A statement often repeated in discussions of technology, whether within the realm of science fiction (and literary criticism of the genre) or without, is Arthur C. Clarke’s so-called “Third Law”, which states that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. The reader may refer to Wikipedia for a bit of background surrounding Clarke’s three laws and possible precedents for the third one mentioned here. While the law obviously makes predictions about the perception of technology in real life, it is equally relevant to fiction, particularly science fiction and fantasy, where magic and/or technology occupy prominent places as plot devices, motifs, etc. […] What interests me in particular are the assumptions lying behind Clarke’s third law, and how the law and its assumptions can help (or hinder) us to understand the interplay between technology and magic as concepts of activity
This is going to be a very brief impression, but there’s another game I wanted to share with you. Ruins, developed by Cardboard Computer, is a new digital art piece in which you control a dog, Agatha, who chases a number of white rabbits in a dreamlike landscape which is dominated by ruins, trees, fog, and piano.
Videogames by their very nature often make interesting arguments on the things they portray. This struck me quite powerfully while playing a recent digitally distributed title called From Dust. The game was designed by Éric Chahi and developed by Ubisoft Montpellier, and it essentially revolves around being a god and overseeing the fate of ‘your’ people.
While development and play on The Endless Forest, the first public release by Tales of Tales was still going strong, Auriea and Michaël had been working on new concepts. One of them, which borrowed elements from their unfinished project 8, would later become The Path, which was released in 2009, and which will be the subject of our next and most extended feature on this Flemish design studio. The other was a shorter, more modest project, and quicker to develop for a final release as well. It was the digital vignette called The Graveyard, and the first of the Tale of Tales titles to be distributed semi-commercially online, beyond the confines of their own website.
First released in 2005, The Endless Forest is a “multiplayer online game” and “social screensaver” developed by Flemish studio Tale of Tales. It was originally commissioned by the Musee d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean in Luxemburg in 2003, and has passed through various stages of development since its original inception. Version 3.3 was released in November 2009 and presents only the latest of these developments: the addition of a new location in the forest.