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99 Exercises in Play is an original metagame by Patrick LeMieux and Stephanie Boluk featuring ninety- nine variations of World 1– 1 from Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros.
Based on the constrained writing of the Ouvroir de littérature potentielle and specifically Raymond Queneau’s Exercises de style as well as the serial experiments of Lars von Trier and Jørgen Leth’s Five Obstructions and Matt Madden’s 99 Ways to Tell a Story, 99 Exercises in Play features World 1-1 from the original Super Mario Bros. as a constraint for producing ninety-nine different metagames. An “Oujeupo” project that engages the serial history of a single level, in 99 Exercises in Play, Mario finds himself stretched, squashed, duplicated, displaced, slowed down, sped up, zoomed in, or zoomed out in order to reveal the kinds of metagames that constantly occur outside any individual’s experience of the Mushroom Kingdom.
Although the game begins with Mario comfortably negotiating the brown bricks, blue sky, and green hills of a familiar side-scrolling landscape, after avoiding mushroom-shaped enemies, collecting gold coins, and completing World 1-1, things begin to change. The crimson-clothed plumber finds himself running uphill or upside down as the levels rotate. Then the pixelated graphics of the Mushroom Kingdom start to ebb and flow as the levels distort. As he travels from World 1-1 to World 1-99, Super Mario Bros. ceases to simply correlate to a corporate product and becomes a platform for visualizing the serial history of play.
To play the game, first download and extract the files from the .DMG for (for Mac) or .ZIP (for PC). Then double click the .APP or .EXE to launch the 99 Exercises in Style’s preference panel. Select your preferred resolution, quality, and input options then press "Play!"
Press Space to Begin
Press Esc to Exit
Arrows to Move
Z to Run
X to Jump