37/365 – Meditation Games #37 – Self-Pieces of History

Developer: Laura Michet

Launcher Quote: “I turned 29 on February 6, 2018. I went for sushi at a fancy restaurant with my boyfriend. It was the kind of place with a fixed-price menu, and a famous chef, and rules about whether you were allowed to ask for additional salt. It was a very good evening. On almost the same day, I received a new job offer and put in notice at my previous workplace.

On February 29, 2019, I will be 30 years old, which is the same, I hear, as being dead. I cannot even imagine what I will be like or who I will be on that day. I will be working somewhere else. The US 2018 midterm elections will have already occurred, and the people elected will be taking office. Tell me: is the world such a different place yet? I dearly hope it has changed. I dearly hope I have changed.

Time makes us aliens to ourselves, and it makes the people of the past aliens to us. I once thought I would be a historian.

Now I am only a historian of myself – not even a very accurate one.”

Today’s game from Laura Michet, one in which you travel from screen to screen picking up parts and pieces in a seemingly infinite loop, reminded me of the old school Atari games where you’d travel around, sometimes aimlessly, looking to achieve the goal of the game with a little exploration. But collecting everything and potentially just winning that way  doesn’t appear to be the point of today’s entry. What I did see was moving along, picking up what I thought were pieces of myself from the past, and trying to keep them, only to find more to pick up on the next screen.

It’s true that as we continue life, we can look back on the past and see a self that is completely unfamiliar to us. As we age and have more experiences, it’s much more likely that we’ll change, or morph, or shift into someone different, and that happens for a variety of reasons – life events, priorities, wins and losses. All of it contributes to the make up of who we are. It’s interesting that the developer chooses a year as the time period where they believe that they’ll have potentially changed the most, and I can’t really disagree with that, especially in the context of the fact that it surrounds how a major life event can influence someone. I’ve seen people take on a new challenge, job, life direction, and habits and in a year see massive or extreme change to how they view the world. It’s certainly not a guarantee, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility, either.

When these changes happen, and we look to be reflective on where we were in relation to where we are currently, there can be a tendency to pick up those past parts of ourselves – either by looking at a photograph, or reading an old post, or being reminded via social media or from a friend. These are the sorts of things that I see the player doing when playing through today’s game – these pieces of self-history can be scattered about, and picking them up is a simple process. But it’s also likely to be one that takes a considerable amount of time and effort – with the further back you go, the harder it is to pick up the pieces and remember them clearly. That might not be the important thing though. The important thing, perhaps, might be to try to be a better historian for yourself, as Laura tries to be, and to remember where you came from on the path to being better on the path that you’re currently on.

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