Screenshot from "David Lynch Teaches Typing."

This Terrifying David Lynch Typing Game Is Still Better Than Computer Class

Mavis Beacon, eat your heart out.

by Erin Schwartz
Mar 13 2018, 4:13pm

Screenshot from "David Lynch Teaches Typing."

Those of us who came of age in the early aughts remember the limp joylessness of the typing game, usually a mandatory exercise in computer class—the 8-bit graphics, the glacial pace of gameplay, humdingers like “asteroids” and “reflexivity”—and don’t especially mourn its loss. But now, the typing tutor is back with “David Lynch Teaches Typing,” a new, free game from indie production studio Rhino Stew. (Lynch himself was not involved in the project.) Cue the Twin Peaks Giant: it is happening again.

The game’s design is familiar to Mavis Beacon graduates: you see a skeuomorphic vintage Mac—cheekily labelled the “Maclachlantosh 9000”—with a pistachio-green keyboard, text screen, and a box in which the pixelated avatar of the filmmaker smiles and occasionally rewards you with a thumbs up. As his instructions scroll in the text box, you hear a stilted, robotic facsimile of his voice; he calls you “kiddo” a lot, which is nice. But, of course, shit gets weird quickly: after you complete the first typing exercise, your keyboard is swapped out for a writhing alien insect foaming at the mouth, which you click at Lynch’s insistence, and the screen dissolves into pink static. The bugs are not what they seem!

The game was developed by Luke Palmer, a filmmaker and the founder of Rhino Stew, in collaboration with developer Hyacinth Nil. Palmer knows how to structure a cinematic narrative, and he also brings first-hand experience as a former typing tutor: “It’s hellish motivating kids to type,” he said in an interview with Hyperallergic. “It has a macabre and mundane element, perfect for David Lynch.” Suddenly, the misery of computer class makes a lot more sense. At least Lynch gives you a coffee break.