I’ve got 99 problems but Notch’s new game about existential dread isn’t one

The bowler-hat-wearing, dubstep-bash-throwing Minecraft creator created a quick little game about exploring the squirmy mental content of a nihilist. Coded for the latest Ludum Dare game jam, Drowning in Problems is sort of an existential take on the Cookie Clicker genre. This text-based, choice-laden leveling system tells a story about all the drawbacks of having an highly-intelligent, post-Descartes, over-thinking brain, skill point by skill point. In any case, the game is sweet and worth your time and totally adds a thoughtful dimension to the new class of spreadsheet games like Candy Box. You can play it here.


The professor who discovered 80-year-old pixel art

If not for ASCII art, we wouldn’t have ASCII games like Candy box and Dwarf Fortress. And that would be terrible. So the way I look at it, we are greatly indebted to “ARTYPING,” which was invented in the early 20th century and done on typewriters. Some early examples of this forgotten art-form recently turned up on the blog of Lori Emerson, an English professor at the University of Colorado Boulder.  Along with a portrait of Shirley Temple composed of X’s and semicolons, she also posted some endearingly hokey old-timey excerpts from the book she found it in: ARTYPING (1939), written…