48/365 – Meditation Games #48 – Divergent Paths

Developer: Marc Loths

Launcher Quote: “Paths diverge
Ein Abschied
An arrival
Ein neues Zuhause
No place like home
Daheim in Zwei Orten
And nowhere at once” 

Decision points and divergent paths have been a staple in games for many years now. Even if some people are cynical about choice in games to the point of declaring them as wider, yet still linear, narratives, it’s still important to be able to have choices to make. Today’s entry by Marc seems to take the visualization of the divergent choice to the extreme, making an effort to present two views of the same room simultaneously in an optical illusion meant to confuse and befuddle a bit.

Rarely, I think, do we get to see such choice laid out to us from end to end through our eyes. We’re left most times to visualize in our heads what a choice might be like, what path it might follow, and where it might end. The game seems to give you both directions at once, and instead of merging them together like you would with a left and right eye’s meshing of distinct points of view, shows them to you splitting off. It makes moving forward and getting your bearings pretty difficult, which I think is part of the intent. Many a time I’d try to walk through to where I thought I was supposed to go, only to in reality be walking straight into one of the blocks on the floor and not going anywhere. Gameplay wise, it made things very confusing – again, likely the point of the game presenting itself as such.

The reason for this sort of disorientation is something I took to mean that we should not worry about trying to guess every part or piece down every path we pick from. Overthinking things and trying to see both sides of the whole to their ends is an impossible, if not confusing task. At some point either a compromise or a single path choice is apparently the thing to do, rather than trying to have a wide-ranging scope of ideas at hand that may not even turn out the way you’re thinking. I don’t know if I agree 100% with the premise if this is the case – after all, planning for multiple outcomes is a matter of being prepared, not being paranoid. But the message is one of perspective and practicality – at least that’s what I think was being said here. While there might be parallel universes where different choices are made, twisting yourself in knots about those possibilities is not the way to ultimately make progress.

 

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *