This game reimagines the glitch aesthetic as an emotional breakdown

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here!

Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section.

WHAT NOW? (Browser


Arielle Grimes has developed tremendously as an author of videogames over the past year. She has expressed grief, sorrow, kindness, and love through her interactive art. But her first foray into the medium focused on translating the stress she felt around that time into a bite-sized snapshot of her life. Called What Now?, it had you meandering between the landmarks of her room, reflecting on it a piece at a time. If you moved without stopping, allowing all of the anxiety of the room to be absorbed in one swoop, the pixel art morphed into a distorted glitch aesthetic. This represented an emotional breakdown. Grimes has recently revisited this first videogame of hers and refined it with what she has learned since. It’s not a different experience but is somehow even more intense. Now the world seems to swallow you whole as it degenerates around you.

Perfect for: Glitch artists, emotion hounds, the stressed.

Playtime: A couple of angst-filled minutes.