Saturday, August 31, 2019 August 24, 2019 at 06:04AM - The internet has its... August 24, 2019 at 06:04AM - The internet has its fun with Mortal Kombat 11’s Joker face | | @WitWGARA, #GamersUnite, #gaming, #indiewatch, #nerdy, #News, #OurMischief, #WitWGARA,, gaming, nerdy, News,…
August 31, 2019 at 06:30PM

via Tumblr August 31, 2019 at 05:59AM - Castle Crashers Remastered hits Nintendo Switch in September

Castle Crashers Remastered comes out on Nintendo Switch on 17th September 2019.

The PlayStation 4 version follows soon after, developer The Behemoth said.

The Behemoth had targeted a release for this summer, so while this amounts to slight delay, it's not by much.

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from August 31, 2019 at 03:53AM - Control PC: a vision for the future of real-time rendering?

Last week, we posed the question: has ray tracing finally found its killer app? While Minecraft RTX and Quake 2 RTX have amazed us, it's Remedy Entertainment's PC version of Control that's our genuine contender in the triple-A space. In fact, between lower quality and ultra-level settings all the way up to a fully enabled ray traced experience, Control actually delivers a chronology of lighting techniques from the last generation, to the current and then on to the next - with dramatic transformations in as we transition from one phase to the next.

What we have here is a beautiful game using the state of the art in today's rendering techniques, taken to the next level via hardware-accelerated ray tracing. Remedy's RT implementation is quite extraordinary, running the gamut from radical, game-changing upgrades over standard rasterisation to much more nuanced, more subtle enhancements - features you may not notice in the heat of gameplay, but speak to the scale of the developer's ambitions. While many titles are using ray tracing technology for global illumination, reflections or shadows, Remedy throws RT at practically everything - and Control itself is the perfect canvas for showcasing these effects, thanks to its brutalist-inspired architecture and heavy reliance on reflection.

Five key features define the RT experience in Control. To begin with, there's the introduction of ray traced diffuse global illumination, used to embellish Remedy's already stellar voxel-based solution. Ray tracing reduces errors and adheres better to world geometry, while also replacing standard ambient occlusion with a far more realistic alternative. On top of this, local coloured lighting is bounced around still further, giving dynamic and static objects another contribution to the game's overall indirect lighting. This step is crucial in going beyond the game's standard lighting - starkly coloured dynamic objects that are brightly lit cast light onto their neighbours, giving a more realistic look.

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from August 31, 2019 at 02:44AM - Star Citizen's Squadron 42 beta delayed three months to Q3 2020

The Squadron 42 beta has been delayed by three months, Cloud Imperium Games has announced.

The beta for Star Citizen's story-based single-player campaign is now set for the third quarter of 2020 - so at some point during July, August or September next year. It had been due out during the second quarter of 2020.

This delay is down to "staggered development", a new way of making the controversial space project. It involves splitting up the various development teams between multiple delivery dates so they release larger features every couple of quarters instead of every quarter, but due to their staggered nature, there's still an update every quarter for players.

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from August 31, 2019 at 01:39AM - Remedy looking into improving Control console performance

Remedy is looking into improving Control console performance, it's said.

As revealed by Digital Foundry's analysis, Control suffers from some serious slow-down on console. The Xbox One X offers the smoothest experience overall, as you'd expect, but even that version sees hitching and stuttering interrupt the flow of the game. On PS4 Pro, performance is nowhere near as consistent as the X build, but it's much better than performance on the problematic base consoles.

Digital Foundry's John Linneman reports PlayStation 4 and Xbox One can see prolonged frame-rate drops in sustained combat, dropping all the way down to 10fps at worst. Elsewhere, the game's loading systems aren't great, with long loading times and texture pop-in.

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from August 30, 2019 at 03:35PM - Untitled Goose Game gets September release date

Untitled Goose Game, a game in which you play as a sociopathic goose (as if there's another kind), finally has a release date! It'll be ruffling feathers on Switch and PC on 20th September.

Developed by House House, Untitled Goose Game is, believe it or not, a stealth game. It's a sort of sandbox-y affair, giving players a range of (unsurprisingly, goose-related) abilities, including honking and flapping, which can be used to solve a variety of objectives - mostly seeming to involve ruining people's lives.

When Dicebreaker's Johnny Chiodini took a look at the game during PAX West last year, for instance, he harassed a gardener, threw his rake in a lake, and stole some carrots. It's already sounding like potential Game of the Year material, right?

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Friday, August 30, 2019 August 30, 2019 at 02:07PM - Rogue-like co-op shooter Risk of Rain 2 coming to consoles today

Following Hopoo Games' surprise PC launch of Risk of Rain 2 in March, the developer has decided to do it all over again, this time surprise-launching its co-operative rogue-like shooter sequel on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch.

If you need a quick refresher, the original Risk of Rain was a wonderfully frantic side-on action-platformer that armed players to the teeth and slapped them down on an alien planet. With every passing moment, enemies grew tougher and more plentiful, forcing players to hang on for dear life while all around devolved into an increasingly hilarious ballet of bullets and chaos.

Risk of Rain 2 doesn't deviate too far from that basic formula, but it does recast the whole fraught affair in full-3D, with both solo players and teams of up to four able to tackle its randomised stages, items, enemies, and bosses - all of which have been steadily increasing in number throughout the PC version's early access development.

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from August 30, 2019 at 07:36AM - Eurogamer readership survey 2019

Hello! It's that time of year again, when we ask if you would be kind enough to fill out a quick survey telling us about yourself.

Here it is: the 2019 Gamer Network Readership Survey

The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete and is shared across Eurogamer and all our sister sites, like VG247, USG and Rock Paper Shotgun (so if you've already found it via one of those sites, no need to do it again). It covers a range of topics: your gaming tastes and habits, what gaming equipment you own or intend to buy, which gaming sites you read, your other leisure pastimes and so on. There are some quite personal questions in there, but you don't have to tell us anything you don't want to. The survey is anonymous and we won't be able to tell who you are by the answers you give.

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from August 24, 2019 at 02:11AM - DICE cancels... August 24, 2019 at 02:11AM - DICE cancels Battlefield 5’s 5v5 mode | | @WitWGARA, #GamersUnite, #gaming, #indiewatch, #nerdy, #News, #OurMischief, #WitWGARA, DICE cancels Battlefield 5’s 5v5 mode,, gam…
August 30, 2019 at 03:00PM

via Tumblr August 30, 2019 at 07:02AM - Dirt Rally is free right now at the Humble Store

For the next two days, Dirt Rally is available for free from the Humble Store.

All you need to do is sign up to the Humble newsletter and a copy of the racer will be added to your account for absolutely nothing. Easy-peasy. Then, you can start hurtling your way along the tight and treacherous roads of over 70 rally stages or rallycross events.

As far as freebies go it's a pretty good one. Back in 2016, the console version was on the receiving end of a Eurogamer recommendation, with Simon calling it "one of the most engaging and dramatic representations of the motorsport yet".

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Review: Chocoramo

I was pretty excited to try this snack, mostly because of the name, but I didn't really know what it was going to be, other than it seemed likely to contain a lot of chocolate. ...

from Snack Reviews
by August 30, 2019 at 10:06AM August 30, 2019 at 04:00AM - Five of the Best: Shops

Welcome to another week of Five of the Best, a series where we celebrate the overlooked parts of video games. They're the kind of things you don't pay much attention to at the time, but which spring readily to mind years later, proving just how memorable they were. So far we've had potions, hands, and dinosaurs - an eclectic bunch! - and we've enjoyed reading your suggestions as much as sharing ours. Today, then, another batch, another five. And the theme...

Shops! Oh, how many virtual registers we've rung over the years. Imagine a role-playing game without one - you can't. It would be sacrilege. You simply must visit a new shop in every town and have their wares be slightly more powerful than they were where you came from. Everyone knows that. But there are so many shops, it's often hard to remember a single one.

It's not just RPGs. I remember ogling the superbikes for sale in Road Rash and then crashing them when I eventually saved up enough money to buy them. I remember spending ages shopping for shorts and T-shirts in a knock-off GAP in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. And I've probably spent more money than I should have on costumes in Fortnite, which is hardly my fault when they sell such silly costumes, is it?!

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from August 30, 2019 at 03:04AM - Post-apocalyptic indie game Overland launches next month

Indie developer Finji has announced the release date for its post-apocalyptic turn-based tactics game, Overland - it'll arrive on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch on 19th September.

Overland has you take control of a group of survivors in a post-apocalyptic America, scavenging for supplies, fending off bug-like creatures, and rescuing travellers (and more importantly, an excellent doggo) as you make your way across the country.

The gameplay seems like it's all about timing - grab what supplies you can, save some strangers, and get back to your car before you get overrun.

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Thursday, August 29, 2019 August 24, 2019 at 01:46AM - Metro 2033 movie in... August 24, 2019 at 01:46AM - Metro 2033 movie in the works | | @WitWGARA, #GamersUnite, #gaming, #indiewatch, #nerdy, #News, #OurMischief, #WitWGARA,, gaming, Metro 2033 movie in the works, nerdy, News…
August 29, 2019 at 07:30PM

via Tumblr August 29, 2019 at 09:49AM - Capcom unveiling mysterious new Resident Evil game in September

Riding high on the glory of this year's wonderful Resident Evil 2 remake, Capcom is teasing the imminent reveal of a new Resident Evil game, currently going by the name of Project Resistance.

According to the publisher's tantalising new website, Project Resistance will be formally unveiled by way of a teaser trailer on Capcom's YouTube channel at 4pm in the UK/8am PST on Monday, 9th September. However, attendees at this year's Tokyo Game Show, running from 12th to 15th September, can see gameplay footage of the new title at Capcom's booth, and Project Resistance will be playable "by advance registration", but only for residents of Japan.

As for the exact nature of Project Resistance, that's still shrouded in secrecy. About all Capcom is saying officially for now is that it'll be making its way to PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Unofficially, however, it seems the publisher may have let on a little more than it intended to.

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from August 29, 2019 at 09:00AM - PlanetSide Arena hits Steam Early Access in September

PlanetSide Arena hits Steam Early Access on PC on 19th September, Daybreak Games has announced. A multiplatform launch is set for the second quarter of 2020.

At launch, the class-based (Assault, Engineer and Medic) sci-fi first-person shooter battle royale spin-off includes the new Squads mode (12 soldiers per squad), and Teams mode (three soldiers per team) in 300-player matches.

Daybreak said it plans to release new vehicles, weapons, classes, events, maps and bigger game modes as well as classic game modes reimagined over the course of the next year.

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from August 29, 2019 at 07:37AM - Epic announces eight new Epic Games store exclusives

Epic has announced eight new Epic Games store exclusives.

Here's the list:

Ooblets developer Glumberland had already announced it had signed a deal with Epic to bring its game to PC exclusively on Epic's store.

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from August 29, 2019 - Erica review - a captivating FMV thriller

Erica is a full-motion video game for PlayStation 4, a surprise drop at Gamescom last week that's got an uphill battle to get people to care. But you should, because it's good.

At around 90 minutes in length it's slight, and it's very much in the vein of a game like Until Dawn - the kind of experience best played through with other people in the room. Indeed, that feels like part of the design, with decision points flashing up and you (and the people with you) deciding what to do, and which path to take.

It's less of a traditional game than Until Dawn. There aren't any time-pressured, button-matching sequences, nor any reflex challenges really. You only ever slide a finger, sometimes two, along the controller's touchpad, so it's a very gentle kind of interaction anyone can cope with, whether they've picked up a PS4 pad before or not. In fact, the suggested way to play the game is through a companion smartphone app.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019 August 28, 2019 at 03:22PM - Investors announce plans to revive Telltale Games

Telltale Games, the defunct developer behind the likes of The Walking Dead, Tales from the Borderlands, and The Wolf Among Us, is set to make a return - albeit in a substantially different form - following the announcement that holding company LCG Entertainment has secured Telltale's name and some of its licenses.

As reported by Polygon, the new version of Telltale - overseen by Jamie Ottilie and Brian Waddle, founder and CEO of developer Galaxy Pest Control and ex-sales-and-marketing head for Havok respectively - will have the back-catalogue rights to The Wolf Among Us and Batman, alongside original Telltale properties including Puzzle Agent. As such, some games de-listed from digital storefronts earlier this year could potentially soon make a return.

Furthermore, while the new Telltale plans to "stay small over the next six months", it appears that a number of the 250-plus employees laid-off prior to the studio's closure last September have been bought into the fold. According to Polygon, some previous staff members have been offered freelance roles, "with full-time positions possible in the future."

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from August 28, 2019 at 06:35AM - Why GreedFall is the game BioWare fans should care about

If you're filled with a pang of nostalgia for classic BioWare games like Mass Effect and the Dragon Age series, and can't fathom waiting for Dragon Age 4 to be announced, we are definitely in the same boat, friend. But there is hope on the horizon: GreedFall is the underdog that might just satisfy your thirst for role-playing, monsters, and magic.

Although the game might have flown under your radar so far, I've got a video for you all about why GreedFall could be the RPG that'll appeal to any BioWare fans out there. With 35 hours of gameplay and about 80 quests, it's not as big as the AAA RPGs that tend to swallow you and spit you out, disoriented, a couple of weeks (or months) later, but judging by the demos I've seen there's still plenty to sink your teeth - or sword, or bullet from an exquisite flintlock pistol - into.

In the video you'll hear me chat all about GreedFall's qualities that make it stand out. There are (deep breath) romanceable companions, factions, zones, no enemy scaling, a skill tree that's not centered around the traditional mage, thief, and warrior classes, the option to pause mid-combat and queue up attacks, customisable outfits, craftable weapons and gear, plus a nifty tweak to the classic fast travel system. That last point might seem rather dull, but in Greedfall whenever you fast travel you can go into an intermediary space while the targeted level loads. There you can buy stuff from an itinerant merchant, craft, and manage your companions, giving you a quick breather before jumping right back into the RPG.

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from August 24, 2019 - Making a place from just a... August 24, 2019 - Making a place from just a handful of pieces | | @WitWGARA, #GamersUnite, #gaming, #indiewatch, #nerdy, #News, #OurMischief, #WitWGARA,, gaming, Making a place from just a handful of …
August 28, 2019 at 03:30PM

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August 28, 2019 at 01:36PM

via Tumblr August 28, 2019 at 03:56AM - Skyrim, Guild Wars composer Jeremy Soule accused of rape

Video game composer Jeremy Soule, who worked on The Elder Scrolls series, Guild Wars 2 and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, has been accused of rape.

Writing in a blog post published this week, indie developer Nathalie Lawhead said Soule raped them around 10 years ago.

At the time, Lawhead said, they were working on an ARG for a video game developer based in Vancouver - a project for which Soule was providing music.

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from August 28, 2019 at 03:54AM - Night in the Woods co-creator accused of sexual assault

Night in the Woods developer Alec Holowka has been accused of sexual assault.

Writing on Twitter, games designer and comic book writer Zoe Quinn alleged Holowka had sexually assaulted them "the better part of a decade" ago, while early in their career.

The alleged assault took place at Holowka's residence in Winnipeg, Canada, where Quinn had been invited to live and work with other indie developers under the same roof. But when there, Quinn said, Holowka asked them to discourage other developers from staying.

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from August 28, 2019 at 03:43AM - Apex Legends' next character leaked at GameStop conference

We've had a few teases about the next character already, but leaked images from the GameStop conference could be our first proper look at Apex's next Legend - Crypto.

Crypto has already been teased in the Season Two Battle Charge launch trailer, where it occasionally cuts to the character supposedly hacking the arena's repulsors.

According to dataminer That1MiningGuy, we also know the new character's abilities involve drones that can spot enemies from afar, perhaps making Crypto the second character in the 'tracker' class.

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from August 28, 2019 - Gears Pop is Clash Royale with a bit of Stormbound chucked in

Gears Pop combines characters from the Gears of War games with the vinyl stylings of Funko Pop models. Really, though, its main influence lies elsewhere, with Supercell's magnificent Clash Royale.

Clash Royale is a game in which you build a deck of eight cards, each representing a unit or a building or a spell of some kind. Then you battle against another player with their own deck. Each player has three towers at their end of the symmetrical map. Bring the most towers down within a short playtime of real-time action in order to win.

It's truly wonderful stuff - pacy, intricate, beautifully balanced and extremely charismatic. Almost every game is a nail-biter. All of which means I've enjoyed Gears Pop quite a bit despite myself, because I know the underlying game so intimately already and because it sticks to the formula so closely.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019 August 27, 2019 at 11:49AM - Frostpunk's first paid DLC The Rifts and season pass are out now

Developer 11 Bit Studios has launched The Rifts, the first of three planned paid DLC updates for its superb post-apocalyptic city builder Frostpunk.

The Rifts, which follows over a year of free content updates, introduces a brand-new Endless Mode map to Frostpunk, offering a challenging new twist on the game's already punishing city building core. Not only must players gather and build to fight the freeze of Frostpunk's endless winter, they now have to contend with a ravine-scarred map split into awkward landmasses, making expansion and survival that much harder. To assist players in their struggle, The Rifts adds new constructible bridges, and an assortment of other new mechanics.

Frostpunk's second paid DLC offering, The Last Autumn, arrives in Q4 this year, and is described as a "prequel expansion" beginning on the first day of the big freeze. The developer says The Last Autumn will, alongside new lore and narrative, introduce a brand-new scenario "with game-changing mechanics and unique architecture".

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from August 27, 2019 at 10:00AM - Monster Hunter World's Iceborne expansion beta starts this week

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne might not be out for another week or so, but Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will be able to get an early taste of the frost-tipped expansion - or at least, a very small part of it - in just a few days, courtesy of Capcom's imminent Iceborne beta.

PlayStation 4 owners are first in line, with Monster Hunter World's Iceborne beta kicking off on Sony's console this Friday, 30th August, at 8am in the UK. Things wrap up for PS4 players at 7:59am on Sunday, 1st September, making way for the Xbox One beta. This runs from 8am on Monday, 2nd September, until Thursday, 5th September, at 7:59am. You will, however, need an Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus subscription to get involved.

The Iceborne beta, according to Capcom's page on the matter, will accommodate both solo and multiplayer hunters, with the headline quest, Velkhana of the Frost, pitting participants against the expansion's new main monster, the Elder Dragon Velkhana. Capcom says the quest is for Monster Hunter masters, so "expect a real challenge!".

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from August 20, 2019 - Grandia offers so much more... August 20, 2019 - Grandia offers so much more than a tremendous battle system | | @WitWGARA, #GamersUnite, #gaming, #indiewatch, #nerdy, #News, #OurMischief, #WitWGARA,, gaming, Grandia offers so much …
August 27, 2019 at 01:00PM

via Tumblr August 27, 2019 at 04:13AM - Ion Fury dev U-turns on promise to pull in-game homophobic slur

The developer of old-school first-person shooter Ion Fury has U-turned on its promise to pull a homophobic slur from the game amid a Steam review bomb.

Last week developer Voidpoint admitted members of its team made "sexist and transphobic comments, and included homophobic language in Ion Fury".

"We recognise these statements are insensitive, unacceptable, and counterproductive to causes of equality," the statement issued to Eurogamer continued.

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from August 27, 2019 at 04:08AM - Fortnite begins Borderlands crossover event

Fortnite is gracing us with yet another crossover, this time featuring some iconic characters and a location from Borderlands.

Starting today (and ending on the 10th September just three days before Borderlands 3 releases), players will be able to explore a brand new zone in the battle royale called the Pandora Rift, as well as pick up the Psycho Bundle from the shop allowing you to lug Claptrap around on your back.

There'll also be free rewards for those who complete challenges in a Welcome to Pandora Challenge Bundle, featuring sprays and weapon skins.

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from August 27, 2019 at 02:32AM - Mario Kart Tour releases for iOS and Android next month

After a long delay, Nintendo's Mario Kart Tour finally releases for iOS and Android on 25th September.

The game was originally set to release at the end of March, but was delayed to improve the app's quality. A short closed beta then followed back in May.

During the beta we got a first look at the new mobile title, which showed its simplified game play and gacha-style mechanics. A lot can change between beta and full release however, so we'll have to wait until next month to find out more about the final version's monetisation.

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Monday, August 26, 2019

This is DARGON of WitWGARA…...

This is DARGON of WitWGARA…
August 26, 2019 at 04:04PM

via Tumblr August 17, 2019 - What does it take to truly know... August 17, 2019 - What does it take to truly know a video game location? | | @WitWGARA, #GamersUnite, #gaming, #indiewatch, #nerdy, #News, #OurMischief, #WitWGARA,, gaming, nerdy, News, OurMischief, Wh…
August 26, 2019 at 03:00PM

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August 26, 2019 at 09:55AM

via Tumblr August 26, 2019 at 06:00AM - Control review: Mid-century postmodernism

It spoils nothing, I hope, to reduce a game as luxurious and uncanny as Control to just four words. Here goes, then: Hell is an office. Remedy's latest takes place inside the Oldest House, the austere, echoing and inhumanly vast headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Control. The FBC is an agency that deals with unusual horrors and is, as of your arrival, in the process of being overwhelmed by them.

Unusual horrors are not actually that unusual in games, though, so the peculiar genius of Control is that its oddness often lurks in its workaday setting rather than the many dizzying glimpses into the void on offer. There is something wonderfully perverse about so many of the things I marvelled at in Control. Sure, here is a magical winter forest growing out of an old storage room, but look at how convincingly placed these snowfalls of Post-it notes are! I can throw desk chairs around with my mind, which is great, but it's so much better when one of the desk chairs in question hits a wall of filing cabinets and the doors of the cabinets ripple, woozily, outwards and away from the point of impact! That I could watch pretty much forever.

This blend of the paranormal and the clerical works so well because offices are weird already. Testify! What are offices if not places where ill-matched strangers come together in the name of some nebulous and often deeply abstracted common cause? Offices are filled with monstera deliciosa and water coolers, but they are also filled with grudges and arcane rituals and human secrets and mysteries. Certain phrases act like incantations in offices: we've-always-done-it-this-way-that's-why and only-Henry-knows-how-to-make-copies-on-both-sides-of-the-page-and-he's-off-today.

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from August 26, 2019 at 06:00AM - Astral Chain review - a Platinum-plated masterpiece

After a period of relative obscurity - this is the studio's first outing since Nier Automata, a 30-month gap that feels like a vast chasm in the busy CV of this most prolific of teams - Astral Chain shows that PlatinumGames is back. And how. A sprawling, maximalist adventure that binds together police procedural, overstated pugilism and so many different genres in-between, it's the most fun I've had with one of Platinum's titles since Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Heck, it might even be Platinum's best game yet.

Maybe that's because Astral Chain is at once the most Platinum game to date and also the studio's biggest departure yet; it's where the outlandish combat of Bayonetta is lavishly embellished before it rubs up against puzzle-solving, dungeon traversal and environmental interrogation. There's nothing quite like it, in either the studio's back catalogue or elsewhere, though you can draw a clear line between Astral Chain and Nier: Automata, another variety box that was shares the same director, Takahisa Taura. For my money, Astral Chain is a much more refined, focussed experience.

Some might miss the philosophical, melancholic underpinning of Nier: Automata, though it's clear that Taura picked up Nier writer Yoko Taro's penchant for mixing things up. "Modern games, they're really well made," Taro said a while back. "They've got so much love and time put into making them expansive and great, but once you've played most of them for 30 minutes you get an idea what they're like right to the end, and that's a bit boring." Astral Chain, like Nier: Automata before it, revels in mixing things up. It's an RPG, an action game, an open world game - of sorts - a hidden pixel game and more than a few more things besides.

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Did People in Medieval Times Really Not Bathe?

Mark R. asks: Why didn’t people in the middle ages ever bathe?

There are a variety of commonly held ideas about what it was like to live in Medieval times in Europe from a hygienic standpoint- from the idea that people chucked the contents of their chamber pots out their windows on to the streets to that they rarely, if ever, bothered to bathe. But is any of this actually true?

As to the former question, be sure and check out our article Did People in the Middle Ages Really Throw Fecal Matter Out of Their Windows? Moving on to bathing habits, to begin with, when dealing with diverse cultures spanning a large area and time frame like “medieval times”- generally considered to be from around the 5th to the 15th centuries- there is not going to be a definitive, one-size fits all answer.

But that’s not very interesting, so let’s go ahead and give it our best college try, shall we?

It turns out that humans during medieval times were just as keen as humans now to not stink, nor have dirt and grime on themselves. Thus, in the general case, it would seem that, contrary to popular belief, they still had some basic hygienic practices. Towards this end, we know definitively from surviving texts that people did bathe in some form reasonably regularly, generally varying based on their circumstances.

For example, it appears at the minimum washing one’s face, hands, and cleaning one’s teeth was extremely commonly done each morning. On the note of teeth, beyond rags, cleaning twigs were also used. The general method here was to chew one end of a twig for a time, then once it was properly mashed up, use that end as a sort of tooth brush. In fact, in some cases, while they didn’t know it at the time, the twigs or roots used actually contained antibacterial substances, perhaps why certain plants became so popular for this purpose as people observed the effects, even if they didn’t understand why they worked so well at cleaning the mouth and teeth.

Moving on to washing hands, beyond doing so during a morning body scrub down from a basin, they were also usually washed again before and after eating. Remember, this was a time before widespread use of utensils, and the fork at one point was actually viewed as sinful to use anyway for hilarious reasons we’ll get into in the Bonus Facts later.

Beyond eating with one’s hands, particularly those of lower classes also often ate and drank from the same containers as well. From this, it should come as no surprise that getting your hands clean before eating was considered good manners, and cleaning the fingers after was also something of a necessity to get remnants of food off.

Moving back to bathing, at least during medieval times, while some medical professionals did advise against doing it excessively, many others extolled the benefits of bathing regularly at keeping one healthy. For example, Italian physician Magninius Mediolanesis, who functioned as a court physician as well as for a time Regent master at the University of Paris, in the 14th century notes,

The bath cleans the external body parts of dirt left behind from exercise on the outside of the body… if any of the waste products of third digestion are left under the skin that were not resolved by exercise and massage, these will be resolved by the bath.

He also recommended bathing as a means to cure or ease discomfort, such as for the elderly and women who are pregnant.

Of course, when talking full body baths, only the reasonably well off at this point could actually afford to own a bath of some sort and to supply it with hot water, so most relied on bath houses, rivers, lakes, hot springs, etc. Thus, poorest of the poor who could not afford to go to a bath house are generally thought to have had extremely poor hygiene during the winter months, outside of washing using basins.

But for the rest, bath houses were common, particularly after the 11th century when crusaders, who had become accustomed to such and the excellent hygiene habits of Muslim and Jewish peoples, popularized and regularly frequented these establishments not just for bathing purposes, but also to socialize.

In fact, if we fast forward to the 15th century, bathing and eating at bath houses were often combined. As noted in the book: Clean: A History of Personal Hygiene and Purity, by Virginia Smith:

By the fifteenth-century, bath feasting in many town bathhouses seems to have been as common as going out to a restaurant was to become four centuries later. German bath etchings from the fifteenth century often feature the town bathhouse, with a long row of bathing couples eating a meal naked in bathtubs, often several to a tub, with other couples seen smiling in beds in the mid-distance.

While this might seem a little odd at first glance through a modern lens, consider that many people today enjoy soaking in a hot tub or pool with their friends while drinking alcoholic beverages, which is not too dissimilar to these former bath house practices, except now usually featuring skimpy bathing suits.

Going back to bath houses, given that many were connected to bakeries in order to use heat from their ovens to warm the water, let’s face it, there’s no way one could sit there in the water smelling freshly baked bread and not develop a voracious appetite.

And speaking of voracious appetites, given that many bath houses were not gender divided and featured naked, now clean people having a good time together, it should also come as no surprise that bath houses were known to be places to go to have a REALLY good time…

For those without a non-paid partner, these establishments were also frequently places to find or engage the services of exceptionally good smelling prostitutes.

As you might have guessed from all this, many church groups looked down on bath houses for that reason. For example, consider this excerpt from an 11th century minister known as Burchard of Worms,

If thou, being a married man, hast shamed the nakedness of any woman, as, I say, her breasts and her shameful parts- if thou hast, thou shalt do penance for five days on bread and water. But if thou art not married, two days on bread and water.

Hast thou washed thyself in the bath with thy wife and other women and seen them nude, and they thee? If thou hast, thou shouldst fast for three days on bread and water.

However, contrary to popular belief, on the whole at this time, it doesn’t seem as if most church organizations had a big problem with the bathing itself, just the perceived immorality exhibited at many bath houses. For example, 6th century Pope Gregory I is known to have encouraged Christians to bathe regularly. And, as alluded to, Muslim and Jewish groups were likewise known to be even more fastidious than their Christian brethren about keeping clean.

As for the Christian church in Europe, to solve the issue of a whole lot of nakedness and lovin’ taking place at bath houses, it became relatively common for bath houses to be built by the various church groups themselves near monasteries. The difference between these bath houses and the other variety was that they were a whole lot less fun… Specifically, separating areas for men and women, instead of mixing them.

Further demonstrating that most church organizations did not really have anything against the act of bathing itself, many monasteries actually piped water into their own, sometimes elaborate baths, and even required the clergy to bathe before many events. For example, at Westminster Abbey, they required their monks to bathe for Christmas, Easter, at the end of June and at the end of September. This doesn’t mean, however, that the monks weren’t bathing elsewise, just that they were required to do so during these periods. In fact, evidence seems to indicate they bathed much more frequently than that, as they seem to have employed a bath-attendant year round at that Abbey.

So if people during medieval times actually did bathe reasonably frequently, where did the perception that they did not come from? This came about thanks to the latter end of this period and beyond where people really did start bathing less.

As to why, to begin with, around the mid-14th century about 60% of the European population died within about seven years or so- not too dissimilar to “The Snap”, but in this case because of the Black Death. This saw the former popular practice of people communing in bath houses together start to become decidedly less popular for a time, though it seems to have picked back up after.

Things went the other way again around the early 16th century when diseases like Syphilis were rearing their ugly heads in Europe. Around this same time, a popular notion arose in some regions of Europe that water could carry disease into the body through the pores in the skin, especially hot water.

It wasn’t just diseases from the water itself they were worried about. They also felt that with the pores widened after a bath, this resulted in infections of the air having easier access to the body. Hence, bathing, particularly at bathhouses, became connected with the spread of diseases.

Of course, given countless people were all bathing together in the same warm water, sharing food, and even sometimes having sex, this probably did genuinely invite the spread of disease at these establishments. Further, even in home baths water still was commonly shared with many people, as hauling it all in was no small task, and even much more work and cost if choosing to heat it up as well.

Thus, the popularity of bath houses began to significantly decline around when Syphilis was making the rounds. As noted by Dutch philosopher Erasmus in 1526,

Twenty-five years ago, nothing was more fashionable in Brabant than the public baths. Today there are none… the new plague has taught us to avoid them.

But, again, then, as now, people tended to not like to stink if they could help it. Thus, without the bath houses around or as popular, many began mostly relying on the age old method of washing using a basin and the like as a primary means to keep clean, as well as, when weather permitted, taking dips in lakes and rivers.

To further get around the stink problem, people who could afford it took to frequently changing their linen undergarments, as well as rubbing themselves down with freshly clean linen or scented rags. Various perfumes were also used, as well as the practice of wearing small bags containing fragrant herbs. Herbs, such as salvia officinalis, bay leaves, and hyssop, were also commonly rubbed under the armpits and elsewhere for use as a deodorant.

That said, while most still bathed occasionally, just less frequently than before, it does appear that some, even among the nobility, really did forgo full body bathing at this point.

For example, one Russian ambassador to France noted, “His Majesty [Louis XIV] stunk like a wild animal.” Russians were not so finicky about bathing and tended to bathe regularly even after their European brethren had largely abandoned bath houses. King Louis XIV’s stench seems to have come from the fact that his physicians advised him to bathe as infrequently as possible to maintain good health. He also stated he found the act of bathing disturbing. Because of this, he is said to have only bathed in a bath twice in his lifetime.

Another in this “gruesome two-some” class among the aristocracy was Queen Isabel I of Spain who claimed that she had taken a full body bath only twice in her lifetime, when she was first born and when she got married. Of course, in both cases, they are perhaps forgetting many times servants perhaps bathed them as children. And given certain moral attitudes of the day, particularly in the case of Isabel, it may be that they were just saying they didn’t ever bathe, rather than this actually being the case.

Whatever the case, amazingly, these post-medieval time attitudes against regular full body bathing in certain pockets of Europe lingered among some groups until around the mid-19th century.

But to sum up, there doesn’t actually ever seem to be a time in recorded history that people are known to have ceased bathing in some form altogether, with the record for the least hygienic not going to our ultra distant ancestors like medieval peoples or those before, but to our more recent ones, with the abandoning of better hygiene by some groups around the 16th century and beyond thanks to widespread disease and the development of more prudish attitudes.

But even then, with exceptions, most people seemed to have not enjoyed being dirty and took steps to keep as clean and freshly smelling as possible given their circumstances. While they certainly weren’t anywhere close to as hygienic as our modern selves who enjoy hot, running water, cheap soaps, etc., on the whole, they were not covered in dirt and grime as is so often depicted by Hollywood.

If you liked this article, you might also enjoy our new popular podcast, The BrainFood Show (iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, Feed), as well as:

Bonus Facts:

  • Ever wonder how soap manages to get rid of bacteria? Well, wonder no more. Contrary to popular belief, most soap doesn’t actually kill microbes, unless it specifically has some sort of antibacterial agent added. And it’s noteworthy here that studies show antibacterial soap really isn’t that much more effective at getting rid of bacteria from, say, your hands, than normal soap. As for that non-antibacterial variety, when you wash your hands with it, the soap chemically works to break down the oil in your hands that is often riddled with microbes. Thus, the more soap and the longer the hands are rubbed together, once rinsed away with water, the less oil and microbes left on your hands.
  • Some of the earliest known table forks made their debut in Ancient Egypt. The Qijia culture (2400-1900 BC) that resided in part of present day China also are known to have used forks. A couple thousand years later, the fork’s popularity in the Western world spread via the Silk Road into Venice, with one of the earliest recorded instances of forks in Venice coming from an 11th century story of the wedding of a Byzantine princess, Theodora Anna Doukaina, to Domenico Selvo.She supposedly brought gold forks as part of her dowry. However, the God fearing Venetians saw these pronged monstrosities as a slight against The Lord himself who gave us perfectly good fingers to eat with. And if you’re now thinking we’re exaggerating, consider this quote from St. Peter Damian: “God in his wisdom has provided man with natural forks – his fingers. Therefore it is an insult to Him to substitute artificial metallic forks for them when eating.”Of course, in the Book of I Samuel (2:13)- thought to have been composed around 640-540 BC- it states that Jewish priests’ assistants used forks: “And the priests’ custom with the people was, that, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand…”Such trivial mentions as usage in the Holy scriptures by none other than the priests’ servants themselves didn’t stop many religious elite from vilifying the fork and poor Theodora. (They also didn’t like that she used napkins, among other things.)

    When the princess died two years later of a mysterious degenerative disease, it was considered by some to be punishment for her pride and perceived excesses.

    Despite being mentioned as OK to use in the Hebrew Bible, forks in the Western world continued to carry this negative stigma due to their association with Eastern decadence and being perceived as an affront to God.

    The fork’s popularity began to grow, however, during the 16th century due to the infamous historical trend setter Catherine de Medici. She helped popularize the fork with the French tables after her marriage to Henry II. At this time, anything Italian was in vogue thanks to the Renaissance.

    The fork also became more popular as hygiene ideals began to change, particularly as people started bathing and washing less frequently around this time, as previously noted. Naturally, the fork began to seem increasingly attractive to those who preferred their food to be free of anything on their hands.

    However, many men still rejected them as they were considered too feminine. This attitude began to alter when they began to be crafted with ruffled cuffs…. This might seem strange to us, but let’s not forget that high heels were originally invented for men, who also commonly wore tights…

    On that note, when forks began gaining in popularity, this resulted in less of a need for a pointed knife during meal times. As such, in 1669, Louis XIV- the same guy who loved doing up his hair, wearing tights, and high heels as was the manly fashion at the time- made these overly sharp knives illegal at the table and replaced them with blunter / wider ones.

    That said, it wouldn’t be until the Industrialization period that the lower and middle classes began commonly using forks, thanks to the reduction in price. When this happened, forks quickly surpassed knives as the most popular cutlery item.

    Finally, any mention of the history of cutlery would not be complete without giving a nod to the fact that ancient spoons in China also sometimes featured a pointy end to be used as a one prong fork / knife… perhaps the first known instance of the spork or spnife, depending on how you want to look at it.

Expand for References:

The post Did People in Medieval Times Really Not Bathe? appeared first on Today I Found Out.

from Today I Found Out
by Daven Hiskey - August 26, 2019 at 03:27AM
Article provided by the producers of one of our Favorite YouTube Channels!

Sunday, August 25, 2019

That Time Pablo Picasso was Arrested for Stealing the Mona Lisa

Leonardo da Vinci started work on the Mona Lisa around 1503, thought to be a commissioned painting of Lisa Gherardini, the third wife of silk merchant Freancesco del Giocondo. As to why da Vinci never delivered it, it has been speculated that he received a much more lucrative commission shortly thereafter and thus abandoned the painting at the time. Another hypothesis is that he perhaps made two versions of the painting, keeping one and delivering the other. Whatever the case, da Vinci continued working on the Mona Lisa (“Mona” more or less meaning “Madam”) up to around 1517. While today it is generally considered the most famous painting in the world, it wasn’t until French art critics began holding it up as a model of Renaissance painting techniques in the mid-19th century that it started to gain traction as anything but one of many great works by da Vinci. In fact, in the 18th century, King Louis XV actually unceremoniously had the painting removed from its place of prominence at Versailles and placed out of the way in the keeper of the royal buildings’ office.

By the late 19th century, however, the Mona Lisa had achieved a level of significant fame among art enthusiasts of the world, but to the wider general public it was still little known. This all changed, however, when the painting was stolen in 1911. Soon after, artist Pablo Picasso was arrested for the theft.

So was Picasso actually involved and how did this theft result in the Mona Lisa becoming the most famous painting in the world?

The story today begins on Tuesday, August 22, 1911. That morning, French artist Louis Béroud arrived at the Louvre with the intention of painting a copy of the Mona Lisa. The Louvre was happy to entertain artists in this way, so long as the copies of any work are not made the same size as the original.

Unfortunately for Béroud, when he entered the Salon Carré, there was an empty space where the Mona Lisa should have hung. Béroud queried a nearby security guard asking to know where the painting was. The guard assumed it must have been removed by the photography department, as they frequently did this without telling anyone.

Not satisfied with that explanation, Béroud demanded the guard find out where the painting was and when it would be put back. However, after extensive searching, the guard was unable to locate anyone who knew anything about what had happened to the painting. Soon after, the Louvre was closed while staff and French police combed over 1,000 rooms in the sprawling museum. But to no avail- the Mona Lisa was gone.

In the aftermath, law enforcement all over France scrambled to secure the borders in case the thief tried to leave the country with the painting, searching every piece of luggage heading out of the country. Ships that had sailed after the theft, but before search efforts were started, were subsequently searched when they reached their destination.

The authorities also interviewed and investigated every single employee at the Louvre. After all, the painting had been there on Sunday, but was not on Tuesday. The only people who should have had access to the building on Monday were employees working that day. And even if it wasn’t an employee, surely with so many people in the building, someone must have seen something. But this avenue of investigation also went nowhere.

The press had a field day. French newspapers began a bidding war to see who could offer the largest reward for information leading to the painting’s safe return, such as the Paris-Journal which offered 50,000 francs (about €198,000 Euros or $220,000 today).

When the museum finally reopened in early September, visitors surged in just to see the place where the Mona Lisa had hung. Budding author Franz Kafka himself would go visit the Louvre to look at the empty section of the wall, noting in his journal, “the excitement and the knots of people, as if the Mona Lisa had just been stolen.”

Yet, despite everything, there were no solid leads and the trail was completely cold.

That is, until police were tipped off on the whereabouts of some other items that had been stolen from the Louvre.

This brings us to Pablo Picasso.

When Picasso made his way to Paris in 1900, among many other artistically minded friends he made was poet Guillaume Apollinaire. Apollinaire, in turn, had a secretary by the name of Géry Pieret. Knowing Picasso’s love of the 3rd and 4th century Iberian sculptures then on display at the Louvre, Pieret decided to simply go to the Louvre and take a couple of them. As it turns out, given the low density of security guards at the facility relative to its immense size, the theft apparently wasn’t difficult.

When Pieret presented the statues to Picasso, he loved them, with Apollinaire and Picasso ultimately paying Pieret 100 francs (about $440 today) for the stolen items. Picasso would actually go on to use the face of one of the statues in his famed 1907 masterpiece Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.

Moving on to 1911, Pieret found himself broke and decided to go steal more things from the Louvre to, in turn, sell. When Apollinaire found out, he kicked him out of his apartment, funny enough, on the day the Mona Lisa was stolen.

With items stolen from the Louvre now being front page news, Apollinaire and Picasso had a bit of an issue that they’d not exactly kept their possession of the stolen statues a secret, with Apollinaire actually displaying one on his mantelpiece for some time, observed by countless guests, including some journalists. It was only a matter of time before the authorities came calling.

Things got worse when, perhaps just to get revenge or to earn money from the paper if he revealed the information, Pieret informed the Paris-Journal that he knew where a couple other stolen items from the Louvre rested.

Needless to say, at this point Apollinaire and Picasso were in a bit of a panic. As Picasso’s long time mistress Fernande Olivier notes,

I can see them both: contrite children, stunned by fear and making plans to flee the country. They decided to get rid of the compromising objects immediately. Finally, they had made up their minds to go out that night and throw the suitcase containing the sculptures into the Seine—they left on foot about midnight, carrying the suitcases. They returned at two in the morning, absolutely dog-tired. They still had the suitcases, and its contents. They had wandered up and down, unable to deliver themselves of their parcel. They thought they were being followed. Their imaginations dreamed up a thousand possible occurrences, each more fantastic than the last.

Unable to bring themselves to dispose of these particular pieces of history, instead Apollinaire decided to give them to the editor of the Paris-Journal, Andre Salmon. Despite a condition of giving them back being that editor was to keep a secret his knowledge of who had possessed them, when the police grilled Salmon, he spilled the beans.

Apollinaire was promptly arrested and became prime suspect #1 for the theft of the Mona Lisa. Not long after this, Picasso was implicated by Apollinaire and in turn brought in by the police, with his apartment thoroughly searched for the missing painting. As the two were being held, newspapers had a field day about the supposed gang of radical artists led by Picasso and Apollinaire who were running an international group of art thieves on the side.

On September 8th, the two men appeared before Judge Henri Drioux. Both would devolve into hysterics, telling the judge stories that conflicted with things they’d said even moments before. At one point Picasso became so desperate he pulled a Peter, randomly proclaiming to the judge that he didn’t even know Apollinaire, despite that it was well known they were close friends.

Of this statement, decades later Picasso would state in an interview, “When the judge asked me: ‘Do you know this gentleman?’…I answered: ‘I have never seen this man.’…I saw Guillaume’s expression change. The blood ebbed from his face. I am still ashamed.”

Both men at various points broke down and wept, begging the court’s forgiveness. Ultimately the judge had seen enough, and correctly surmised that the pair had had nothing to do with the theft of the Mona Lisa and knew nothing about who had stolen it. While they had technically knowingly purchased and kept stolen goods, he let them off and they were released 4 days later, on September 12th.

Over the following two years, Louvre officials gave up hope of the Mona Lisa’s return and after briefly hanging a replica of the painting, replaced it with Baldassare Castiglione by Raphael.

During this span, reports still occasionally filtered in that the painting had been sighted or was being offered for sale, but none of them panned out. It wasn’t until November of 1913 that the story picks up. It was then that art dealer Alfredo Geri of Florence, Italy received a letter from a man identifying himself as “Leonard”.

Leonard claimed to have the Mona Lisa in his possession and wanted to meet to hand it over. After an exchange of letters, Geri involved Giovanni Poggi of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. As to why, Poggi had detailed photographs of the real Mona Lisa which, most importantly, showed the crack lines from the paint drying over the centuries, as well as markings on the back that few knew about. With these photographs, they’d be able to easily tell if the painting Leonard had was the real thing, or simply yet another forgery among many that had popped up since the painting was stolen.

After a series of delays, Leonard agreed to meet the two men. However, before the scheduled meeting, he showed up at Geri’s gallery unexpectedly. While there, he reaffirmed he had the Mona Lisa and that he knew for a fact it was the real one. When asked how he could be so sure, he brashly revealed he’d taken it from the Louvre himself. When Geri then asked him if he’d done it alone, he states Leonard, to quote, “was not too clear on that point. He seemed to say yes, but didn’t quite do so,” and that his answer was “more ‘yes’ than ‘no.’”

They then negotiated a fee for Leonard to sell the painting for 500,000 lire (about €1.8 million or $2 million) to the Italian government- a bargain given newspapers at the time estimated the Mona Lisa to be worth approximately ten times that amount.

Later, Geri and Poggi met Leonard at his hotel where he pulled out a white trunk. When he opened it, no Mona Lisa could be seen, which confirmed Geri’s suspicions that the whole thing was a hoax, as all the trunk appeared to contain was “wretched objects: broken shoes, a mangled hat, a pair of pliers, plastering tools, a smock, some paint brushes, and even a mandolin.”

But under a false bottom to the trunk, Leonard removed an object wrapped in red silk. Said Geri, “To our astonished eyes, the divine Mona Lisa appeared, intact and marvelously preserved.”

The men then convinced Leonard to come with them to the Uffizi Gallery so they could compare the painting to the photographs to confirm that it indeed was the missing masterpiece. When they did so, they found everything matched perfectly. They had the Mona Lisa.

The two experts then requested Leonard leave the painting at the gallery and return to his hotel while they worked on collecting his payment. Naturally, they instead notified the police, who arrested Leonard at his hotel almost immediately after he arrived back at his room. As for Geri, he received a tidy sum of 25,000 francs (about $110,000 today) as a reward from the Les Amis du Louvre and was given the Legion of Honor from the French government… Of course, he followed this up by suing the French government for 10% of the value of the painting, but the French courts ruled against him on that one.

So who was Leonard really and how did he manage to get a hold of the Mona Lisa?

Leonard turned out to be one Vincenzo Perugia. Italian by birth, in his 20s he decided to move to Paris with his brothers. When he wasn’t occasionally getting in trouble with the law, including at one point attempting to rob a prostitute which landed him in the slammer, he took odd jobs, including working construction.

He supposedly even helped construct the protective case around the Mona Lisa. This was done in 1910 after museum officials received a letter threatening the safety of the Mona Lisa. They then contracted with a firm called Cobier to come construct glass faced protective cases for certain of the more valuable paintings.  Perugia, at the time, just so happened to work for Cobier, and as a result ended up working at the Louvre from October of 1910 to January of 1911, helping him become extremely familiar with its layout.

As for how he stole the painting, many of the details are still up in the air as Perugia’s account varied considerably on several points throughout the interrogation process and trial, and some parts of his story don’t make any sense at all. This was all considered curious because he’d already confessed to the crime both to Geri and the authorities after, so there was little point in lying about how he did it, unless he was perhaps protecting others who may have been involved.

Whatever the case, the generally accepted story is that Perugia slipped into a nearby storage closet on Sunday and spent the night there. After emerging from the closet on Monday dressed in a white smock to blend in with other workers, Perugia states he targeted the Mona Lisa because it “was the smallest painting and the easiest to transport.”

The 5 ft 3 inch (1.6 meter) Perugia then supposedly managed to lift the nearly 200 pound (91 kg) frame and painting off the wall, despite that it weighed significantly more than he did- one of many factors that have led some to speculate that he probably wasn’t actually working alone.

And if you’re now wondering why the painting wasn’t secured to the wall in any way, ease of removal was considered a good thing by museum officials in case of a fire.

In any event, once out in a nearby stairwell, Perugia claims he removed the painting from its casing, wrapped a white cloth around it and supposedly somehow slipped the 21×30 inch (53×76 cm) painting under his smock despite that this is about half his height and significantly wider than the man himself… Color us skeptical on that one.

If you’re wondering why he didn’t try rolling it up, this wasn’t possible as the Mona Lisa is not painted on a canvas, but on slabs of wood.

Walking down the stairs to the first floor, Perugia ran into a big problem- the door at the bottom was locked and the key he had somehow acquired for it didn’t work. Using the screwdriver he had on hand, he managed to get the door knob off, at which point he was discovered by a plumber by the name of Sauvet. Apparently not seeing anything suspicious about a missing door knob, nor the giant square bulge that was supposedly under Perugia’s smock at the time, if Perugia is to be believed, helpfully, Sauvet had some pliers on him that made the task of finishing the job of opening the door easier.

Perugia was then able to leave the museum altogether when the guard at the main entrance briefly left his post to get a bucket of water to use to clean the lobby. Once outside, Perugia tossed aside the doorknob, which was later found by police, and went home.

Smart enough not to leave Paris with the painting while the heat was on, Perugia waited 28 months to bring it back to Italy, ultimately making that trip with the painting stored in the hidden compartment in his trunk.

Despite strong suspicions that he must have had help, Perugia maintained that he worked alone and only wanted to return the Mona Lisa to her rightful home in Italy.

He seemed to be under the mistaken impression that the painting had been stolen and taken to France by Napoleon. In fact, da Vinci himself brought it with him to the French court a couple hundred years before Napoleon, with his assistant eventually selling it to King Francis I. After the revolution, the painting became the property of the new government.

While the general public in Italy seemed to eat up the patriotic angle to the story, with some proclaiming Perugia a hero, the presiding judge wasn’t buying it. For example, consider this exchange:

Judge: Is it true. that you tried to sell the Mona Lisa in England?

Perugia: Me? I offered to sell the Mona Lisa to the English? Who says so? It’s false!

Judge: it is you yourself who said so, during one of your examinations which I have right here in front of me.

Perugia: Duveen didn’t take me seriously. I protest against this lie that I would have wanted to sell the painting to London. I wanted to take it back to Italy, and to return it to Italy, and that is what I did.

Judge: Nevertheless, your unselfishness wasn’t total—you did expect some benefit from restoration.

Perugia: Ah benefit, benefit, certainly something better than what happened to me here…

In the end, Perugia was convicted, but given a relatively light sentence of just a year and fifteen days in prison. Upon appeal, his lawyers managed to get the sentence reduced to seven months.

Because he had already served more than that time since being arrested, he was immediately released and eventually returned to France where he would live out the rest of his life working, among other things, as a house painter until his death in 1925 at the age of 44.

As for the Mona Lisa, initially there was some debate among members of the Italian government as to whether they should return the painting to France or keep it, but they ultimately decided, to quote a statement issued:

The Mona Lisa will be delivered to the French Ambassador with a solemnity worthy of Leonardo da Vinci and a spirit of happiness worthy of Mona Lisa’s smile. Although the masterpiece is dear to all Italians as one of the best productions of the genius of their race, we will willingly return it to its foster country … as a pledge of friendship and brotherhood between the two great Latin nations.

In thanks, the French government allowed the Mona Lisa to be displayed at certain museums in Italy before taking it back.

In the aftermath, with the painting gracing the front pages of newspapers the world over in the hoopla after the initial theft, and then again when it was found, and yet again during the well publicized return to France, it had now come to be considered the world’s best known, and most valuable painting. The Louvre saw a reported 100,000 people come view the painting in the first two days after its return alone, and it’s been one of the biggest draws at the massive facility ever since. As art critic Robert Hughes would lament, “People came not to look at the painting, but to say they that they’d seen it… The painting made the leap from artwork to icon of mass consumption.”

If you liked this article, you might also enjoy our new popular podcast, The BrainFood Show (iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, Feed), as well as:

Bonus Fact:

  • American newsman Karl Decker wrote an article for the Saturday Evening Post in 1923 where he claimed an acquaintance of his, a con artist known as the Marqués de Valiferno, confessed to being behind the theft of the Mona Lisa. Valiferno said he had come up with the plan as a way to fleece American millionaires. He supposedly had six extremely good forgeries of the painting made, then contracted to sell them to six different millionaires. He then hired Perugia to steal the real one. He later noted of the theft, “Stealing the Mona Lisa was as simple as boiling an egg in a kitchenette. Our success depended upon one thing—the fact that a workman in a white blouse in the Louvre is as free from suspicion as an unlaid egg.” Once the painting was stolen, he delivered the six forgeries to their respective buyers as if they were the real thing. He never actually intended to sell the real one as it was too risky to move compared to selling forgeries. Thus, he allowed Perugia to keep it. For whatever it’s worthy, he states that Perugia had two accomplices who helped him carry the painting to the stairwell, but who made themselves scarce when they heard someone approaching as they attempted to get the door open. It’s not clear how much, if any, of Valiferno’s story is true as he offered no evidence to backup any of his claims when recounting the caper to Karl Decker.
Expand for References

The post That Time Pablo Picasso was Arrested for Stealing the Mona Lisa appeared first on Today I Found Out.

from Today I Found Out
by Sarah Stone - August 25, 2019 at 08:25PM
Article provided by the producers of one of our Favorite YouTube Channels!
- August 25, 2019 at 04:22AM - PlayStation reckons MediEvil remake "feels like Dark Souls"

PlayStation has shown off a handful of new screenshots from the latest PS Original game getting the remaster treatment, MediEvil.

Promising "much of the original game remains intact", the PS Blog takes us through a hands-on tour before sharing a number of caps that directly compare the PS1 graphics with that of the remake.

MediEvil is the tale of Sir Dan Fortesque, a centuries-dead knight who finds himself resurrected to once again save his kingdom, Gallowmere. Trouble is, the history books had it wrong, and whilst he's remembered as a legendary knight who'd defeated Lord Zarok a century ago, the truth is, he's... well, he's a bit crap, actually.

Read more

from August 25, 2019 - Quantum Break is Remedy's most fascinating work to date

Quantum Break is at once simpler and more confounding than any Remedy game that preceded it. It's simultaneously a throwaway action shooter, a well-meaning but ill-judged experiment in cross-media, and one of the most visually arresting games ever made. It's a truly paradoxical work, one that I think is Remedy's most intriguing to date. Not because of the flash visuals or the ambitious time-travel plot, but because it makes a clear attempt to distance itself from the studio's earlier output.

That it doesn't always succeed only makes it more fascinating.

From its opening scenes, there's a clear difference in tone to Quantum Break compared to Remedy's previous games. Here the framing device isn't the weary internal monologue of Max Payne or the narration of Alan Wake, but a clipped and confrontational police interrogation. The subject of that interrogation is Jack Joyce, brother of the esteemed (and soon to be deceased) quantum physicist William Joyce.

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Saturday, August 24, 2019 August 15, 2019 - Videogame corporate satire is... August 15, 2019 - Videogame corporate satire is really overdue an upgrade | | @WitWGARA, #GamersUnite, #gaming, #indiewatch, #nerdy, #News, #OurMischief, #WitWGARA,, gaming, nerdy, News, OurMischief, V…
August 24, 2019 at 06:30PM

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Review: Cheetos Flavor Shots Flamin' Hot Asteroids

Years ago, Frito-Lay had a whole line of Go Snacks in cans, designed to fit in your car's cup holder and then be poured directly into your mouth, including a Flamin' Hot Cheetos version. ...

from Snack Reviews
by August 24, 2019 at 11:41AM August 24, 2019 at 06:58AM - Probably the best voxel destruction physics ever

Video games have done destruction for years, but I've never seen a virtual world get smashed up quite like this before.

Dennis Gustafsson is a physics and graphics programmer and game developer from Sweden who's working on a project that involves destroying voxels.

The destruction is realistic and incredibly detailed. Pipes fall after their supports are blown away. Bricks drop to the floor as holes are blown in walls. Roofs collapse as supporting structures are torn to shreds. Everything moves and crashes together realistically, and the materials seem to behave like they should.

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from August 24, 2019 at 06:15AM - Gamescom 2019: did ray tracing finally find its killer app?

There were many highlights for Digital Foundry at this year's Gamescom, from the impressive Switch line-up to the hugely impressive retro-inspired Wrath: Aeon of Ruin. We'll be covering both of those soon - but with the absence of any next-gen console reveal, it was Nvidia that provided the most tantalising glimpse of the future of games technology. Almost one year after its RTX video cards launched, there's the sense that support for hardware-accelerated ray tracing is gathering momentum and in Minecraft RTX, there's a near-total implementation of RT that sets the imagination on fire.

It's a far cry from the launch of the RTX cards at the tail end of September last year - a debut for new Nvidia hardware that fell short of its potential due to a lack of software support. Rasterisation performance gains over existing Pascal-based GPUs were minimal, meaning that the experience of gaming using, say, an RTX 2080 was virtually interchangeable with the existing GTX 1080 Ti in the same price bracket.

Ray tracing demonstrations at Gamescom 2018 showed rich potential, but nothing launched alongside the hardware - and even when showpiece game Battlefield 5 arrived with RT support, it took weeks of further development to get performance into the right place. More than that though, the briliant Metro Exodus aside, it was difficult to see where the momentum would come for further ray tracing support. Where were the big triple-A launches with RTX features?

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