A fantastic journey

Immersed into an universe of graphic diversity, narrative complexity, and multiple colors, sounds and shapes, the curatorship of FILE Games Rio 2014 addresses the concept of “journey” and its aesthetic and interactive possibilities in different platforms. Amidst computers, consoles, tablets, and installations, the festival uses the language of digital games to create fantastic trips that are not limited to visual imagery.
We understand journey as a path to be traversed, a period of time required to complete an action or a trip that can have a certain objective or just self-awareness. On a journey, we don’t know what will come, we don’t foresee potential encounters that could take place and, no matter how known is the path, the route always brings unusual situations.
Digital games invite us to participate in journeys that can be enjoyed through the actions of one or more characters, in accordance with the evolving narrative, or even through the contact with playful environments where stories do not necessarily take place. Those journeys lead us to different senses of time and to other worlds which we don’t know much about, and only in playing we can discover their marvels.
That is the case of “Thomas was Alone”, which focuses Thomas, a nice geometric character who doesn’t know the meaning of his life nor the reason of being where he is. His aim is to discover the environment using his special skills: floating, overcoming the force of gravity, jumping, i.e., “jumping a little higher”. We also have the beautiful “Monument Valley” on the journey of princess Ida in a fantastic world inspired by M. C. Escher’s work and full of optical illusions and hidden passages, where things are not always what they seem.
In some games we can identify well-known elements of space and time, but inserted into uncommon situations, such as in “The Button Affair”. Located in Rio de Janeiro in the sixties, the game shows the adventures of Enzo Gabriel, an elegant jewel thief who tries to escape the clutches of his main enemy, tycoon Victor Meirelles, from whom he stole the world’s most precious diamond. In “Tengami”, the scenery inspired by fairy tales takes us to feudal Japan. Its delicate images in the form of pop-up books provide a different interaction, solving puzzles hidden in its pages and folds.
In certain games the sound is as important as the graphic elements, what minimizes the narrative potential. That is the case ot the minimalist “140? which intends to make the player exercise his rhythmic awareness by means of abstract platforms and a vibrant soundtrack full of noises and colors. “Sound Shapes” invests even more in the sound, creating an universe where everything can be turned into music.
Besides telling stories, digital games can take us to other ages and places, invite us to explore new roads and to control or even inhabit other bodies, testing rules that don’t apply to our daily lives. By means of realistic, detailed enviroments or extremely simplified graphic resources, the curatorship of FILE Games Rio 2014 intends to promote a dialogue between arts and a playful spirit, inviting the audience to embark on a digital journey and to discover fantastic universes through digital games.

Anita Cavaleiro
FILE Games Coordinator

Amanita Design s.r.o. – Botanicula – República Tcheca | Czech Republic
Amanita Design s.r.o. – Machinarium – República Tcheca | Czech Republic
André Teruya Eichemberg – The Way of Yiji – Brasil | Brazil
Bossa Studios – Surgeon Simulator 2013 – Reino Unido | United Kingdom
Demruth: Alexander Bruce – Antichamber – Austrália | Australia
E McNeill – Auralux – Estados Unidos | United States
Galactic Cafe – The Stanley Parable – Estados Unidos/Reino Unido | United States/United Kingdom
I–llusions – Element4l – Bélgica | Belgium
Jeppe Carlsen, Jakob Schmid, Niels Fyrst & Andreas Peitersen – 140 – Dinamarca | Denmark
Kurosh ValaNejad & Peter Brinson – The Cat and the Coup – Estados Unidos | United States
Loud Noises – Headblaster – Brasil | Brazil
Mario Von Rickenbach – Mirage – Suíça | Switzerland
Might and Delight – Pid – Suécia | Sweden
Mike Bithell – Thomas Was Alone – Reino Unido | United Kingdom
Modern Dream: Ollie Clarke, Helana Santos & Chris Randle – The Button Affair – Reino Unido | United Kingdom
Number None, Inc. – Braid – Estados Unidos | United States
Nyamyam – Tengami – Reino Unido | United Kingdom
Queasy Games & I Am Robot and Proud – Sound Shapes – Canadá | Canada
Richard Perrin – Kairo – Reino Unido | United Kingdom
Shawn McGrath & David Kanaga – Dyad – Canadá | Canada
Simogo – Year Walk – Suécia | Sweden
Subset Games: Justin Ma & Matthew Davis – FTL – China
Tale of Tales: Auriea Harvey & Michaël Samyn – Luxuria Superbia – Bélgica | Belgium
The Chinese Room – Dear Esther – Reino Unido | United Kingdom
Toxic Games – Q.U.B.E.: Director’s Cut – Reino Unido | United Kingdom
ustwogames – Monument Valley – Reino Unido | United Kingdom