Naataplawuqatsi (Life as Play)

Naataplawuqatsi is about life and civilization. It could be about our lives or it could be about the ones in a game. Naataplawuqatsi tells its short story using in-game footage of the video game Cities: Skylines and communicates with imagery and music that should remind you of such films as Koyaanisqatsi and Baraka. Taking obvious inspiration from the Qatsi trilogy, Naataplawuqatsi is also a Hopi (Uto-Aztecan) word that probably means life as play… or maybe should mean life as… simulation…

A film by Olivier Bonenfant. See this vimeo channel for more short films.
Music from See credits for listing (Public Domain and CC BY-NC 3.0)
Made in July 2016 for Filmonik #31 Melbourne.

Cities: Skylines™ is developed by Colossal Order and published by Paradox Interactive. All related marks, logos and characters are owned by Paradox Interactive. This non-commercial fan short film is not endorsed or sponsored by or affiliated with Paradox Interactive or Colossal Order.


All cities were grown without mods with 160 hours of game time. Captures were done with Open Broadcaster Software on a laptop.

Karst Ramparts (wet) by Whipplesnoodles
Sea Turtle Falls by Matt Crux
Cliff Island by Shakes
Cabo das Quintas by aaffonso
Dam catastrophe by myself

Color correction, speed alterations and other audio and visual effects were added in editing for storytelling purposes. This should not be taken as an accurate depiction of the game even though there is film grain and great LUT color correcting built in the game.

Spoilers: the idea for the film emerged after associating my virtual cities and citizens to the more and more common theory that everything is a “simulation”.
2016 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Is the Universe a Simulation?
Is life a video game? | Elon Musk | Code Conference
The Simulation Hypothesis
Given the smaller scale of the simulation in the game, I’m just thinking that sentient simulated citizens would be quick to prove that there is someone messing up with the simulation and would also be quick in trying to communicate with the giant douchebag god.

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Fonte – Source