You’ve always wanted to be a chess master! But you aren’t one, are you? Now you can at least look like one! Pretend you’re playing chess! Make moves! Act like you feel things! Smirk! Frown! Weep! Chess!
Game designer Pippin Barr doesn’t make popular video games. It Is as If You Were Playing Chess not only poses the idea of a chess game you merely pretend to be playing, but brings it to life and so allows you to participate in the experience itself. Barr says, “The central image for me in this is that of a player sitting at their computer or using their mobile device while be observed by another person. To the observer it should look as though the player is genuinely playing some kind of game. In this case the idea is for them to look as though they are playing a game of chess, making the appropriate motions (to drag chess pieces around), facial expressions, eye movements, and so on. ‘It is as if you were playing chess’ is thus an interface designed to support you in pretending that you’re playing a game of chess.”