A MAZE. Award 2016

5th International Independent Videogames Festival – April 20–23, 2016

1,000 Heads Among the Trees

1,000 Heads Among the Trees

by Aaron Oldenburg (United States)

Genre: art, documentary

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This is an experiment in photography-based conversational mechanics. It is an impressionistic game that began with on-site documentary research in a small town in Peru, called Cachiche, that was founded by witches during the Peruvian Inquisition. The player takes photos and shows them to local characters, who free-associate based on what they see. The player asks "questions" through their choice of photography, and the characters answer through their descriptions, which often point the player in new directions.

The player assumes the role of someone who has been brought to town initially to take photographs of ghosts. What they find, however, is a small, eccentric town in the desert where people's imaginations and what they see in photos is more interesting than the player's initial ghost hunt. Through a continued dialogue with the characters, using the player's photographs, they can discover multiple contradictory threads illustrating the town's past and present.

Platform: Mac, PC