Jason Nelson’s anti-game “This is How You Will Die” fits best out of all his games into Galloway’s counter-game categories. First, Nelson foregrounds TIHYWD in that, while the player does not see any coding or visual programming, he does witness the rules of the game as the random predictions spin around before bestowing you your death sentence. Second, TIHYWD perfectly conforms to Galloway’s predictions of aestheticism. The 2D graphics, while extremely minimal and basic, play a much greater part in the work than game play. Since the player merely clicks one button to begin the cycle, the emphasis is on the generated text. While TIHYWD does realistically model the physics of the spinning choices, the illusion is broken by two transparent stripes that partially reveal additional possibilities for your death sentence. Unlike his other games, TIHYWD refuses to interact the viewer, probably to make an artistic statement that we have no choice in our death; figuring it out is as likely as winning big at the slot machines. As an unavoidable result, Nelson fails to achieve a radical action, merely relying on his strange graphics and eccentric death predictions to make his game nontraditional.
Personally, I feel that Nelson’s anti-clean, anti-organized, anti-minimalist graphics become a hinderance to the message of his games. While they spoil TIHYWD less than the others, these amateurish skins undermines his legitimacy (I didn’t feel safe clicking on any of the links) and often make his messages unreadable. I understand that it’s part of his message and style, but the messy, thrown-together style of Nelson’s work makes me feel that he does not respect me as a player and does not care enough about his game enough to make it visually pleasant. Personally, I preferred the subtle, implied meaning presented in the minimal, pristine skin of Every Day the Same to Nelson’s cluttered portrayal of his enigmatic messages. As a player, his seemingly-careless graphics fail to engage me enough to figure out the complex (and doubtless meaningful) puzzle he presents.