Jason Allen Walter: I grew up playing Atari, Nintendo, Game Boy, and Super Nintendo games, and I’ve always wanted to make a video game but never knew how. Matt Porter brought Ian Bogost’s Atari video game A Slow Year to the Morris Museum of Art in 2012, and Bogost’s video game inspired me to make a visual novel called E-Ghost, which I posted on Facebook in its entirety, that is essentially a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure graphic novel that uses mazes to simulate the experience of playing a video game. For the past five years, I’ve been Microsoft PowerPoint as a medium, and eventually, I learned how to use Microsoft PowerPoint to make lo-fi animation for music videos. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I finally realized how to use PowerPoint to make a video game. “Reincarnation” is a video game in a very literal sense because it’s a video that you watch, and there’s instructions you follow in which you move your computer’s cursor on the screen to navigate through the maze. I made all of the items in the game things that I like in real-life, such as Academia cassettes and junk food, so that the game is realistic in addition to being extremely minimalistic aesthetically.
Interviewer: Tell us about the release of your video game.
Jason Allen Walter: As I was making the game, I announced what I was doing on Facebook, which is pretty much the only forum where I seem to interest any interest in my work. Then, the day before the game was done, I posted the game’s title screen on Facebook. The day after that, I uploaded Reincarnation onto Facebook. I decided to include the game as part of my graphic novel Hand Claps, so I uploaded the video into my Facebook photo album called “Hand Claps.” I love the idea of having an art exhibit of video games, whether they be all mine or others who are interested in making lo-fi video games, but for now, my Facebook profile and the Warvel Comics fanpage are two places where anybody can play Reincarnation.