There’s a virtual exhibit for Norco, the wildly moody and murky point-and-click mystery coming at the end of this month, which you can play here on steam for free.
I took a little tour and, okay, it’s a room with game art inside. Stills of Norco’s early game environments, static captures of a scene of a distant, rusty horizon strewn with dead trees, another with plumes of chemical exhaust. Silhouettes of chemical plants, upper decks, degrading swamps. Plus, a few snapshots of the rooms and places you’ll be able to delve into and delve into in the game itself (like I did on my first look at the game), and a secret room that I won’t spoil.
The virtual gallery sits alongside a real one, which has popped up in Gamla Stan, Stockholm and that’s honestly where I’d rather be. Taking game art and putting it in an actual gallery is a very literal take on “game as art”, but there’s something to that, I think. Especially with Norco, which seems to sit at the crossroads between its creators’ experience of a real place in the real American South and their own virtual, focused version of it.
Our editor @RawFury hosts a virtual art gallery featuring early concept sketches, reference photos, and finalized pixel art from NORCO. The content will also be featured in a digital art book that you can purchase alongside the game. More here: https://t.co/rW9vyp7AFv pic.twitter.com/due13mSHX1
— geographyofrobots – NORCO Out Now (@roboticgeo) February 28, 2022
I wish I was in a room looking at photos of this, their early pencil sketches and faded oil paintings, photographs of the real thing and large, enlarged pixel art recreations. I’d love to be around real people talking about it while it all blurs, since everyone-responding-to-what-you-did is where the magic really happens.
So yes, kinda literal – a better way to virtually recreate a gallery’s whole common reaction to art is probably just to play the game for a shared audience on Twitch – and ultimately yes, also an exercise in marketing. But it worked.