“The Egg, the Atom, my Soul” – On Atavistic Modernity (case study: Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs).

by Arno Görgen

(Translation by Catherine Marshall. The original German version ca n be found here.)

I play Oswald Mandus, a London industrialist whose wealth is built on the family  slaughterhouse business he now owns (second generation), and who after a trip to an Aztec temple in Mexico turns his sights on more than the slaughter of pigs with the help of a gigantic machine. “This isn’t really about a monstrous clockwork AI. This isn’t about mutant pigs. This is about what people do to people all the time.” This is how the game’s developer, Dan Pinchbeck, succinctly sums up the story of Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs (2013), as told in an interview. Or to reiterate using Christoph Schlingensief’s tagline for his 1990 film The Blackest Heart (Das deutsche Kettensägenmassaker): They came as friends and became sausages.

Game name: Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Developer: The Chinese Room
Publisher: Frictional Games
Lead designer/writer: Dan Pinchbeck
Release Year: 2013
Platforms: Microsoft Windows; PlayStation 4; Xbox One; Nintendo Switch
Setting: horror; science fiction
Genre (ludic): Adventure
Gameplay: Survival

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