Enterprising graffiti artists in Germany have pasted graphics over a few billboards to make them appear like the old Doom user interface.
Billboards are usually just annoying attention-grabbers on the side of the road. Sometimes they elicit a chuckle or actually give some needed information while you’re driving along. But some street artists, or vandals as they used to be called, put the stationary advertisements to a dorkier use. Pasting graphics of the 1993 Doom user interface over the bottom of the billboard is a genius idea. Check out their flickr photo stream for more shots.
At first, I merely thought the alterations were a laugh. I mean, who hasn’t thought of shooting the morons they have on billboards shilling whatever product? But that’s only scratching the surface.
As far as vandalism goes, this is pretty thought provoking stuff. We, as gamers, have no qualms about the countless number of murders we’ve committed in games, but that’s the conceit you agree to when you boot up the game. You make a choice to enter this virtual reality where killing and violence are tolerated. By placing the game interface over these advertisements in the real world, drivers and pedestrians are forced to think about the act of killing in a totally different context.
I’m not sure what this means for player agency. Are you considering killing this scantily clad lady with a chainsaw? Well, now you are because it’s got a game interface over it. Is that evil? I don’t know if that’s the point the artist was trying to convey but the “666% hate” in place of the armor display in the user interface might be a clue. Maybe it’s a protest against domestic violence?
Either that, or they’re just vandals out to poke some stuffy Germans in the eye with their dorky prank.
Regardless of their intentions, I applaud them.