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The deep game Manifesto (2001)*

Knock-knock-knock (Igromania Magazine, 2012)

Igromania Magazine, #2(89), 2005

On the Threshold of the Bone House, 2005

Enemy Is on My Back!










Manifesto 2001

"The deep game"

Art does not degenerate; it changes. Art is like a wandering soul, moving from old bodies, to young ones. It finds new forms and transforms them according to its own laws. Creative activity emerges from the realm of pure pragmatism, technology, entertainment or services, making a quality leap, and acquires the ability to give shape to phenomena, which had before seemed inexpressible. It wasn't too long ago that cinematography made this leap. Now it is the turn for the computer game to make the same leap. Its new shape must take its place at the junction where the game meets mystery. We call this new shape "the deep game."

The deep game possesses the ability to bring out of the gamer what Aristotle called catharsis, which is the purification of emotion through the evocation of pity and fear. This phenomenon is characterized by a powerfully emotional explosion and a psychological shock, caused by the experience of new truths and touching upon hidden aspects of reality. Its result, a person's moral regeneration. Neither passion nor any narcotic high can be compared to that feeling. Achieving this is difficult, but we believe that sooner or later, it will happen. The game will gain the features and status as that of something sacred. The people will approach the game as an event that will forever change their lives. We believe that we will succeed in making this so.

We want to not only apply ourselves to this process, but also shape a deep game into a complete art form. We want to extend the boundaries of art and create several masterpieces in this area. We want to develop an internal standard of a new genre, wealth, and hidden possibilities, that is difficult to imagine. The combination of the traditional form of computer games and a new problematic content creates an entirely new art form which will take its place next to the theatre, the cinema, literature, music, painting, and architecture.

We focus our game on the elite. These games are for the chosen ones. The deep game calls for complete immersion, concentration, and attention. The depth of these games, like many brilliant films, books, and plays, will have multiple levels, which will make the games enjoyable to great masses of gamers. We create games that will appeal to many different eyes.

We suddenly change our focus. We deliberately refuse to create a comfortable environment for the gamer. The addressee is not the consumer. He is the coauthor. Passing the deep game is a creative process. We write atypical and problematic scenarios, adding a polysemantic visual range and moving music. We only allow talented, inspired professionals, looking for new forms and new boundaries in the traditional forms of creativity, to work on the game. We put an emphasis on shock. On the extraordinary, on the untraditional, on experimenting, but most importantly, on the consistency in carrying out these experiments.

We intend to make games for our country and about our country. We believe this will not alienate the English or the Japanese. On the contrary, it will interest them to discover things about the world of our unique nation. We want to create a deep game the Russian way, our country's worthy addition to the world picture of tomorrow. The world waits. We go to meet it. Before you, you have one of the first examples of a deep game.

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