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EDITOR’S NOTE: Abzû is an adventure video game developed by Matt Nava and Giant Squid Studios. Through the eyes of a diver waking up in the vast ocean, the players discover the undersea world that surrounds them and its architecture, interact with different marine species, and uncover the forces harming them and their ecosystem. The exploration of the abyss reveals traces of an ancient civilization characterized by a symbiotic connection with the ocean, the challenge is to restore the connection and reactivate an harmonious life with the ocean. Abzû is part of the Broken Nature exhibition, open through September 1 at La Triennale di Milano.

Matt Nava with Giant Squid Studios, published by 505 Games, Abzû, 2016.

Often comparing the exploration of the depths of the ocean to that of space, ornithologist and marine biologist William Beebe wrote after one underwater expedition, “I knew that I should never again look upon the stars without remembering their active, living counterparts swimming about in that terrific pressure.” In the 1920s, Beebe and engineer Otis Barton designed the Bathysphere, a spherical submersible capsule capable ow withstanding water pressure up to a record half-mile depth, equipped with a window allowing them to observe marine life previously unknow to humans. A better knowledge of the environment that one inhabits might lead to more appreciation, better care, and ultimately a more harmonious coexistence.

Matt Nava
Matt Nava is creative director and founder of Giant Squid, a small game development studio. He was as well the art director on the games Flower and Journey. He wrote and designed The Art of Journey, a book about the development process and artwork for the game.

Further Reading:

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