Jill Seale

Time Well Wasted: Depict1

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A simple, straigtforward platformer. I promise.

[I love wasting time. Nothing feels more free to me than knowing there are things I need to get done and completely blowing them off. In the spirit of slackers everywhere, I present Time Well Wasted, a weekly feature where I showcase some of the best, most interesting, or just plain strangest ways to kill an hour or two on the internet.]

For the sake of not spoiling yourself, you should probably play Depict1 before you read this. No seriously. Go play it. I’ll wait.

Back? Did you manage to get through the whole game? Both endings? Good for you. By now you’ve probably realized that Depict1 is an anagram for deception. How long did it take you to figure out how to move? What about how to jump?

How long was it before you started immediately doing the opposite of whatever you were told to do?

The idea that gamers are conditioned to follow orders without questioning them in video games has been explored a lot lately. Bioshock and Portal opened up the floodgates for this kind of game design, but I think it works better in simpler games like Depict1. With such a limited amount of controls, being lied to about how to use them is especially disorienting.

Another really interesting aspect of Depict1 is the use of spikes. People like myself who have been playing 2D platformers for the majority of their life are strongly conditioned to avoid spikes at all costs; however, in Depict1, spikes are not only harmless, they’re beneficial. Even once you know they’re darts, it’s still hard not to see them as spikes and just jump right in them.

At the end, when you arrive back in the room you started in the game is pretty successful in making you feel trapped. It may be a bit cliche, but it’s still effective.

All in all, Depict1 is a very neat little game. What do you think? Are you still mad about being lied to?

[Mad props to Ryu89 for pointing me in the direction of this.]

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