The CSI Skill Tree series from the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University examines how video games envision possible futures, build rich and thought-provoking worlds, and engage people as active participants in unfolding stories.
In our latest episode, we discuss Cloud Gardens, a 2020 game about using plants to overgrow and transform abandoned post-industrial landscapes. At once soothing and cryptic, Cloud Gardens uses pastel colors and calming music to raise questions about the boundaries we construct between organic and built environments, the human and the nonhuman, the sublime and the dystopian.
Our guests are Ken Liu, an award-winning author of science fiction and fantasy, including the silkpunk series The Dandelion Dynasty, and Liz Fiacco, a video game designer who has worked on Kena: Bridge of Spirits, The Last of Us 2, and Uncharted 4.
This episode of CSI Skill Tree is presented in collaboration with Orion Magazine, an ad-free, quarterly print publication at the convergence of ecology, art, and social justice.