Endless Forest

Tale Of Tales

18 June 2006

Tale Of Tales / Auriea Harvey, Michael Samyn / 2006 – Present / Belgium

“The Endless Forest” is a multi-user online social environment that eliminates many of the common characteristics of graphical networked social spaces. Its creators, Auriea Harvey and Michael Samyn (who are also known as the net.art duo “Entropy8Zuper!”) have called it a “social screensaver, a virtual place where you can play with your friends.” In “The Endless Forest,” avatars take the form of deer. There are no enemies to shoot, no missions to accomplish, no rules to follow. Without recourse to speech or textual representations thereof, inhabitants communicate through other means, such as scratching the ground or standing on hind legs. Other actions include gathering flowers with an avatar’s antlers and sniffing other deer as they approach as way to be polite. Artists Harvey and Samyn appear regularly “in-world” to perform “abiogenesis” (the creation of life from nonliving matter). In this way, “The Endless Forest” suggests a strong parallel between the alchemical practices of game design and art making.