The age of obsequious, infantilizing, anthropomorphic operating systems—think Clippy and his cohort—may be a dim comic memory, but it's helped inspire an entire (though brief) generation of art and music.
Now, a new jam game called RadOS, billed as a "modern horror experience", summons the simultaneously hilarious and nightmarish circumstance of cursing softly at a bright, gooey GUI as you struggle desperately against losing everything. Your virtual assistant is a goofy, wittering submarine sandwich wearing shoes (this is never explained), who cheerfully informs you that thanks to some crucial updates, your system will restart in 30 seconds. That's about how much time you have to save all your unsaved work.
RadOS presents you with the impossible feat of saving several windows' worth of work in those 30 seconds, and these vary for each playthrough—figuring out how to save, export, submit, et cetera each open project is made ever more enraging by the assistant continually popping in to "help."
If it's possible to succeed, I haven't managed it; I think instead it's a nihilistic commentary on Windows 95, designed to frustrate you and make you laugh a little bit (the user icon, a cavernous hood with a blossom emerging from its depths, is wonderfully eerie).
RadOS was made for the recent Toronto Game Jam and is downloadable for free. There's no Mac version.
The Offworld Collection, presenting the very best features and essays from Offworld, is finally available to buy directly from Campo Santo for $40. I had the pleasure of designing and illustrating this splendid 250-page hardcover volume, but it’s the excellent writing, edited by Leigh Alexander and Laura Hudson, that makes it an essential buy. You […]
Zoya Street, curator of Critical Distance, offers slow reflections on the fast-paced world of digital play…
This week, our partnership with Critical Distance brings us reading on parenting via Tomb Raider, the utility of the word ‘gameplay’, and experiences from Nintendo ‘play counselors’ from the 1980s and 90s.
It’s a rude awakening for that rookie vacationer abroad when they try to plug in their gear for the night. Veteran jet-setters know that outlet shapes can vary wildly from country to country, which necessitates that most boring must-have for any world-traveler: A sackful of clunky power adapters. Awkward problem, elegant solution: The Twist Plus […]
Looking for a career in music behind the boards, either as a music producer or DJ? It’s a good bet that you’re going to be working with Ableton Live. Each new iteration of this powerful workstation gives the user more tools to create, and it’s just as well suited for the task of meticulous track […]
The graveyard of failed startups is littered with concepts that just got lost in translation. At its core, that’s what great front-end design is about: Making an app or website usable, translating its best ideas smoothly to the user. It’s a skill so broad there might be no one book or course that covers it […]