Punk Games and Interesting Decisions

For the last year, I’ve been caught up in designing and creating computer games (some of which I’ve posted here).

I’m not completely sure whether this is work or a hobby, and perhaps it happily treads the line between the two.

This September, though, I’ll be premiering my first “serious” game work at the Kyma International Sound Symposium at De Montfort University. The piece, Interesting Decisions is a first-person game where the performer controls a character navigating through a neon-themed cyberspace.

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 5.45.08 PM

While the mechanics of game itself is familiar (perhaps even cliche) to anyone who has played a “walking simulator,” I would argue that this familiarity does not make it expressively invalid.

Perhaps, instead, Interesting Decisions falls under the current trend of “punk games”.


Like punk musicians who only know three chords, punk game designers use free and available tools and prototypes, like Unity3D, to create games that are mechanically unsophisticated (or at least unoriginal), but original in narrative, aesthetics, or subject matter.

I like this idea, even though I am not unaware of the irony that I am perhaps the absolute antithesis of a punk musician. Perhaps it is especially since I’ve invested so much time and effort in refining my art as a musician that I like the MU of setting those skills aside for a form of artistic expression that I am wholly untrained for.

It’s reinvigorating to develop new technical chops in order to engage with a new and emerging art form.

One comment

  1. […] I spent the weekend participating in the 48-hour game jam/competition Ludum Dare, as a break from my “serious” work on Interesting Decisions. […]

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My guiding idea, which I have been conscious of ever since I found myself a composer, is the idea of the brotherhood of nations, a brotherhood in spite of war and strife. This is the idea I am trying to serve, with the best of my ability, in my music.

-Bela Bartok