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Great Awakening

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You are a sort of modern-day Rip Van Winkle. You've been in a state of suspended animation for 42 years. And someone named Frank has been waiting for you to awake. He knows that you have extraordinary psychic and telekinetic abilities, but that your memory is practically gone. And this has affected your telepathic abilities. Frank is going to monitor and direct your reawakening into physical and cognitive functioning; he will give you the instructions you need to make your way out of the lab in which you've been confined and toward recovering all your abilities.

This is the mysterious premise of VII, a game that gradually supplies you with the instructions you need in order to master the environment in which you find yourself, in your fragile and reduced state. The environment, built using the HTML5 canvas element, has been beautifully defined with advanced scripting techniques, which are processed at top speed using hardware acceleration in Internet Explorer 9. So you feel as though you're engaging real objects and testing actual gravity as you make your way from room to room and level to level. You gain more knowledge and telekinetic powers as you advance and master manipulating your virtual self. But what's the goal? Is there one? That's the mystery you're really pursuing.

VII was developed by Matt Pelham, whose growing reputation as an HTML5 game master is based on this and other sophisticated, intriguing creations, ranging from the early etchaPhysics to the more recent Infection. When not developing these wonderful experimental games, Pelham teaches at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and works for the social gaming company Zynga.

The game bestows some simple artificial intelligence on hostile objects known as laser fields, cameras, floaters, and rollers, as well as on the actions of buttons, doors, and bridges. And some of the later levels make use of gravity tests and other experiments with physics-simulating code and the graphics-rendering capabilities of HTML5.

This story, "Great Awakening" was originally published by BrandPost.

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