Friday, June 01, 2007

Game Friday: Dirty Pretty Things

Thanks to Paul Orselli for the link to this week's game, "game, game, game, and again game" by Jason Nelson, self-described new media artist and poet.

The game is an odd collection of chicken-scratch drawings, Mario-esque navigation, surprising flurries of poetry and sound, and strange home videos. Distinctively, it eschews the "clean, dull, lifelessness" of standard web art and design for a messier look.

I'm a sucker for rough edges and low-tech. When does a unpolished look become a design positive? When it can invite people in without compromising quality of experience. There's a basic tension here: an unfinished, folksy design may encourage visitor contribution, or it may make visitors feel that their contributions are not worthy of "real" labels and presentation. But over-design is the norm. Often the soul of a prototype gets lost when plexi and printers replace cardboard and markers, and fancy design elements cloud over a lack of truly fabulous content.

So enjoy an opportunity to get lost in a game that's rich in content, mixed on theme, and down and dirty on style. And then check out Nelson's other work with online hypertext art. There's some pretty wild stuff shooting out of his screen.

2 comments, add yours!:

Director said...

This is a really great little game cum art work -- thanks so much for pointing it out. It's a wonderful example of accessible digital art/indie media.

More generally, your blog is an incredibly valuable addition to debate about new forms of communication and creation in museums and other communities.

Wendy said...

I love thoughtfully designed pieces that have rough finishes.

The appeal lies in how the roughness gives the game or exhibit an aura of craftiness and an association with all things lovingly hand-made. There's still lots of personality in the piece!

Thanks for this post!