What is a game? What counts as a Video Game? The pedants would tell you that the only experiences worthy of such a valuable categorization are games with graphics, guns, and empowerment. The businessmen say it’s games with marketability, mass appeal, and safe investments. I think games can be so much more, but I recognize that the classification of what is and isn’t a game is less important than the experiences themselves. This week we’ve got a wild handful of picks that would probably upset both the pedants and businessmen but we’ll recommend them nonetheless. We’re wild like that at itch.io.
I’m a huge fan of museums. At their best you’re getting access into another person’s mind, another place in time, or another set of experiences you couldn’t have normally. They’re something I think everyone should support and appreciate. Recently artists and developers have taken to creating virtual museums, and the Zium Museum is the best I’ve seen yet.
The Zium Museum is structured like a traditional museum. You walk through a variety of exhibits while looking at artist statements and (hopefully) reflecting on what the artist wanted you to learn from the piece. Where the Zine Museum embraces its digital nature is in large form exhibits that can be as large as a building. There is a lot to love inside of the Zine Museum and if you’re interested in museums at all you could do a lot worse with your time.
I’m not recommending this as a fun experience, but an important thing that I think people should see. There have been a lot of public apologizing lately and it’s all been pretty universally terrible. Elizabeth Sampat must have been thinking the same thing because they launched Am I Part of the Problem earlier this week.
To be clear: This isn’t a game. This is a learning tool to help people consider their role in their own apologies that happens to be written in Twine. I would be happy if we lived in a world where people were good at conveying their emotion and reflective enough to understand how they’ve hurt others, but we’re not there yet. In the meantime take a read through Am I Part of the Problem and learn a little more about apologizing.
If there’s one thing the indie community is good at, it’s resurrecting previously dead franchises and genres. Prototype Mansion is the continuation of the survival horror sensibilities that died when Resident Evil 4 launched.
Everything about Prototype Mansion is meant to evoke the sorts of horror games you’d find in a bargain bin in the early 2000s. The visuals are janky, the voice acting is amaaaaazing, and the scares are sudden and goofy. Even the page that hosts the game pushes this narrative of haunted discount gaming.
This is only the first episode of the game, so don’t go in hunting for a satisfying conclusion but for $2 you could certainly do a lot worse. Halloween may have passed, but Prototype Mansion is ready for you all year ‘round.
Did we miss something this week? Let everyone know what you've been playing in the comments below.