Hard Lads

Test­ing mas­culin­ity.

APC Australia - - DOWNTIME - TOM SYKES

A few years ago, some men got to­gether and de­cided to whack each other with a chair among other very silly things. The re­sult­ing video went vi­ral, and now Robert Yang has made a game about it: a sort of in­ter­ac­tive YouTube clip that you can re­play and re­play in search of an­swers, much like the video it­self.

You play as the cam­era­man (per­haps the least ‘hard’ of the group), and by click­ing on-screen icons you can di­rect the men to smoke, to drink, to wield the chair and to kiss each other, all of which hap­pened in the orig­i­nal video. You can then per­form the ac­tions your­self, by mov­ing the mouse or ana­logue stick. You can make the smok­ing turn into a lung-clear­ing hack­ing up, by mov­ing the ana­logue all the way, or you can trans­form that quick peck into a full-on snog.

Ul­ti­mately I got more from the orig­i­nal video – and Yang’s es­say about it – than I did this game, but it’s a fas­ci­nat­ing ex­er­cise in adding in­ter­ac­tiv­ity to a piece of found art.

It’s a bold idea, mak­ing a playable ver­sion of a YouTube video, that sort of works.

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