The Guardian bigs up urban75

Guardian article

I forgot to mention this, but I was well chuffed with this piece in the Guardian last week.

“For some time, campaigning groups have used Flash movies to spread their ideas virally online. Moving into games was the next logical step. Hence sites such as Global Arcade, which uses variations on classic games such as Pong to satirise globalisation.

Similarly, the long-running British site Urban 75 features anti-corporate cover versions of old gaming classics. As Urban 75’s Mike Slocombe says, his Brick a Brand is basically a variation on Breakout. After indicating their “brick-throwing ability” – student, protester or anarchist players get to bounce bricks at familiar-looking brand logos.

The natural home here for political gaming (the site hosts the satirical beat-’em-up, Downing Street Fighter), Urban75 could perhaps lay claim to have pioneered the genre of interactive political cartoons, with its Punch/Slap games.

Online since 1996, these simple Java animations let players virtually punch politicians and celebs by clicking on their faces. A click comically distorts the (over) familiar face.

“They’re horrendously simple but phenomenally popular,” says Slocombe, who sees the games on his site as a bit of cheeky irreverence. The hope is that they might draw people into the Urban 75 community where they could find out more about the issues.”

Pioneer, eh? I like it!

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