A look at their Web site (necroenema.com) makes it clear that Eric Swenson and Keith Seward, the new-media nasties known as Necro Enema Amalgamated, are basking in the glow of their Silver award in I.D.'s June Interactive Media Design Review issue, and who can blame them? With Blam!3, the third and last in their series of CD-ROMs from hell, the digital diabolists are right up there with the Tamagotchi and Riven. For those who haven't had the (dis)pleasure, the Blam! discs are a collection of frequently revolting efforts to debunk any empowering notions of multimedia -- to show that "the rise and rule of 'forced nonlinearity' is a forerunner of . . . 21st Century Fascism," as a tract on the site explains. Hence, these strangely beautiful stroboscopic nightmares are, as I.D. noted, "user-hostile"; there may be no escape from a segment once it's unleashed, nor can the disc itself be quit without restarting the computer. Attempting to exit Blam!3 (from which one of the nicer moments is seen here), for instance, results in a close encounter of the fecal kind that would give even Mr. Whipple a heart attack.
Seward, 39 (seen here on the left), and Swenson, 29, say they intend to "spread our philosophy of Devil's Advocacy by making our way into the Christmas stockings of your children," and they proudly note that Blam!2 was banned in Japan in 1995. As for the waning fortunes of the CD-ROM medium, NEA declares that the "CD-ROM is to the Net what the cinema is to television; it's the place where serious work is done." In fact, they're planning a DVD project, "our most filmic product to date: a virtual snuff film of sorts." Sounds like more tough