February's Internet, Explored

Studio Cult Internet, Explored

Every month, we dive deep into the murky waters of the World Wide Web and cast our Inter-Nets to capture the most elusive and exotic content. We haul these slippery snippets back to shore so you may sink your teeth into their succulent, delectable flesh. All this is to say, these are

The Best Things We Found Online This Month 📡🧭


New Emojis for 2020

In this political climate, it's more important than ever to keep up to date on current events. That's why I've decided to ignore the news and pay attention to emojis instead.

117 new emojis have been announced for 2020 by the Unicode Consortium, AKA the emoji shadow government. Although the new icons won't be adopted by devices until later in 2020, premier emoji reference and official Studio Cult Co browser bookmark Emojipedia has produced a sample image collection illustrating what they may look like.

My personal favorites in this batch include a long awaited Headstone, a wholesome Potted Plant, and the International Symbol of Italian Enthusiasm. However I think we can all agree that the most consistently asked for and universally applicable new emoji is the Fondue Pot. I really don't know how I was texting without it.

Lazy Gamer Review's AIM Retrospective

Picture it: It's 3:45 on a Friday and you just got home from school. Your mom offers to make you a snack and you roll your eyes yet accept her pizza rolls and apple slices. You scamper into the computer room and boot up the family Dell, anxious to talk to your friends on AIM. Your buddy icon is a picture of Gerard Way. You don't know it, but this is the best life will ever be.

Well, maybe that's a little extreme. After all, now we have the technology to replace Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox with Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Holland in clips of Back to the Future. Needless to say, our ASL Sale had us yearning for the bygone era of instant messaging. Lazy Gamer Reviews' memorial to the platform satisfied our craving for nostalgia. We couldn't agree more with him about the reliable thrill of logging on. *cue dial-up noise*


Emily is Away

Emily is Away is a seminal work of the indie visual novel. This interactive story takes place within an all too familiar yet totally unbranded instant messenger application. After customizing your profile (which was half the fun of AIM anyway), you chat with your friend Emily. Each message you select alters the outcome of the narrative. To quote Julie Muncy's 2015 review for Wired, "the game does a remarkable job of recreating both the aesthetics of, and the emotions associated with . . . high school AIM chats."

Emily is Away is available for Mac, PC, and Linux. When you've finished, play through the sequel, Emily is Away Too. I can't wait for the third installment, Emily is Away <3 which creator Kyle Seeley says will take place within a brand new social media platform called Facenook. Sounds neat.



The phrase "link in bio" has become somewhat of a meme, but have you ever stopped to think about why we only get one link in the first place? This think piece written by Glitch CEO Anil Dash explains how platforms benefit from limiting links to outside destinations. While you're there, check out some of the other insightful articles on the long-running blog.



Monthly Cursed Content: Terrible Maps

I'm going to be honest with you, my original idea for this month's Cursed Content was a video of a guy removing invasive parasites from wild shrimp, but I decided that 1. it was too gross to merely be classified as Cursed™️, 2. technically the video could also be considered Blessed™️ since he's doing a good thing for the ecosystem, and 3. I need to cool it with the horrible sea creatures. 

Instead, may I offer you Terrible Maps, a collection of truly awful exercises in cartography. Who wouldn't need to visualize Average Flag Color by Latitude, the Roundest Country, or Electricity Consumption in Europe in 1507?



Monthly Blessed Content: Snails in Love by Aleia

Creative duo Aleia Murawski and Sam Copeland create vibe-heavy miniature worlds inhabited by frogs, macaroni, slime, and as this month's Blessed Content entry would suggest, snails. This piece was commissioned by everyone's favorite technology overlord and tells a classic love story of two high school snail sweethearts. Look how tiny every thing is! And look how much those snails are in love! I'm not crying, you're crying. 



Sophie Parker's Painted Plants

Self described botanical artist Sophie Parker AKA "Wife" makes stunning temporary sculptures out of real plants. She says that her pieces challenge "classical notions of floral arranging." No, I can't stop looking at her work. And yes, I did find her through Caroline Calloway's instagram. 

Sisyphus LEGO Kinetic Sculpture

Do you ever have the feeling that you're good at stuff? Like, are you ever proud of your accomplishments and consider yourself to be skillful? Prepare to feel disappointed.

This kinetic sculpture depicts the myth of Sisyphus and is constructed entirely out of Lego. Someone conceived of this! And then built it! And then published instructions so you can build it! This might literally be the coolest thing I've ever seen with my eyes! I am devastated. 



We hope you had your fill feasting on these virtual delicacies. Still hungry? Pick over the remains of what we hauled in last month. If you'd like to submit something for next month's Internet, Explored, join the Studio Cult Chatroom on Facebook.


~*written by Pia Marchetti*~