David O'Reilly (IE)

Everything, 2016

Playable game; trailer


Everything is a game about everything.In this title by Irish artist and filmmaker David O’ Reilly, you can take control of every object in the game world, from ants and buildings to solar systems and subatomic particles. 

You explore until you decide it’s time to pop into a different body and continue your exploration from a different viewpoint, and with different abilities. There is no way to win and the role of ‘power’ within gameplay is beautifully subverted (the main power in the game is ‘Being’). Instead, Everything prioritises diversity of experience and a philosophical sort of understanding.

 

It takes ideas that would normally make us feel small and insignificant —namely that the universe is massive and untamable, sprawling and intricate—and argues that we should be emboldened by them. By jumping from object to object, Everything shows how amazing it is that we exist at all given the sheer number of ways things could have turned out. The game advises you to interact with NPCs (Non-playable Characters)by approaching those with icons over their heads and reading what they have to say. Some talk about their lives, others wax philosophical, or in special cases, offer new abilities.

If you take the time to talk to these NPCs, Everything’s central message becomes abundantly clear: everything is connected. Everything is relative, existing as part of the whole: an idea deftly expressed with dialogue snippets and voiced quotes from the late philosopher Alan Watts.

 

Courtesy of the artist.

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