Blog » Flower review imagined as a conversation between Morpheus and Neo in The Matrix

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Neo: Right now… we’re playing a video game?

Morpheus: Is it really so hard to believe? You can steer and accelerate. The interfaces on the top and bottom are gone. There are objectives. Your response now is what we call Residual Self-Delusion: it is the digital projection of your fanboy self.

Neo: This can’t be a game.

Morpheus: What is a game? How do you define a game? If you’re talking about left stick, right stick, face buttons and triggers, then a game is simply wireless signals interpreted by your console.

This is not your everyday shooter. It exists as part of an online marketplace that we call the Playstation Network. You’ve been gaming in a dream world, Neo. This is “art” as it exists today.

flower-petal

Welcome to the garden of the real.

We have only bytes and pixels of information, but what we know for certain is that early in 2009, all game reviewers were united in celebration. They marveled at their own frugality as they criticized a $10 game as too expensive.

Neo: For just one petal?

Morpheus: A single petal that summoned an entire swarm. We don’t know who pressed R2, us or them, but we know that it was us who controlled the wind. At the time we were enjoying ourselves, and it was believed that nothing could beat the lovely graphics and beautiful, evocative music. Throughout gaming history we have been dependent on machines to be entertained.

Sony, it seems, is not without a sense of irony.

flower-storm

The Playstation 3 consumes more electricity than a 120 volt battery, and displays over two million pixels at its highest resolution. Combined with a Blu-Ray player, this Japanese manufacturer had created all the power they would ever need.

There are lists, Neo, endless lists. Where video games are no longer shipped… they are downloaded. For the longest time I wouldn’t trust it, then I bought one with my own money. Watched it drain my bank account so it could be fed online to my digital wallet. And sitting on the couch, watching the pure, horrifying download bar, I came to realize the obviousness of the truth.

What is Flower? A game. Flower is an arty, computer generated garden adventure designed to change the PS3 into a console people want to buy.

Neo: I don’t believe it. A $400 SKU doesn’t make it possible.

Morpheus: I didn’t say it would be inexpensive, Neo. I just said it would be fun.