Saturday, July 3, 2010

Freedom Bridge: a "notgame" for Korea by Jordan Magnuson

I've mentioned my brother before, a game designer and critic who believes that computer games have the potential to be profoundly powerful.  He's an artist who's fascinated by the ways in which the interactivity of the gaming medium can help us reconsider, and recapture, our humanity.

I don't know if you're someone who likes computer games, or someone who finds them completely superfluous. Regardless, I challenge you, as a human being interested in conflict and resolution, and the human condition of struggle, hope, and despair, to go ahead and spend two minutes "playing" Freedom Bridge.  The game gets its name from the bridge connecting North and South Korea over the Imjin River.  It loads in your browser, and all you have to do is click on the screen and use your keyboard to move.

Believe me, it's worth it.

If you want to read more about it, there's an article in Resolution Magazine.

And here is some of the response it is getting:
One of the most intense interactive experiences I’ve ever had. I went on and watched some short documentaries about Korea afterwards in order to process the tension it had left me with (mitsche, FlashPunk Forums).
One of the best video games I’ve played all year (Fraser McMillan, Resolution Magazine).
An excellent demonstration of how you can use the medium to really have an impact (Brooks Harrel, college student with a ‘starving artist’ passion for game design).
Short, to the point, and beautiful (benedict, FlashPunk Blog).
Very much worth the quick playthrough! (GameSetWatch).
I often take issue with games this short and message-centric, but it was very effective (Bryan Suchenski).
Here, despite being the barest representation possible, is something far more deeply affecting than the biggest budget “emotional experience” being crafted today (Eolirin, Raph Koster’s Blog). 
Best flash game ever? (multiple posts on Twitter).
I'd say that's a pretty effective piece of art.

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