Tuesday, May 11, 2021
HomeGamingSomeone should make a game about: chimneys

Someone should make a game about: chimneys

My grandmother had a chimney in her house, and all the rituals that went with it. All week she would set aside time for the making of spills – little concertinas of newspaper that were good for getting fires going. She would keep an eye on the log pile, and if any of us had an orange, we would save the peel for her to toss into the flames when the fire was lit. This last part I remember so strongly that I still find myself holding onto orange peel for a few seconds whenever I’m eating an orange, before I remember that my grandmother died in 1991. Anyway, the rituals extended to the fire itself. She would stare into the flames and, in fact, through the flames. The sooty back wall of the fireplace would become home to little orange embers that would advance up and down as the fire progressed and she liked to watch them.

Someone should make a game about chimneys. But hearths? That’s really what my grandmother’s rituals were all about, and somebody has made a game about hearths already. Little Inferno is a game about buying stuff to burn it, and I can take the thudding heft of its satire because the game is so beautiful when it comes to the details. You are presented with a hearth and you chuck things in. You move the fire around with a mouse or a finger. Woomf! Delicious.

But what about chimneys? The flue and the, the rest of it? Is that the chimney? Where does the flue end? Is the flue the whole thing? Confusion reigns.

Read more

My grandmother had a chimney in her house, and all the rituals that went with it. All week she would set aside time for the making of spills – little concertinas of newspaper that were good for getting fires going. She would keep an eye on the log pile, and if any of us had an orange, we would save the peel for her to toss into the flames when the fire was lit. This last part I remember so strongly that I still find myself holding onto orange peel for a few seconds whenever I’m eating an orange, before I remember that my grandmother died in 1991. Anyway, the rituals extended to the fire itself. She would stare into the flames and, in fact, through the flames. The sooty back wall of the fireplace would become home to little orange embers that would advance up and down as the fire progressed and she liked to watch them.

Someone should make a game about chimneys. But hearths? That’s really what my grandmother’s rituals were all about, and somebody has made a game about hearths already. Little Inferno is a game about buying stuff to burn it, and I can take the thudding heft of its satire because the game is so beautiful when it comes to the details. You are presented with a hearth and you chuck things in. You move the fire around with a mouse or a finger. Woomf! Delicious.

But what about chimneys? The flue and the, the rest of it? Is that the chimney? Where does the flue end? Is the flue the whole thing? Confusion reigns.

Read more

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