Kelc – LookingOutwards02

Although I did not learn about this artist until just recently, I would like to explore the boundary between game and interactive computational art. Mario Von Rickenbach is a designer, artist, and programmer that seems to blur the line for me. One way I would argue he does this is through his loose interpretation of a game– most of his big projects do not have enemies or obstacles to overcome, some do not even have real objectives. Many of his games like Plug & Play and Mirage are more exploratory. In Plug & Play, he took what was a very surreal short film and a very abstract concept and turned it into a computer game. As evident by the Let’s Play below, the game is not clear in its objective or even in its explanation of how to progress. The video above also has an explanation of the sorts of mechanisms used in Unity to create the physics behind some of the gameplay.

Several other examples of projects that blur this line were apart of the Bit Bash Festival, a Chicago game festival celebrating independent and alternative games and designers. Many of the projects as seen in the video below can in fact be called games, but they also exploit bugs in computer graphics to create a specific look– “vaporwave”. Games like this, again, can be looked at as surreal, with much more intention placed on the graphics of the game than the inventiveness of the gameplay itself.