Carl Burton’s first videogame reveals the surreal secrets of the city

Airport luggage gallops, potted trees ride escalators, and soda cans cyclone in Carl Burton’s first videogame ISLANDS, released today for PC and iOS. It’s a “surreal trip through the mundane,” concerned with those transitory urban locations that lie between destinations. Its subtitle, “Non-Places,” is taken from Marc Augé’s book, Non-Places: An Introduction to Supermodernity (2009). “In the prologue, there is a description of someone traveling, moving through these kinds of liminal spaces,” Burton said. “They’re everywhere, but feel curiously isolating and neutral.” This might be a town square or a waiting room; places that serve no meaningful purpose other than to…


Carl Burton’s gorgeous GIFs are being turned into a videogame

Shopping malls. Airport bookstores. Hotel lobbies. Carl Burton—the artist and animator behind Serial‘s second season GIFs—is creating a videogame that exploits the “boringness” of these liminal, corporate spaces. Using the foggy, surrealist art style of his GIFs, ISLANDS is a videogame you experience, rather than play. Anthropologist Marc Augé calls these spaces non-places—”If a place can be defined as relational, historical, and concerned with identity, then a space which cannot be defined as relational, or historical, or concerned with identity will be a non-place,” Augé wrote in Non-Places: An Introduction to Anthropology of Supermodernity (1992). A parking lot is a non-place, too. It’s a…