Do you recall during the inexperience of your childhood what you wanted to be when you grew up? I aspired to be three things (other than a samurai secret agent): a gaming journalist, a daringly burly and descriptive creative writer, and a comedic political satirist (really, I wanted to be a jack-of-all-trades in terms of writing and rhetoric, and look good whilst doing it).
But, cultural pragmatism convinced me that these dreams were unprofitable, foolish, so I instead decided to attend college to pursue a career in something that seemed more logical at the time: Business Management and Accounting. Several years into my studies, I was disengaged and slightly miserable, so after much contemplation and several miles of therapeutic running, I decided to change majors and pursue my “illogical” aspirations – to write my soul and fingers ablaze, and return that glimmer of optimism and merriment back to my eyes and smile. (And look at me now, writing for this awesome site with this amazing team.)
According to GamesBeat, as a child, Ana Ribeiro, an ardent lover of video games, wasn’t sure exactly what she wanted to be when she grew up; she knew that her passion called for something creative. But for the sake of practicality, she went to school for psychology, got a job for the government serving divorce papers, and after four years in this position, felt the screams of her creativity being suppressed.
|Ana Ribeiro cosplaying as Dot, Pixel Rift’s protagonist.|
So what did she do? She began selling empadas, Brazilian pies, a creative outlet that grew into a successful little business.
During a course intended to help her plan for the future of her pie empire, she was asked a question along the lines of: “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” Not satisfied with the prospect of selling pies for the rest of her life, she moved to Europe, leaving behind everything of familiarity in Brazil, enrolled in a programming course in London, and is now, four years later, finishing her Masters Degree in game design at the National Film and Television School. To say that she dropped everything to chase down her dream is a pretty accurate statement.
And now, the culmination of her efforts, and the final project of her Masters Degree, Pixel Rift, is nearly complete, and holy hell does it look impressive.
|Behold the radically nostalgic box art!|
A future Oculus Rift gem, Pixel Rift is an imaginative interpretation of Ribeiro’s growing-up-gaming life. You adopt the perspective of Nicola, a gaming addict who fights for the opportunity to play her favourite game, also titled Pixel Rift. Whether in classrooms or living rooms, you take advantage of every opening to escape from the humdrum of reality to engage in the wonders of game-play. It’s a glorious application of the idea of a “game within a game.”
|Did you ever have to hide your gaming device from the teacher during a yawn-a-thon lecture? Yeah, me too.|
The first level (which, if you have an Oculus Rift Kit, is available as a demo via the Pixel Rift Game site) sets you anxiously in the seat of a high school classroom as the teacher tries to presumably impart knowledge of the human anatomy to a group of disinterested (and sleeping) students. Avoiding the teacher’s subjectively sagacious eyes, you, while holding an NES pad in real life, sneak a moment on the “Game Girl” that’s being sequestered under the safety of your desk. I could describe more, but it’s best that you see the game in action to truly appreciate its novelty and ability to immerse.
Thank you, Ana, for taking a chance on yourself, hunting down those creative ambitions, and bringing us a truly excitable game. Pixel Rift is due sometime in 2015, and is still somehow awaiting approval on Steam Greenlight.