Kid A Mnesia Exhibition is a fascinating virtual museum
Back in college, I keep in mind enduring a class where for an excellent hour we discussed whether to categorize specific television programs as funnies or dramas. I expect it was an enjoyable workout, considering that it didn’t seem like work, however it felt weird that our instructor was determined we choose a response. It wasn’t practically breaking the programs down, however selecting sides. When hired, I remember stating something along the lines of, “I … don’t really care,” which I’m sure she liked.
There’s worth in classifying concepts, however I frequently fret about imaginative jobs falling too nicely into design templates. And the present video game market likes design templates. So it’s great to see things like Kid A Mnesia Exhibit, a virtual, semi-interactive art gallery based upon the music of Radiohead, that makes it clear up-front that it’s unsure how to specify itself.
As Radiohead’s Thom Yorke wrote in a recent PlayStation Blog post, “We’ve built… something. We aren’t sure what it is.”
As Kid A Mnesia Exhibit starts, it sets expectations:
“This is not a game
Take your time
You are at the beginning
So there must be an end
Some places will make sense
Some will never make sense
See you later”
You can debate the semantics if you want. I’m sure someone will mention it’s strange the project is published by Epic Games, or that it’s listed as a game on the PlayStation Store. Or you can study the design, and how it’s missing the verbs and challenges people expect from games.
That it exists on those fringes is what makes it interesting. It feels like a game, with dual-analog movement and buttons to run and zoom-in. It also feels like an art gallery, with a calm atmosphere and a bunch of exhibits to walk through. And at the moments those two ideas work together — when a picture breaks into thousands of particles as you approach it, for instance — it starts to feel different from what we’ve all played before, and like it can surprise you in ways most games can’t.
I don’t want to oversell anything. Kid A Mnesia Exhibit is short, simple, and free. Like a grown-up Happy Meal toy. You walk around and look at art. You listen to music. Sometimes it seems like an early ‘90s computer graphics experiment. It’s sort of unusual it’s not in VR, offered the principle. Yet by merging extremely light video game mechanics with the capability to check out a remarkable museum, it produces an unforgettable location to go hang out for an hour, even if you have no interest in Radiohead.
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.