Pawel Kuczynski is a name you should know, especially if you’re interested in satirical artwork of any kind. This amazing Polish talent has been working over a decade to produce some of the most thought-provoking pieces of artwork on the page. Whether he’s making a statement about the world of politics or making a more general attempt at analyzing the human life and its value, you can’t help but feel a little embarrassed and a little bemused every time you lay your eyes on one of his illustrations.
While he might be a Polish artist, his works are clearly speculative of the entire world, and there are even some hints of metaphysical concepts that appear throughout his collections. Each piece of art tells its own individual story, but themes that touch on the value of human life, human interaction, and disconnect in human thought are certainly present in them all. There’s a lot to be said in regards to these illustrations, but what’s most obvious is that they manage to say everything they need to without using words at all. So on that note, I’ll stop here and just let you enjoy…
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Wednesday, October 7th, 2015||No Comments »|
It’s officially October, which means the majority of my recs will be shamelessly biased toward horror. So you can imagine how happy I was when a web series geared as an “interactive murder mystery” waltzed across my Tumblr dashboard one day. Interactive web series are hit or miss, and I honestly can’t think of one that I thought was worth my time. But the best thing about Virtual Morality is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously, nor does it try to pat itself on the back for being oh-so clever or innovative. Instead, it takes its formula from slasher flicks: cheesy, bloody, fun.
Virtual Morality puts you in the POV of Abbie, a shy Catholic girl who’s attending her first house party. Throughout the show you’re given options on how you want Abbie to act. She can either hang out with the vapid, popular girls or snort coke with the attractive guy who looks like The Weeknd. The choice is yours…kind of.
Each episode has the same beginning, so whatever choices you make in the previous episode don’t carry into the next episode. But the series is designed with the intention that you, the player, will replay the episode several times to see as many endings/possibilities as possible, which is exactly what I did. So I guess your choices not affecting later episodes don’t matter.
What matters is the story, which focuses on a murder at a house party that gets published to Instagram. And if you’re thinking this series is a satirical jab at social media culture, you’d be correct. Hell, there’s even a guy getting stabbed with a selfie stick. Its message isn’t subtle.
If you’re looking for something fun and different to get you in the Halloween mood, check out episode one. There are three episodes in all and it should only take you about an hour to play. But most importantly: Don’t like, don’t share, don’t subscribe (or else).
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Friday, October 2nd, 2015||1 Comment »|
No Pineapple Left Behind is a satirical sim about education and standardized testing, developed by Subaltern Games, creators of the serious strategy game Neocolonialism.
In this single-player PC game, players run a middle school and turn their pesky students into test-taking pineapples. Pineapples are preferable to students because pineapples just take standardized tests and sit quietly in class, while children ask questions, demand teachers’ time and energy, and other pesky things. The school’s goal is to pass exams, and pineapples are great at filling in bubbles and passing exams.
|Recommended by Meg Stivison||Monday, June 29th, 2015||1 Comment »|
Ah, summer camp. Four camp counselors, a beautiful lake, and optional nudity. Has there ever been a time in history when this formula didn’t lead to murder and mayhem?
The Lakeview Cabin Collection, an expanded version of the very tedious but somewhat interesting Lakeview Cabin, follows four camp counselors who desperately try to rally themselves and fight a mysterious baby-faced killer that erupts out of the closets, forest, and who knows where else. The adults are useless, as is the norm in situations like these, and well, the counselors aren’t much better.
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Wednesday, April 1st, 2015||No Comments »|
In the wake of the death of acclaimed author Terry Pratchett, bookworms everywhere have been celebrating his life and his accomplishments, but one of his most beloved novels is Good Omens, the hysterical satire that he co-authored with Neil Gaiman.
Part of the reason why the novel is such a hit is because both men take all the lore surrounding the Apocalypse and turn it on its head. For example, the Anti-Christ is a young boy named Adam who has a pet hellhound that takes the form of a tiny mutt named Dog. Both Gaiman and Pratchett also gleefully poke fun at monotheistic religion with the figures of Aziraphale, a stuffy, book-loving Angel of the Lord, and his friend, a demon named Crawley, who did not so much fall as he “sauntered vaguely down to Earth.” While the two Otherworldly beings try to stop the End Times from occurring, in the end, the authors note that humans are fully capable of saving themselves from destruction.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, March 18th, 2015||No Comments »|
Clickhole is known more for their mockery of Buzzfeed than they are for their presence in video games, but demonstrating that there are no limits to their satire is The Mysterious Shadows Of Skullshadow Island. Spoofing text-based adventure games, The Mysterious Shadows follows the adventures of two mystery-solving brothers (TM) as they paddle out to a strange island that is rumored to be haunted.
Or, you know, be infested with drug dealers. Whichever seems more likely.
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Wednesday, March 11th, 2015||No Comments »|
The game might be called Social Justice Warriors, and you might be playing as the titular character hero, but don’t mistake any of that for support. Social Justice Warriors is a satirical turn-based game about online interactions and the futility of engaging in them–on both sides.
Interesting things to note: both the SJW and the troll are genderless and appear identical; “rightness” is irrelevant, with health measured out by sanity and reputation bars; and the choices you make are a little more complex than “stand up for what you believe in.” As the developer himself points out, a lot of the ambiguity of online interaction is removed for the sake of gameplay in Social Justice Warriors, but the hero may want to watch what kind of attacks they use. Inflammatory character attacks deal way more damage, but is that really the route you want to take?
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Thursday, January 29th, 2015||No Comments »|