VIS Vienna Shorts, an annual short-film festival held in Austria, recently announced its award winners, and tucked away among the details is an odd, historic moment for interactive storytelling. Everything, David Oreilly’s recently released game that lets you play as everything you see while listening to philosophical quotes about the nature of being, was awarded the festival’s jury prize for animated short film. As it so happens, that automatically puts Everything on the longlist of possible Academy Award nominees for the Best Animated Short category, making it the first video game to ever qualify for an Oscar. Whether it’ll actually make the list of nominees come awards season is another story.
It’s unclear what form Everything took at the festival. It notably includes a mode where you can sit back and watch as the game plays itself, jumping from trees to deer to buildings and everything in between. It’s possible that a short film was cut together using that feature, or maybe they were just shown the game’s lengthy trailer (embedded above). Whatever it was jurors saw, they called Everything a film that “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.”