For the First Time, A Video Game Trailer Is Oscar-Eligible

Everything / Everything

The 2018 Oscars could include an unusual nomination. A video game trailer just became eligible for an Academy Award in the animated short film category, reports.

The nearly 11-minute trailer for Everything starts out following the movements of a bear through a forest, with a voice-over of musings on perception and our place in the world from Alan Watts, a British philosopher. The trailer zooms in, examining life at the microbial level, then pans back out to a galactic viewpoint.

The game itself is hard to explain outside of seeing it at work. Here’s what Polygon’s Colin Campbell described in his review in March:

The premise of Everything is simple. I begin as a pig, roaming green hillsides. I come close to another thing: a rock, a frog, a plant; it doesn’t matter. Let’s say it’s an oak tree. I click on that oak tree and I am no longer the pig, but the oak tree. I explore some more. The oak tree creeps across the landscape, seeking out new things to become.

That far-reaching premise makes the trailer feel more like a traditional short film than most, so it's not all that surprising that it took home a prize for best animation at the Vienna Shorts Festival in early June, putting it on the long list for the Oscar shorts nominations. The jury called it "beyond being entertaining [with] a strong poetic and philosophical theme."

This is the first time a game has qualified for an Academy Award, according to its director, Irish artist David OReilly. (OReilly isn’t a stranger to Hollywood—his previous work includes creating video game animations for the movie Her.)

Just because it’s eligible for an Oscar doesn’t mean it will get a nomination, but Everything has already made history (and earned a few glowing reviews along the way).