Everything: The Existential Crisis Game

Before getting into the game, I want to define existential crisis:

“An existential crisis is a moment at which an individual questions the very foundations of their life: whether this life has any meaning, purpose, or value. This issue of the meaning and purpose of existence is the topic of the philosophical school of existentialism.”

In the game Everything you start out as a creature but can ascend or descend into other creatures, plants, objects, or anything else. You can also gather other items that are the same as you by singing to them. And you can ascend so far that you end up becoming atoms made up of the previous universe you were in. And so on and so forth.

You will run across other things that will pose questions about life and time. And eventually, you will come across excerpts from Alan Watts that make you question things. Ultimately giving you a bit of existential crisis. Everything is made of the same thing, but we make try to make sense of things by putting things into categories. One of the quotes that really showcases this is the following:

“It’s like you took a bottle of ink and you threw it at a wall. Smash! And all that ink spread. And in the middle, it’s dense, isn’t it? And as it gets out on the edge, the little droplets get finer and finer and make more complicated patterns, see? So in the same way, there was a big bang at the beginning of things and it spread. And you and I, sitting here in this room, as complicated human beings, are way, way out on the fringe of that bang. We are the complicated little patterns on the end of it. Very interesting. But so we define ourselves as being only that. If you think that you are only inside your skin, you define yourself as one very complicated little curlique, way out on the edge of that explosion. Way out in space, and way out in time. Billions of years ago, you were a big bang, but now you’re a complicated human being. And then we cut ourselves off, and don’t feel that we’re still the big bang. But you are. Depends how you define yourself. You are actually—if this is the way things started, if there was a big bang in the beginning— you’re not something that’s a result of the big bang. You’re not something that is a sort of puppet on the end of the process. You are still the process. You are the big bang, the original force of the universe, coming on as whoever you are. When I meet you, I see not just what you define yourself as—Mr so-and- so, Ms so-and-so, Mrs so-and-so—I see every one of you as the primordial energy of the universe coming on at me in this particular way. I know I’m that, too. But we’ve learned to define ourselves as separate from it.”

— Alan Watts

The items you become during the game don’t move in a way you would expect them to. Instead, the just roll or slide along the surface. So it’s a little quirky but I kind of like it as it makes everything so uniform.

What do you think of games that make you really think about life and the universe we live in?


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