Webcomics, Pt. I: MS Paint Adventures

March 16, 2009

These last two terms, I’ve spent a lot of time reading. Now, I know what you’re thinking: Of course you spend a lot of time reading! You’re at Oxford, for crying out loud! But that’s not the kind of reading I mean. I mean reading webcomics. That’s right folks, webcomics. Once you think about it, it makes a lot of sense: you’re sitting at your computer, but something is amiss – you’re not quite ready to write your paper, because the ideas are still brewing. There’s no more reading to be done, but some more brewing needs to happen. Well, while I’m sitting here, I suppose I could just… open another tab and…

…flip to MS Paint Adventures! MS Paint Adventures is a webcomic with an unusual twist. It’s narrative in nature – each story arc is a single, continuous plot that develops and expands and twines its way through to some final conclusion. However, this plot isn’t entirely established from the beginning; instead, the author – Andrew Hussle – posts the drawing for the day, and then readers respond in the forum with suggestions for actions. MS Paint Adventures is to some degree a parody of the old text-based adventures such as Hugo’s House of Horrors or the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy game. The action suggestions mimic the unusual syntactic ristrictions of these games.

The suggestions are generally superb, and because of the sometimes bizarre and non sequitorial quality of the transitions (because of the unpredictability of the forum), the process of clicking through the archives is a surreal and dissociative experience. Combined with the epilepsy-inducing animations, MSPA makes for an altered state of mind all its own, which may be why I like it so much: after all, who doesn’t like a noir detective- and physics joke-themed trip with no negative side-effects to speak of (aside from the large chunks of missing time)?

My favorite aspect of MSPA is the endlessly ridiculous names for the special moves: “Double Truffle Shuffle Trouble” and “Sleuth Diplomacy: Impromptu Caucus” being personal favorites. All in all, definitely worth a look: weighing in at 1840 images, you should be able to finish Episode 3 in oh, less than 24 hours of manic clicking, I would expect. Happy Adventuring!

Random Thought: http://hasthelargehadroncolliderdestroyedtheworldyet.com/


One Response to “Webcomics, Pt. I: MS Paint Adventures”

  1. Chris Says:

    Call me a phoof-face, but I don’t understand the MS Pain website…:(

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