The annual Academy Awards is arguably the flashiest, most prestigious awards show of the year. It honors the best in film—and usually—film alone. But something else is slipping through the cracks this year: a video game.
Developer David OReilly's video game Everything will technically be eligible for an Academy Award nomination next year, after landing itself on the long list. The project won the Jury Prize for Animation at the VIS Vienna Shorts film festival, which qualifies it for eligibility, according to OReilly. But the award isn't for the game itself, but an 11-minute short promoting the game. (You can watch it below.)
This is the first time a game has technically been eligible for the Oscars. The promotional film is not your average video game trailer. It's narrated by the late British philosopher Alan Watts, as the film shows off the game's ability to bounce from the smallest to the largest entities in existence. Everything, after all, is a celebration of everything.
In a statement regarding the Jury Prize, VIS Vienna Shorts film festival note the short film's transcendent qualities. "The "Jury Prize - Animation" goes to a film, which beyond being entertaining has a strong poetic and philosophical theme," they say in a statement. "It serves a highly educational purpose, including an important political statement, that encourages to let our egos dissolve and gain a new perspective on the world."
In the past, OReilly created Mountain, a soothing literal mountain simulator, as well as the foul-mouthed holographic game sequence in Spike Jonze's 2013 film Her. Who knows, maybe Oscar season next year, OReilly will be reckoning with a landmark Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Short—for a video game short that is.