Our idea of digital games certainly doesn’t fit Pale Machine. The latest work of Ben Esposito — a multimedia artist based in Los Angeles — comprises a physical CD with eight songs and eight wacky game experiments that accompany every track on the album. The title track (or game) is a sequence of absurd vignettes: first you are somehow controlling a bottle rolling on a desk. A few seconds after, you are awkwardly maneuvering a hyper extendable tongue, which soon enough will occupy the whole screen. The game then proceeds to completely change the controls, and now you become a giant hand floating in the sky of a suburb.
It is hard to grasp, but Pale Machine is a tribute to many other works: games like WarioWare and Keita Takahashi’s Katamari Damacy and Noby Noby Boy. One can also hear echos of Japanese electronic musician Nobukazu Takemura, as well of the chiptune band YMCK. But the uniqueness of Pale Machine is in its ability to join together interaction design and music composition. It provides an intense and inspiring experience, perfectly appropriate for an artistic setting.