There’s a book making the rounds lately called “Program or Be Programmed,” about the insidious nature of software to use us more than we use it. The design geniuses/lunatics at Superbrothers must have read it, because the promo video (or, as they call it, “Audience Calibration Procedure”) for their forthcoming iPad game Sword & Sworcery EP plays like some unholy fusion of classic Nintendo and THX-1138:
Have you ever seen a video game ad that calls attention to the possibility that the “touchtronic machinery required to participate” (ie, the iPad) is turning us into a zombie army of dead-eyed, drooling consume-bots? Yeah, me neither. But damn, does it ever work: the chunky, 8-bit characters somehow move as lithely as living creatures, and the soothing-but-chilling voiceover (delivered by a pixilated version of what could be Don Draper, if he smoked cigars on a weird medieval throne while lightning crashed menacingly in the background) tells you exactly what you do/don’t want to hear: “We’ve slowly been preparing you.” (“Without your awareness,” a demonic, digitally distorted voice adds.)
Between the eerily lifelike animation and the intricate graphic design, you really can’t help but fall under Superbrothers’ spell, even as they taunt you: “Have you ever asked yourself why you purchased this machine?” Uh… no, not really. But after watching this spellbinding promo, I am asking myself one thing: When the hell can I get my hands on Sword & Sworcery EP?