Snow Castles: The Trials and Tribulations of Trying to Study while depressed

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Credits: Yulia Krasova (RU), Alexey Ryumin (RU), Anna Novikova (RU)

This game allows users to release tension and frustration about their behavior in the face of approaching deadlines, final exams, and other causes for procrastination. The player finds himself in a vast empty space, with a finish line ahead and a giant Sailor Moon, the ultimate distraction, on the periphery. The timer sets off and whenever the player looks at Sailor Moon, obstacles appear on his way. The point of this game is to get to the end of this obstacle course before the «terminal stage» — the moment when crossing the finish line becomes impossible. The task gets even harder as Sailor Moon is pulling the player’s focus and fastens his eyes on her every moment he hesitates. If the player actually reaches the finish line, Sailor Moon disappears together with the obstacle course: when someone has free time, things that were stopping him from properly concentrating immediately lose their luster. After the «terminal stage» hit, the game can be shut down and restarted.

Snow Castles: The Trials and Tribulations of Trying to Study while depressed

HSE Garden Pavilion is a platform which presents the diversity of young artists’ views on Ars Electronica2021 key topic — A New Digital Deal. The Pavilion’s agenda includes digital exhibitions, sound performance, and a collection of in-browser games. All projects are created by students and alumni of HSE University, one of the leading young universities worldwide (QS 50 Under 50), and the best Russian university in the field of Art & Design (QS-2021).

The Pavilion’s projects dwell on the ambiguous nature of social networks’ transparency; the digital perception of the female body; how to make an artist out of a game character; understanding a person with attention deficit disorder and dealing with frustration about one’s behavior in the face of approaching deadlines. The Garden also offers sonic portals — a speculative digital sound environment and a Garden castle exhibition, filled with digital sculptures, videos, and photos.

The program also includes a round-table discussion that will unite specialists in media history, semiotics of contemporary art, game studies, digital art and design to rethink perspectives of the online condition humaine.

HSE ART AND DESIGN SCHOOL is the branch of Higher School of Economics National Research University, one of the leading universities of the Russian Federation, enlisted in the best 40 young world universities and being recognized the best Russian institution of higher education in the Art&Design category according to the leading international educational rating QS-2021. The current number of students is above 3000 taking the bachelor and master programs, postgraduate studies and additional education. HSE ART AND DESIGN SCHOOL also offers courses for children in more than 15 educational programs.​​​​​​​

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