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In the Pause between the Ringing is a rumination about completion, about territorial margins and about the haunting of bodies and memories that are translated across borders. It is an adaption of an unpublished story written by Mir UmarHassan for the editor of the Malwa Chronicle in the July of 1958.  And it records the turbulent history of telephone mining in British India.

In a country stitched with telephone wires, it is not surprising to discover that a history of the telephone was first written in a book of Geology. The telephone is after all a noticeable fixture of the Indian landscape. And it's sonorous ringing has long heralded sudden and momentous changes in the minute destinies of its people.

The instrument can be found, amplifying the terrifying horns of Babur's army from the ragged edge of Chenab. Or clattering with the shouts of Chalukya craftsmen, that once echoed along the Badami temples.

It is even heard across time, like the chiseling of Ashoka's inscriptions that would manifest as an unresolved ringing in the inner ear of James Prinsep. Or when William Brooke O'Shaughnessy believed that, much like cholera riddled veins, these telegraph cables would let him pump restoratives straight into the heart of a troubled nation.

In this country of telephones and wires, phone directories become genealogies, telephone exchanges become places of pilgrimage and the ringing, clicking drone of its machinery - a metronome of the sporadic history of this land.

Our story is told amidst this tangle of cables and time. It is told when an inventor called, Iqbal awaits a telephone call and his perpetual pause forces a recollection of the terrifying history of the telephone in India.

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Outside of the beautifully written text sections, it’s another of Oleomingus’ achingly pretty environment explorers.

Rock Paper Shotgun.

Part interactive fiction, part audio drama, part exploratory game. In the Pause between the Ringing is a fascinating journey into the ontological impact of colonial occupation and resource exploitation through the lens of magical realism.

Rebind.io

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Created as a commission for the Videogames : Design/Play/Disrupt exhibition at V&A. Project Somewhere is supported by the Arts Practice programme at the India Foundation for the Arts, with support from Technicolor India.

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A Studio Oleomingus project.

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Click download now to get access to the following files:

In the Pause Between the Ringing (Win) 277 MB
In the Pause Between the Ringing (Linux) 287 MB
In the Pause Between the Ringing (Mac) 284 MB

Comments

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the environment art is really really awesome, two thumbs up!

That was really good! Out of curiosity, if it is adapted from a real story, where can I find it? What's the name?

Thank you so much! I am really glad you enjoyed it.

To be completely honest, the story that this game is purportedly adapted from does not exist, nor does its author Mir UmarHassan.  And both the story and its fictitious author are entirely our own constructs. But many of the places and characters that the tale makes a passing reference to - did indeed exist, people like William O'Shaughnessy who lead remarkable lives during the time when the game is set.

That makes it all the more impressive, actually. And yeah I did enjoy the references to the East India Company and such. I'll be looking forward to your future work!