Video games often get away with much more than any other art. Even the most “normal” interactive work, fitting within known frameworks of film or literary genres, will be filled with shorthands and mechanics that might seem… weird. Even the interactive Big Bang, which really got things going, features a plumber in mushroom land.
When Gaba, Bastek, Patryk and I were discussing the Black Horses of Video Games of 2018, we reached an impasse. Patryk then asked me about the theme of this year’s selection. Without a second thought, I said that I’d like it to be a competition of weird games. Ones that a typical festival guest doesn’t think can exist.
Games like ritual handball and a title you play for a minute. Like entering the head of a Celtic warrior, whose journey through hell is practically therapy – and then, another trip into the mind of an uncompromising artist. Or a bartender simulator, where the drinks you mix unlock the customers’ deepest fears and thoughts. Like a production that would convince Edgar Allan Poe to drop this literary gig and maybe take a crack at game development. And to finish up, a freezing cold even Dukaj and Carpenter didn’t dream of. It’s going to be a competition that sounds… atypical, even on paper.
When our guests take a step back from the nominees, we wanted them to think a specific thought: “That was weird.” What I wholeheartedly wish to everyone: let these weird lands dazzle you.