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  • Writer's picturePeter Howell

Uncover the Meaning of White Lake at the Aesthetica Film Festival

The University of Portsmouth's Advanced Games Research Group houses talented researchers exploring a variety of topics. Our most recent successful PhD, Dr Matthew Higgins, is our resident expert on narrative-driven games and the psychology of interpretive play - that is, examining how the act of interpreting and piecing together narrative information is itself a playful activity that is pleasurable for players.

Through his indie studio We Be Dragons, and with design and art supported by myself at Cold Cactus Games, he has been developing a narrative game called White Lake that encapsulates his research and emphasises this form of interpretive play.

White Lake places players in a strange white space, where fragmented memories rise from the void. Through exploring the visions that emerge and piecing together the splintered memories, the player must construct their own understanding of just what the meaning and purpose of White Lake is. Check out the trailer below!

I'm very excited to say that White Lake has been selected to be exhibited at the Aesthetica Film Festival's Games Lab in York, from the 8th -12th November 2023. The Aesthetica Festival is BAFTA-Qualifying and one of the largest and most renowned events in the moving image and digital culture calendar. Having the University's games research represented there is a fantastic achievement!

The version of the game on show at the festival is nearing completion, with an intended full release date early in 2024, so watch this space!

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