Memory Miner

Exhibited at “Unbounded: Transmedia Storytelling @ MIT, 2019-2021” by MIT Transmedia Storytelling Initiative and MIT Center of Advanced Virtuality; Physical Exhibition: Wiesner Art Gallery; Time: October 18 – November 23, 2021; Virtual Exhibition:

In Collaboration with Yujie Wang

Memory Miner is a sci-fi first-person VR adventure game in which the post-apocalyptic descendent of Earth humans named Maximo explores the space station whose creator stored their memories in screen capsules, and the player experiences the vignettes of Earth memories, reliving the hopes and pains of Maximo’s ancestors, while constructing their autobiographical reflection of humankind. Contextualized in the short science fiction by the authors, Noah’s ARK of Memory (2020), in the age of neo-human, memory can be outsourced and stored in an interstellar substance. Humans gathered as much memory as they could to be stored in the direction-less memory labyrinth, and memory appears as hallucination. Although the creator’ memory database is the same throughout, since each player’s motion and choices are individually determined, every Maximo’s journey is different and what they see remain unpredictable and unrepeatable.

Storage Center, the ARK
Graphic Novel p.1

Like the Gold Rushers, Maximo, the Memory Miner, embarks on a journey into the storage center where the only road is a twisting spiral magnetic ramp leading from the periphery to the center of the sphere. As the player runs, the player encounters vignettes of Earth’s memory from numerous interactive screen capsules distributed along the labyrinthine ramp. The game is an interactive sequence of hallucinatory Earth memories in a psychedelic narrative that the player experiences in VR. The game progresses as the player runs closer to the center and watches more memory clips. The player’s accumulative experience of the collective narrative of capsulated memories is unique to oneself. Through Memory Miner, Yiou wishes to express the paradox between the past represented as immutable and the narrative of past as malleable. Part of the memories of a civilization that is continuously retrieved and reconsolidated become reinforced and part that doesn’t get retrieved fade away, so the making of our memory is constantly happening. The spiral ramp that is indeed a labyrinth can be seen as time. Memory Miner is currently work-in-progress.

Memory Externalization