A lazy afternoon.
I sit on the couch and fire on my PS Vita. I open Proteus and get lost on an island.
I do actually come from an island, Sardinia. It is a place in the middle of the Mediterranean. A sunny, warm place. I used to live by the sea. I watched it on my trips and admired the severe gray-purplish colour of the ocean in winter time, and how it shines and reflects the sky in spring, when warmth hits you from the windscreen of the car, and you pull the windows down just a little bit and breathe wind and sea and sand.
I press the start button on my Vita, and I find myself immerse in water, a small island is in front of me. I swim towards it and step on a beach. The game is in first person, so I donít really see what I look like. I just assume I look like myself from behind the screen and move on, without knowing what to expect from the game.
Exploration, is all it is. Proteus is a blocky, pacific world, in which all you do is walk, and look around, and get lost in the woods, and climb up mountains and admire the view from up above. There is no confusion with the controls. You walk around and not much more, but it isnít a problem. I find myself surrounded by butterflies, and flowers, and the music around is mellow and soft. The sun sets, and I stay on the beach looking at a progressively darker tone of blue and orange and red. It looks like a LEGO sunset on acid, and it works. It is a beautifully digital sunset.
When the sun rises again, I wonder if there is more to Proteus than I could find, and I keep on walking around an island that on second thought is way bigger than I predicted, to discover than the beauty of the game is not in the destination but in the journey itself. Proteus is beauty for beautyís sake.
Meanwhile, in London, it rains, slowly at first, then progressively harder. Iím not gonna go out tonight. In game, it is a nice summer afternoon, one I wish I could be gifted with where I live.
Seasons change, slowly but steadily, and colours, stilly minecraftly blocky, become heavier and darker, and leaves fall on the ground. Then winter comes, but not like in Martinís book. It arrives, †quiet, like a ballerina dancing to the sound of no music.
After some time I reach some stones, ruins in a circle, and as I get inside the circle everything around me comes alive, and all the energy of the island comes flying in and spins in a vortex, and seasons change in seconds, and again I simply stand and look at chunky blocks of colour paint the sky with snow and sun and rain and wind.
As I step inside the vortex, everything stops, and Iím left with a new summer.
Outside my window, it still rains.
I press circle and the eyes of the protagonist close, and Iím back on the main screen. When I go back in, everything is still the same and yet slightly different. The island has changed.
Outside my window, in London, it still rains. But it doesnít matter.