Gus D’Angelo: Doonesbury Meets Super Mario

When we think of editorial cartoons, we think of the comical illustrations in newspapers depicting politicians making an ass of themselves in one way or another. Gus D’Angelo takes these editorial cartoons to a whole other level.

During his time in the John S. Knight Fellowship, D’Angelo developed an idea to take those satirical newspaper comics and create something that an individual can interact with. After being inspired by his childhood memories of playing Super Mario, D’Angelo decided to combine this type of interactive game with the editorial impact of these illustrations, and what came from it was an experience that can’t be matched.

Comigama is the fusion of traditional comics and editorial cartoons with mini games. D’Angelo went on to explain to SNDDC attendees the process of how these mini-games came about, and his continuing efforts to perfect the interaction between the user and the games. Each game is it’s own experience, and it is browser based so that it can be played everywhere and not be limited by differing mobile software. Continuing this effort of universality, D’Angelo worked to make the games very intuitive and to include as little language as possible so that they would resonate across borders.

These games are not only delightful to play, they are completely enchanting. D’Angelo spoke about the difference between delight and enchantment, and said that “being delighted is pleasant, but being enchanted is getting sucked in and enjoying the experience”. In one of these games, the objective is to help an eagle fly above the measles-infested children and characters of Disney Land as they zombie-walk across the screen. By combining high-profile news stories like this with the interactivity of games, it creates a great sense of humor and enjoyment for the player.

In his continuing work on Comigama, D’Angelo hopes to improve on the prompting of certain videos and making sure that the player fully understands what the objective in the game is, while having an interactive and highly enjoyable experience.

This is a type of game that every lighthearted, game-loving, visually minded person would love. Go to Comigama to play them all!

– Mallory Haack, Ohio University

@malhaack /