Friday, October 7, 2011

Things That Now Exist: A Video Game in Which Jeff Mangum Fights Hitler

Posted By on Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 1:16 PM

It's called In the Time Machine Over the Sea, a reference to Jeff Mangum wishing he could save Anne Frank "in some sort of time machine" detailed in the Neutral Milk Hotel song "Oh Comely," and is a really awful video game, according to Pitchfork. The gist of it: You're Jeff Mangum — though game developer BroPortal often misspells it "Magnum" — and Anne Frank is your girlfriend. You're hanging out together when Hitler snatches her away, putting you in a debilitating depressive state where you can't work on your next album. That's when you call Thom Yorke — spelled "Tom Yorke" — who builds you a time machine to go back and save her, spurring an adventure through Avery Island, yada, yada, yada...

The game is obviously stock-full of references to Neutral Milk Hotel material (Avery Island, oh boy) and winks to plenty of indie signifies, but I can't help but find something distasteful about making Mangum's obsession over Anne Frank — what's more accurately him wanting to save her, not fall in love with her — the impetus of the whole thing. Seems slightly exploitative of Mangum, made all the harder to swallow by him not seeming like the type of guy who takes confessing personal feelings lightly. If you're into though, feel free to download the game here. I don't necessarily have any objections to hearing chiptune covers of Neutral Milk Hotel songs, so I'll be downloading the soundtrack from here.

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