Down and Nerdy: The Geek Atlas and “Limbo”

IN WHICH geekish travel is celebrated, and a very dark video game is played.

Briana’s pick: The Geek Atlas

It’s summer people; time to get out and discover your world. Travel a little…discover what’s around you. This time, however why not consider skipping the ordinary and opt for something a little bit different. Like The Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas or Charles Darwin’s home in Downe, England (it looks very fancy).

Oh and after you pay Darwin a visit, hop over to the coast in Cornwall to see the remnants of the Poldhu Wireless Station—the site of the first transatlantic radio transmission. Looking for more interesting places to travel? Well pick up a copy of the Geek Atlas, a guidebook to destinations around the world where discoveries in science, mathematics, or technology occurred or are happening now.

Or if you find yourself out of range of the local book seller, just download the Geek Atlas Companion app on your phone. Through the magic of GPS and smart phones, you can discover destinations in your own neck of the wood. Yet another reason to get out of the house!

James’ pick: “Limbo”

There’s an ongoing argument in the video game world – chiefly perpetuated in the past by Roger Ebert – about whether or not video games can be art. Well, a new release on the Xbox Live Arcade is most definitely artful, and most definitely disturbing.

“Limbo” is truly a David Lynch-ian video game. Shot in black and white and containing absolutely no musical score, it feels like Super Mario Brothers via “Eraserhead.” As the game begins, you control a little boy who is asleep on the forest floor. That’s it – no instructions, no context.

Push a few buttons and you’ll figure out the extremely simple controls. Then the puzzles set in, and they range from simple to “I’m gonna smash the TV set if I don’t get it this time.” The story culminates with an ending that has delighted many fans with its ambiguous nature, while infuriating many more.

Here’s a sample of what it looks like. I won’t go so far as to say it’s a great deal of fun, but it is a one-of-a-kind experience.

Audio MP3

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