Video Games as Art: The Marriage
The Marriage is a short game by Rod Humble, best known as an executive producer on The Sims franchise, and the CEO of Second Life developer Linden Lab.
The Marriage is quite unlike any other game, in that it doesn’t try to be fun. In it, Humble “paints a picture” of marriage in a way that cannot be done in any other medium. It’s not a poem that describes marriage, it’s not a photograph that depicts marriage, it’s not a play that showcases marriage - it’s a videogame that models marriage. Only by poking around the in system that Humble has constructed, and observing the feedback, do you reach an understanding of what he is trying to say. It exemplifies the concept of “communication through design” that Jonathan Blow and Michael O’Reilly use to excellent effect.
What I find interesting is that it demonstrates that it is possible to create a computer game with artistic intent, and convey a certain depth of information that isn’t possible with other media. Even if The Marriage is a very simple example, it offers the torch for future developers to carry.
For a more in-depth explanation of The Marriage, you can visit Humble’s website here.
- Gabriel Verdon