Adam Saltsman, Daniel Baranowsky. Canabalt. 2009

Adam Saltsman, Music by Daniel Baranowsky Canabalt 2009

  • Not on view

Canabalt is a new interpretation of an early video game genre, the side-scroll runner, in which the player’s character literally runs for her life. In these games, the action is a balancing of speed and focus, centered on the ability to avoid obstacles. In Canabalt, a small pixelated figure runs across the rooftops of a city handsomely stylized in six shades of gray, avoiding crevasses between buildings and dangerous obstacles. The point of the game is clear—to run as fast and as far as you can without being crushed or falling to your death—but Canabalt is deceptive in its simplicity. The design of the obstacles and of the landscape is as essential to the appreciation of the game as the speed, position, and rhythm of obstacles—as is the auditory experience. Saltsman designed it in under a week, and the graphics and game only take up one hundred kilobytes of the three-megabyte game—most of the code is devoted to sound and music.

Gallery label from Applied Design, March 2, 2013–January 31, 2014.
Medium
Video game software
Credit
Gift of the designer
Object number
1750.2012
Copyright
© 2018 Adam Saltsman
Department
Architecture and Design

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at firenze@scalarchives.com. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA's Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email text_permissions@moma.org. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to archives@moma.org.

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.