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fulldamage avatar 7:21 PM on 07.27.2014
I'd Move Mountains


After about an hour, a bed flew out of space and crashed into the mountain.

There wasn't really anything I could do about it.  I rotated the mountain back and forth, and clicked on the bed to no particular avail.  It's still just kind of sitting there, embedded into the mountainside at a weird angle, and seems like it will be there forever.  

There isn't much you can do about anything in Mountain.  It begins by asking you a series of questions about yourself, to which you must respond by drawing in answers (look, all that messing around in MS Paint is finally going to help you after all!).  No one knows what the game does with the answers.  Maybe nothing.



I'm calling it a game. I mean, you can argue about whether or not it is one. I like to think we've outgrown that discussion finally. Like, nothing says "insecure about my hobbies" like the need to formulate a thesis to justify them. Maybe we should call it an interactive meditation, or a digital snowglobe? Whatever revs your motor. 

Mountain is sort of like like an old bottle that someone discovered in a trunk in the attic, and you've bought it at a garage sale for a dollar, and you take it home and you discover that the top is permanently sealed on.  So you rattle it around a little bit, and you're sure you can see something in there but the glass is too scratched and tinted for you to be sure what it is, no matter which way you turn it. So you just end up putting it on a shelf, and every once in a while someone asks about it so you take it down and puzzle over it with them for a few minutes at a time. Otherwise it just sits there on the shelf, inviting you to think about it every once in a while. 

Have I just described a game? I suppose I haven't. But it's sold in the same places that you find games, and I use the same portion of my day to play with it that I would otherwise spend on games, and it shares some features with games, like being on a computer and responding to your keyboard and mouse inputs, and having sounds and graphics and whatnot, so let's call it a game and be done thinking about that part for now, eh? 



Every once in a while the mountain has a thought. 

These thoughts occur with little chiming sounds. Sometimes they repeat, as your own thoughts do. They're pensive thoughts, and sometimes even a little dark. The mountain sounds like it is trying to figure itself out by studying its surroundings, with minimal success. There may be a lesson in there for you. I don't know.

Word on the (virtual) street says it was made by the same person that made another not-a-game that is featured in the movie Her, which is apparently about a man dating an OS that lives in his smartphone. If you like this sort of thing, thing being solitary mountains drifting alone while time passes, pondering the nature of existence, then you may also like that sort of thing, which is Spike Jonze. 



Some of the buttons on your computer will make something happen in the world of the Mountain's world, but not all of them, and the range of interaction feels pretty narrow after a few minutes, but who knows how many surprises are lurking in there? I don't want to spoil too much. Anyway, I'm not telling you how to spend your money. I thought it was worth a dollar, so that I can fire it up every once in a while and think about being a mountain. Maybe that's dumb. But what else are you going to spend a dollar on? Go on, try and come up with something. I'll wait. I'm pretty patient.

Maybe that's why I like Mountain.

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