The ugly, The bad, The good, The list™
For as long as I can remember I have been having a vision. Not always, not every night, but recurring throughout my life. The vision always appears at the crepuscular boundary between waking and sleep, when I settle down in my bed and prepare to leave the day behind.
Last month, I made my debut in Unwinnable Weekly magazine with a piece on the preludes to Kentucky Route Zero. If, like me, your anxiously awaiting the fourth act of that game, it can’t hurt to take a look at the (free) games that came before. You can download A House in California, Ruins, and Balloon Diaspora from the Cardboard Computer website. I also briefly wrote about Ruins here before, back when I was a wee lad. Or actually, a couple of years ago.
If you’re interested, you can read an excerpt from my article for free on the Unwinnable site, or better yet, subscribe or purchase the whole issue.
A personal piece about waking dreams, mysticism, and verticality in Scandinavian theatre and videogames. I discuss Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder and When We Dead Awaken, next to a special level from Nifflas’ Knytt Stories.
There’s something to be said for the idea that art can find expression in any medium. For Jake Elliott and Tamas Kemenczy of Cardboard Computer, their medium is the strange blend of audio, video, text, and interaction of digital games. As their earlier game Ruins showed, the studio has a penchant for the poetic and the dreamlike, and you’ll find those elements in spades in their latest (and currently ongoing) work Kentucky Route Zero. It’s an adventure game in five parts — the first released in December 2012, with later instalments to follow this year.
Recently I had a dream wherein I was repeatedly meeting a dark-haired woman, predominantly in my workplace and other day-to-day environments. On a very literal level - as far as any such thing exists in dreams - it was just someone who appeared to take pleasure in my company and who came to see me often, me enjoying her company and the attention it brought, but not desiring any relations beyond friendship. My self-effacing side would say she was a projection of latent narcissism. However, on an emotional and symbolic level, there was a deeper attraction, but at the same time a mortal fear or sense of danger. This seemingly normal woman was at some non-apparent level a femme fatale.
This is going to be a very brief impression, but there’s another game I wanted to share with you. Ruins, developed by Cardboard Computer, is a new digital art piece in which you control a dog, Agatha, who chases a number of white rabbits in a dreamlike landscape which is dominated by ruins, trees, fog, and piano.