Wade, Optillusion


Game Collection Vol. 2

On the occasion of the 23rd International Exhibition, we present the second edition of Triennial Game Collection. We commissioned a new selection of international artists to interpret the facets of Unknown Unknowns through five intimate stories, ranging from the relationship between physical elements and technology to the sheer joy of cosmogonic events, from the processing of grief to the correlation between social and gender identity. Pietro Righi Riva, founder of the game production studio Santa Ragione, selected the game designers Yijia Chen & Dong Zhou of Optillusion, Fern Goldfarb-Ramallo, Nina Freeman of Star Maid Games, Akwasi Afrane Bediako and Llaura McGee of Dreamfeel. The five authors present, with a variety of approaches and themes reflecting the cultural diversity of each, five games, the common thread of which is reflection on the mysteries of outer space as a key to understanding one's inner space. 

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Optillusion (China/USA)
A walk along the banks of a wide river that flows into the underworld. Players are knee-deep in water and listen to chants coming from the depths. As they venture deeper into the depths, the scenery begins to change and one comes across oddities or curiosities: some simply pass by, while others are obstacles to be overcome. At the end of the journey, something strange awaits them. The play symbolizes and visualizes the stages of grief and the feelings of disquiet that we humans experience when facing the unknown.

We Are Poems
Fern Goldfarb-Ramallo (Argentina)
Queer regions of deep space resemble the surface of a soap bubble. The elements move and change in unexpected ways, always misbehaving and not caring about our expectations, busy as they are with blossoming into the highest version of themselves. In a fluctuation of suspended particles, the player swims in a bountiful and joyous explosion of colors and distorted lights that oppose gloom and embrace emptiness as a place to (re)build.

Nonno’s Legend
Nina Freeman (Star Maid Games) (USA) [available from August 26]
A game about imagining places never seen before. As a child, when Nina visited her grandparents, she often played with their globe and enjoyed exploring the Earth's surface with her fingertips. Grandpa—Nina affectionately calls him that because of his Italian origins—would show her the magical properties of that globe, which was capable of redrawing the planet! Moving lands here and there, players discovered oceans and formed new continents, creating the map of a new imaginary world born from Grandpa's magical globe.

Akwasi Bediako Afrane (Ghana) [available from September 16]
MINE is a first-person exploration game in which the audience enters an "open mine" and observes the still little-known correlation between mineral resources and virtual spaces. The mine is explored through digital renderings of minerals and some of their end products: electronic components. MINE plays on the disconnection between the physical and digital worlds, how we overlook the intrinsic link between raw materials and the virtual spaces we inhabit, and hypothesizes that future, unknown materials will make new realities possible.

Llaura McGee (Dreamfeel, Ireland) [available from September 30]
Contact is a game about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Specifically, the author was inspired by her own life story, growing up in a small remote village believing that there was no one like her. Players interact with a complex interface with the goal of decoding and understanding visual cues on the screen, these then reveal a spoken text narrating a childhood memory of the author. The memory, being an ambiguous signal, is the beginning of a young queer woman's journey of self-recognition.



curatorship and design: Pietro Righi Riva
produced by: Triennale Milano e Santa Ragione
design and menu implementation: Stefano Sanitate e Alberto Putignano
QA & trailers: Riccardo Reina

Game Collection Vol. 2 - preview


Wade, Optillusion

We Are Poems, Fern Goldfarb-Ramallo

Nonno's Legend, Nina Freeman (Star Maid Games)

MINE, Akwasi Bediako Afrane

Contact, Llaura McGee (Dreamfeel)

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The 23rd International Exhibition Unknown Unknowns. An Introduction to Mysteries is open! Come and discover it until December 11.

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