The New York Times’ Illustrious History Of Messing With Its Site

The New York Times added another dimension to its NYT Magazine feature on “stupid games” by making a stupid game–the site-destroying KickAss–part of the story.

As NYT online editor Samantha Henig explains in a blog post, Times multimedia producer John Huang modified the game for inclusion in the web version of the story on addictive games, which appears online and in the NYT magazine. Readers/players can manipulate a rudimentary spacecraft and bombard NYT ad and edit content with space-bar-discharged balls.

It’s seems like a surprisingly playful and meta extra but the Kick Ass incident is only the latest in a long line of NYT digital experiments. The paper has also provided a hothouse for experimentation in that most disappointing of ad formats–the banner.

Click through the slide show to see how the New York Times has used its site as a demonstration of the creative potential of display ads.