Absurdist re-imaginings of common software GUIs
July 3, 2019 9:36 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for projects that recreate/simulate common software UIs with a twist. Specifically, I'm not looking for projects that do anything useful - I'm looking for art projects, games, and the like.

I have a soft spot for projects that recreate utilitarian software UIs (file browsers, web browsers, entire OSs) with an absurdist bent. I know I've seen a bunch of these before, but I can only find a few examples: Windows 93 and Hypnospace Outlaw.

Any other examples you can provide would be greatly appreciated!
posted by ripley_ to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
(From my kids, many years ago)
posted by jkaczor at 9:39 AM on July 3, 2019

Currently trending on Hacker News: User Inyerface: "A challenging exploration of user interactions and design patterns."
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 9:44 AM on July 3, 2019 [7 favorites]

Her Story might qualify, it turns an absurdly limited 90's-esque search interface into a key play mechanic.
posted by firechicago at 10:13 AM on July 3, 2019

Some of Pippin Barr’s work fits perfectly into this category:

It is as if you were doing work

Let's Play: Ancient Greek Punishment: UI Edition
It is as if you were making love
posted by pharm at 10:39 AM on July 3, 2019 [4 favorites]

Writer! is a word processor for PICO-8, which as an imaginary 8 bit console is maybe itself adjacent to your interests.
posted by clockwork at 10:45 AM on July 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

Worst Volume Controls.
posted by jclarkin at 11:49 AM on July 3, 2019 [4 favorites]

I dunno if my fake Bloomberg Terminal counts.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 12:27 PM on July 3, 2019 [3 favorites]

I dunno if my fake Bloomberg Terminal counts.

Oh my God it absolutely does, if I could mark something as Best Best Answer I would.
posted by ripley_ at 1:08 PM on July 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

Also recently User Inyerface has been going around. It's an attempt to design a maximally user-unfriendly login screen.
posted by firechicago at 1:15 PM on July 3, 2019

You might be interested in Kingsway – a recent game that's an old-school RPG played entirely through an ersatz Windows 95 interface.
posted by workingdankoch at 5:31 PM on July 3, 2019

Progress Quest?
posted by phoenixy at 6:49 PM on July 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

Does creepy Lovecraftian Windows 95 Tips, Tricks, and Tweaks count?
posted by blerghamot at 7:42 PM on July 3, 2019

posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:42 PM on July 3, 2019

Kai's Power Tools. This was not fake—this was a powerful plugin for Photoshop that had a completely bonkers interface paradigm—the link above shows some screen grabs. This came out in the late 90s. See also KPT Bryce for generating landscape images.
posted by adamrice at 8:06 AM on July 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

posted by =d.b= at 3:55 PM on July 7, 2019

DontClick.it (Flash warning) is sort of half-serious, experimenting with movement-based navigation in a variety of contexts and penalizing you if you do click anything.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:35 PM on July 26, 2019

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