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I’m quite curious to see what it was like for freelance journalist Justin Amirkhani to ingest hallucinogenic mushrooms and play through PlayStation 3 title Dyad. He’s launching a crowdsourced fundraiser to pay for the production costs of making a short film about the experience. Amirkhani even had the game’s creator, Shawn McGrath, reluctantly guide him through the trip. I suppose this is art.
Dyad, available on PlayStation Network, already has quite the psychedelic look to it (think arcade-classic Tempest meets the music-infused on-rails-shooter Rez). Amirkhani wants to show, however, that looks might be a bit deceiving.
“Part of the point of the film is to help people understand the misconceptions about drugs better,” Amirkhani said in an interview with Kill Screen. “Being Dyad is not like being on drugs. People on the Internet say you should do drugs while playing Dyad; it's kind of a bad idea.”
He would know. Amirkhani has already completed and filmed the experiment. In other words, it’s not like he’s soliciting drug money for a good time. The $1,000 fundraising goal is simply to pay for post-production.
I actually met Shawn McGrath, who is the head of developer ][ (pronounced right square bracket, left square bracket) at the independent games festival IndieCade last month. He mentioned this project to me and revealed that he’s actually not a big fan of his game being associated with drugs. McGrath acknowledged, though, that some people inevitably would make the connection, and, in this case, go the extra step.
Check out the in-depth “Dyad on Shrooms” write-up from The Penny Arcade Report’s Ben Kuchera for more insight into this trippy adventure. And if this is a film you’d like to see, by all means, donate to help make it happen.