The games we play

  • PopPress
  • December 10, 2013
  • StopPress Team
The games we play

Christmas is rapidly approaching, but instead of getting the gamer in your life something for their Xbox One or PS4, how about something a little more realistic? 

The elevator is a cubicle of awkwardness, where most passengers try desperately to avoid any form of human interaction for the duration of their journey. The smartphone has been a great tool in this regard, as users can simply slip it out and stare at the screen in silence. But a videogame called Avoidance Training hopes to retain these age-old skills of avoidance with the help of eye-tracking software. 

"Avoidance Training deals with a withdrawal of self that is as instinctive in virtual gameplay as it is in the tense experience of sharing the small space of an elevator. The objective of the game is to avoid eye contact with the characters on the screen for the duration of the ride. Seemingly commercializing these self-imposed isolation strategies, this first-person game uses eye-tracking technology to control the player’s camera, transforming avoidance from a fearful instinct into a skill."

In line with Avoidance Training, there's also Waiting in Line 3D, a laugh-a-minute romp where nothing really happens and the object of the game is to stay awake (by punching yourself in the face). 

And speaking of staying awake, Desert Bus, an unreleased game originally created by Penn & Teller as a commentary on the anti-video game lobby, is widely regarded as the worst game ever made. And fair enough too, because it's a "real-time, eight-hour commute from Arizona to Las Vegas."

There is no pause button. The bus veers off to the right the whole way. And one point is awarded for completing the trip. It's basically an exercise in staying conscious and a prime example of why video games require exaggeration and hyperbole to be interesting.   

Amazingly, the game has actually inspired a charity event called Desert Bus for Hope that "combines video games and tedium", as this great story in The New Yorker details. And so far it has raised over $1 million since kicking off in 2007.  

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The Compendium: 22 February

  • Media
  • February 22, 2019
  • StopPress Team
The Compendium: 22 February

Our weekly wrap of good things, strange things, funny things and other things from inside the intertubes.

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