Monuments to Guilt is a fascinating virtual museum that explores the theory of exclusionary design by examining authentic recreations of different real-life public benches.
Benches are quite an innocuous object in everyday life. Often you won’t even notice them and it’s very unlikely that you’ve ever thought about why they are designed in the way they are. But Monuments to Guilt encourages you to actually see the humble bench and the many ways they are designed to prevent you from using them in ways that they were not intended (or using them at all in some cases!).
There are some quite spectacular bench designs in the museum, but even the more basic ones can open your mind to some exclusionary design concepts that you’ll never unsee. For instance, why do some park benches have armrests dividing them in the center? So that you can’t lay down on them of course!
It’s not just the benches that are built with the principles of exclusionary design – the entire museum and the game are designed that way too. The museum is a very sterile place which is filled with lots of signs telling you what you can’t do. Meanwhile, your entire view is obscured by two massive borders, only allowing you to peer through a little letterbox.
This does make Monuments to Guilt quite an unpleasant place to spend time in, but that’s also what makes it so compelling and it’s packed full of great insights into exclusionary design. It’s a remarkable experience and you’ll never look at a park bench in the same way again!
Controls: WASD – Movement, Mouse – Look, RMB – Zoom
Available On: Windows