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Wang Hongyang

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Monument Valley 2 & More

Monument Valley 2

Monument Valley 2 is released recently. I finished playing it this week and love it even more than Monument Valley 1. It’s easier than 1 but the design of two roles makes the game more sentimental. Although I got less aha moment from 2 than 1, Monument Valley 2 is still an art to me.

Monument Valley 1 & 2 are inspired from the impossible objects to create impossible architectures. By adding a rotatable knob to architectures, players are able to interact with the impossible architecture and change perspective to find walkable ways by concatenating surfaces.

When talking about impossible architectures and perspective, I come up with Escher, one of the artists I like most.

Escher

M. C. Escher was a Dutch graphic artist. His works include impossible constructions, explorations of infinity, reflection, symmetry, perspective, truncated and stellated polyhedra, hyperbolic geometry, and tessellations.

Frankly speaking, Monument Valley only covers a small part of Escher’s work - impossible constructions and perspective. Apart from these two topics of Escher’s work, the self-reference and paradox in his work are even more attractive to think:

GEB

I first know Escher from a book: Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid, in which three guru from three different areas shares a common core: “GEB is not about the relationship of mathematics, art, and music, but rather about how cognition emerges from hidden neurological mechanisms”, according to the author Hofstadter.

I used to read the book several times but never finished once. Covering a wide range of knowledge including AI, computer, polyphonic music, Incompleteness Theorems, paradox, self-reference, etc., the book is quite thick and not easy to read. Yet there is an interesting point attracting me a lot. Hofstadter thought the computer does not have the ability to solve paradox thus strong AI will not be created. The former part is still a truth even if AlphaGo won the world No.1 ranking Go player Ke Jie.

More

  1. Echochrome: Gameplay involves a mannequin figure traversing a rotatable world where physics and reality depend on perspective. The world is occupied by Oscar Reutersvärd’s impossible constructions. It is also inspired by M. C. Escher’s artwork.
  2. MIT course: Gödel, Escher, Bach: A Mental Space Odyssey
  3. G-core podcast about Monument 2
  4. Monument official website
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