Experimental Gameplay Project

Some purists and old-timers will tell you that video games have gone much too Hollywood these days. The Industry is dominated by a handful of huge companies that spend millions of dollars pumping out sequel after sequel, all aimed at a big fat mainstream audience. Whatever happened to games made by a couple of geeks with a warped idea for something that might be fun? They’ve found refuge at places like the Experimental Gameplay Project, which started out as an academic exercise at Carnegie Mellon University and has now become a repository for some of the most down to the bone digital distractions you could ever hope to play. There are about 70 games here, and there are more coming every week. These are the rules: one creator, one idea, one week to make a working game. With limitations this tight, you don’t get any first person shooters or massively multiplayer online extravaganzas. Instead, you get stuff like “Tower of Goo,” in which you try to build a stable structure out of squishy little blobs. Or, for the surrealists out there, “On a Rainy Day,” in which you build a tree out of hands holding umbrellas to shelter little paper boats passing beneath. The top-rated game on the site at the moment is “Attack of the Killer Swarm,” wherein you grab helpless pedestrians with a mysterious swirling vortex and fling them into the sky with the aim of causing the biggest splat upon reentry. Strangely soothing. Took two days to make. Screw you, EA. (Derek Winkler)

www.experimentalgameplay.com

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