The Game You Don’t Have To Play


Max Tohline


Published on/by



Accompanying text

A postcard I wrote and sent in a single day in December 2021, when I heard that fellow video essayist Sam [] was working on a project that involved some ideas about games where you do nothing. I’d toyed with some possibly overlapping ideas for a while but never had any idea what to do with them, so they ended up here. Anyway, enjoy.
All gameplay footage from
Screenshots from Total Recall, Brave, Avengers: Infinity War, Ready or Not, and Inception.
Phantom ride footage from New Brooklyn to New York via Brooklyn Bridge, no. 1 (1899, via Library of Congress, NYkNHMy3zFQ), and View from an Engine Front – Barnstaple (1898, via BFI, dziGmOLe3KU)