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Bjarke Ingels Group Turned Its Website Into An Arcade Game You Can Actually Play

It really should have been called Bjarkenoid, though.

Before he was a world famous starchitect, Bjarke Ingels was an 1980s teenager, pumping kroner into Space Invaders and other classic coin-op video games at disreputable Copenhagen arcades with his fellow grody video game nerds. Ingels has been something of a self-proclaimed gamer ever since, which must be why his firm has launched a fun alternate version of its already amusing website as a tribute to a classic arcade game.

Created with the help of web developers Ruby Studios, Arkinoid replaces BIG’s architectural portfolio with an interactive HTML5 web game. With each BIG project represented by a small brick, visitors are encouraged to break them by bouncing a ball back and forth with a paddle they control with their mouse or keyboard. The layouts of the bricks change each level, even morphing into classic 8-bit designs, like that of the original Space Invaders. Like the classic ’80s games it’s referencing, you can even rack up high-scores in Arkinoid–although good luck beating the current high score: 9,223,372,036,854,775,807. You’d have to be some sort of Billy Mitchell-sized gaming legend to beat that.

According to BIG, the name Arkinoid is a portmantaeu of the Danish word arkitektur and the ’80s game Arkanoid by Taito, although surely not calling it Bjarkenoid is a missed opportunity. Also, as a classic gaming purist, I’m not sure you can really call any game an Arkanoid tribute if it doesn’t feature power-ups that turn your paddle into a laser-firing tank. Still, in the grand annals of notoriously bad architecture websites, Arkinoid might be the most fun–even if it’s more impenetrable from an information standpoint.

Play Arkinoid here.

About the author

John Brownlee is a design writer who lives in Somerville, Massachusetts. You can email him at john.brownlee+fastco@gmail.com.