Developer: Caelan Pollock
Launcher Quote: “It is your birthday tomorrow. Today is the last day you will ever be five.”
My parents were always the ones that were taking photos and snapping memories of me as I grew up. I remember having at least one dedicated set of minutes to picture taking at every special occasion, whether it was birthdays, first tooth having fallen out, graduations, you name it. Always they’d follow behind, taking memories that were likely not to be lived again, despite my sometimes annoyance at having to do so.
Today’s game reminded me of that. It’s a simple walk in the park and you’re followed behind by your patient parent, being photographed as you decide to interact with objects along the way. It seems normal at first – until you’re taken on a bit of a sci-fi trip through what appears to be a kiddie pool but which turns out to be a weirdly long and narrow path to another dimension. Until you get there, the number of pictures taken can be a lot, depending on how long you spend on each activity on the park path. The parent, like any real life parent intent on capturing memories, insists on repeatedly taking the same picture, even if you weren’t really doing much different than the last time they took one. This is the parents’ way of guaranteeing they get a memory, or at least a few they can pick from so that they’re sure they will be picking one up that they’ll be able to keep. It was definitely reminiscent of the photography obsession my parents had with the things that I did.
But that doesn’t seem to be a bad thing, now that I’m older. A moment’s worth of annoyance turned into an unforgettable memory or set of memories that really meant something/ Sure, it took a bit of a sci-fi twist to show that you actually came out on the other side in an alternate reality, but that just emphasizes the value and need for these memories to be made. You never know when things might change or become different, which is why I’m more grateful than I am annoyed that so much from my childhood was saved as far as pictures go. As the next generation comes along, that kind of memory’s value is passed down, repeating the cycle for creating something indelible, lest it potentially slip away from you for whatever circumstances, at any time. It’s a sobering thought in an otherwise supposedly happy occasion.