Who’s Side Are You On?

Strangely enough, “Airplay” by Barry Smylie is quite an interesting piece of electronic literature even though it barely utilizes words (unless it is explaining the directions). “Airplay” was published May 6, 2010, and is a series of games where the user is tasked by playing good and evil. The user does this by participating in competitions between God and the Devil. There are 4 games total, 3 of them have the user playing as either the Devil or God, trying to dodge specific obstacles that their opposite pits against them. This game deals with possibly the biggest moral code, “the constant battle between good and evil.”

But whats so ironic about it is how silly the games are. The music is retro electronic, and has sort of a innocent nature to it which makes you feel weird about playing for the fate of the word. That also plays into how deep the message is. You can only win as God…or the Devil. The earth in many forms in the game was basically a toy for the giants to compete for, and its strange how the game completely shatters the stereotypical imagery of “good and evil.” For some strange reason, no matter what side your on you want to win. When playing as the Devil I still wanted to win the game, which made me uncomfortable but I find that great (electronic) literature  is supposed to do that.


Then there’s the fourth, and last game that has the user playing as God trying to win a paddle ball match against the devil. As seen in the featured picture the ball is the earth. Now firstly, this game is extremely difficult. It took me about an hour to beat it and outsmart the Devil. I think that Barry Smylie did this on purpose because the battle to keep good in the world is a hard battle, and really the only way to beat the Devil is to outsmart him. Its like how this entire game is playing with us the whole time, as if were being toyed by some sort of supernatural force how the issues are being under represented by the characters. This piece of electronic art is a definite “must experience”.

If your interested the link is as follows: http://barrysmylie.com/flash/airPlay/airplay.htm

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