By John Walker on September 7th, 2010 at 12:00 am.
EA’s Rod Humble, as we well know, likes to turn his hand to artistic expression through games. The first of these was The Marriage, which attempted to express something of the nature of a relationship through simple abstract shape and movement. Brett Douville has responded, some years later, with My Divorce.
I chose to represent my thoughts in as close a manner to Humble’s as I could; I have a lot of interests in games, and one of them is the way in which games specifically speak to the games that preceded them. Here, I adapted many bits from “The Marriage” — most obviously, the visual representation, which I reproduced more or less whole-cloth, but also some of the gestural control. The background colors change in much the same way, though the meanings of the colors chosen are different. The game has similar endings, and those endings have similar meanings.
So have a look, and either be intrigued, or angry that it exists. In the game’s notes is an interesting comment I’m going to repeat here:
Exploring and sharing your own divorce, or what might occur in the case of divorce, is both welcome and encouraged. While not all scenarios can be represented, many can.
“If you are interested in exploring your own divorce, or other settings, many of the settings of the game can be exported to an XML file by pressing Ctrl+W. You may read in the same file by pressing Ctrl+R. Either of these will stop any current playing game and return it to the title. At any time you can return the game to its original settings by quitting the application and restarting. The application sets some limits which are described in the XML file.
“You may also share settings with others by using standard copy and paste functions. Ctrl+C will take your current settings and put them in a condensed text format in the Windows Clipboard. You may then paste this text into other applications (email, web browsers) via those applications’ paste keys, if available. Ctrl+V will paste the same snippets of text into “my divorce” and return the game to the title screen.”