Quest for Reality by Flip Setmanuk

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Flip Setmanuk graduated from Design Academy Eindhoven last year. His student work is exploratory of several themes, particularly representation, media, network, and the relationships between spectator, or user, and the spectacle. In his efforts to grapple with these links, he created a website, Forum for Intertwining Fields. This website is essentially a forum, a springboard for discussion between both practitioners and users from the different, but closely aligned, disciplines of video gaming, photography, theatre, and film. There are several themed boards that pose a series of questions and prompts. It’s true that interdisciplinary communication needs to improve, and if this small forum could be developed on a larger scale, it could ignite some interesting conversations. Setmanuk appears to be in possession of a curious mind, considering the diversity of his interests. Another online project houses an Encyclopaedia of Nearly Forgotten Tools, a catalogue of tools the are soon to be extinct in sculpture, photography, painting and architecture. The Network Society parallels social networks with group gymnastics; 2.5D printing explores the possibilities of this hypothetical half-way technology. But his latest and most intriguing work is his graduation project, Quest for Reality.

Quest for Reality is a yet-to-be-released game, with a release date set for Spring 2017. It is unique blend of RPG (role-playing game) and documentary. It’s subject matter is focused on internet addiction. You, as the player, lose your hold of reality, ending up in a virtual world. The game play leads you back through a series of interactive environments that simulate various stages of addiction, all based on interviews with real addicts. Reality and fiction blend on at least two levels here—in the premise of the story, in the theme, and in the ambiguous relationship between invented game and documentary material. Though, documentary is always entangled with fiction to some extent. The game is visually beautiful. It oozes a cinematic feel, including some scenes that wouldn’t look out of place in a film like Blade Runner. I look forward to the game’s launch. In the mean time, you can check out a walkthrough here. Keep up to date with developments via the game’s website.