My Boyfriend Came Back from the War is a browser-based net artwork using cinematic motifs to reveal a non-linear story about a couple reunited after a military conflict. The work consists of nested frames containing hyperlinked images and text, which when clicked, divide the browser into smaller and smaller frames until the screen becomes a mosaic void.
My boyfriend came back from the war is one of the first engaging hyper text net art narrative in which the story unfolds by clicking on images and texts in various sized windows within the frame. Created by Olia Lialina in 1996, this work will always be considered a classic.
In their 2006 Taschen publication "New Media Art," Mark Tibe and Reena Jana write: "One indicator of the historical significance of Olia Lialina's 1996 Netart project, My Boyfriend Came Back From the War (MBCBFTW), is the numerous times it has been appropriated and remixed by other New Media artists. On her Web site, Lialina maintains an extensive list of these appropriations that includes versions in Flash, Real Audio, VRML, the Castle Wolfenstein game engine (Mac and PC), PowerPoint and video. There is even a blog version and a version in gouache on paper. But what is it that makes this particular work so influential? Perhaps it resonates with other artists because it is among the earliest works of New Media art to produce the kind of compelling and emotionally powerful experience that we have come to expect from older, more established media, particularly film."