Seven Minutes

In many games the villain is there to prop up the violence. You need a reason to shoot people, or collect all those glowing stars right? After all aren't game stories simply there to prop up the action?

The games that I truly remember, though, are the ones where the villain isn't just a prop. He's not an empty suit or an overly-dramatic evil mastermind. In the best games, the villain is the reason you move forward. Compelling, mysterious and seemingly omniscient, the SHODANs and Andrew Ryans of the gaming world are the villains I remember most of all. Finding out more about them was the reason I would open the next door or climb down into the next dank pit full of monsters. I simply had to know what they were up to.

Seven Minutes is a very difficult platformer with funky neon graphics and some really interesting puzzles. But what makes Seven Minutes stand out from the crowd is the antagonist. You start in a room with one glowing orb in the center of the room. As you approach it, a voice commands, “DON'T TOUCH IT!” From there an ever-present face stalks you, taunts you and seems to control the world around you as he declares that these are the last seven minutes of your life. There is no escape, he constantly reminds you. You will die.

Why You Should Check This Out: If you're after a memorable gaming experience, this is a great one. It's a challenging and fun platformer to boot. This game will leave you thinking about it long after your seven minutes are up.


[size=20]Download Now[/size]

Warning: If you suffer from epilepsy, this game has plenty of flashing lights.

Comments

Oh and the webpage says "You haven't beaten this till you've seen the credits". It's very, very hard to get all the way to the end.

I'll be sure to try this out over the weekend.

I tried this earlier and couldn't get through more than a minute. So much flashing, shaking, pulsing. While I'm sure it didn't help that I've been really really busy today, I still felt like I might have a seizure and I don't have epilepsy.

Weird, the flashing didn't get to me at all. It's just a really hard platformer, so I only made it a few minutes in.

I beat it. The game is way easier than you think.

The spoiler text below will tell you how to beat the game. Be warned.

Spoiler Text How To Beat The Game wrote:

[color=white]Grab the glowing sphere sit through his speech than don't leave the room, in fact you don't even need to move, you just have to wait for the time to elapse. It is possible to get through all the other rooms, I did it, but you fail if you make it. The Face basically tells you he tried to warn you not to leave the first room if you make it to the last room.[/color]

Gaald wrote:

I beat it. The game is way easier than you think.

The spoiler text below will tell you how to beat the game. Be warned.

Spoiler Text How To Beat The Game wrote:

[color=white]Grab the glowing sphere sit through his speech than don't leave the room, in fact you don't even need to move, you just have to wait for the time to elapse. It is possible to get through all the other rooms, I did it, but you fail if you make it. The Face basically tells you he tried to warn you not to leave the first room if you make it to the last room.[/color]

You know, I suspected it was something like that, and I haven't even downloaded the game yet.

Spoiler wrote:

[color=white]This is absurd. I cannot think of a single more pretentious resolution for a game than "the only way to win is to not play." I'm beginning to think that it's the video game equivalent of ending your story with "and then he woke up." It's a lazy cop-out disguised as art.[/color]

[color=white] Meh, I too got to the end, but I think the ending is more like Myst, you can beat the game in about 4 minutes once you figure out the trick, but unless someone tells you or you spoil it for yourself you'll have to play through the game to figure it out. Awesome little game, took me 2 tries.[/color]

[/quote]

Spoiler wrote:

[color=white]I did not know that's how to beat it. Awesome.[/color]

adam.greenbrier wrote:
Spoiler wrote:

[color=white]This is absurd. I cannot think of a single more pretentious resolution for a game than "the only way to win is to not play." I'm beginning to think that it's the video game equivalent of ending your story with "and then he woke up." It's a lazy cop-out disguised as art.[/color]

Spoiler wrote:

[color=white]Wait, so you haven't even played it and you think it's pretentious? Which one's the elitist now? It's fun to do the platforming sections, I don't see it as some huge problem that in order to "beat" it you have to stay put. Really it's more of an accomplishment to get to the end than just sit there. The game designer says the "sitting there" is the real ending, I would consider it beaten if I made it to the last room. Who's right?[/color]

Erm. Shall we say that if you haven't finished the game you shouldn't read on? The post above mine is totally blank except for the knowing smiley. Maybe put some big red text up or something. I'm off to try again this time, and perhaps I'll do as the nasty skull man says.

Insectecutor wrote:

The post above mine is totally blank except for the knowing smiley.

It's "hidden" as white text on a quote's white background, so that you don't read spoilers on accident.

Spoilers wrote:

[color=white]Okay, so now I've played it and I've beaten it by the programmer's definition and by Pyroman's definition. It's still pretentious. Here's why:

  • As I mentioned before, I consider the idea, that I've seen in a few games lately, that you can only "beat" the game by not playing the game to be pretentious and intellectually lazy. Like a book that has only blank pages, or a stand up comedian who only stands silently on stage, it's the sort of idea that seems like a shocking and avant-garde thing to do when you're in high school; it's a way to make a statement, to subvert expectations, to make people re-examine why they do what they do ... But it's never quite so profound as all that. You cannot subvert someone's expectations by doing nothing.

    The idea of using surrender as a game mechanic is interesting, and I would like to see it explored some more. It would be very engaging—and subversive—if, in some cases, the player would be required to do nothing when he or she desperately wanted to do something, but that surrender must be contextualized to be meaningful. In this game, it isn't meaningful.

  • The official ending that you do achieve by doing nothing is nonsense. I'm assuming that the floating head's third eye and comments about being omnipresent are meant to tie the game to some flavor of Buddhism, with all of the attendant ideas about enlightenment coming through the surrender of desire and the pursuit of meaningless things. It's meant to make the game into a metaphor for samsara, but unless I have missed something in my readings about Buddhism, pursuing enlightenment is not actually the pursuit of ultimate power, as the game would lead you to believe. The idea of Buddhism is not power through enlightenment, but escape.
  • Lastly, the platforming aspect of the game is difficult, but it's unfairly difficult. The rooms aren't designed to be traversed naturally but are instead meant to be memorized. While it's nice that the game gives you an unlimited number of attempts, it is still poor design to have areas that the player, however skillful, cannot advance past without dying multiple times. Most often, bricks will fall on your head and while some of these bricks can be made to fall without killing you through careful jumping, many cannot. In one room, bricks that would prevent you from landing on spikes begin to disappear such that you cannot advanced unless you are fast enough; however, the bricks disappear randomly so that sometimes, no matter how fast you are, you cannot advance because the bricks at the end disappeared before the bricks at the beginning. This is Do It Again Stupid gameplay, and it isn't good design.

As to whether or not you've beaten the game by reaching the last room or if you've only beaten the game by, as the designers intended, doing nothing, I don't want to go down the rabbit hole of authorial intent. There was a lively discussion about this following Rabbit's article "Braid: In Search of Meaning" if you want to see what's already been said.[/color]

wordsmythe wrote:
Insectecutor wrote:

The post above mine is totally blank except for the knowing smiley.

It's "hidden" as white text on a quote's white background, so that you don't read spoilers on accident.

I think he's suggesting that if the discussion is going to consist entirely of spoilers that it might be better to post a notice that all the comments after a certain point contain spoilers rather than having to deal with reading and writing around spoiler tags.

[Edited to fix some minor punctuation errors.]

Edit ^ yeah. Especially because it only takes a few minutes of your life to complete. In fact perhaps you should do something else.

[size=20][color=#FF0000]Spoilers in plain view below![/color][/size]

So that we can discuss it without having to highlight the whole thread to read anything.

Spoilers begin:

Well I was too smart for my own good because when doing absolutely as the triops says and not touching his steaming ball for seven minutes meant the game wouldn't progress at all. When this happened I assumed I must've been wrong, and got right to the fake end where I got the confirmation that I was right in the first place, and had to wait another seven minutes after touching the ball.

Mechanical nonsense aside, this is a nice little counter to BioShock's illusions of choice in a predetermined story. There is actually choice here, but to choose not to play means there's no game, and this apparently constitutes a win. The problem is that in order for the game to work you first have to be disobedient and touch the steaming ball. After that any attempt to do as you're told, such as turn back, is physically prevented by the game unless you stay in the first room.

So I don't know, I'm confused by what the message is here. I'm very interested in your thoughts.

Insectecutor wrote:

The problem is that in order for the game to work you first have to be disobedient and touch the steaming ball. After that any attempt to do as you're told, such as turn back, is physically prevented by the game unless you stay in the first room..

This also nagged at me. The floating head makes a big deal in the false ending about how you should have obeyed him, but you cannot begin the game without disobeying him, and you cannot the begin to obey him after a certain very early point. The message is a bit muddled.

Thanks, adam, for your whiter-than-white comments above. I didn't get the Buddhism connection at first but then perhaps my lack of knowledge on the subject makes me truly enlightened. I think my real problem here is that the game undermines its own message. By playing the game you find out that to win you have to not play, making the game nothing more than a practical joke.

Edit: has Passage been a fringe buster yet? I'm sure it's had coverage here before I discovered GWJ, but that is a game that truly shows the repercussions of choice in a heart rending and quite beautiful fashion.

adam.greenbrier wrote:
Spoilers wrote:

[color=white]Okay, so now I've played it and I've beaten it by the programmer's definition and by Pyroman's definition. It's still pretentious. Here's why:

  • As I mentioned before, I consider the idea, that I've seen in a few games lately, that you can only "beat" the game by not playing the game to be pretentious and intellectually lazy. Like a book that has only blank pages, or a stand up comedian who only stands silently on stage, it's the sort of idea that seems like a shocking and avant-garde thing to do when you're in high school; it's a way to make a statement, to subvert expectations, to make people re-examine why they do what they do ... But it's never quite so profound as all that. You cannot subvert someone's expectations by doing nothing.

    The idea of using surrender as a game mechanic is interesting, and I would like to see it explored some more. It would be very engaging—and subversive—if, in some cases, the player would be required to do nothing when he or she desperately wanted to do something, but that surrender must be contextualized to be meaningful. In this game, it isn't meaningful.

  • The official ending that you do achieve by doing nothing is nonsense. I'm assuming that the floating head's third eye and comments about being omnipresent are meant to tie the game to some flavor of Buddhism, with all of the attendant ideas about enlightenment coming through the surrender of desire and the pursuit of meaningless things. It's meant to make the game into a metaphor for samsara, but unless I have missed something in my readings about Buddhism, pursuing enlightenment is not actually the pursuit of ultimate power, as the game would lead you to believe. The idea of Buddhism is not power through enlightenment, but escape.
  • Lastly, the platforming aspect of the game is difficult, but it's unfairly difficult. The rooms aren't designed to be traversed naturally but are instead meant to be memorized. While it's nice that the game gives you an unlimited number of attempts, it is still poor design to have areas that the player, however skillful, cannot advance past without dying multiple times. Most often, bricks will fall on your head and while some of these bricks can be made to fall without killing you through careful jumping, many cannot. In one room, bricks that would prevent you from landing on spikes begin to disappear such that you cannot advanced unless you are fast enough; however, the bricks disappear randomly so that sometimes, no matter how fast you are, you cannot advance because the bricks at the end disappeared before the bricks at the beginning. This is Do It Again Stupid gameplay, and it isn't good design.

As to whether or not you've beaten the game by reaching the last room or if you've only beaten the game by, as the designers intended, doing nothing, I don't want to go down the rabbit hole of authorial intent. There was a lively discussion about this following Rabbit's article "Braid: In Search of Meaning" if you want to see what's already been said.[/color]

[Edited to fix some minor punctuation errors.]

Spoilers wrote:

[color=white] I respectively disagree with just about everything you said. I think you're falling into a category a lot of people have been falling into since Braid, and that's if a game does something original or makes you think about a concept during a video game it's automatically a pretentious game. Now while I can't disagree with that for Braid for several reasons, I don't think this game is pretentious at all. It's not like you'd know from the beginning that you need to wait in place to win, when you get to the last room it's like losing, but I still consider myself on the path of my first game, and I reach the ending by starting over and waiting. Getting to the last room is like getting a key to unlock a door in the first room, except it's a mental key and doesn't have a physical representation in the game. I don't think you gave the game a fair chance, it seems you had a negative outlook from the beginning and then played it only to say you were right without considering the opposite case. [/color]

As for the platforming, I made it to the second to last room my first try and made it to the last room in about 3 minutes on my second try. Controls were tight and platforming was fun, some of the levels felt like mini puzzles and added a cool element to the whole thing. I recommend this to anyone teetering on the edge about this, its free and a really cool game. Music and background FX also made the whole theme seem desperate and epic at the same time.

I thought the game was great. The music and atmosphere was excellent mix with the time element. The whole, don't move and you win thing, I never would have even though of if it was not for you guys. Either way, I had a blast with the platforming.

I think there's a blatant Wargames connection here. This may go some way towards explaining the general structure and message. War is bad.

Edit: Perhaps I should explain. The glowing (radioactive?) ball represents atomic science, we're told not to mess with it but we do. If we go any further and actually play the game we bring destruction and death in 7 minutes. As WOPR in the film observes, the only winning move is not to play.

Then there are references to Oppenheimer's famous quote from Hindu scripture ("I am become death, destroyer of worlds"), what with the triops turning into a skull and the worlds you play in falling apart. I believe this triops represents not Buddha but Shiva, who used the third eye to burn Kama (Desire) to ashes.

This game is really cool. I personally would have dropped a few hints around the beginning on what you were supposed to do instead of telling you at the very end (when you've already lost) but I guess that's part of the point.

Gonna remove spoiler markers because we've already broken the seal above

adam.greenbrier wrote:

Okay, so now I've played it and I've beaten it by the programmer's definition and by Pyroman's definition. It's still pretentious. Here's why:

  • As I mentioned before, I consider the idea, that I've seen in a few games lately, that you can only "beat" the game by not playing the game to be pretentious and intellectually lazy. Like a book that has only blank pages, or a stand up comedian who only stands silently on stage, it's the sort of idea that seems like a shocking and avant-garde thing to do when you're in high school; it's a way to make a statement, to subvert expectations, to make people re-examine why they do what they do ... But it's never quite so profound as all that. You cannot subvert someone's expectations by doing nothing.

    The idea of using surrender as a game mechanic is interesting, and I would like to see it explored some more. It would be very engaging—and subversive—if, in some cases, the player would be required to do nothing when he or she desperately wanted to do something, but that surrender must be contextualized to be meaningful. In this game, it isn't meaningful.

  • The official ending that you do achieve by doing nothing is nonsense. I'm assuming that the floating head's third eye and comments about being omnipresent are meant to tie the game to some flavor of Buddhism, with all of the attendant ideas about enlightenment coming through the surrender of desire and the pursuit of meaningless things. It's meant to make the game into a metaphor for samsara, but unless I have missed something in my readings about Buddhism, pursuing enlightenment is not actually the pursuit of ultimate power, as the game would lead you to believe. The idea of Buddhism is not power through enlightenment, but escape.
  • Lastly, the platforming aspect of the game is difficult, but it's unfairly difficult. The rooms aren't designed to be traversed naturally but are instead meant to be memorized. While it's nice that the game gives you an unlimited number of attempts, it is still poor design to have areas that the player, however skillful, cannot advance past without dying multiple times. Most often, bricks will fall on your head and while some of these bricks can be made to fall without killing you through careful jumping, many cannot. In one room, bricks that would prevent you from landing on spikes begin to disappear such that you cannot advanced unless you are fast enough; however, the bricks disappear randomly so that sometimes, no matter how fast you are, you cannot advance because the bricks at the end disappeared before the bricks at the beginning. This is Do It Again Stupid gameplay, and it isn't good design.

As to whether or not you've beaten the game by reaching the last room or if you've only beaten the game by, as the designers intended, doing nothing, I don't want to go down the rabbit hole of authorial intent. There was a lively discussion about this following Rabbit's article "Braid: In Search of Meaning" if you want to see what's already been said.

As casual_alcoholic said, you read a walkthrough then decided it was pretentious before you played it, then it feels like you're looking for justification that it is in fact as pretentious as you think it is.

I like the analogy of a "mental key" to unlock the real ending. Getting to the last room lets you know how to actually beat it. Yeah, there's meaning and symbolism there as well, which why it's enjoyable to me instead of just a trick. It's the difference between Punk'd and satire. One has meaning, one is just a guy being a jackass. Here, they're using the "you can't play in order to really win" as a part of the story and a part of the gameplay. It's great.

That said as well, even if you want to throw out the entire story, you're still left with a fun, albeit short, platformer with some cool atmosphere and a interesting mechanic, the game is "taunting" you to move forward while constantly killing you. However dying costs nothing, so it's essentially a player action, like jumping.

PyromanFO wrote:

That said as well, even if you want to throw out the entire story, you're still left with a fun, albeit short, platformer with some cool atmosphere and a interesting mechanic, the game is "taunting" you to move forward while constantly killing you. However dying costs nothing, so it's essentially a player action, like jumping.

I agree with the part about dying, especially how they use it for a couple of the puzzles, in particular the falling spike blocks level, that was pretty cool. Using something as simple as death as a tool of progression is interesting in and of itself. I wish more larger releases would consider this concept at sometime or another, at least past the "I'm just going to put my character in an impossible situation where he has to die" situation (Beginning of God of War 2 etc.) That being more of an interactive cut scene than using death as progression. At least in this game they actually gave you an alternate ending possibility to achieve the happy ending. If it had ended at the last room and death was the only option, than how is that different from gravity bone? Although people can argue about that ending too.

There's certainly a few interesting points here despite my initial pooh-poohing of the game.

If I could make one change to this game I'd change the narrator. If you assume that no player would obey the narrator after being trained to disobey in the first room, it follows that anyone who waits for the credits already played to the bad ending. There is no recognition of this, and that irks me. I don't respect the narrator because I know what he's like (a furious bastard), his offer of ultimate power falls on deaf ears. I want to destroy him.

Perhaps if he was framed a little differently I would have been more receptive, and the game would have been more thought provoking. One simple change: imagine he's pleading. Pleading with me to stop moving through the world. Odds are I'd continue anyway as the world falls apart around me - I like platforming. Imagine the ultimate remorse and loneliness at the end of the game when you recognise the consequences of your actions.

I feel like I'd be equally inclined to see what happens if I didn't destroy the world, but this time instead of offering me ultimate power, my pawn becomes the guardian of the world and someone else's (AI-controlled) pawn drops into the first room and leaps at the glowing sphere, then fade, credits.

I would be much happier with this because it would have a distinct message on humanity's appetite for destruction, it would represent a point in a continuum, and it would have closure. Perhaps this just plays to my tastes a little more.

While I think it's a fairly clever game, and I do think it's worth playing, I think that we're getting close to the point where winning through inaction becomes something of a cliche in the art-game world.

Honestly, I thought that inaction might be the solution, but I expected it to be not even touching the ball in the first place. You know, like you're told.

While I think it's a fairly clever game, and I do think it's worth playing, I think that we're getting close to the point where winning through inaction becomes something of a cliche in the art-game world.

Also to be fair, this game is actually several months old. Maybe it wasn't cliche back then

It's a good point, though.

casual_alcoholic wrote:

I respectively disagree with just about everything you said. I think you're falling into a category a lot of people have been falling into since Braid, and that's if a game does something original or makes you think about a concept during a video game it's automatically a pretentious game.

I'm a huge fan of Braid and of art games in general. I don't have a problem with games doing something innovative or of attempting to use the medium of video games to convey deeper meanings or experiences. However, I refuse to believe that because a game is trying to be artistic that I cannot call it pretentious or intellectually lazy. If a game wants to be taken seriously as art, I will critique it and analyze it seriously as art.

casual_alcoholic wrote:

I don't think you gave the game a fair chance, it seems you had a negative outlook from the beginning and then played it only to say you were right without considering the opposite case.

PyromanFO wrote:

As casual_alcoholic said, you read a walkthrough then decided it was pretentious before you played it, then it feels like you're looking for justification that it is in fact as pretentious as you think it is.

To be fair, I initially said that the ending was pretentious. It is not unreasonable to say that a part of something is pretentious while liking the rest of it, however it is not fair to say that a part of something is pretentious without having seen that piece in context. It was poor form for me to have posted that without having yet played the game.

However, I did approach the game with an open mind, and I was dissatisfied with what I found. As I said before, I am critiquing this game in the same way that I would critique any other work of art be it a novel, movie, poem, or painting. I feel that almost any use of "victory through inaction" is pretentious, but I feel that that pretension could be earned in the proper context. I don't feel that this game earns its ending, but likewise I don't feel that it has much else to offer. While the atmosphere is well-done, the game is heavily dependent on its ending, and it's ending is pretentious.

casual_alcoholic wrote:

It's not like you'd know from the beginning that you need to wait in place to win, when you get to the last room it's like losing, but I still consider myself on the path of my first game, and I reach the ending by starting over and waiting. Getting to the last room is like getting a key to unlock a door in the first room, except it's a mental key and doesn't have a physical representation in the game.

PyromanFO wrote:

I like the analogy of a "mental key" to unlock the real ending. Getting to the last room lets you know how to actually beat it. Yeah, there's meaning and symbolism there as well, which why it's enjoyable to me instead of just a trick. It's the difference between Punk'd and satire. One has meaning, one is just a guy being a jackass. Here, they're using the "you can't play in order to really win" as a part of the story and a part of the gameplay. It's great.

I like the analogy of a key, but I don't think this addresses the game's inherent contradiction: that you are told to not touch the orb but must touch the orb in order to properly finish the game. When you complete the maze, you are reminded that you had been warned to not leave the first room, which is, of course, the big hint you need to unlock the game's ending, but you are not ever warned to not leave the first room; you are warned to not touch the blue orb but you still must do that to finish the game. You must disobey the instructions given to you in order to progress through the game but are chided at the end for having not obeyed the instructions you were given; the message is muddled.

Also, it doesn't make sense that after the first room you are told to turn around, to go back, but you cannot. If you let the timer run out in any room but the first, you receive the negative ending.

PyromanFO wrote:

That said as well, even if you want to throw out the entire story, you're still left with a fun, albeit short, platformer with some cool atmosphere and a interesting mechanic, the game is "taunting" you to move forward while constantly killing you. However dying costs nothing, so it's essentially a player action, like jumping.

casual_alcoholic wrote:

I agree with the part about dying, especially how they use it for a couple of the puzzles, in particular the falling spike blocks level, that was pretty cool.

Respectfully, I disagree. I thought that this game's platforming, while not being as weak as the story, wasn't particularly strong. I don't want to repeat myself too much, since I already wrote a bit about the game mechanics, but I found that, for the most part, death wasn't used in the game in a way that was fair.

I'm not sure what you mean by the "falling spike blocks level," but I assume that you're referring to the seventh or eighth room where you have to go underneath a "bridge" of spiked blocks so that it will fall on you so that when you respawn you'll be able to move past that area. This was one of the few cases where, as Pyroman put it, death was used as a mechanic, like jumping. However, there were other areas, particularly later in the maze, when blocks would fall on you without any way of triggering them beforehand, requiring that you restart the room. This isn't puzzle-solving or jumping; this is a forced teleportation back to the beginning of the room and isn't any different from Ninja Gaiden's much-maligned exploding shuriken from off-camera. It forces you to replay sections of the game that you've already played—sections that are frequently quite difficult and that you may have struggled to advance past—for no other reason than to artificially delay your progress and run down the clock.

This would be reasonably acceptable had you been able to return to previous rooms, thereby setting up a mechanic that encourages you to turn back or else facing ever-increasing levels of difficulty, but as has been pointed out, you cannot go back. Once you have left the first room, which again, you are never warned to not do, you have little choice but to press forward, but the game punishes you unfairly for doing so.

This is the ultimate disjunction of player intent vs. designer intent. For me, the "losing" path was much more entertaining.

- Alan

Wow. what a debate. I downloaded this and played it without reading any comments, then I cheated and read the spoilers to find out the "secret."

The game is kinda fun, I'll give it that. I do agree with Mr. Greenbrier on a few things: the platforming, while difficult, is not challenging. It is not engaging. It requires little skill, only repetition. Some of it is interesting. But would it be interesting if we weren't aware the whole time that we're playing an "art game"? Do we hold this style of game to the same technical standard that we would a less stylistic platformer?

Don't get me wrong, I'm very excited about arthouse games and "games as art." Bioshock is still what comes to mind as a good example: the brilliance of the message in no way overshadows the excellent gameplay. In Seven, the message seems to be a moot point: leave the room, don't leave the room, it doesn't really matter. The idea of winning through inaction is interesting, but I could take the idea and leave the game. I do think the game is worth noting for the idea, and I'm glad someone is doing something out of the norm with games.

i didnt realize games could hate me

I just played the game, and I have to agree with Adam.Greenbrier. Here's why:

spoiler wrote:

[color=white]
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
[/color]

Convinced?

Seriously, though, I think giving video games the John Cage treatment is ridiculous. It's a different medium for one thing, and I for one have never been convinced of the brilliance of a pianist sitting in front of a crowd playing nothing for four and half minutes in the first place.

There's a fine, fine line between saying "that's something that only an artist could have thought of" and saying "that's incredibly stupid." The problem is that too many people are so intellectually insecure that they're unwilling to say the latter when the situation calls for it because they're afraid some art establishment functionary will call them ignorant.

Well, I don't care if the guy who made the game thinks I "just don't get it." The fact that he even named the game "seven minutes" means that it's not only pretentious, but considering John Cage's 4'33" it's derivative as well. So while it may be art, it isn't good art.

Oh, and I also agree with everyone who criticised the platforming because of the trial-and-error nonsense. I've never liked T&E design-- which is one of the reasons why I tend to hate stealth action games-- and this one just takes it to an extreme. But I will say this for the developer; at least there was no life/checkpoint system. All you lose when the level screws you over is time.

What the "secret" does do is bring up the question of what it means to "beat" a game. Certainly, the secret method gives you a finale and all the fanfare you expect from a game's "ending" after beating it, but triumphing over the game's challenges certainly seems like a fair definition of "beating" the game as well.

Personally, I don't have the patience/skill to get through the platforming challenges. I've gotten the official victory dance, but I still don't feel victorious. I feel like the game beat me.

I enjoyed the game for the variety of platforming mechanics, the music, and the art design. The first time, I only made it to the third room and kept dying. Second time through, I made it to the end of the platforming and enjoyed that ending quite well. I think the ways things were hidden and shown were interesting.

After a lot of trial and error in the beginning, I expected the end to also be challenging in this way, but it wasn't. While waiting the 7 minutes for the 'real' ending, I read through these comments and discovered a super jump ability where if you jump up a medium platform against a wall you jump up to the ceiling. Otherwise, this half of my experience wouldn't have been so fun. Who wants to wait 7 minutes?

The Buddhism refrences were pretty clear to me from the start, but I don't think they got in the way or made me upset with the game. I probably would have felt the same with Braid, except I heard Blow speak and hated him and his game pretty quickly.