avatar has been released. I think it looks awesome. From what I hear, it’s sort of a Dances with Wolves in space.

The aliens and creatures look very cool. This movie is obviously leaning heavily on CGI, but they do it well. They better, since the budget for this movie is rumored to be well over 200 million dollars.

Avatar will hit the theaters on Dec. 18, 2009, and stars Sigourney Weaver, Sam Worthington and Michelle Rodriguez. A rating of PG-13 is expected.

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The Star Trek Adventureland

This Star Trek Adventureland video is completely awesome. This is an old Paramount Pictures theme park attraction that allows Star Trek fans to dress up in costumes and insert themselves into a Star Trek adventure, AND have a chat with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. Sounds pretty cool!

Too bad Paramount doesn’t do this anymore. I think this family does a great job and the “adventure” looks like a blast. Well done!

[via ToplessRobot]

Posted in celebrities, cosplay, video, virtual worlds | 1 Comment

Costume Chaos – The Video Game

I just saw this on AmazonCostume Chaos, a costume video game!

Yes, YOU get to pretend that you own a costume rental shop. Your job is to dress everyone up in costumes! Doesn’t that sound fun?

This game costs less than a dollar, and you can download it from Amazon to play on your PC.

• Get Into The Groove Of The Costume Rental Lifestyle!
• Help Customers Dress For Party Success!
• Strategize Shop Upgrades For Maximum Reward!
• Pirates, Royalty, Cowboys…Dress ‘Em Up And Move ‘Em Out!

Manage your time and hire assistants through the busy Halloween, Mardi Gras and Rodeo seasons as you place wigs, mustaches, hats and silly noses for cash. Strategize your shop upgrades as you travel around the world, helping customers look fantastic for their outlandish costume parties. And who knows? Maybe even ‘The King’ himself will make an appearance.

This sounds great. Paying only a dollar for a taste of that groovy costume lifestyle is quite a bargain. I can’t wait to play this game!


Posted in gaming, random, video, virtual worlds | 1 Comment

Sony Denies Accusations of Costume Theft

Sony recently held a costume design contest for the “Sackboy” character in their video game LittleBigPlanet, and fans have accused them of stealing costume design ideas from non-winning entries. Sony has released a statement denying this accusation.

If you’re not familiar with the game, take a look at the trailer above. Players control small customizable “Sackboy” characters to solve puzzles and interact with a 3D environment.

So what happened? Well, Sony picked a winner and offered the winning costume as a free download for LittleBigWorld players. THEN, they released additional costumes as well, but charged money for them. And that’s when the great Costume Controversy began.

Sony’s new costumes are remarkably similar to several non-winning contest entries. Fans have cried foul, accusing Sony of copying and profiting from their uncredited costume designs.

Here are a few examples of design similarities provided by the disgrunted gamers.

Fanmade Design:
Sony Costume ContestSony Costume Contest

Sony’s Design:
Sony Costume ContestSony Costume Contest



Fanmade Design:
Sony Costume Contest
Sony’s Design:
Sony Costume Contest



Fanmade Design:

Sony Costume Contest

Sony’s Design:
Sony Costume ContestSony Costume Contest


As you can see, there ARE strong similarities between the costume designs. But did Sony do anything illegal? It doesn’t appear to be the case. All contest participants agreed to Sony’s Terms & Conditions before submitting their artwork. The fine print of the contest rules makes it clear that all submitted materials became the property of Sony. Case closed, it would seem.

But Sony went a step further and denied that any copying took place at all. According to a Sony representative:

“This was always going to be a possibility when we ran the costumer competition – releasing new costumes which are similar in theme to ones that were entered. Here’s the fact of the matter, the art team who are responsible for designing new original (ie unlicensed) costumes were involved at the very final stage of judging, by which time the number of entries had been whittled down to 10 from each batch of entries (Europe, Japan, USA). If at any time we take inspiration from a costume competition entry that didn’t win overall we will contact the creator directly.”

Hmm, so what are the disgruntled Sackboy costume designers to do? There’s probably nothing they CAN do. Legally, Sony has their fine print to fall back on. Plus, it’s awfully hard to copyright a penguin or a shark.

But this costume fiasco does indeed make Sony look bad. Someone in their PR department should come forward and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that their new costumes pre-existed before the contest. Until then, their integrity and goodwill towards fans will be questioned and scorned by many.

Feel free to sound off with your opinion in the comments below.

Posted in art, discussion, gaming, news, video, virtual worlds | 8 Comments

Visit China’s Virtual Forbidden City in Costume

Visit China

The famous Forbidden City in China gets tens of thousands of visitors each day. But now anyone in the world can visit this cultural landmark for free through a new 3-D Virtual recreation of the palace.

When you enter the Forbidden City, you choose one of nine historical costumes! Virtual visitors can partake of activities such as guided tours, Wei Qi, the game of Go, and archery. You can also watch Qing dynasty emperor feast at dinner, surrounded by his imperial servants.

The museum teamed up with IBM to develop this project, which took three years and three million dollars. You can enter the Forbidden City by visiting and downloading the free program.

Visit China

Visit China

Posted in art, news, virtual worlds, world costumes | Leave a comment

The Virtual Costume – When Your Avatars Outnumber Your RL Population…

Have you ever tried counting up your circle of friends? Now ponder the amount of people you don’t see on a regular basis, but are still friends. How many do you know? Hundreds? Thousands even?

Okay, now count up the amount of people you know online. Are you a gamer? Do you travel in Second Life? Do you have a few more friends than you should via the Internet?

Whatever the case is, there are so many avatars floating around that it’s been declared there are more virtual people than inhabitants in the United States. A rough number then? Well, roughly over 301,139,947. That’s the reported population of the United States. Shocked?

We are.

It’s no question that having an online presence is part of daily life. You could be on Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Orkut, or whatever else suits your fancy. You may log in daily. But we’re talking about actual virtual avatars. Alternate personalities that people seem to like to take on.

Every day people across the world are seeking some sort of escape from reality and virtual worlds have offered that (for better or worse) better than most hobbies. It’s now commonplace for an individual to be known to more than a few people by a name other than the one they’re given.

It’s really something to ponder. As we write about costumes we find out more and more that the purpose of the costume is to get into something and be someone else. Virtual worlds offer this in a semi-private kind of way. In a world where we clutch so hard to the “musts” we all need a place to let go of them. With each new technological advancement we slowly integrate ourselves into the virtual arena bit by bit.

It’s crazy enough to note here on our blog and hopefully we’ll see more people emerge with opinions on the matter. However there is one thing you can’t fight. There is more to yourself than what you wear outside everyday. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll be known equally as our virtual selves as we are our real selves. Anyone frightened for that day?

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Costumes Making the Wired Geekipedia


Otaku? Who, us?

Stumbling across a blog post about the socially ostracized life of a typical “otaku”, I couldn’t help but read. The obsessively otaku fanboy spends so much time in their own interests (and bedrooms), that they manage to cook up some pretty crazy fan-fueled goods for the equally maniacal.

But before the mother ship calls us home to reality (and we convince ourselves we’re not that bad) we have to recognize two important things about this kind of geek obsession.

1. Geek culture is not so wrong these days. Sure, it’s not the way, but it sure has its share of respect and honor in the modern pop culture setting.

2. Costume lovers are no more than a few degrees of separation away from being totally otaku, and only one away from geek sheik. We turn to Wired Magazine for more validation.

The Wired Magazine Geekipedia Tells All…

It turns out that costume fanboyism shows its face more than a couple of times in the Wired Geekipedia. This lovingly crafted tribute to the education of blatant nerdery really pins down the culture, and some of these words just may be familiar to a costume lover.

Cosplay – Wired says “Donning a costume offers shy geeks an anonymous mode of self-expression and fun.” It’s not all that inaccurate nor is it shameful in any way. Cosplayers have seen a huge boost in numbers since big events and imported anime films make their way westward.

Machinima – Some people are costume lovers of a different sort. They like to mount their alternative image in a virtual setting. Machinima is the practice of making films out of characters and animations extracted from video games and virtual worlds. Any Second Lifers know exactly what it is. Ultimately, it’s the practice of the virtual costume.


(weird, no?)

Manga – Manga is basically printed anime, and it’s also gaining attention in the western world. As a huge fuel for cosplayers, Manga is easy to recognize these days.

Otaku – If you have a tendency to be otaku, you already know it. Although, the connotation of the word in the English language denotes more of an obsessive love for something, it’s actually quite derogatory in Japanese. Watch who you call otaku, especially if the finger should be pointed at you. We all saw your sketches for your next costume…


True Otaku…

Social Networking – Yeah, this is a bit more geek sheik since, well.. you know… EVERYONE is doing it. Significance to a costumer? Well, have you ever signed up at a costume forum, joined a costume chat or group, or been on a social network specifically for costumes? Yeah, you know who you are.

Tokyo – It turns out a lot of the costume related entries in the Geekipedia surround the cosplay culture. That doesn’t mean other forms of costume love don’t belong. However, it would be silly to not mention Tokyo as a huge influence in the culture.

Viral – A great term that has become easy to grasp in the last few years. Denoting the spreading of a trend in a viral manner, this type of attention is nearly all costume lovers get. If you heard of a great DIY project, a fun costume event, or a clever party that you want to throw… it’s likely you didn’t find the information advertised in the newspaper. Word of mouth love sustains the community of costume lovers.

The best part about the list is that it’s just not done. They’re adding more every day. Should we submit DIY? Anyone??

Posted in cosplay, ideas, lists, virtual worlds | 1 Comment