7 Lives aims to explore the underlying structure of fluidity and interdependence by taking a non-narrative, symbolic, and embodied poetic approach. You witness an experience, and then time freezes as you’re able to explore how that event is related to the memories of the other witnesses of that event. It’s a surrealistic experience that feels a bit like a cross between a psychedelic journey and out-of-body, near death experience.
I had a chance to talk with writer and designer Sabrina Calvo about the design of 7 Lives. She did quite a bit of world building of the experience through writing, and she talks about some of the design intentions of the experience for how play with perception and create an altered liminal space that explores transitions and unfolding processes. We also talk about poetry and how she sees games as a form of embodied poetry. She leverages symbolic French poet Stéphane Mallarmé’s definition of poetry as being the process of extracting essence of the things and to evoke the feeling of the things without using the things itself. We explore a lot of interesting experiential design insights and reflections that don’t require you to personally experience 7 Lives, but it’s also available on Viveport for $5.00.
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