"My grandfather's plane was reported lost in 1960 during the Algeria Independence War, days before the birth of his first child," writes Armel Gibson, in the introduction for his game, Oases. "This is what I like to think happened to him."
Oases opens with a plane flying over a desert, its engines trailing dark plumes of smoke. But before it can crash, a hole opens up in the sky, and swallows the plane with in rings of color. On the other side, you find yourself soaring across gorgeous, surreal landscapes of tall trees, enormous trumpet-shaped fungi and waterfalls dripping from giant sculptures. It is a world where you can soar forever, and never crash.
It's not the first game created to grieve the loss of a loved one, or make sense of their death—That Dragon Cancer comes to mind—but Oases addresses a very specific form of loss: How do you deal with losing someone when you don't know what happened to them, and probably never will?
Gibson writes his own ending for his grandfather's story, and invites us to wander around in it. It's a lovely one too, where the only goal is simply to fly and find pleasure in the world around you.
Created by Gibson and Dziff with music by Calum Bowen, Oases is pay-what-you-will on Itch.io for Mac and PC.
The Offworld Collection, presenting the very best features and essays from Offworld, is finally available to buy directly from Campo Santo for $40. I had the pleasure of designing and illustrating this splendid 250-page hardcover volume, but it’s the excellent writing, edited by Leigh Alexander and Laura Hudson, that makes it an essential buy. You […]
Zoya Street, curator of Critical Distance, offers slow reflections on the fast-paced world of digital play…
This week, our partnership with Critical Distance brings us reading on parenting via Tomb Raider, the utility of the word ‘gameplay’, and experiences from Nintendo ‘play counselors’ from the 1980s and 90s.
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