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Jon Calvin

Contributor

FeatureInside the Pokémon black market

We speak to the breeders, genners and hackers who trade in perfect Pokémon.

Perfection is something many strive for but few obtain. In the world of Pokémon, perfection is shrouded in hidden mechanics and obscured by a meta-game often seen as tiresome by hardcore players. For the Pokémon breeders, genners and hackers, perfection lies in the unravelling and recombination of digital DNA in a bid to create flawless replicants. Welcome to the Pokémon black market, a community built on ethical reproduction with more than its fair share of grey areas.

FeatureThe cops and roleplayers of GTA Online

Law and disorder in the virtual world.

The Sheriff is patrolling the streets of Los Angeles. He stops at each red light, stays in lane and keeys his eyes open for trouble. A priority call comes in, the siren goes on and the Sheriff speeds towards his target. He arrives at the scene on Strawberry Avenue, cuffs a green-haired suit who was fist-fighting with another person who did a runner, chucks him in the back seat and starts asking questions about what happened. Satisfied the green-haired suit was not at fault, the Sheriff writes a "not at fault" accident report so green-hair can claim on the insurance for vehicle damage. He declares: "you are free to go." Then the Sheriff calls it in to HQ. "Kenny dispatch 309. Show me back in service."

FeatureThe video game pacifists

Why people play without killing.

Video games are guilty of reflecting humanity's more violent nature at times - and it's easy to see why when our screens are filled with nameless marines and musclebound maniacs eager to destroy every living thing in their path. As in reality, the virtual worlds we inhabit contain a wide array of human expression, ranging from violent combat to peaceful cooperation. Some players are taking things a step further though, opting to lay down their computerised weapons and adopt a nonviolent, pacifist approach to their virtual endeavours.