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Good Design Can Live in Surprising Places

Recently, I discovered good design in an unexpected place: a video game.

Yes, I’m serious. And no, gaming is not my thing. Or helveticka’s, for that matter. Don’t expect to see our team heading to the next Lilac City Comicon, dressed like characters from Zelda.

My husband, on the other hand, is a bit of a gaming nerd. Sans the costumes and conventions. A few days ago, he got me hooked on the indie game “Spiritfarer.” And I do mean hooked – I’ve already put several hours into this game.

For me, that doesn’t happen. This isn’t my first gaming rodeo. I’ve tried video games before, and they just didn’t stick. (Okay, okay. Except “Animal Crossing,” and that’s one I chalk up to early pandemic boredom and those annoyingly cute characters.)

“Spiritfarer” struck another chord altogether. It’s slow-paced and relaxing, with a bittersweet orchestral score and a surprisingly moving storyline about death and the afterlife. But what I enjoy most is the hand-drawn art and detailed animation.

They’re skillfully done.

In a video game. I had no idea.

It turns out that, not only have I been ignorant, but I’m also late to the game (pun intended). This month, MoMA opened an exhibit on video games and interactive design. You can read about it here: http://www.wired.com/story/video-games-moma-art/

You can also see “Spiritfarer” at https://thunderlotusgames.com/spiritfarer/  Just remember, you may end up hooked on it too. That wouldn’t surprise me at all.



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