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The Night Journey – Game by Bill Viola and USC’s Game Innovation Lab

Created as a collaboration between the University of Southern California’s Game Innovation Lab and the American video artist Bill Viola, The Night Journey is an experimental art game that uses both game and video techniques to tell the story of an individual’s journey towards enlightenment. The game is now available for both PC/MAC and Playstation 4.

The game begins in the center of a mysterious landscape on which darkness is falling. There is no one path to take, no single goal to achieve, but the player’s actions will reflect on themselves and the world, transforming and changing them both. If they are able, they may slow down time itself and forestall the fall of darkness. If not, there is always another chance; the darkness will bring dreams that enlighten future journeys.

The Night Journey debuted in the SIGGRAPH art gallery in 2007 and has continued to be exhibited worldwide for the past ten years. Visual inspiration is derived from the prior works of Bill Viola, which provide reference for the game world, while source material for the in-game “reflections” is drawn from the vast archive of his video footage. Textual inspiration comes from the lives and writings of great historical figures including: Rumi, the 13th century Islamic poet and mystic; Ryōkan, the 18th century Zen Buddhist poet; St. John of the Cross, the 16th century Spanish mystic and poet; and Plotinus, the 3rd century philosopher.

Project PageGame Innovation LabBill Viola

/via Game Scenes

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