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Taylor Swift's 'Blank Space' app is not the future of music videos

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal | Nov. 26, 2014
In fact, it's not even her app.

It's not a game
A lot of people have been calling this a game; it's not. Or at least, it's a very poorly designed game.

The app is very limited in what you can do: You can walk through doors (so long as they're glowing), you can stand in the middle of the room and look around, and you can occasionally tap on objects to get close-ups. Some of the objects are kind of cool Easter eggs for fans, like a picture of Swift's grandmother; others are relevant to the video, like a text message from "the other woman;" and others are just random, like sheets of music fluttering in the wind or a grandfather clock that does nothing. 

You're sort of supposed to follow Taylor and her boy-toy through the mansion, but if you get caught up looking at anything for too long, you'll lose them. At one point, I was temporarily mesmerized by a tray of cupcakes, and when I looked up, oops... they were nowhere to be found. So I wandered sort of aimlessly through the mansion (er, through all five rooms of the mansion), and eventually found them again, as they were walking through a door. There are a lot of doors in this game, and Taylor and her boy always seem to be walking through them. 

Were I to judge this as a game, I'd give it around 1.5 mice. The storyline is confusing (oh yeah, there are also a bunch of random other characters who routinely show up, just to make it even more confusing), finding your way around is difficult (every door looks the same, and since you're standing at a fixed point, you never know where you came from), and a lot of the Easter eggs seem lazy. 

It's not the future of music videos 
Overall, this "experience" feels really, really scattered--sort of like the song (don't get me wrong, I'm usually a fan of Swift's music, but this? Nah). 

It's not the "fully immersive" experience it claims to be--you can only see five (six with the hallway) rooms of this huge mansion? Come on, now, we all know mansions have more than six rooms. Where's the kitchen? The secret passageways? The attic with the magic rose trapped under a bell jar?

At best, it's a series of 360-degree photographs with a couple of moving elements and some hotspots you can tap on. The scavenger hunt is a neat idea, but the overall execution is a bit boring and unsurprising. Pull back a curtain, and you'll see CRAZY TAYLORFIED portraits of her former lovers. This would be interesting, except that's totally what I expected to see. Sorry, Taylor, you're just too predictable.

Of course, if the point of this video is to get you to experience the scattered weirdness of a teenage girls' brain on boys... then it does a pretty good job.


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