January 6, 2014

Thatgamecompany's Flower added to Smithsonian

The Smithsonian Museum of American Art acquired two new video games for this week, one of which, Flower, is the product of SCA-associated studio thatgamecompany. Interactive Media & Games Division graduates Jenova Chen ‘06 and Kelly Santiago ‘06 co-founded the studio while students in SCA’s Interactive Media & Games Division (IMGD) with the vision of producing high-quality, emotionally meaningful content that stands in contrast to typical AAA gaming fare.

Far from the space marines and explosions of typical gaming fare, in Flower the player assumes the role of a breeze, blowing flower petals around a variety of environments, bring positive change to the areas they touch. Chen said they set out to create a “an emotional connection with the audience. If you can touch them in anyway it has to be relevant and when we work on these games its about whether we can make the player feel something that’s very deep.”

Speaking on the game in a press release, the Smithsonian said that Flower “presents an entirely new kind of physical and virtual choreography unfolding in real time, one that invites participants to weave aural, visual and tactile sensations into an emotional arc rather than a narrative one.” and went on to say that “Video games offer a compelling avant-garde performance space, activated by artists and players alike.”, noting that their inclusion was a major step forward for the mission of the museum.

The Smithsonian also announced plans to continue acquiring games over the next few years. With IMGD continuing to graduate talented, visionary designers, there’s no doubt the SCA will find itself inside the museums collections again.