by Brad Simons on April 4, 2008
The following are a couple of projects by Jason Rohrer, an independent game developer leading the charge in the "Are video games art?" movement. Despite how feel about that question, these two games could definitely be considered unique. Passage Gravitation
Both of these games are very simple in both graphics and design. But don't let that fool you. The designer has a message he wants to convey in both games. Both can be oddly emotional, and whether or not you agree with the message, the games can clearly be considered "art." If you are going to play these games, you must play them till the end, otherwise you might miss the point. Well... I guess the "point" is not completely clear. Like other forms of art, you might get something different out of it than someone else.
This game is very simple but it has some very subtle game design choices that are pretty cool. Don't get mad at me if you burst into tears. This game is meant to be played from beginning to end and I think you will get the point about half way through. But play this game all the way to the end as it is only about 5 minutes long. Note: The game "plays" whether you are playing it or not. Click here for the games page where you can download the game.
This is his more recent project Gravitation. This game is both slightly more somplex in both design and message. Even more so than the first game, you must play to the end... or at least to a point to understand the meaning of the game. Total game time is only 8 minutes, so give it a chance. Click here for the games page to download the game.
Again, whether or not you enjoy the games or agree with the message in the games, Jason Rohrer is doing something very interesting here. Something that you don't typically see in video game form. I very much look forward to any other games created by this "artist."
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