Games *Are* Art

New gallery-building video game lets aspiring architects play art connoisseur

A swooping, all-white museum space filled with sculptures in the new video game Occupy White Walls (OWW). (Courtesy StikiPixels)

Move over Minecraft—a new video game is letting aspiring gallery designers build their own art worlds. In the massively multiplayer online (MMO) game Occupy White Walls (OWW), players can build their own galleries, raise in-game cash by ticketing other players for entry, and expand their art collection using an algorithm that learns what type of art the player enjoys.

OWW’s developers claim that with a toolkit of 1,762 and counting distinct architectural components, players can build any type of gallery they’d like, from MoMA PS1 to classical European art museums. Every gallery can be placed in its own specific context as well, from the urban metropolis to the middle of an infinite void.

Players will need to not only place art, which ranges from 18th-century pieces to contemporary works, in a pleasing place to view it, but need to control for lighting, viewing angles, the appropriate frame, and more. In an interview with Rock Paper Shotgun, developer StikiPixels described their approach as taking the introverted, thoughtful world of gallery design and turning it into a social experience. Everyone’s creations can be patronized by real-world players who can buy the art on display and fuel further expansion.

Still from Occupy White Walls

A more classically-refined museum with art-deco touches (Courtesy StikiPixels)

Another goal of OWW, according to the developers, is to broaden players’ artistic horizons without breaking the bank. Players are given options of (real world) pieces to display, and the game’s art discovery AI, DAISY, will give recommendations on future works that can be approved or dismissed. As DAISY gives more recommendations, the AI refines its suggestions across the entire player base.

OWW is currently available for free through the game distribution platform Steam as of November 14. The game is still in the early access phase and may change before its official release, and the developers are soliciting feedback on how they can improve the experience.

Related Stories