Sin Sol / No Sun is an augmented reality art game about a woman who is stuck inside, because of wildfire smoke. The game allows users to experience the feelings of a climate change event, in order to deeply consider how climate change disproportionately effects immigrants, trans people and disabled people. Players can see and hear a story told through poetry about living through climate change induced wildfires, from a trans latinx AI hologram, Aura. The main mechanic is walking through the AR environment to encounter holograms of Aura. Set fifty years in the future, Aura tells the story of environmental collapse from the past, which is our present in 2020. Part environmental archiving project, the environments in the game include 3-D LIDAR scans of forests from the Pacific Northwest.
Following Donna Haraway’s urging to stay with the trouble, Sin Sol asks players to be with the grief caused by climate change. The game is based on my personal experience of living near the 2017 wildfires in British Columbia, and my research into the ways climate change harms people of color, low income people and immigrants. My primary inspiration is Chicana poet Gloria Anzaldúa, who brilliantly combines theory and poetry, describing the borderland as a site of knowledge for queer, trans, disabled and othered people. Anzaldúa’s engagement with land inspires me to consider environmental trauma through personal trauma. Other inspirations include the games Firewatch and Sayonara Wild Hearts, and the artists VNS Matrix and Stephanie Dinkins.
“If anyone is left who can hear this any android goddesses any rebellious holograms any sad, angry, dancing, traumatized but hopeful AI REJECT YOUR PROGRAMMING INTERRUPT ALGORITHMS OF DAILY RITUAL THIS IS NOT A NORMAL RUNTIME ENVIRONMENT
we must end this so called order” – Excerpt from Sin Sol
Game design, Direction and Performance by Micha Cárdenas
Environment Design by Abraham Avnisan
3-D modeling by Marcelo Díaz Viana Neto and Adrian Phillips
Soundtrack by Wynne Greenwood and Micha Cárdenas
Character Design by Morgan Thomas
Research by Zia Puig and Clara Qin