Game On

Three young artists let people walk in their shoes in an intimate, irreverent video game.

April 16, 2010

Photo by Myleen Hollero

In 2009, three creative entrepreneurs in their 20s — Derek Yu, Hellen Jo and Calvin Wong — unleashed upon the San Francisco store-cum-art gallery Giant Robot a new breed of game that isn’t really a game.

Part interactive media art and part humor, it’s a strangely personal peek into the relationships of its creators, as well as a bellwether of the new kinds of games being created outside of the gaming industry.

When asked by ArtXGame (, which curates and presents original video games created jointly by artists and independent game makers, to participate in a project exploring the idea of art as games, indie gaming darling Derek Yu immediately thought of his longtime friends from the ’zine scene, illustrators Hellen Jo and Calvin Wong.

The result, Calvin and Hellen's Bogus Journey, features cartoon avatars of the two artists (a real-life couple) and uses classic “beat ’em up” game mechanics from the popular late-1980s video game Double Dragon to animate the duo cooperatively punching, throwing and kicking their way through an endless stream of naked mohawked men against a surreal landscape. 

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