“Everything that there is goes together. And It makes no difference whether it lasts a short time, or it lasts a long time. A galaxy goes together with all the universe just as much as a mosquito.”
That’s a bit more profound than my usual video game encounters. The ones where someone would call me a “gay noob” right before they shot me in the face in Halo. (That’s right, I’m still haunted by my past.)
I have a very present interest in Everything though – mainly because its 10-minute Gameplay Film is a work of art. It’s a film so pure that it makes me thrilled, not only to play it, but for the possibilities of where games can go in the future. That no matter how far we move into virtual realities different from our own, we won’t lose our soul in the process.
And soulful it is. Everything pushes so many buttons for me that around the 7-minute mark, I started getting spiritual wood. I’ve always found something incredibly beautiful about works of art that connect the ultra-modern to the very old. And for a game about connectivity, the film’s combination of futuristic cartoonish-ness – animals and worlds that conjure up images of a warm and fuzzy utopia – and the musings of Buddhist philosopher Alan Watts work on multiples levels to great affect.
The creator of this totally unique experience is David O’Reilly – an Irish artist who moved to Los Angeles ~2011. If you’ve seen the movie Her, you might’ve already seen his work – he made the game that Joaquin Pheonix’s character plays to pass the time – the one where the character says, “Fuck you, shithead!” a lot. There was much more artistry to it than that, but the game served as a terrifically funny way to highlight his character’s loneliness as he took some Halo-esque attitude from that little, white, blob boy.
But, here, O’Reilly’s creation seems to be all good vibes. The title Everything isn’t just a clever name, as it appears you can be just about everything. From galaxies to planets, from islands to their inhabitants, from animals to plants – Everything is connected. And I couldn’t be more excited to hook up to the nearest PS4 to play it.
As our world moves faster and faster, a game that makes you stop and become the roses seems well-suited for our time. A video game experience where you can be it all, even at a lightning fast pace, might be just what we need to properly appreciate it. Everything looks like a game that adheres enough to traditional gameplay so as to resonate with gamers, while providing us with a totally unique world and experience. And maybe more importantly, a valuable philosophy – that life is in the details.