A World Without You portrays a very affectionate cat’s search for the whereabouts of her human, who disappeared in the context of the last military dictatorship that ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983. Its story starts during the preparations for the 1978 FIFA World Cup that was hosted and won by Argentina.

A World Without You is a game poem that refers to the feelings, emotions and memories of a female cat dealing with both love and grief over the disappearance of her human friend Maria (I don’t want to say the word ‘owner’, but that is what she is). So, this cat actively looks for Maria by the means available to our meow meow friends could carry out: struggling not to starve, questioning her non-human and human companions, and even questioning objects while critically reflecting and actively observing the passage of time. During this journey, players explore a house, gardens, customs and suburban locations typical of Argentina.

The game provides a glimpse of social processes and phenomena related to the episodes of enforced disappearance during the military regime, such as the mass entertainment of sports as a popular distraction device, the emergence of the Mothers and Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, the surveillance operations carried out by the security forces and the theft of babie’s identities.

My intention with this game is to address an ecological interspecies point of view, re imagining a painful episode from the perspective of the non-human beings around us: giving voice to flora, fauna, stars and objects, after reading some works of Vincianne Despret, Donna Haraway, Val Plumwood, Alenda Chang and Timothy Morton. I also wanted to experiment with the representation of the passage of time, music, and larger illustrations pushing the boundaries of the minimalist style that the Bitsy engine imposes upon us.

A World Without You was initially developed in the context of the “Ex-Esma Jam: the first jam for human rights and memory” organized by Women in Games Argentina and the Public Entity Memory Space and Human Rights.

During the last time, I have been working on a playful installation as a way of inhabiting and interacting with the game to bring our soul back from  the realm of algorithms. This special setting to play the game includes a plushy toy cat and a rose as transitional objects to connect us with the story by means of love, embodied connection and gentle gestures such as caresses. You can play it alone or by holding hands with friends as long as one of you caresses the plushy cat and another touch the rose.

Link to the game