Thursday, December 6, 2007

Jason Rohrer's "Passage" Video Game



Jason Rohrer released, as part of the Kokoromi Collective's gamma 256, a very interesting video game unlike any other I have played before, Passage. I am no gamer, but I do appreciate old consoles like the ColecoVision that I own, and I really appreciate arcane lo-res computer fun. As part of the gamma 256 challenge, programmers had to fit their creations into a playing field no larger than 256 pixels by 256 pixels. Mr. Rohrer reduced his viewable area even more, providing the player with a narrow "window" through which you can view the world in which you navigate.

Mr. Rohrer wrote a fascinating and insightful Creator's Statement that explains his choice to "limit" the large-scale view and the emotions behind the game, but he (and I) suggest you play the game before reading the Statement.

The image above is taken very early in the game. I have just met and fallen in love with a woman. Notice where my character is located in the frame.

I really enjoyed the lo-res art and sounds Mr. Rohrer created for his video game, and the Creator's Statement added a layer of complexity and reflection that I have never seen before in a videogame. Download it from his Sourceforge site and try it out for yourself.

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