Starting from these assumptions, it was quite obvious that even Everything would not be an easy game to analyze, but I would never have expected to have to do anything I learned in decades of more or less quality works and to have to take it out and throw it out of the window, simply because it would have been like analyzing a Dadaist picture or completely abstract using the canons of beauty described by Winckelmann, nothing would make sense and after a few moments in this absurdity I would throw the mouse and the keyboard. What I actually did, but with totally unexpected results: Everythingis a game that can live a life of its own and that’s exactly what the message is about to send David OReilly.
However, I do not burn the stages without first trying to put black on white what I have experienced during the game hours, in a potentially uninitiated or endless game, where I was created – literally – as a musk ox, in a world of pixels squared, surrounded by strange animals, plants and rocks, without knowing what to do and where to go.
With the classic WASD keys you move in the four directions, but the result was not exactly what I was expecting, since my alter ego from the long horns, instead of walking, started rolling on myself, giving me the ‘idea of being in front of one of those video game jokes, a kind of Goat Simulatorfrom even worse physics.
In the complete disorientation, the situation worsened, strange dialogues and phrases from palm trees came to me, trying to tell me something about life, life and nature, but I still had to recover from my unusual motion and that of other animals , all intent on rolling producing strange noises.
Sincerely, in addition to strangely, the first impact is also rather disconcerting and the risk of leaving Everything after a few “passes” is quite concrete, but the first real tutorials immediately give you the idea of being in front of something much more complex than a simple non- sense.
Everything is in fact a life lesson, Everything is – as its name suggests – everything, because through simple game mechanics, David OReilly explains how we are all interconnected, indeed, we do not exist as one, we are neither the principle nor the end of any process, we are all an intermediate point of a chain, an endless network that holds all points from the smallest atom to the largest galaxy.
With a few clicks and rolled, after interacting with a wise rock telling me to do, I started a diverging ascent and descent process, two opposite directions that in Everything allow you to dress almost anything on screen: do you want to be an insect to revive the feelings of Gregor Samsa?
Click on a cockroach horror and the game is done, each tree will look like a skyscraper and you will also understand the point of view of animals we daily try to eliminate. Do you have mania of protagonism? With some convenient ascension passage I became a pulsar before and a galaxy later, passing through the whale, iceberg, frozen continent, glittery planet and glowing star every time stopping to look at how time and space completely changed to what I was.
Finding a way that maybe is not there
All this peregrinate from body to body is not, however, entirely fine to itself, but has the ultimate purpose – perhaps unattainable – to complete a kind of Pokédex where all living creatures are cataloged and not present in Everything , a true encyclopedia mastodontic, made of names and rich descriptions, a little dirty work, especially knowing how it was born from the hands of a single developer.
Collecting figurines of rock clumps, bacteria, ants, or elliptical galaxies is not a big spring to go ahead and explore the absurd world of Everything, as well as defining the challenges the few and simple puzzles on my way to mites would be a joke, not to mention the other bizarre mechanics introduced by David OReilly at a time, how to join the other icebergs and dance with them, then to create other small blocks of ice, to the point of creating a real archipelago of ice-cold earths.
Very little of what you see in Everything seems to make sense, yet what moves on the screen is just the very meaning of the universe , of any form of life that makes it, whether conscious or not, that can not exist by itself , but only in relation to others, and it is precisely when we understand this invisible bond that even the thoughts of a lonely baobab have a clear logic.
However, Alan Watts’ words are the real turning point , his speech and his tone of voice make Everything a magnetic piece capable of capturing the player for a long time, even just to drive a protozoo in a straightforward search the next icon, the next intervention of the philosopher and writer.