Nightingale's Playground (2010)

Nightingale’s Playground is a work of digital fiction divided into four interlinked parts: an atmospheric browser based experience; an interactive virtual book with pages you can turn with the mouse; a short e-book download; and an immersive real-time 3D game for PC and Mac.

The project was partly inspired by an old 8-bit computer game called The Sentinel – a unique and haunting strategy game devised by programmer Geoff Crammond that baffled magazine reviewers when it was originally released back in the 1980s. Hailed by some as proof that even computers like the Commodore 64 and Spectrum can achieve a sense of ‘virtual reality’, The Sentinel revolved around a tense and atmospheric one-on-one battle between the player and an unknown life-form that was slowly but surely taking over and enslaving the universe.

Using snippets of reviews and artwork from the original release of The Sentinel, Nightingale’s Playground follows the story of a teenage schoolboy whose best friend Alex – an oddball kid obsessed with pseudo-science and video games – mysteriously disappears leaving behind only a strange, insect-ridden journal of half-finished notes and sketches.

Review: Fabio de Vivo