Friday, October 14, 2011

...But That Was [Yesterday]

Hello dear readers,

So on Monday we will be receiving our second ever guest post. That almost makes us a legitimate, web-worthy, ready to be viewed by the masses blog, right?

To tide us all over until that momentous moment I will let a discussion from the comments on the last guest post spill over into a new blog post. As you might remember, that post was on whether games can be classified as art. In the comments, Michelle pointed out that one way in which games challenge our definition of art is that the interaction which is such a necessary element of games, also lessens how contemplative they can be. And in "conventional" art, contemplation is almost the entire point and purpose.

While I think both Barnabas and Michelle would argue that games need not be contemplative to succeed in becoming art, this needn't stop me from trying to point out some contemplative games.

So, as some candy for the weekend, I give you ...But That Was [Yesterday] (which was actually buried in a list of recommended games in one of the links in Barnabas' original post).


Go here for the game designer's blog post about the game. At the link you can see links to other games by the same designer. How My Grandfather Won The War is also a very good game that forces the player to think about the game while playing. Difficult, but good.

I like ...But That Was Yesterday. It is not a game so much as an interactive story. The game elements are there not to give you a game, but to force you to take part in the story. When events happen to the character, the actions you are forced to take then force you to think about and also even feel to a certain degree what is happening.I think it is done well, it certainly drew an emotive response out of me when I played it. And I think it did so in a way that was only possible because of the interactive element, not despite it.

If you have the time (which you do because it shouldn't take longer than 10 minutes) it is well worth a play through, especially if you don't normally "play games". Give this one a try. Once you've played it through, your thoughts are certainly welcome in the comment section. As are links to other games that might pass the contemplative test.


  1. Hmmm. I think I prefer the Grow Cube game over these two games.

  2. Hi Ling, as a game I prefer the Grow games too. I don't think they provide as good an example of games as art though. Well, at least not in the contemplative sense that Michelle suggested is classical "art".

    The games linked to here aren't even all that fun to play, as games. I mean the main one in my post is barely even a game so much as an interactive story. But they do express certain ideas in nice ways.

    Grow on the other hand is just a really fun set of games!


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