Time, once again, to reveal our Can’t Stop Playing for this month. The announcement is coming a bit late because we had some trouble deciding for September, but then we looked at what we’d been writing about and, shockingly, playing, and there was really only one option. Who could have thought that pushing boxes around a black room would have us so completely in its grasp. Yes, it is of course the never-ending re-categorisation of Wilmot’s Warehouse that we can’t stop playing this time.
You play Wilmot, a blankly happy little cuboid, and legally distinct version of an Amazon employee, who must race to stack items in his warehouse appropriately. The warehouse is his. It is his domain. It is organised only by his own infernal decisions. Every day, new items are brought to Wilmot on a lorry, and he must decide how to store them. Then, people come to his hatch and demand he bring them stock, from deep in the bowels of his strange maze of goods.
Many of us genuinely seem to be unable to stop. Just a few moments ago I fired it up and Graham was watching over my shoulder. “I’m just getting some screenshots!” I protested. “Yeah, yeah,” he said.
Earlier, he had given us a tour of his warehouse, and we gathered around comparing notes and cooing with professional interest at how it was categorised. He had just started a ‘Clothing’ area, which so far only has two things in it: a sock and a woolly mitten. Except he says it’s a boxing glove, and Astrid saw an oven mitt. Ollie is apparently sorting by colour first, but with subcategories following on from that. I myself have just started a ‘Death’ section, similar, apparently, to Astrid’s ‘Harmful Things’ area, but with crucial differences. For example, I have stored the axe under ‘Tools’. Brendy has provided a timelapse of him shuffling his warehouse around.
There is much experimenting to be done, much to consider. Matt said that it’s a language game, but I think it’s just a big Rorschach test. “What do these images mean to you?” it asks. Is this a dog tag or a plane window? An eclipse or a cannonball? And who is Wilmot? What secret internal life does he have? What feelings are hidden behind his faint smile?
Astrid just told me she plans to do a game where she categorises things by the emotion they inspire in her. Here, the ‘Anxiety’ corner, there the ‘Joy’. If you stare at Wilmot’s Warehouse too long, reader, what stares back? This month, we may find out.
Disclosure: Pip Warr, who used to work here, is the voice of the Wilmot’s Warehouse trailer.