Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mid-Century Frozen Vegetables and No Middleman

Mid-Century roadside signs, especially for motels and restaurants, continue to inspire my Trader Joe's signage. I am greatly helped by the many amateur photographers and design enthusiasts who upload their photographs of remaining examples of this style to Flickr and other photo display sites. Here in the urban East, mid-century signs have been almost completely eradicated, except in the happy haven of "doo-wop" Wildwood on the Jersey shore. Someday I will make a pilgrimage there. 

How did I get so enthralled with this style? Well, first of all I'm old enough to have lived with it when it was new and fresh. I loved the playful colors and chrome of 50s cars. I loved the fantasy architecture of the 1964 World's Fair. But more than that I loved what was then futuristic, whether it was the TV Jetsons or the comic book worlds of Krypton or space adventurer Adam Strange. I like this design so much better than the "grunge," zombie, goth, and hard-edged stuff which dominates the popular graphics world nowadays.

I would like to know, if any one of you out there plays video games, is there a game which is not horrifically violent, brutal, and morally ambiguous? Is there a fully rendered videogame which is not just an arcade rack-up-points game or pixel puzzle, but another world full of things which are uplifting, harmless, beautiful, but at the same time fascinating? Where you don't have to kill anyone? Just a question. Now back to frozen vegetables.


Mike said...

You may want to check out "The Endless Forest", which doesn't have violence, killing or points.
It's more an experiment than a game. Technically it's multiplayer, but there's no chat within. You "speak" by your actions, and noises you make. (Did I mention you play as deer with human faces?) ;)
Anyway, check it out.. It's free.

Mary said...

There are many Role Playing Games which (almost) meet your criteria, although most of them require you, at least, to slay dragons or other monsters.

But for "another world full of things which are uplifting, harmless, beautiful, but at the same time fascinating" I'd have to recommend "Elder Scrolls: Oblivion" which I reviewed here.

Okay, "harmless" is a strech, but beautiful and endlessly fascinating that world certainly is.

Tristan Alexander said...

I have never played it but I understand that Myst does some of this. If you don't mind some killing and violence, Soul Reaver 2 and 3 are great. The worlds are VERY detailed and the coolest thing is that there is a phisical world and a spirit world and the same place may change drastically between them. And to solve some puzels you have to switch from one to the other. VERY well done art wise.