In the last few days, I’ve been gripped by a feature of Doom for Nintendo Switch. There are classic levels hidden throughout the game, waiting to be discovered in unlikely locations in each of the maps. What I can’t get over is how they exist as junctures between two game worlds, inviting the player to step into a pixilated and low resolution world as these screenshots from Polygon illustrate:
It’s not as radical a disjuncture as it promises. The demons are those from the more recent game, as are the guns. The smoothness of the interface and the nuance of the physics sustain the character of the 2017 game rather than the 1993 original. But I nonetheless find the doorway as a break between realities incredibly compelling, capturing a sense of moving from one reality to another rather than one landscape to another.
The ontological junctures we encounter in the world are (usually) too subtle to permit of representation. In contrast the grossness of the classic level, its jarring lack of abundance against the polished backdrop of its modern equivalent, foregrounds something which would otherwise be difficult to see or reflect on as a feature of reality in its own right.