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Games

Fight for MS Paint's Survival in this Purposely Impossible Platformer

'Bill Gates’ Firey Gauntlet' is both an ode to MS Paint and a hardcore platformer about corporate power.

by Cameron Kunzelman
Sep 6 2017, 4:00pm

All images courtesy Brettehwarrior

Like many of you, I was in open mourning of Microsoft's decision to eliminate MS Paint from the Windows platform. In the only appropriate use of this Mark Twainism in the history of writing, the reports of MS Paint's death were greatly exaggerated. However, the open threat to the democratic art form of terrible MS Paint creations made me deeply aware of how ingrained it is in my life, and I experienced some real appreciation for the many years I have spent making terrible line art, doing bad edits to photos, and adding garbage text to create so-called memes.

Bill Gates' Firey Gauntlet is about this exact emotion. It is a game where you try to escape the Windows update that will destroy the world of MS Paint. Bill Gates stands behind that update, smiling his smiles, and thinking about his plans to sell enterprise software to the masses of the world. The game requires an immense amount of precision platforming, and I will admit that I couldn't even dream of completing it.

I'm a fan of games that present impossible struggles as just that: impossible. If Microsoft, a massive corporation with a nearly limitless amount of power when it comes to the average computer user (especially in office scenarios), decides that it is going to take something away from us, then there's nothing we can really do. We can be angry, and we can be outraged, but ultimately we are literally just waiting for that update to get rid of the thing we love. Sure, you can put the update off, but for how long.

Bill Gates' Firey Gauntlet renders our powerlessness literal, and I applaud it for doing so. You can download it for free at itch.io to play on Windows.