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Classic of the Month November: World of Goo (2008)

Friday, 1. November, 2019
Presented by: Mascha Tobe

“Fairy tales overcome borders,” is the motto of Berlin’s 30th Fairy Tale Days, whom I would like to congratulate on behalf of the entire Computerspielemuseum team with November’s Game of the Month and wish them all the best for the next 30 years!

But not only fairy tales overcome borders, this characteristic is also inherent in games. They create fellowship and enable players to surpass the boundaries of their own body and be somebody com-pletely different. As a result, they teach us about our counterpart to the same extent as they do about ourselves. They transport us to foreign worlds where we can always encounter some familiarity and form friendships with people all over the world.
Moreover, games also take up the topic of overcoming borders. As an example, I would like to pre-sent one of my favorite games for November’s Classic of the Month, which has influenced my aca-demical and professional career like no other: The award-winning puzzle game World of Goo (2008) by independent studio 2D Boy from California.

The colorful world in World of Goo is inhabited by sticky creatures, so-called goo balls. The game’s objective is to stick these goo balls onto each other to construct a bridge to the next vacuum cleaner, which then sucks them in.
Overcoming borders and obstacles seems easy at first, but the puzzles become trickier and the phys-ical properties of the goo balls change, rendering a seemingly proven construction method useless in the next level.
During the game, players build bridges that are dependent on the community of goo balls. The goo balls cling to each other and get help by waking up sleeping balls to enlarge the group. Together, they bridge amazing distances.

World of Goo teaches its players that a community is stronger. That it is more than the sum of its individuals. And that the key to success is to cling to each other and join hands if we want to build long-lasting bridges. It also teaches them that first impressions might be deceptive and a game that initially appears to be a simple physics puzzle, can exhibit substantive depth.
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