Autobiographical Architecture

A new autobiographical game that will be set in and around Doom II

I’ve never met JP LeBreton but I know him because he knows the original Doom series. He wrote what is probably the most insightful design analysis of the game back in 2010; before he became a level designer for BioShock (2007) he learned the craft with Doom‘s level editor (and then demade his BioShock level “Arcadia” in Doom II); and more recently he had the opportunity to talk at length with one of the original Doom creators John Romero about his work on the game. It does not surprise me when LeBreton tells me “Doom is this thread running through most of…

New Dawn Fades

Joy Division lyrics become a virtual landscape of memory

Some songs stay with us, permanent signposts along the pathways of our memory. We revisit them in different contexts as time goes on, hearing the bass line or the lyrics or the production anew, reflecting on the significance of the moment from the comfort of the familiar. Ansh Patel, an interdisciplinary artist who received his MFA in game design from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, recently released an experimental “interactive poem” on that he calls his “most explicitly autobiographical work,” combining fragments of memory with the music of Joy Division. “appealed to the unrelenting burden of expectations I felt growing up” Set to the…


Into explores the comfortable silence of conversation

Pausing during conversation can be terrifying. The ask is that you listen to your partner in speech, taking in everything they have to say, and then let you both wallow in a considered silence for a few seconds before your reply. It’s said that the person you’re speaking to will hardly notice that you’ve forced this gap into the conversation. It’s also said that the benefits of this pause is giving the conversation some weight; that you consider it a dialogue and are not simply waiting for your next turn to speak. But those few seconds can be unbearable, especially with…


Consume Me to be a cute, harrowing game about extreme dieting

Overzealous dieting is a rite of passage for people of all ages and genders. You stare in the mirror and wish you didn’t have that extra flab of fat. Later turning to the realms of Internet-aided food over-management and hellish exercise routines to (hopefully) fix yourself up and return to the slenderness of your metabolism-enabled childhood. Diet balancing can either be a positive force of getting your health back on track, or, in most cases, an obsessive, terrifying one that risks becoming an eating disorder. Striking a balance between eating healthy and being happy with your body is extremely difficult,…


Memoir En Code, or how to sell yourself through a videogame

“The more you play, the more you know me.” This is the line that hammers out, a single word at a time, every time you open up Alex Camilleri’s autobiographical game album Memoir En Code. It strikes me as an odd objective for a creator to imply to their audience. But, as I think about it, I realize that it’s hardly strange at all. How much of art appreciation has been dedicated to finding out more about the artist’s life? A lot of it. That’s the answer. When we talk about van Gogh we don’t only speak of his paintings…


The sequel to dys4ia explores the failure of empathy games

Despite being about “the experience and aftermath of getting hit by a car,” you’ll probably expect Anna Anthropy’s latest autobiographical game, titled Ohmygod Are You Alright?, to take the subject lightly at first. Get a little further into it, however, and you may understand why Anna says that “you could call it a survival horror.” The game’s intro is upbeat. You’re told that you (that is, Anna) have just got back from hosting a New York gallery show that landed you some decent cash. It’s Wednesday, and as with every Wednesday, your friends are waiting to meet you at the pub…


New Cibele trailer is a taste of teen life at the beginning of the digital age

Being a teen during the rise of the internet was weird in too many ways to describe. While you were experiencing all manner of hormonal and bodily changes, the rest of the world was experiencing its own kind of tumultuous transformation. As you matured into young adulthood, attempting to navigate the social structure that came along with it, the rest of society evolved and tried to navigate this new network of online people. While you discovered your sexuality for the first time, the word “cyber sex” sent ripples across many different cultures, introducing the world to a type of intimacy…