Deszczownik [Rainer]

Piotr Marecki, Krzysztof Kaz Ziembik, Tomasz Tbxx Boksa, and Krystian Pinokio Iwaszko

Deszczownik [Rainer] is a literary game and genre hybrid made for the 8 bit Atari. It is a work that spans between e-lit, game dev and the demoscene. The game was inspired by an event that occured in March 2019 in Gdańsk (Poland), where a catholic priest together with a group of churchgoers organized a bonfire, during which they burned books that hinder access to God; for instance, Harry Potter. Media worldwide reported this happening.

The game uses fragments from the books burned in Gdańsk, which appear on top of the screen. They fall downwards, towards burning flames (a reference to the work “Text Rain”). The player controls the protagonist, a cat-rat that holds a Hello Kitty umbrella (also burned in Gdańsk), using which it can steer letters towards safe landing on the ground. Points are awarded for letters that survive. The game was conceived during the Grawitacja gamejam in Kraków - a 36-hour party, during which participants make games for 8 bit platforms. The team that created Deszczownik drew the prompts “water” and “animals”. The game subversively demonstrates that commercially dead technologies (8 bit Atari) can be used to create works commenting on current events. In this game digital media are used to save analog culture (books).

About the Artist

Piotr Marecki, Jagiellonian University, Kraków; Krzysztof Kaz Ziembik,; Tomasz Tbxx Boksa, RetroAge; and Krystian Pinokio Iwaszko, Atari