VERTIGO AND VERTICALITY IN SUPER MONKEY BALL
The vertical dimension is crucial to Super Monkey Ball on all levels1, and invites us to meditate on vertigo and verticality, falling and failing in the construction of space and game-play in this game and in computer- games as such. In Super Monkey Ball, the vertical dimension should be mastered (landing on tiny islands with the ball glider), avoided (off golf courses, off race tracks, or off fight arenas elevated almost astronomically above the ground), although it may also invite to dangerous downslide acceleration or short-cuts that will give your baby monkey ball a lead in the race (descending tilting planes, falling from one level to another while staying on the course). But most notably, verticality is emphasized by falling and failing. Slipping off the race-track or shooting oneself off the golf course by mistake always means dropping into a spectacular free fall; losing the poor baby monkey in dark swamps, sparkling oceans, or void, endless desertlike spaces. Meditating on this aesthetization of falling and failing in Super Monkey Ball, this brief study outlines the peculiar allegorical, albeit funny and social character of this game, which seems just as important as the playing of the game as such.