Dwarf Fortress: A video game on display at MOMA

August 13th, 2014 § 1 comment

Dwarf Fortress looks like a color version of ASCII art. Needless to say it is not on display at MOMA because of it’s aesthetics. Yet it is indeed a work of art. When you start the game it first takes a few minutes to generate the world. When I say world I don’t simply mean the physical landscape but the entire world. Set in a Tolkien like middle earth it generates a couple hundred years of lore and it doesn’t stop at large scale conflicts between Orcs and Dwarves. The game dives deep into it by creating individuals that have their own history that begin and end before you even start playing. The detail is so deep that the mod community has created tools that allow you to dig through the lore of your randomly generated world. It’s like your own personal Wikipedia. If you were to gamifiy The Silmarillion I expect it would looks something like this.

For more watch this screencast as some folks from Polygon stride into war atop a cave dragon in Dwarf Fortress.

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