i admire the use of collage in games: the kind of structure that borrows different game vocabularies and rules as suits individual scenes. christopher whitman’s run is such a game, one which draws on a learned history of game systems to comment on a strange irony of digital games. there are some enormous human experiences – farming, for example – from which most of us have become so alienated that we only relate to it in a detached, abstracted, incentivized videogame form.
it’s interesting that this game uses a conceit that i didn’t like in gregory weir’s silent conversation. i think it’s more effective here for a few reasons: because the text on the screen is less dense, and so the rate at which words are revealed better mirrors the pace of reading them; because the game makes a stronger effort to use platform vocabulary to characterize those words (i think this is partly a consequence of there being fewer words); and because there’s no grading mechanism to distance the player from the act of reading and comprehending. but gregory is still the brave laika that we shot into space.