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Monday, March 19, 2007
The Marriage 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 over at Arthouse Games.

Name: The Marriage
Developer: Rod Humble
Category: Artgame
Type: Freeware
Size: 530 KB


Anonymous Anonymous said at 3/22/2007 06:13:00 PM:  
If game rules are sufficiently expressive to make art with them, how come we are only now starting to see this kind of artgame? Games have been around for millenia! And all we humans did was meddle with oil paint and marble while we could have been making art with rules, instead.
Blogger miyamoto-SAN said at 3/22/2007 09:58:00 PM:  
I would say that we *have* been creating art with rules; Chess, Soccer, and even Poker are very much art by my reckoning.
Anonymous Anonymous said at 3/23/2007 05:18:00 AM:  
So it's a historical oversight that chess, soccer and poker are not in the Louvre?
Blogger miyamoto-SAN said at 3/23/2007 12:10:00 PM:  
This blogger interface is pretty bad for a discussion like this, so I'll continue this on your forum if you don't mind Michael.