Originally published at The Atlantic

I am Rocky Mountain elk. I somersault forward through the grass, toward a tower of some sort. Now I am that: Industrial Smoke Stack. I press another button and move a cursor to become Giant Sequoia. I zoom out again, and I am Rock Planet, small and gray. Soon I am Sun, and then I am Lenticular Galaxy. Things seem a little too ordinary, so I pull up a menu and transform my galaxy into a Woolly Mammoth. With another button I multiply them. I am mammoths, in the vacuum of space.

There are others, too. Hydrogen atom. Taco truck. Palomino horse, spruce, fast-food restaurant, hot-air balloon. Camel, planetary system, Higgs boson, orca. Bacteriophage, poppy, match, pagoda, dirt chunk, oil rig. These are some of the things I got to be in Everything, a new video game by the animator and game designer David OReilly.

It may sound strange. What does it mean to be a fast-food restaurant or a Higgs boson? That’s the question the game poses and, to some extent, answers. In the process, it tumbles the player through galaxies, planets, continents, brush, subatomic abstractions, and a whole lot of Buddhist mysticism. The result turns a video-game console into an unlikely platform for metaphysical experimentation.

Continue reading at The Atlantic

published March 23, 2017