Arthouse Games
Artgame: The Marriage
by jcr13Monday, March 19, 2007 [11:04 am] Rod Humble just released his experimental artgame The Marriage for public consumption. With no sound, no music, and barely-there graphics, this game is clearly not meant to dazzle your senses, but instead meant to intrigue your mind (and its low-fi nature is not a cop-out---Rod Humble's day job is at EA, so he has plenty of experience making high-fi games). The core question: What does the game mean? Rod answers that question somewhat on the download page, but I suggest you play the game before reading his explanation.

I have played The Marriage quite a bit, and so has my spouse. We've spent some time talking about what it might mean. The game, and my experience discussing it, have reminded me of experiences at galleries of modern art---for each piece, I stare at it, scratch my head a bit, and try to mine the piece for meaning of some kind. I'm also reminded of watching a David Lynch movie with friends---we'd spend the rest of the evening discussing what the movie might mean.

With The Marriage, we don't start that meaning-search empty handed. We've got the title, and we've also got Rod's one-liner: "The game is my expression of how a marriage feels."

I'm not sure if I will ever write a review of this one, because the game's success or failure depends so much on the player's personal temperament and taste. I'm posting it here as a point of discussion. Please add your thoughts in the comment roll.


Joystiq just picked up on this release (followed shortly by everyone else---but you read it first on AG).

Tales of Tales has an interesting perspective.

Man Byes Blog responds.


[Submit Comment]
by BigBossSNKTuesday, March 20, 2007 [4:57 am]

A quirky "deduce 'em up". Without spoiling much of the exploration I can say your main concern is to avoid full transparency and zero size for both of the squares. I can also say that, pound for pound, this title was much more thought provoking than the similarly themed Facade.


by Lucas Haeser - HiperTuesday, March 20, 2007 [3:24 pm]

I agree itīs more provoking than Facade. The Marriage is about pure videogame concepts, Facade is storytelling placed into videogames.
I found the concept really interesting.
Great comparison with modern art and David Lynch movies.


by MichalThursday, March 22, 2007 [10:53 am]

After seeing The Marriage getting more exposure I figured it was time to write another post about art games. I go into a little bit more detail about my experience with The Marriage, and discuss a few other developments in the scene. Here's the link...


by Rod HumbleFriday, March 23, 2007 [2:23 am]

Thank you for your kind words everyone, and your write up Michal. I would mention I am an admirer of Facade I think it is a real breakthrough in interactive storytelling and I think there is a plenty of room to stretch the medium in lots of new directions.

Again, thank you for your comments they really do mean a lot, when you put something this personal out there then its comforting to have a few people respond positively and make constructive suggestions.




by AurieaWednesday, March 28, 2007 [3:08 am]
We would be interested in your thoughts / reactions / comment on this article.


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