Jordan Magnuson developed today’s game, and it was easily the most abstract game in Meditations so far, as well as the simplest game I have ever played. The gameplay consists of looking at a gray screen and clicking it once, which makes the screen turn bright yellow. Without reading the description, the game would make no sense and would have made me feel any emotion. It would just be a simple two-second game that I thought was broken at first.
The description makes the game much more impactful, though. In the description, Magnuson describes how seeing his son smile directly at him for the first time, around two months after his birth. Magnuson says that his son’s smile completely changed his world. So now that we have context, the game makes sense. The gray screen represents Magnuson’s life before the smile, and the yellow represents his happiness and new light-hearted look at the world.
At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about Magnuson’s game. I thought it was too quick, and the emotional impact it had on me was not anything extreme like some of the games in the Meditations collection, but after thinking about the game for a while, I noticed something amazing, I knew that a gray and yellow screen meant something.
I have no clue what the heck is happening in Kingdom Hearts, but due to the context that Magnuson gave in the description, I knew what a gray screen and a yellow screen were. That is incredible and gave me a newfound love for the abstract art that I used to have negative feelings towards.
I rarely understand abstract art, and that is mostly because I do not understand any of the contexts of it. The artist always has a reason for making the art, but the audience doesn’t necessarily know that reason. With Magnuson’s game, he was nice enough to give us that reason, and that is what made the game so special.
So to all of the artists who create the abstract pieces in the art galleries I have seen and criticized silently in my mind, I am sorry. I am sorry for not understanding your pieces or even attempting to. I did not know what you had gone through, or what the art represented to you, but after playing Magnuson’s game I have a desire to seek out the context of abstract art pieces instead of thinking that they represent nothing.