Line Rider

Boštjan Čadež

In the history of art, some works of art have been lucky enough to be understood not only as art, but also as useful tools, public spaces, cultural phenomena, memes. Line Rider is one such work of art.

Line Rider, created in September 2006 by the Slovenian artist Boštjan Čadež (also known as fšk), when he was still a student at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, is a classic sandbox game in which the player draws a track along which a sledder descends. The concept is simple, the aesthetics are minimal, and the possibilities are endless. The line the player draws can be simple or develop into an elaborate drawing; depending on the player’s attitude towards the character, he can draw the drawing in such a way that the sledder will go down the track endlessly, or in such a way that he will crash or fall in a spectacular way. The drawing board provides basic tools for editing, erasing and correcting parts of the drawing. In addition, it is larger than the screen, which allows the user to draw large landscapes. Because of this and the perfect simulation of physics (the track must be smooth enough so that the character does not fall off the sled or the sled does not break into pieces) and the possibility of recording and sharing the final animation, the game Line Rider proved to be strangely addictive and easily became an Internet phenomenon. After being published on Deviantart in September 2006, the original game was featured on many popular websites (from Yahoo to Time Magazine), appeared in a few McDonald’s commercials, was covered in gaming magazines and the New York Times, and even used as an educational tool for learning physics; it reached 34 million downloads and took seventh place on the list of the most frequent Google Zeitgeist searches (source: Wikipedia); it was plagiarized, and it also became the subject of many variations and adaptations. More importantly, it provided content for many online videos where hundreds of users shared their tricks and epic successes – or epic fails – in the game.

While the original game is still available for free on the website or smartphone app, a 3D version will be featured at the festival.

Production: Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2020-2023

Sound design: Jaka Batič

Music: Srečna mladina, Etceteral, Kleemar, Borka (w. Bakto), Haiku Garden, Shekuza, Moveknowlegment

Acknowledgment: Steven Wittens

The project was developed in the framework of konS – Platform for Contemporary Investigative Art.

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