Technology is getting better, faster. We are increasingly streamlining. Information and art are not indifferent to this change. 6 second videos. Tweets. Instagram. Candy Crush. They are by design immediate and democratized, but also due to their volume and accessibility, increasingly ephemeral.
In this brave new world, Ishac Bertran, a designer from New York City, created a videogame console that only lets you make one move a day: Slow Games. It’s meant to keep you engaged over long periods of time and force you to meditate on your moves.
These aren’t games that you’ll finish in one session. That’s technically impossible. You’ll spend at least a couple weeks on each, and that’s if you don’t die in the process. This delay can be frustrating, especially if you’re looking at the games through the traditional lens of play. You won’t beat a level while you dash from work to home on the Subway, but maybe that’s OK.
You could draw comparisons to technology in a more general sense. More often than not, its purpose is to decrease the friction in our lives. The easier, the faster, the more immediate, the better, right? Not so fast, says Bertran. “We’ve developed this super fast, automated way of interacting with things,” he says. “Technology is almost anticipating what you will do.” This form of interaction is neither a good or bad thing, he adds, but it’s at least something that deserves some reflection. “For me this [Slow Games] is a way to test how we interact with technology that bends the rules a little bit,” he says.