Oracle is a bilingual (French/English) interactive electronic card game created during the first lockdown in France. In its imagery and structure, Oracle renders the atmosphere of this initial phase of the Covid-19 pandemic. It reflects the temptation to cling to bogus answers when reality fails to provide certainty. The game works with a set of 400 cards, mostly using imagery pulled off the Internet (a testimony to an immobile period when the computer screen was our only means of accessing the world). Randomly generated hands of three cards are paired with fortune cookie-type prophecies. These are sometimes absurd, sometimes topical. Viral animations spring out of nowhere. The game can be watched in Oracle-TV mode, with successive hands automatically following on from each other. It is also possible to intervene, following obscure and changing rules that mirror the pandemic itself, to try and influence what the Oracle says. While the cards are the same for both versions, the French and English texts are often different, due to varying media representations of the pandemic in French-speaking and English-speaking worlds.
Artist: Heidi Wood
Programmer: Florent Zambon