Preludes to Kentucky Route Zero

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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. […Read more…]

Letting Go

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. […Read more…]

Kentucky Route Zero: Act One

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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. […Read more…]

Harlequin Valentine, or Lustprinzip & Todestrieb

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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. […Read more…]

Ruins: Digital Dream Poetry

Agatha explores the ruins of her dreams

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. […Read more…]