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Ennuigi: Bringing Existential Angst To Super Mario

Ennui. Boredom. Existential angst. Heidegger wrote what was probably the most extensive philosophical treatment on the subject, 100 pages that tackled the tedium of railway stations. Fair enough, Marty, but didn’t you know the truest form of ennui is depicted in the empty eyes of gaming’s second most famous plumber?

Meet Ennuigi. It’s the work of indie dev Josh Millard, a browser game in which you press down to smoke and up to ruminate on ontology, ethics, family, identity, and the mistakes he and his brother have made. The Mushroom Kingdom is crumbling and our laconic Luigi is left to wander what is left. It is excellent.

Here’s Millard on Ennuigi:

“This is a shot at a collection of ideas I had a few years ago, about looking critically at the universe of Super Mario Bros. in light of the total lack of explicit narrative in the original game in particular. Who are these strange men? What motivates them? By what right do they wreak the havoc they do on this strange place? What do they feel about where they are and what they’re doing?

“And so, this is one lens through which to look at all that, with Luigi, the second brother, the also-ran, as a complicit onlooker, wandering now through some fractured, rotting liminal place in this strange world, reflecting on it all in scattered fragments.”

You can play it by clicking here, here or here. Thanks, boingboing.

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Emily Gera

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