Buring Shorts Issue 14: 2007 Ends with a Zune!

Zune Journey: we just may have a masterpiece at http://www.zunejourney.net/ .

Please know and remember that the visitor controls the velocity at which one moves as well as the angular direction: Fast and straight is spectacular and even more so is slow with angular exploration.

Standing still is also fascinating: what a tribute to an interactive digital artwork.

This is a work, a Journey, of glorious kinetic, visual richness, and it is recursive in that the visitor-guided Journey moves through phases which repeat. Yes, the refrain from a song or, more accurately, the variations on a melodic theme in a symphonic movement repeat; however beautiful such musical repetitions or recursions may be, the listener remains passive. In Zune Journey, the visitor fully shapes navigationally all variations of each thematic return, and all occur seamlessly.

Zune Journey’s music, specifically, is a series of linear songs which are diverse yet supportive of the visual, self-propelled adventure, both in brisk forward mode and in thematic visual variations.

In design, there is an early ancestor of Zune Journey by Cyan called The Manhole.

Regarding The Manhole, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Manhole. Regarding Cyan and its legacy, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyan_Worlds.  While The Manhole was a children’s game and thus simplified, the visitor moved in and through a recursive journey, as with Zune.

I had the privilege to represent Cyan during its most celebrated years circa 1993-1997, the period of Myst and Riven, the hauntingly beautiful, completely innovative, and exquisitely shaped works of interactive fiction for the personal computer. During its era, Myst was the best-selling computer game in history.

The Manhole was a very early work, and yet its innovative creativity alerted the player to the Cyan brilliant imagination which bloomed fully in Myst and Riven.

It is, therefore, both a personal and editorial pleasure to recommend Zune Journey, this native online work (hence available free and worldwide, though unobtrusively in service of a commercial product), which is uniquely beautiful.

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