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This Indie-Game Developer Shared a Photo of a Homemade Catheter, and It’s Gaming’s Best Controversy Today

Jonathan Blow, creator of the hit indie video game Braid and one of the subjects of the 2012 documentary Indie Game: The Movie, is just days away from releasing his new game, the Witness. It’s been in various stages of development since 2008, and now it’s finally here. But this isn’t a story about video games; it’s a story about something else Blow just released: a photo of what appears to be his homemade catheter, hooked up to a bottle of his own urine. Curveball!

Video-Games Twitter is in a tizzy about the possible pee-pee habits of Blow, an eccentric auteur who’s been alternately hailed as the savior of video games — back before it was widely understood that games could be art — and mocked as a precious, pretentious blowhard.

Was Blow really peeing through a tube, or was he just screwing with his audience? Wouldn’t it be faster to take a bathroom break than to build a catheter? His single tweet on the subject offers little in the way of answers.

PC Gamer is out there asking the tough questions, though: “Is this merely a tub of apple juice, or is it a stinging indictment on video game development crunch time? Is that the right colour for pee? Does the lighting influence its hue?”

The site didn’t get to the bottom of the mystery, but it tracked down one crucial clue: a tweet from Blow a few days before, asking for help locating some plastic tubing.

If that’s when the catheter (or catheter prank) was built, Blow hasn’t been using it for long — just during the final push to finish the game over the past week or so. But why would you pause during crunch time to build a piss-rig as a joke? To have a little fun and alleviate the stress of the deadline? Occam’s razor would suggest a simpler explanation: Maybe he really peed into this thing!

Jonathan Blow responded to the curiosity and furor over how he chooses to relieve himself by … being Jonathan Blow, the same self-serious creator gamers have been lovingly mocking for years.

Blow has previously accused fans of missing the point of Braid. Now it looks like they also missed the point of a photo of a piss-bottle. Will true art ever win?

Does This Game Developer Really Pee in a Bottle?