Just over a year ago, the award-winning physics-based cooperative puzzle game Morkred launched on PC and Xbox as a console exclusive. Developed by the Norwegian game studio Hyper Games, Morkred garnered a mixed response from critics and gamers alike, with many citing the game’s art style, music, and dark atmosphere as strengths, while its short playtime, lack of story, and some technical issues drew criticism.
Morkred on PC and Xbox features a unique gameplay mechanic that adds an extra layer of challenge to the more than 60 puzzles players must solve. “Morkredd” means “fear of the dark” in Norwegian, and the game centers on the balance between light and dark. Players must cooperate to roll around a large glowing orb and stay within its light at all times. Shadows mean death, including those cast by each player. So not only do players have to be careful about the darkness created by objects in the environment, but also by their partner.
In June 2022, the new National Museum in Oslo, Norway will open its doors and become the largest art museum in the Nordic countries. The new museum will have almost twice as much exhibition space as the old venue, making room for an often overlooked art form: video games. The National Museum will present a permanent exhibition of video games, and Hyper Games’ Morkred will be part of the functionality. Games in the exhibit will not be playable, but museum visitors will be able to view gameplay videos and concept art.
The inclusion of video games in a national museum represents an important and culturally significant moment for the gaming industry in general. In an interview, Are Sundnes, CEO of Hyper Games, said that “game developers are still struggling with misconceptions about our industry, and it doesn’t get the recognition it deserves from of the general population. Here in Norway, we are all so proud of our athletes, authors, filmmakers and musicians, but most people couldn’t name a single Norwegian game. Being included is a huge step in the right direction.
Although video games have become much more mainstream in recent years, especially compared to just a few decades ago, the medium is still not fully understood by many or viewed in a negative light. Most gamers can relate to the difficulty of understanding why it’s okay to binge on TV shows for hours every day, and yet playing a video game for any length of time is often seen as a waste of time. childish by non-practitioners. So when the hobby is not only recognized as a legitimate hobby, but honored as an art form worth recognizing, it feels vindicated.
This official recognition of video games as an art form has had a positive impact on the industry in the past. In 2016, the National Center for Research and Development, funded by the Polish government, granted nearly $30 million to various Polish game studios, including CD Projekt RED, to help in the development of The Witcher 3, IC games Lords of the Dead, and Techland dying light, including the highly anticipated sequel Dying Light 2 Stay Human launch in less than a week.
Morkred is available on PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.
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