If you read last week’s letter you can maybe guess where the inspiration for this one came from (visually at least, if not aurally).
I’m starting to think this project should have been subtitled “how many things can I do with centred text, photos, and minimal interaction”. turn left was maybe an unintentional mission statement; I’m increasingly interested in moving any interaction out of the software and into the player/audience’s head.
Maybe it’s that software and videogames’ strictly delimited worlds and rules have started to feel too tightly-defined, too rigid. They don’t leave me enough space.
Software/code is still my primary medium though. I wonder where this train of thought is going to lead me.
Controls: escape to quit
The file at this link will be deleted 1 month from now (03/08/19).
All downloads are zipfiles containing a Windows executable.
As long as you abide by those licenses, you can do whatever you want with the download.
If You Should Find Yourself in the Dark; a beautiful, aching piece on anxiety and motherhood.
I quoted an Ada Limón poem last month. Here’s another one.
Related to my thoughts on this month’s piece, this is a strong criticism of videogames’ focus on rigid, tightly-defined interactivity. An excerpt:
“Video games are not more interactive or creative than previous medium; if anything, they are arguably less. Each video game involves a mastery of a series of digital gestures, controls, contextual clues, or modes of seeing and knowing. Playing a video game is largely about learning how to play by its systems and rules, how to get organized and efficient. And while the best games offer space for improvisation, reflection, storytelling, and of course fun, the relation between gamer and game is most commonly one of disciplining the gamer to a set of systematized interactions.”
A Bewitching Revolution: A game about waking and collectively remaking a city using tarot and Marx. Games are often power fantasies, but so rarely collective power fantasies. We have so few games about coming together, looking after each other, and fighting back against the systems that divide and immiserate us.
I’ve been eagerly awaiting Jenny Odell’s How to Do Nothing since reading the medium article of her original EYEO keynote, and it lived up to my expectations. Filing it alongside Rebecca Solnit’s Hope in the Dark as a book which confronts the despair I suspect a lot of us now grapple with daily, and then offers a way forward.
…and I’ll finish with a short story by Brit E. B. Hvide about a ruined Earth which ends up in a similar place to Odell’s conclusions in How to Do Nothing.
I’ve found myself surrounded by sparrows this month. Every time I look out the window or go outside, there they are. I think it’s that time of year when the young have just left the nest and are suddenly free; brave and hungry, excited to explore the world.
Anyway: look after yourself. Get a good night’s sleep, and push back whenever you can against all the demands on your time and labour. This world asks too much of us. If you can spare the time, find a quiet spot outside, sit, and watch the birds for a while.