Friday, 11 August 2023
More than anything I’ve made this game (yeah yeah, “game”) as a way to quickly put something together with minimal effort. Despite that it has taken weeks to actually get out the door, but that’s precisely why I chose such a small target - imagine what would have happened with something bigger.
I think a project like this is probably mostly process in terms of its interest value, certainly it’s conceptual rather than interactive for example. There are a few ideas floating around in it that I’ve found interesting and that motivated me to press on rather than not bother.
- Relationship to existing contemporary art around erasure, like Robert Rauschenberg’s Erased de Kooning Drawing from 1953, and also more directly Cory Archangel’s Super Mario Clouds.
- The chance to think about formal rules and meaning around erasure, which led to distinctions like making sure the game would still run in an emulator (requiring a header) and also having both a “deleted” (D) and “zeroed” (Z) version of the game to be comprehensive.
- Not something I thought of but something that comes from Chris Allnutt of the Financial Times, a way poke fun at/deflate/counter the grandeur of game titles like Super Mario Odyssey or Super Mario Galaxy. Now there’s just: nothing.
- It’s in conversation with my previous game The Nothings Suite which looked at what “nothing” looks like from the perspective of different game-making platforms. Here we’re getting deeper into the idea of file formats and deleting rather than creating, but it’s along a similar line.
I think those are most of the reasons in my head right now for why make this project. Maybe one more is:
- A stress test of the Method for Design Materialization. Because this is a game whose output is nothing (albeit a nothing than runs in an emulator), there’s really not much to see or interpret in the final artifact. As such, the value of doing the project is essentially all in the process, and this places a premium of effective process documentation. Without process documentation, the project doesn’t really work. I suppose I could just have made it and written an artist’s statement, but those are always post hoc and can miss important ideas that came and went during development.