The Night Journey

A new project from USC based on the work of artist Bill Viola and headed by Tracy Fullerton is The Night Journey. According to the official site, the project is “based on the universal story of an individual mystic’s journey toward enlightenment.”

It seems like an interesting concept, merging various media forms. The game appears to be part video game, part art installation, and serves to put video games in a broader context.

Also, consider the gameplay experience. From an article on Grand Text Auto,
“I talked with Tracy later at SIGGRAPH, and asked her about this [the gameplay]. She said it was one of their important goals for the project to make a new claim on the standard computer game console and controller — to present them in new contexts, as the instruments of a new type of experience. I applaud this move. On the other hand, as Warren Sack pointed out when he joined us, it also means that the piece has to struggle against all the baggage and expectations already associated with standard computer gaming equipment. Personally, I think the tradeoff is worth it if we are going to get a chance to experience The Night Journey in the contexts we choose for personal contemplation. On the other hand, if it is going to be like most other work of Viola’s — only available in art venues — then I would tend to agree with Warren, and would argue for a presentation approach more akin to that of Scalable City. Perhaps with an installation design that doesn’t allow others to intrude on the private contemplation of playing The Night Journey.”

A video of the game can be found here.