Data.Expand is an arcade game about moving around and dodging enemies, but it is also a procedural art piece created out of the player's failures and missteps, creating striking visuals and pleasant sounds out of what, under normal game circumstances, are considered to be mistakes.

Data.Expand involves players weaving around their foes, but each time they get hit, it leaves a glitch-like visual and makes a sound. As you continue, you will slowly create a tapestry of bright colors and an array of sounds that form a kind of lethal music, with mistakes getting turned into a form of creation. In screwing up the game in specific ways, you can work to create colors where you wish them to be, creating this push and pull between wanting to win the game and wanting to create a piece of art.

I can't say I've ever painted using my screw-ups in a game before, but there's something enticing about turning what I would normally see as a downside or unwanted result and creating something pretty out of it. While getting hit might normally frustrate me, here, it's almost a desirable outcome, leaving me wondering what the outcome of the game is, and how my own thoughts and desires, shifting as they are, can shape what an interactive experience is and what it means to me.

And all through being terrible at an arcade game, which is something I EXCEL at.


Data.Expand is available for $0.99 on Itch.io. For more information on the game and developer Davide A Fiandra, you can head to the developer's site or follow them on Twitter.