Inside the Tent

Last year I was invited to develop a project brief for games designers. With a good friend from the BBC we came up with the proposal below. The tent scene in Wheatley’s movie remains a terrifying moment in contemporary horror and even more fascinating because it is set in a time and place that is out of contemporary culture. Unfortunately no students were interested.
But I felt it worth posting in the hope that one day it might provoke a response…

Concept:
There is a moment in Ben Wheatley’s 2013 film, A Field in England when Reese Shearsmith’s character Whitehead walks into a tent during a strange ritual. After undergoing some unseen and unexplained torments he emerges in slow motion, apparently transformed into a new state of consciousness.
We can only imagine what happened in there – a liminal zone of uncertainty, a space seemingly outside our modern frames of reference.
Explore the unseen moment, go deep inside the algebra and alchemy of this tent, in this remote field, in this unknowable time. Evoke the extreme condition of our protagonist and his inexplicable turn.

Purpose:
These people are our ancestors, your greatN grandparents. Use the medium of gaming, to portray a different world view in which science, spirituality and plant technologies constituted a different knowing of the world.
Let the player inhabit this world and it’s belief systems that feel so alien to our contemporary mindsets. Root your game in the historical and cultural specifics of the English civil war.

Audiences:
Undergraduate anthropology students.
Deliverables Needed:
– Storyboards
– Prototype (including code)
– Historical research materials
– Promotional materials (optional)

Influences/Tone/Image:
Consider the representation of parallel realities: the seduction sequences in Under the Skin, the upside world in Stranger Things, red room in Twin Peaks and The Further in the Insidious series. Consider immersive worlds such as Char Davies’ Osmose (1995) or the oil works by Richard Wilson 20:50 (1987).
Be careful to build soundscapes to sustain a condition of the uncanny.

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