The many stories of unmemory. Part 2.
At first sight, unmemory tells the story of person who is tracking down the man who murdered his girlfriend. The difficulty, however, of locating the killer is compounded by the fact that he suffers from a rare, untreatable form of memory loss. Using notes, pictures and recorded messages he will have to solve the mystery and discover an uncomfortable truth.
But behind this thriller about love and revenge there are some more remarkable stories.
“We are what we remember”
unmemory is a story about how memories shape our identities. “We are what we remember” as Debbie, the leader of the Killer Kitten, says in “Confessions”, the final chapter of the story. Without our memories we feel lost and disorientated, we cannot trust anyone, but most important, we cannot trust ourselves. We could be a murderer or a hero, or both, depending on how facts are presented, because without memories we don’t know who we really are.
unmemory handles this theme not only in the story plot but dedicating each chapter to a different memory trigger. In this sense, game mechanics are designed to make the player feel the way time (chapter 2), music (3), pain (4), touch (5), taste (6), places (7) or smell (8) affect and bring back our memories.
There are several references to stories about the role of memory in shaping reality and our identities such us the movies Memento (Christopher Nolan) or Mulholland Drive (David Lynch), comics as Ardalen (Miguelanxo Prado) or Batman: The Killing Joke (Alan Moore)
“I kiss everything I kill, I kill everything I kiss”
But this noir story about memories actually hides the story of Debbie, Diane, Jamie, Kim and Little Rabbit, the Killer Kittens.
Ingenious, intelligent, seductive and empowered this all-girl art group fight against an unfair and sexist capitalist society thorough their art performances and their own radio program “Ladies Who Lust”, where they give voice to other artist women.
“I kiss everything I kill, I kill everything I kiss” is the motto of determined and empowered group of girls capable of transforming the most incredible robberies into a masterpiece of art with their wit and intelligence.
Some references to the role of women in the art of the heist are intentionally included in the game. Filibus, the name of the teddy bear in chapter 3, is a direct reference to the film Filibus, which was one of the first films ever presenting an all-powerful female character in full control of her life and actions. Or Les Vampires, the film used in Chapter 4 to hide some clues, where a group of mysterious thieves led by Irma Vep rob the Parisian elites.
“Any prank is a small revolution”
The Killer Kittens are an art group within the culture jamming movement that reached its peak in the 90s. No one knows how many they are, or who they are. The collective work is above the name of the members. Their artistic performances aim to expose the capitalist system using their own structures and operations and serve to explain their struggle for a more fair world. Changing the message of thousands of teddy bears filling supermarket shelves with empty caviar cans, or organizing a treasure hunt with a loot stolen from corrupt rich people are examples of their art pranks whose true purpose is a reflection on excesses and injustices of a consumerist society. The wit and forcefulness of their artistic actions to occupy the media are the vehicle to convey their message.
References such as artist Joey Skaggs, the Yes Men or the Barbie Liberation Organization have been used as a source of inspiration and are mentioned throughout the story. As well as the Killer Kittens, all of them want to change the world doing art pranks.
Note: The colorful balaclavas of the Killer Kittens are not an intentional tribute or reference to the famous Pussy Riot art group. We wanted them to use balaclavas in order to hide their identities. We took the idea from Les Vampires, but as we designed the “colors” puzzle in chapter 4, we found interesting to give each Killer Kitten a different color without noticing we were building a link to the Russian feminist protest punk rock and performance art group.