Escape from Thorne Mansion
The Art Institute’s collection of sixty-eight Thorne Miniature Rooms is one of those forever-present idiosyncratic marvels that most of us tend to take for granted. Especially since a busy gallery full of high-energy tourists and attention-challenged children make pensive contemplation unlikely. But the AIC has a virtual tour on its website that manages to take this old familiar and give it a fresh injection of imaginative vigor. Sure you can study photographs of each and every room if you want, but it’s far more fun to play Escape from Thorne Mansion, a take on the old-school RPG style of clicking around a room to find hidden passages in search of a prize or destination. While not likely to vex Zelda masters, it manages to create a bizarre sense of congruity between the otherwise stylistically incompatible rooms.
Best of Chicago 2011