Giphy debuts Arcade, a platform for making and playing ‘microgames’

Giphy debuts Arcade, a platform for making and playing ‘microgames’
Credit: Giphy

Giphy, of all sites, today revealed it’s getting into gaming. Specifically, it’s releasing Giphy Arcade, a platform for making, hosting, and playing “microgames” constructed out of gifs.

If you’re wondering how in the heck Giphy and games go together, don’t worry — it took me by surprise too. But Giphy is one of those companies that seems to be trying to expand beyond its original mandate, and in this case it’s leveraging its massive library of gifs as assets for bite-sized games.

Nick Santaniello, Giphy‘s senior product engineer, said in a statement:

When exploring what games could look like for GIPHY, we knew the experience had to be quick, shareable, and accessible for everyone, including people who don’t necessarily have a history with gaming. With GIPHY Arcade, we’ve created an experience that provides not only instant fun for the player, but also a new way to add personalized expression and entertainment to conversations as they’re happening.

Giphy Arcade games are designed to be made, played, and shared in a matter of seconds. They’re not complex — most of the ones already created look like Flappy Bird meets a YTMND fired out of Nyan Cat’s backside. You can find them all by visiting the Giphy Arcade landing page here. Everything is free and simple to access.

Users can also “remix” games, meaning put a new spin on the gameplay by changing up the in-game assets. Don’t wanna bust bricks? You can change up the game by using its template and selecting specific things to replace the bricks, sliding paddle, and bouncy thing. So if, for example, you wanted to change a brick buster into a game in which Ken from Street Fighter bounces a disco ball off of pizza slices in front of Wendy’s posterboard…

Yeah, this stuff is trippy as heck.

While anyone can make these microgames, I can see this being something businesses take advantage of — Wendy’s has already partnered with Giphy on this experiment, because of course it has. I can definitely see a social media-savvy business putting together a few games for its website or something like this.

I’m not sure how much pleasure the average user is going to get out of it — this is something I could see myself getting tired of pretty quickly, both as a player and a remixer. One thing that could potentially save this? Memes… lots and lots of memes.

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