‘Video Games Are a Great Place for Politics’: Meet India’s Modern Magical Realists

In Gujarat, a small independent studio pointing to India’s rich literary history to create realistic games that have spawned decades of colonial literature and folk theater to be attracted to today’s politics. ۔ In a fantasy environment where buildings and large monuments are made of rubber sandals and toothpaste tubes, Studio Oliumings – with writer / artist Dhruvani and programmer Sushant Chakraborty, with the help of another programmer, Vivek Sivasia – Crafts Interactive Stories that shed light on India’s complex past and present

Johnny tells me about Skype, “Jenny told me about Skype,” We know video games are the best place for political games. “The government is hardly bothered about ‘little’ things like video games, and they also give you plenty of space to think and reflect on complex ideas.

The studio’s short, experimental games, soaked in vibrant colors and other universal maps, pay homage to the magical realistic, nonsense literature that has lauded many of India’s childhoods. The country has a rich heritage of subversive art and literature, culminating in the introduction of Victorian cartoons and caricatures. Johnny and Chakraborty especially like Gujarati writer and educator Gajubhai Badhika, who is known for a series of children’s stories featuring colorful characters and animals. Another major influence of Bengali author Schumer Ray is his collection of nonsense poems and stories, especially for his children, Abul Tabul. “He edited a children’s magazine in Bengal that was also used to send secret political messages to people trying to hold rallies under British rule,” says Johnny. “He will impress the magazine with these funny and amazing sketches that will come together to create weird creatures about animals.”

Launched in 2019 by V&A, Studio Olmings’ In the middle of the bell The telephone presents a historical history of mining, and hung under the same roof as the museum’s homeless Indian treasures. Museum of Dubies Splendors is an interactive storybook about the work of a legendary poet called Mir Omar Hassan. It is a character that plays a role in many of the games of the Oliumings, with a lens through which to examine the problems of recording and remembering history. Colonies, and thorny issues of allocation, authenticity and authorship.

I Surprise at the detachment of the edible placeMeanwhile, the player is a “municipal builder”, whose consumption is a matter of structure and their history. (The game spreads to realistic events dating back to 1992, when a 500-year-old Barbary mosque in Ayodhya was destroyed by a violent Hindu mob.) Future plans under porcelain There is also the traditional adventure of two young men searching for forged documents that lead to a faulty city, and the story of the partition of India and Pakistan, in which Johnny recounts “my own family history. The big story of a town that disappeared during the Partition.

A museum of dubious splendor

Interactive storybook … a museum of dubious splendor. Photography: Studio Oliumings

Magical realism allows creators to rebel against accepted history, which is always written by colonists. “We like the idea of ​​breaking expectations,” says Johnny, “where you interact with a story and what you expect from it is not fundamentally painful.” They are also inspired by folk theater because “plays are real-time events, and often attract viewers, especially on city squares or on the streets. These are very similar to video games.”

Jani and Chakraborty are driven by their fierce opposition to Narendra Modi’s government, which they believe has taken a worrying turn since coming to power in 2014, with tensions between the Hindu and Muslim communities and Includes use. Laws of Colonial Rebellion To punish the critics. Recently, the government has been criticized for its response to the 19 epidemics. the struggle 2.6 million infections, with insufficient medical funding and lockdowns Poor working class conditions. His actions – including Migrant workers sprayed with force New discussions on resistance to industrial-grade disinfection have sprung up. “I think the government is currently engaged in an undemocratic war against minorities, and everyone has a duty to demand them,” Johnny said.

“[The government’s] Horrific movements are being committed on such a scale and at such a frequency that it has become almost normal in his performance over and over again, says Johnny. “It will be very difficult to go back when we were not accustomed to such chaos and evil by the ruling class.”

Unlimited by physical barriers and largely ignored by the government, video games are a great place to continue India’s destructive tradition. Olemingus documents a complex social and political reality, as well as the work of poetry, cartoons and folk theater. “Video games are beautiful and irrational places where you can make political comments,” says Johnny. [too much] Dismiss your articles.


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