Monday, December 6, 2010

Today I die

¿Can it be that I never write about videogames on my Notebook, they being one of the great loves of my life? Today I put available to you Today I die by the Argentinean Daniel Benmergui (from ADVA). While it seems most literally translated to Today I die, I translate it to Today I die because it is as it appears on the official translation into Spanish, from which I gather that is the closest to the original intention of the author1.
For less knowledgeable (ie, those who spend their time in more productive things, such as Facebook) I write some brief instructions that almost ruine the whole experience:
1. The whole game can be completed solely using the mouse, clicking and dragging things around on screen. Most visible elements are sensitive to the pointer.
2. The poem that appears on the screen can be modified by replacing the words with the ones that appear, and modifying it modifies the game. As a player, eventually, you have power only over the last word of each of the three verses2, which are respectively an adjective, a noun and a verb. A word can only be replaced by another of the same species.
3. To be able to use a word, it must come to have a bright color (green or yellow), which is usually accomplished by holding it safe from a certain danger for a certain amount of time.
It may not be the greatest thing in the world, but it was the first online game that made me respect this format, tiny and pixelated, as a possible means of artistic expression. The protagonist is a girl tied to a big rock that's sinking into the depths of the sea. To complete game you have to save her, and near the end there's a choice to make, more or less, which leads to one or the other of the two possible outcomes. Except for those who surrender, those who feel really frustrated and the cold-hearted, it is quite difficult or impossible to reach the ending without getting a lump in one's throat.

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