Future Nostalgia (A Fictional Review of Bientôt l’été)

[From a friend who wishes to remain ano­nymous, I re­ceived the ori­ginal ver­sion of the message below, which was picked up using radio ob­ser­vation of sig­nals from outer space. For the reader’s con­venience, I have ren­dered it in con­tem­po­rary English, rather than the early mo­dern English in which it was written.] Archive: Des­bares­des belt > Giraud γ > Orbit of Giraud γ 3 > Wreck­age of Sigil, or­bital torus space sta­tion File: Ano­nymous jour­nal entry, text­ual, untitled, dated 2321/12/16 Descrip­tion: This log entry, re­trieved during the sal­vage of Sigil station in 2456, appears to be an assess­ment of a par­ticular type of inter­active expe­rience avail­able to users of the station at the time through use of holo­communi­cation trans­mitters. Rem­nants of the soft­ware which is referred to in the entry have been found in the data logs of Sigil station, and various other stations through­out the galaxy; see > T. Beach Proj­ector. […]

The (Im)possibilities of Communication

Communi­cation is the weird­est thing. It just kinda works, unless it doesn’t. In prac­tice, it works not because the connec­tion be­tween thought, in­tention, and lan­guage is per­fect. It isn’t. It works be­cause we usually share large parts of our world­view and know­ledge with the people we’re spea­king with, and because our minds are really good at fil­ling in conceptual gaps wherever we see them. In cases where there are minor hitches in communi­cation, we’re also very good at pre­tending there aren’t any. We ig­nore them, or we aren’t even aware that some­one else might not under­stand exactly what we’re saying in the same way that we do. […]

Walking The Path

Through the years I’ve had so many reasons to ignore her, always telling me where I could and couldn’t go… – I was follow­ing a pretty bird, and I got lost. I wanted to go for a walk by the lake. I wanted to pick some flowers that only grow in the forest. I was secretly meeting a boy. I wanted to check out the creepy grave­yard. I needed to get away for a while. Be­sides, the real reason she doesn’t want me to stray is be­cause she doesn’t want me to grow up and make my own de­cisions and not listen to her all the time. That’s why I went off the path and into the for­est. It’s made me who I am. […]

FATALE & the History of Salomé

This is the third time I’m wri­ting about a digi­tal work by Fle­mish duo Tale of Tales, and that alone says some­thing about the capa­city of their releases to in­spire dis­cussion. I started with the peaceful MMO The End­less Forest, and also did a short bit on The Grave­yard. Conti­nuing the chrono­logical trend would leave The Path as my next sub­ject – argu­ably their best and most game-like work – but writing about that fasci­nating psycho­logical horror piece still seems rather daun­ting. Instead, I’m stick­ing to the slightly more manage­able FATALE and explo­ring a bit of what it has to say about the figure of Salomé and how she’s been treated through­out history. […]

Tale of Tales – The Graveyard (2008)

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. […]

Tale of Tales – The Endless Forest (2005 – present)

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. […]