So!! Is it Positive of Negative?

Nov 28, 2013 by

So!! Is it Positive of Negative?

 I started playing Nothing You Have Done Deserves Such Praise (NYHDDSP) by Jason Nelson, expecting some form of artistic arcade game. This expectation was met, though differently than I anticipated. Expecting oddities and nihilistic views, it was a bit of a shock to experience seemingly positivity in the game. The objective of every level consist of moving. It was as if your character was the camera frame and without movement nothing would occur. This could be said of most games, however in most games there are negative consequences for not moving. Foes or antagonists would kill you or inflict some method of harm. In the absence of enemies, most games would present opportunities that would disappear if not acted upon. They could include grab-able items available for a limited time, or even a game time counter with time left to complete the level for maximum score. With NYHDDSP however, despite the movement of background things or a depiction of time progression, your character could stay motionless indefinitely.

 

If one did decide to move, there were no directional constraints yet one only experienced rewards in the form of animation if one moved across a directionally indicated path. This strange reward system set up by Jason Nelson seems to be employed in all of his games. He “destabilizes and complicates the game by rewarding the player’s actions not with points but with fragments of poetry” (Szilak 2013).

 

It should be mentioned that unlike traditional fuzzy positive games of Zen and tranquility, NYHDDSP features very abstract features. The setting for each level consists more or less of a mere line one walks on.  In the background static balloons with lint clinging to them appear after a very short while and haunts your stick figure character. In the foreground, plasmodium like creatures appears similar to corruptors in terraria. These haunting animations do not interact with your character throughout the entire game other than following your avatar around. Finally the backdrops frequently consist of diagrams of human organs or anatomy as depicted in older biology texts such as grant’s medical anatomy.

 

Despite the simplicity of the game and the upbeat positive messages imbedded throughout each checkpoint, NYHDDSP has one running through the game at a really fast pace.  Most likely one advances rapidly due to the unsettling nature of the graphics making it seem as if silent hill has invaded this once happy game. NYHDDSP creates an unsatisfactory feeling of unwellness in the player as if every positive message achieved at each checkpoint is sarcastic instead of sincere. As one finishes the game and prepare to close the window, it almost feel as if Nelson selected the title to haunt you some time after – Nothing You Have Done Deserves Such Praise.

Szilak, Illya.  It’s All Fun Until Somone Loses: E-lit Plays Games.  Huffington Post. 03/07/2013.  Web.  28/11/2013.

Nothing You Have Done Deserves Such Praise

Nothing You Have Done Deserves Such Praise

 

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