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PlayStation believe the best games are played as a group. That's why they've set up Game Runners - an experimental project where PlayStation, members of the public and young people from diverse backgrounds come together to create social games.

The project has been developed by PlayStation and Hide & Seek with a team of 8 initial Game Runners who PlayStation have picked to train as game designers and work to make the games relevant.

For those of you down in London this Friday (8th) here are 4 reasons why you should come down to the final Game Runners event:

1. Play a monster sized version of Blocks
2. Between 5.30-6pm you can win a PS3 and PlayStation Move start up kit
3. Watch End of the Line graffiti artists.
4. The whole event is presented by urban street dance queen Kimberlee Jay

Friday 8th October 12 noon - 8.30pm. Elys Yard, The Old Truman Brewery,Hanbury Street London E1.
RSVP at the Facebook event.

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Heritage boot brand Palladium are continuing their quest to explore hidden, forgotten and abandoned places in urban environments. Their latest exploration entitled "Detroit Lives" features Johnny Knoxville, who takes viewers on an "off-the-beaten path" exploration through the city to discover if there's more to Detroit than the scenes of destruction and abandonment that it has become known for.

Once the fourth-largest metropolis in America—some have called Detroit the Death of the American Dream. In this 30 minute 3-episode documentary, Knoxville discovers a DIY paradise full of artists and entrepreneurs who view the abandoned "D" as a raw space where young people can create community and start rebuilding their city from the inside out. A burgeoning class of young people are inspiring each other by using the cities 'disadvantages' as opportunities. His hosts include notable Detroit punk band The Dirtbombs and hip-hop artist Black Milk.

Check it out here.

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Jam on Bread performed his song It's Always Sunny Inside for us in his tent at Indietracks. His new album, which incidentally has the best packaging we've ever seen, is out now on Team Strike Force.  For a comprehensive round-up of everything that happened at Indietracks, keep an eye on Sweeping The Nation.

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After years of war and isolation, Laos is becoming ever more popular with tourists. PARTYNICE's Tomasz Roszkowski recently visited to find out how the burgeoning tourist industry is changing the lives of local people, and sent back this vivid photo essay.




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In my line of blogging, which is entirely voluntary and thus amounts to making a full strength titanium rod for my own back, I have a self-regarding obligation to seek out new bands. At some level this is entirely philanthropic - as our knowledge of the musical universe gets wider it stands to reason that young people will form bands to plug the gaps or utilise the possibilities. John Peel often said that the thing that kept him going on the radio was the idea that in the next mail delivery would be one of the greatest records of all time and he didn't want to miss out on the possibility. Thanks to the international musical relief effort that is the blogosphere and assorted social networking opportunities, this isn't as arduous a task as piling through Myspace after Myspace sounds.

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Photographs by Jezabel Monkhouse.


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You could say that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il has two primary obsessions: maintaining nuclear weapons capability as a means of protecting his “hermit kingdom,” and thwarting pressure from outside forces like from America and the rest of the industrialized world to open his country to modern things like electricity… and he’s obsessed with film. He loves movies. It’s rumored that he has one of the largest private film collections in the world. His favorite film is Gone with the Wind and his favorite actress is Elizabeth Taylor. He’s a film collector and bona fide cinephile, but he’s much more. He’s everything really. He’s a director, a producer, a financier, a costume maker, set designer, screenwriter, cameraman, sound engineer… and he’s also a film theorist.

His masterwork on aesthetics and practice is “On the Art of Cinema” (written and published in the early 1970s). In it he gives himself the humble title, “Genius of the Cinema.” He built an extensive film studio in Pyongyang and when he couldn’t find someone to make his film. He did what any self-respecting eternal leader and great president would do, he kidnapped one. 

Vice founder Shane Smith visits North Korea to try and penetrate the Korean Feature Film Studio, the state-run film production facility west of Pyongyang: a sprawling lot that at its height produced around 40 films a year.



(VIA VICE)

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And the winner is...


Thank you to everyone who entered our first giveaway. We wrote your names on bits of paper, put them in a hat and the winner was...

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In an age of internationalism, and with increasing internet access, it's fair to ask whether actually visiting a country is prerequisite to know, understand, and write about it. It's a question we had in mind when we came up with our new feature I'VE NEVER BEEN TO.... Essentially it's an occasional travelogue series, in which we ask people to write about a country they've never been to. Simple. First up, we asked Tom Mews to tell us what he loves about Sweden.


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Our favourite Pavement band member (srsly) Scott Kannberg AKA Spiral Stairs will be playing a tiny late night show on the Wednesday 12th May at the Brixton Windmill, shortly after his appearance at the sold out Pavement show on the same night at the Brixton Academy.

Doors will be at 11pm, and tickets have just gone on sale priced £8.50 from We Got Tickets.

Anyone who doesn't think he can hold his own against SM as a songwriter should click below to see some videos or our favourite Spiral Stairs-penned songs.


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Billy Bragg was recently in his hometown of Barking distributing literature for the Hope Not Hate campaign when he bumped into the BNP Councillor Richard Barnbrook, who was campaigning for the BNP. Luckily for us, it was filmed for posterity.

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Following on from our Guide to Pontefract a few weeks back, we sent Jack Winn to Wakefield to take a look at the local music scene of what the Performing Rights Society describe as the 'third most musicl city in the UK'

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Simon Roberts' book Motherland, a photographric journey around the far-flung corners of Russia, is one of our favourite of all time, so naturally we were super excited to hear that he had been selected as the official election artist for the forthcoming General Election in the UK.
Simon is asking members of the public to contribute their own photographs of political activity in their area, with some going on to be exhibited in the House of Commons later this year.  Click through to find out how you can take part.

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The new video from Good Shoes supporting the upcoming single 'The Way My Heart Beats'.  A simple concept, brilliantly-executed.  Pre-order the 7" here.

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Friend of PARTYNICE Nestor Watach runs an awesome music blog called Don't Make Lists. He's putting on a show. Check out this incredible poster by Tim Green.



Click through for more of his work.

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Symptoms of a Larger Problem by Jean-Marie Le Brestec.


We were drawn to the aesthetics of Jean-Marie's set whist browsing our flickr pool. It's worth clicking through to his flickr to see the rest of the set, which tackles man's difficult relationship with suburban nature.

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FASHION/NOT FASHION #1
Fashion: Style?

Don’t twitch in disgust/excitement (delete as applicable) in your seat just yet. I’m not here to Facehunt you. I don’t want to snap you artfully slouched in your thrift store threads (sorry, although I’m sure they’re lovely). I won’t bang on about what’s on-trend. There are enough people doing that already. Enter: bloggers!

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Ever missed someone? What did you do? Write a letter? Email? Skype? When Rob Matthews had to leave his friend Trevor in Minneapolis, he produced t-shirts and posters to give to his friends back home, so when ever he missed Trevor they’d put them on and pretend to be him.

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For our first giveaway, we're offering up a recommissioned 1980s cult-classic Olympus XA2 with original case.

Described as 'the camera that professional photographers carry on their vacations', the XA2 has a 35mm 1:3.5 4-element lens that will outperform many a point-and-shoot.

So how do you enter? See below for all the details...

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Sir John Betjeman described Pontefract thus, 'The light and dangling licorice flowers / Gave off the sweetest smells; / From various black Victorian towers / The Sunday evening bells / Came pealing over dales and hills / And tanneries and silent mills / And lowly streets where country stops / And little shuttered corner shops.'

The tanneries, mills and shuttered corner shops have since been replaced by, well, public houses, mainly. So much so, in fact, that it is believed that the town now has the highest concentration of pubs in the whole of the UK. We sent Vincent Krasauskas to investigate.

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An interesting documentary from Palladium Boots about Centralia, a small town in Pennsylvania under which a mine burst into flames in 1962. Almost 50 years on, with the fire still burning and only a handful of residents remaining, the place is a ghost town.

It's interesting to see how quickly nature has reclaimed some of the town, though be advised to avert your eyes during the numerous close-ups of the presenter's boots (made by Palladium Boots, natch).

Click below to view.


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Photo: Sonny Malhotra


Last October, one of PARTYNICE's favourite musicians, Stairs To Korea, headed down to Northampton Square bandstand in Islington to play a few songs for the increasingly impressive Bandstand Busking folks.
He performed previous singles Boy Bear It In Mind and Guy Fawkes as well as forthcoming single Paul, Is This How You Wanted It?, but here's our personal favourite After You Die.

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An oldie but a goodie, MUTO is 'an ambiguous animation' painted on the walls of Buenos Aires by artist Blu.

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Photo: Peter Baker




Photo: David Bram

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AP photographer David Guttenfelder has been documenting the Afghanistan conflict on his iPhone, carried in his flak jacket pocket, along with a Polaroid app. A new way and evocative of documenting the daily lives of the Armed Forces during a recent offensive in Marjah.






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New Yorker Derick Melander creates sculptures out of second-hand clothing and tonnes of patience.

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I can flirt. I know I can. I’ve been told I can. Just this week I managed to convince the man in Marseille to elope to the south of France, have three children (Aimee, Millie and Charlie) and some chickens with me. It’s easy, bit of a girly giggle and some looking up through seriously massacred eyelashes and voila, quicker service in bars or in my case extra chips from the chippy. However there is a hitch… under no circumstance what so ever can I put on a decent performance (and it is a performance) with anyone I have any kind of genuine romantic affection for. With them I have only three options;

1. Total ignorance of any attempt they make to flirt with me. The whole mating ritual is a two way thing. You’re meant to pick up on subtle nuances of the other person’s language and behaviour and then reciprocate. Or in my case bite their head off. Cue example… inappropriate crush mentions to me that I’m sunburnt on my shoulders and would I like him to get his suncream for me. The perfect response would be a sultry hair toss and replying in a husky voice about not being able to reach my back, hint, hint. I instead chose to snap “Well it’s a bit late if I’m already burnt isn’t it?”. Brilliant.

2. The drunken lunge. This one is pretty self explanatory. And I am an expert (there is a good reason Craig chose a banner of a wine cellar for me). This has around a 30% success rate depending on the sheer volume of booze consumed and your propensity to act like a dickhead when drunk. Mine, sadly, is very high. Between the last few times I have been out with inappropriate crush I have managed to cry uncontrollably for no apparent reason, have a screaming match in the middle of the high street with him, stubbornly refuse to move from where I was until he held my hand and pretty much tried to rape him. Smooth.

3. Do my best Three Stooges impression. Every single time he has said or done something sweet for me I have managed to injure or make an arse of myself. He brought me a cup of tea while I was marking. I knocked it over. He told me I looked pretty. I promptly tripped on my own shoes. We watched Super Troopers, I went to put my pyjamas on, got my dress stuck over my head and he had to pull me out. He told me to catch a football. I decided to show off and try to kick it and kicked him in the hand with some scary looking heels. Ouch.

Oh and FYI the reason it’s an inappropriate crush is that technically I’m his boss. That and he is a total prick when it comes to the ladies and for once I am trying not to get delusions of grandeur and believe I can change him. Going well ain’t it…

WORDS BY KATIE HICKMOTT
PHOTOGRAPH BY NUNO

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From our flickr pool, some awesome photographs by Kirill Kuletski.







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PHOTOGRAPHY BY GRACE DENTON