“You don’t need to do anything, because if you see yourself in the correct way, you are all as much an extraordinary phenomenon of nature as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water, the flickering of fire, the arrangement of the stars, and the form of a galaxy. You are all just like that, and there is nothing wrong with you at all.”
“You can do what you want / the opportunity is on” sang Cat Stevens, “You can be whatever you want” says every feel-good quote all over the Internet. Well, what if I told you that you can literally be anything you want to be, from a grass leaf to a penguin, from the Higgs Boson to a fast-food restaurant, an atom or a Planet?
Everything, created by artist David O’Reilly, is as much a long-form guided meditation as it is a video game. It is a reflective journey into… well… Everything. A trip into the wholeness of the universe that makes you dive deep into the meaning of life itself, the nature of being, of the traits that connect our private soul to cosmic energy. The gameplay is punctuated by quotes by philosopher Alan Watts, guiding our consciousness into contemplations about nature, connectedness, scale, the meaning of things, and a lot of questions without answer.
The relationship between the environment and the organism is transactional. The environment grows the organism, and in turn the organism creates the environment. The organism turns the sun into light, but it requires there be an environment containing a sun for there to be an organism at all. And the answer to it simply is they’re all one process. It isn’t that organisms by chance came into the world. This world is the sort of environment which grows organisms. It was that way from the beginning.
The 11-minute trailer focusing on the correlation between the universe’s biggest, smallest and most remote entities is the first video game trailer eligible for an Academy Award as a short film.
At the end of the game, you may ask yourself if it’s you that’s playing Everything or if Everything plays you. In fact, if you take your hands off the controls for long enough, the game will play all by itself… just one of the many ways it blurs the line between doing and being.