'Everything' PS4 Trailer: David OReilly's New Game Enlists Alan Watts To Give You An Existential Crisis

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Be a tardigrade in David OReilly's new game, 'Everything.' Double Fine Presents & David OReilly

Animator David OReilly has been experimenting with games for several years now. His interactive animation The Horse Raised By Spheres (sadly, it seems to now be offline) proved the powerful storytelling capacities only available in a networked medium. Even his more “traditional” projects, like his short film The External World, shatter expected narrative modes to hilarious and moving effect. But his new project, a PS4 and Steam game called Everything, pushes on the very boundaries of being and humanity. “I put all I have into this, friends, I hope you enjoy it and it brings you some peace,” OReilly wrote on Instagram, announcing Everything’s launch and articulating a vision for video games unlike any heard before.

The promise of Everything is simple: “discover what it’s like to be the universe.” In Everything you can be everything, hopping from flower to bug to bone to tardigrade to grizzly bear to galaxy in procedurally-generated simulation of natural and physical systems.

It sounds confusing at first, but watching the gameplay trailer shows what Everything is all about. Not only are players encouraged to wander about in different forms, gathering groups of other beings around them, but also switching from radically small to galactic perspectives in a demonstration of holism that finds its foundations in philosopher Alan Watts, who was most famous for evaluating Buddhism not as a religion, but as a doorway to holistic understanding of the self and its relationship to the universe. In books like The Way of Zen and Nature, Man and Woman Watts laid the foundation for the holistic movements of the 1960s.

Everything doesn’t just take inspiration from Watts, it’s narrated by him. OReilly remastered the audio from Watts’ talks and scatters the clips throughout Everything. The effect is hypnotic, as it is in the Everything gameplay trailer:

Everything is out now on PS4 ($15) and will be released April 21 on Steam.

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