We all remember sitting in front of the computer screen in middle school while the typing teacher droned on about the proper placement of your right index finger.
Then suddenly he transformed into The Man from Another Place, dancing in his red suit, and leaning over to whisper backwards English into your ear.
OK, so maybe that last bit would only happen if you were being taught how to type by renowned surrealist filmmaking David Lynch. And that’s the TL;DR of Rhino Stew Productions’ David Lynch Teaches Typing, a brilliant little tribute game that warps the classic interface of old school keyboard tutorial software into the deepest, darkest bowels of Lynchian hell.
“Help raise your words per minute with the only software that’s wild at heart and weird on the top,” the game advertises. But that doesn’t even begin to cover the distressing descent into the glitchscape that is David Lynch Teaches Typing.
Combining a typing game with David Lynch might at first seem random. But actually, the result is a perfect translation of his sensibilities to games, bringing his brand of absurdism into the digital age. (And, true to form, it’s as receptive as Lynch’s work to being overanalyzed and imbued with meaning unintended by its author.)
Essentially, David Lynch Teaches Typing channels and updates the filmmaker’s ouvere of surreality by turning the comforting, nostalgic virtual spaces of everyday modern life into something horrifying.
As a filmmaker, Lynch is known for injecting the uncanny into the most banal, innocent settings. From Twin Peaks to Blue Velvet, he twists American cherry pie suburban images we all know and love into unrecognizably distorted shapes. As a viewer, it leaves you feeling utterly lost and uncertain about the fabric of reality and desperate for your mommy.
Diane, take note
Image: Rhino Stew Productions
I mean, even as an homage, the game is way more in line with Lynch’s body of work than the filmmaker’s actual real-life coffee brand — which, despite what the advertising leads you to believe, is not laced with PCP.
Like Laura Palmer’s death, or a severed ear found in the forest of an idyllic town, you can tell from the very first moment that something’s not quite right with this standard-looking keyboard software. And, like his films, the familiarity and campiness embedded into the design of the nostalgic program initially eases you into a false sense of security.
Before quickly shattering all sense of normalcy, and forcing you to turn to The Log Lady for an interpretation on what that undulating bug means.
You can play a free trial of David Lynch Teaches Typing here.