‘Utopias’ is a lo-fi indie video game from the cheekily named AAA Software where one can navigate world made by the games creators. The game itself has some meta-narrative components, where the challenges of utopias themselves are articulated by the creators within the game. Here’s more from Waypoint:
One planet towards the game’s end encapsulates what’s great about Utopias. “The Ritual of Manhara” begins with a barren landscape viewed from an isometric perspective, one littered with objects, including a bicycle, chair, and gravestone. As a robotic voice over recalls a “perfectly harmonious, self-sustained society,” we swivel our mouse around to illuminate different parts of the map, ruminating on whatever fictional tragedy occurred. Suddenly, the game jump cuts to one of its creators, Gabriel Helfenstein, who launches into a monologue about its creation, backed by videos of himself in everyday situations. His speech, peppered with references to his own personal failings, is intimate and honest—charged with the kind of humanity video games often lack.
Each world in Utopias is a site of crystallization where our ideas and how we work as a group have gathered and grown. The process of creating Utopias was a collective deep dive into things like group decision-making, the economics of care (for oneself and others), the sharing of resources and information, generating and maintaining sustainable momentum and examining personal wounds left from living in a hyper-individualized economy of scarcity.
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