For the first time ever, a video game is eligible for an Academy Award. David OReilly’s Everything has gotten overwhelmingly positive reviews and is, most definitely, a different type of game than most of us are used to. But by winning the Jury Prize for Animation at the Vienna Shorts Festival, it’s now on the Oscar “long list,” a historic accomplishment. To be clear, the game isn’t nominated for an Oscar (yet), but it’s on the list of those “films” that qualify for nomination. It’s a list no other video game or interactive project has ever been on.
Cool: Everything just qualified for an Academy Award, making it the first time this has happened to a game/interactive project pic.twitter.com/5SQVD9s960
— David OReilly (@davidoreilly) June 7, 2017
It’s not clear if the game itself is actually on the list, or if it’s that gorgeous trailer above, released back in March. The game describes itself as an “open ended interactive experience and reality simulation game.” In it, you travel through the universe, switching off taking the form of, well, everything you come across. OReilly’s game posits that “there are thousands of things that perceive, think and interact differently while being driven by the same underlying rules.” You can play as a rock, a leaf, an elephant, a building … everything, really.
The trailer (presumably the Oscar contender) sets about 10 minutes of gameplay to narration by philosopher Alan Watts, expounding on the nature of humanity and the universe, and breaking past our pre-conceived ideas of what is and isn’t human. In that way, it’s also the perfect thing to break down the Oscar’s preconceived ideas of what is and considered film, let alone “Oscar-worthy” film.
The festival said that Everything, “beyond being entertaining has a strong poetic and philosophical theme. It serves a highly educational purpose, including an important political statement, that encourages to let our egos dissolve and gain a new perspective on the world.” Do yourself a favor and spend 10 minutes with that short up there. I doubt you’ll disagree.
(H/T ScreenRant, image: screengrab)
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