Inspired by Anna Tsing's book, The Mushroom at the End of the World, Matsu is a digital game sketch about matsutake mushrooms and their relationship with trees, nematodes, and human foragers.
As climate change and human activity disturb natural landscapes, many forests decay into a state of disrepair.
As Matsu, the matsutake mushroom, you are the only species left that can save the forest!
Heal the beleaguered trees from nematodes by revitalizing their roots. But be careful where you journey – you may be plucked by a forager to become a delectable treat.
Inspired by Anna Tsing's book, Mushrooms at the End of the World, Matsu is a single player, 3D digital game that simulates life through the perspective of a mushroom. Combining elements of exploration, stealth and strategy, Matsu is an experimental game that advocates for multi-species collaborations in uncertain times.
I produced this game sketch with the desire to use a digital game experience to communicate environmental information.
I found inspiration from two books: Anna Tsing's The Mushroom at the End of the World, and Donna Haraway's Staying with the Trouble.
Tsing's work provided the foundational research I referenced on matustake mushrooms, while I drew on Haraway's work to produce my theoretical framework. I wanted to explore multi-species storytelling, theories of play, and the tensions between scientific fact and speculative fiction.
If we shift our focus away from the human experience towards
other species, what can we learn about the world around us, and what can we learn about ourselves?