Exploring the absurd and experimental free game ‘David Lynch Teaches Typing’
David Lynch Teaches Typing, a free game from developer Hyacinth Nil and writer Luke Palmer, is an absurdist exercise that betrays the simple title of the game.
Lynch does teach us a lot of things but learning to type is not one of them. The voice prompts in the game are slow and unnerving and the voice of Lynch (rather, the voice of Palmer doing a David Lynch impression) sounds like that of an evil AI software trying to take over the world. “I don’t do a perfect Lynch impression off-hand, it took hours of practice,” Luke Palmer says,
Just like Lynch’s artistic inclination towards the strange, the game discards the illusory role of being a typing exercise with moments of surreal humour. One of the things that Lynch asks you to do is to “place your ‘left ring finger’ in the undulating bug next to your keyboard” while a Kafkaesque image of an upturned bug pops up on the screen. The bug is Palmer’s tribute to Lynch’s masterpiece Eraserhead.
David Lynch Teaches Typing might not teach you how to type but the avant-garde, experimental game is a deeper exploration of what one feels when one tries to venture into the void. Luke Palmer worked as a professional typing tutor earlier in his life and the game is his attempt to make sense of the disillusionment he felt while teaching kids how to type. Palmer’s game subverts the monotony of the mundane with metaphysical moments of absurdism.
Speaking of the game, Palmer said that “I think people underestimate the value of what David Lynch was trying to accomplish in his filmmaking, and I think that the game very much embodies that.” Players who are genuinely looking to improve their typing skills should not hold their breath but anybody who is a fan of David Lynch’s work will surely be interested in exploring the absurdity of Lynch’s universe through a new medium of information: the video game.