Most of our readers probably don’t have much day-to-day reason to visit Google.pl–the Polish version of Google. And unless you speak Polish, are from Poland, or do business there… why would you need to visit? I’ll tell you why: because Google has created a special commemorative home page doodle honoring Polish author Stanislaw Lem that is simply mindblowing.
In the US today, the Google home page is showing a Thanksgiving-themed doodle. It’s actually pretty fun in its own right: you can customize elements of the turkey’s outfit and features, and then send your own turkey-doodle to your friends via a handy Google Plus button:
The Stanislaw Lem Interactive Video Google Doodle
But in Poland, they’re celebrating the life and influence of a great writer. If you like science fiction, cool interactive video, online video of any kind, or just being wowed… please take a few moments and experience it for yourself. I promise you won’t regret it.
If you still need convincing… read on.
Stanislaw Lem is probably best known as the author of Solaris, which has been given the Hollywood treatment three different times (most recently starring George Clooney). He has a vast library of science fiction work, and is considered one of the best writers of that genre from the last century. The interactive video tribute to Lem is a trippy, hand-drawn, sci-fi heavy walk through the mind of Lem.
I’ve read some reactions to the doodle online saying the characters and events in this depicted are from one of Lem’s books, but I can’t confirm it because I haven’t read them. But Google has a pretty solid history with these commemorative doodles of nailing the tone or style of the person they’re honoring.
You’ll have to click the doodle to get the scientist moving off screen to the right. Then, you’ll face a series of tests. From what I can gather, you’re trying to recover three parts of some kind of robot, and each test rewards you with one part. I think. Again… I haven’t read Lem’s work, nor do I speak Polish. But I don’t need to in order to gape in wonder at the coolness of this thing. It’s incredibly detailed, and truly engaging, even when it’s confusing.
With these doodles, like the one for Freddie Mercury, I truly believe that Google is trying to honor ideas or people they believe deserve it. And at the same time, I think they’re also using them as an excuse to experiment, stretch, and show off their talents with interactive video content. The doodle honoring Lem is fun, engaging, artistic, interactive, charming, strange, and cool… all at once. Text alone could never do that. Only video, particularly interactive video, has that kind of power.