Fact And Speculation On Sony Move’s Intriguing Title “Datura”


Datura for PS3 Move

Datura, a PS3 exclusive which will utilize the capabilities of the Move (as well as being available to play on a regular controller), will be available for play at the San Francisco GDC this week.


Plastic Studios, creator of the controversial PS3 demoscene Linger in Shadows, just officially presented its latest PS3 project—Datura, a PS3 title which will utilize the Sony Move technology.  (A demoscene is not to be confused with a gameAlthough Linger in Shadows had some interactive elements, it felt more like watching a movie.  But gamers can breathe easy—Datura will be a game.)

Game Director Michal Staniszewski of the Polish Plastic Studios said in the announcement that the Move controller will be implemented in “a quite innovative way.”

If “a quite innovative way” seems vague, it is on par with Staniszewski’s other comments, which include, “you are immersed into the game’s unique experimental narrative and original way of interaction,” and, “As you travel through the game, you will encounter choices and face your consequences.”

Well.  That was helpful.

To develop a more concrete idea of what Datura will be like, we must now depart from the dry pages of the press release into chasms of internet videos and speculation (in order of concrete-ness).

This video created a lot of interesting conversation when it was released back in September.  In my mind, it confirms a few things.  The visuals appear as spectacular as they were in Linger in Shadows.  The music must have been composed by the same person, since it is both distinct and compelling.  (Turns out, it was—by one Wojciech Golczewski, who has composed for a number of features films.)

And the plot may be as confounding as that of Linger in Shadows.

Now we enter the second phase:  speculation.

“Datura” is actually a highly toxic psychoactive flower, sometimes called Moonflower.


Datura PS3

The Datura symbol seen in videos released by Plastic Studios.


Datura flower

A datura flower, "Devil's Trumpet." It is both highly toxic and psychoactive.







If ingested, it can make you think that your father is Chewbaca or that you’ve found the ultimate holy scripture.  The effects seem to be closer to those of delirium than of hallucination.

It can also cause amnesia.

Whether or not Plastic Studios intended gamers to make the connection between the psychoactive substance and their own enigmatic title is debatable.  However the game does take place in a forest.  And there are mysterious doors that appear disconnected from anything resembling a building.  And there are a surprising number of pigs running around.  And you control a hand that does not appear in any way connected to a body.

If we hearken back to Linger in Shadows, there are many elements of that project which feel otherworldly, almost “trippy.”  Clearly this is not a new theme for Team Plastic.

We may not have to wait long for some concrete details from Sony.  They will be holding a Datura demo this week at the San Francisco Game Developers Conference.

Via Sony.





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