Videogames as a medium can be many things: intricate worlds created to explore, complex mechanical systems meant to engage critical thinking, an art form that inspires empathy around deep issues. They can be reflective of the art forms and culture of the world around us in so many subtle and intricate ways.
Then, there’s Video Game: The Game.
Created by indie designer Wolve as part of the Indies vs. PewDiePie game jam, Video Game: The Game is a quick Flash explosion of noise and eye-bleeding animation that seeks to capture the essence of what makes games these days popular. It takes all of the tropes you’re used to in big–budget games and throws them at the audience at a mind-numbingly quick pace, all the while shouting at you about how awesome it all is. The clever design condenses bullet-hell shooters, quest-giving RPGs, limited vision exploration games and more into an experience that doesn’t even require you to hit any buttons. Just point a mouse and let it wash over you.
What makes Video Game: The Game worth multiple plays is that despite the satire—or maybe because of it—the noise explosion of content hits a player where they think. While you try to wonder how you can hit more of the little random enemies before the screen changes, the silliness of the situation forces a little bit of introspection about game design too. By the time the screen hits “Game Over” after being filled with tiny busty animated girls, a player realizes they’ve had the best kind of bait and switch experience: they’ve had fun and been made to think.
This game’s definitely NSFW due to language, and requires a warning at the beginning for those who might have photosensitive epilepsy. Also, turn down your speakers just a little. Or crank it up, because, videogames, right?