Welcome to TAG’s new blog series: FORTNIGHTLY TALES by Rémi Le Gallo – Le Manach.
Rémi is visiting TAG from France where he studies, draws, writes and makes video games. Next time you pass by TAG, find him and ask him about games, he will be very happy to talk to you.
This happened one winter, long ago. It had snowed and we went outside to play. Snow is white, cold and wet, but most of all, snow is soft and can be rolled to make snowballs. I made small balls that I threw at my sister and friends, trying to avoid theirs, and we laughed as we attacked each other. At one point, I stopped for an instant.
I picked up some snow, made a snowball, and threw it at my little brother. But he didn’t throw any back. He just complained about the frozen water being cold on his neck and continued to do what he was doing…
The biggest snowball possible.
The biggest snowball in the whole world.
He wanted to be part of the Guinness Book of World Records. He knew that even if he gathered all the snow in the garden, it would not take him into the pages of the Book, but he took it as training. He would improve his skills and one day, go to the mountains and roll, roll, roll all the snow he could imagine.
Actually, snow wasn’t his only raw material: sometimes he would roll up a branch of the old chestnut tree that had fallen some weeks ago, sometimes it was a button that you had lost for a very long time, and that suddenly appeared on the white surface as it was rolled by the hands of your brother. The bigger the snowball got, the bigger the things that sticked to it were.
He thought of his wonderful trip to the mountains, where the ball he’d make would be so enormous that it would roll up not only branches but trees, not only shoes or pizza boxes but people with their coats and shopping bags, filled with so many things! It would catch cars, and then trucks, and even construction equipment… It would eventually incorporate entire houses, with families inside who’d find the rolling and turning pretty enjoyable. Encouraged by their laughs, he’d continue to push his snowball and make it humongous! He wouldn’t stop, because he’d be having so much fun and because his true aim wouldn’t be easy to reach: he’d have to roll up the mountains themselves ! And then, after the mountains, he would roll straight his ball straight ahead, amalgamating every city, every forest, every giant monster from the bottom of the ocean and every cloud he would see. Truly, it would be the biggest snowball of the world.
Sadly those things just don’t happen in real life… So, he took some figurines of animals, Playmobil toys, and put them on the snow, catching them in his snowball.
After watching, I wanted to take part in his game. I threw a last snowball in my sister’s hair, and I gathered all the pine cones and dead leaves I could find on the floor. My brother guided the big ball to the first pile, then to the second one, and as he rolled over them, they were added to the white mass (it wasn’t quite as white as before).
For an instant, we were able to pretend that it was actually the biggest snowball of the world, catching towers and trees. The ball descended a slope, and its weight made it roll faster and faster. We couldn’t run fast enough to recapture it. It hit our chestnut tree and broke in half into two big piles.
Me and my brother gathered the figurines from the big white heaps. I took some of the snow and threw a snowball at him. I didn’t expect him to have the same idea and his projectile crashed right into my face. I laughed and so did he. My friend and my sister came and we played together until our fingers were too frozen to move…
Nothing was left of the biggest snowball of the world. After all, it wasn’t actually the biggest snowball ever made… But that didn’t matter. In our minds, it was huger than the house, almost as enormous as the Earth itself. And it was beautiful. Next time, we would make one that was even bigger.
This happened one winter, long ago… And now, I’m at TAG and I wanted to tell you this little story, and some others too. These fictional stories come from some video games I am selecting to go together with the theme of digital interactive experiences that could be thought of as both games and toys. This subject is pretty important to me and I want to share this enthusiasm with you, people of TAG and from everywhere… Please take these texts as small tales not about the games themselves, but about what it feels like to play with them!