Game Developer Turns to Joy Division Song to Create Experimental Browser Game

Joy Divsion’s Love Will Tear Us Apart is many things. The song, written by Joy Division’s late front man Ian Curtis, is a song about the isolation and anguish that come being in a relationship that’s broken beyond repair. The song is a painful acknowledgement of the futility of love turned cold and routine, written by Curtis when his marriage to wife Deborah Curtis was in the state of collapse, it is a raw reflection of the frustrations and anxieties that rear their heads when two can no longer live as one.

Now, thanks to Dr. Gordon Calleja, game developer and Associate Professor and the Head of the Center for Computer Games Research at the IT University of Copenhagen, the post-punk anthem has now been adapted to the realm of video games in the form of ‘Will Love Tear Us Apart’, a free, browser based game.

WLTUA is a haunting collection of mini games that put players in control of one half of a broken relationship. Each mini game deals with the theme from a verse in the Joy Division classic, Love Will Tear Us Apart. The first game is about miscommunication, the second, emotional impasse, and the final game deals with the sadness that comes with separation.  These themes, coupled with the game’s oppressive, droning soundscapes and the minimalistic visuals, create an instant sense of tangible isolation that permeates the entire experience.

While Will Love Tear Us Apart is difficult to categorize as a game in the traditional sense- after all, how much fun can you have reflecting on loss and desperation, it’s absolutely unlike any other game out there, making this exploration into the darker side of love well worth checking out.

Anyone interested in checking WLTUA out can find the game here. If you check it out, please feel free to share your thoughts on the game with us. We’d love to hear them in the comments below.

Frank has been the caffeine-fueled evil overlord of HeyPoorPlayer since 2008. He speaks loudly and carries a big stick to keep the staff of the HPP madhouse in check. A collector of all things that blip and beep, he has an extensive collection of retro consoles and arcade machines crammed into his house. Currently playing: Chorus (XSX), Battlefield 2042 (XSX), Xeno Crisis (Neo Geo)

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