ON THE WEB: Flash Mind Games and Firefox Ad-avoidance

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  • With an aesthetic that recalls that of Nine Inch Nails' glitchy, subversive Year Zero webring, Jason Nelson's "Game, Game, Game, and again Game" site doesn't harness the same production values, but nonetheless carries its own dystopic viewpoint. Visitors are presented with a grade-school, hand-drawn schematic that already emphasizes the insignificance of belief systems. As for the game itself, there are 13 levels that have a similar concept as that of Super Mario Bros (using arrow keys and space bar to move and jump), the only difference being that abstract scribbles represent the characters, which are surrounded by cryptic text and poetry—all with the overall purpose of "repelling clean design." While the nihilistic manifesto isn't so earth-shattering, Nelson provides a more entertaining way to find beauty within the ugliness.
  • If the millions of downloads of its Adblock/Adblock Plus services weren't enough, Firefox has another pop-up/banner defense thanks to a new extension dubbed AddArt. Developed by Steve Lambert and Evan Harper at Eyebeam OpenLab, the nifty tool turns your average portal into an art gallery, switching banners with art images from a curated database. AddArt, though still in prototype, aims to feature an array of work from a half-dozen new artists every two weeks, with curating duties being passed through word-of-mouth and solicitations to the Addart site. The creative team claims that artists can target sites (such as every ad on FoxNews.com) and/or default to any page on the 'Net with ads. Though the tool is still in infancy and requires some grassroots funding to expand ad filters and other customization, AddArt could raise marketers' eyebrows if not at least create a small industry ripple.
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