Sarah Peters

100 years into the future, the city is hot, humid, and stormy. Temperatures have risen–and so have the flood waters. Public infrastructure has been overwhelmed by storms, which are frequent and extreme. Water, while abundant, is often not clean enough to drink or swim in. Despite all of this (or perhaps because of it) the city residents remain active and optimistic. With disaster as their common bond, they rise to the challenge of keeping their cherished city above water.

Lately, however, residents have been having trouble with their memory. After each storm, murmurs of “aquanesia” circulate as more folks seem dazed, disoriented, and forgetful. What is this mysterious aquanesia? Can you find a cure before you too forget?

Water has memory – do you?

Aquanesia is a location-based game and performance set 100 years in the future in which players test their skills at different watershed-based activities to decipher a set of clues, which will help them unlock the mystery of how and why people are losing their memories of the past century.

The goal of Aquanesia is to create a fun-filled adventure that gets people outside to play and connect with their city and local watershed on bicycle or on foot. During the process of solving the game, they will become familiar with specific aspects of the local environment as well as general principles about a watershed and clean water. The intended result of the game is that players are encouraged to become ever-better stewards of their watershed.

Aquanesia‘s predecessor is Ruination: City of Dust, a multi-player, location-based, bicycle-powered game that Northern created in 2014 in collaboration with the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, game designer Ken Ecklund and with support from Minneapolis Parks and Recreation.

Thanks to an Arts Touring grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Northern is working with several outstate partners to stage Aquanesia in Grand Rapids and Rochester, MN in September and October, 2018.

Aquanesia Team

Dramaturg: Elle Thoni
Game Design: Kim Loken
Art Director: Donald Thomas
Production and Project Management: Northern
Project Partners Rochester: Rochester Art Center, Zumbro Watershed Partnership
Project Partners Grand Rapids: Reif Performing Arts Center, Itasca Waters


Aquanesia will take place Sept. 29 and 30 in Grand Rapids and October 6 and 7 in Rochester.

Sign up to play here!

For more information, write to