Pippin Barr's The Artist is Present isn't really a game -- it's more of a bizarre recreation of an already weird performance art piece by Marina Abramović. You've probably heard of it, if you haven't seen it yourself. The game takes its title (and its premise) from the 736-hour performance piece at the Museum of Modern Art last year where she sat and stared at people opposite her.
When we say recreation, we mean that almost literally. If you boot up The Artist is Present when the museum is closed, you can't get in, and that's on a real clock that's on New York time. When you walk into MoMA, you'll have to buy a ticket, and then you'll walk through the door, walk through part of the museum, then finally, stand in line.
You'll continue to stand in line for a while. A long while, in fact, so go do something else and leave your browser window open after you pop into line. Don't get pushy with the guy in front of you or try to cut either, it won't work.
That's it -- really. The only enemy you have in the game is time itself, and once you get to Abramović, it's not like everything is going to explode in a Super Bowl celebration of colors, you're going to just sit and chill and stare. As a sort of circumstantial study on waiting, it works well. If nothing else, it's nice to say that something as curiously offbeat as The Artist is Present exists, even if you're not willing to make your way through the museum yourself. We would, however, liked to have seen Björk in line at some point.
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