Much has been said about Animal Crossing: New Horizons and how it has become a platform to host major events during the pandemic, where most of us are confined within the four walls of our homes, birthday parties to online events. Art galleries and exhibitions have also seen a resurgence through New Horizons, but the crux of the matter is that New Horizons is not intended as a platform to showcase art through online galleries, nor a place where the public can discover new artists.
Enter Occupy White Walls, a massively multiplayer online game about building and managing your own art gallery, while allowing players to experience both classic works of art by historical figures and contemporary paintings by artists. modern artists. According to Yarden Yaroshevski, the founder of the studio StikiPixels, the game is designed to solve the problems faced by the art market. “A game about art is essentially political. If you’re making a game about art, you go first, [have to] solve problems with art in general,” he says. The problem, he says, is artists’ lack of access to galleries, as well as art galleries’ inability to engage younger audiences.
Occupy White Walls seeks to address these issues with an AI called Daisy, which will recommend artwork to players based on their preferences, paintings they may have already purchased in-game, as well as their wishlist. personal paintings. But as a game, Occupy White Walls also feels like an extension of The Sims’ architectural ambitions – and it’s surprisingly robust. There are at least 6,500 assets available to build your art gallery, ranging from a variety of walls to furniture such as rugs, chairs, and other similar decorations. Of course, a big part of furnishing your art gallery is outfitting it with a variety of artwork – and that’s where Daisy the AI comes in. By turning on the IA of the game, you will be recommended some paintings, and from there you can also discover other similar works. And if you like these pieces, you can visit the artists’ online portfolio and Instagram account, with these links available in-game. of skulls – and I’m delighted to find that there are plenty of such works to display on my walls.
That said, if you’re tired of tinkering with your gallery and want to look elsewhere for inspiration, you can also easily teleport and visit more galleries, created by other players. Some of these buildings are pure architectural and structural marvels; I visited a place that feels like a luxurious painting emporium, unlike the vanilla, white walls and piercing lighting of the actual galleries I’ve visited. Then there are also galleries which are built without a roof, the clear azure blue sky a salient and elegant contrast to the intricacy of the works on display. It’s easy to spend several hours admiring the creativity and ingenuity of other players, then return to your own building with the aim of creating a gallery inspired by the sites you’ve visited.
More than just a canvas for architectural splendour, Occupy White Walls also encouraged gamers to be more introspective, with the art galleries and community around the game providing a safe environment in which to do so. “A lot of people, by the way, gallery, or are encouraged to gallery, about very personal things, about personal trauma […] depression, mental health, [and] gender issues,” Yaroshevski tells me. “People feel really relaxed there [in Occupy White Walls]it’s like a civilized corner of the internet.
Occupy White Walls is currently still in early access, but you can grab the game and curate your own art gallery for free on Steam.
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