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The Believer: Micro-Interview with Ian Bogost

By Michael Thomsen
The Believer

Bogost_HowTHE BELIEVER: What is a video-game poem, and how do you go about making one?

IAN BOGOST: The game poem is an attempt to continue the poetic tradition in video-game form, not necessarily using language, but still embracing constraint and condensed symbolism. With A Slow Year I took two fixed endpoints: the Atari 2600 platform on one side, and, on the other side, the poetic traditions of imagism and haiku, forms that precisely and concisely capture a particular idea or image in a small measure of language. I asked myself: If you take these two things and use them like the ends of a jump rope, what does it feel like to use that apparatus as a designer? What does it mean for a player? In my case, the Atari 2600 already had the prebuilt material constraints that haiku has, because the hardware is incredibly rudimentary.

Read the full microinterview (Part 1) here.