The Kid A Mnesia exhibition is a fascinating virtual museum


Back in college, I remember attending a class where for a good hour we debated whether to classify certain TV shows as comedies or dramas. Guess it was a fun exercise, as it didn’t sound like work, but it was strange that our teacher was adamant that we chose an answer. It wasn’t just about breaking down the shows, but choosing sides. When asked, I remember saying something like “I… really don’t care,” which she probably liked.

It helps to categorize ideas, but I often worry that creative projects fall too neatly into templates. And today’s gaming industry loves models. So it’s nice to see things like Kid A Mnesia exhibition, a semi-interactive virtual art gallery based on the music of Radiohead, which immediately shows that she doesn’t quite know how to define herself.

As Radiohead’s Thom Yorke wrote in a recent PlayStation blog post: “We’ve built… something. We don’t know what it is.

As Kid A Mnesia exhibition begins, he 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 that it’s weird that the project is released by Epic Games, or listed as a game on PlayStation Store. Or you can study design, and how it lacks the verbs and challenges that people expect from games.

The fact that it exists at those margins is what makes it interesting. It looks like a game, with dual analog movement and buttons to run and zoom. It also looks like an art gallery, with a calm atmosphere and plenty of exhibits to browse. And the moment these two ideas work together – when an image shatters into thousands of particles the closer you get to it, for example – it starts to feel different than what we’ve all played before, and like that may surprise you from most games. can not.

I don’t want to exaggerate anything. Kid A Mnesia exhibition is short, simple and free. Like an adult Happy Meal toy. You walk around and look at the art. You listen to music. Sometimes it feels like an early ’90s computer graphics experiment. It’s kinda weird that it’s not in VR, given the concept. Yet by merging incredibly light gameplay mechanics with the ability to explore a fascinating museum, this makes for a memorable place to hang out for an hour, even if you have no interest in Radiohead.


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