Developer: Jonathan “Ellian” Rousseau
Launcher Quote: “Now, come on. We’ve all watched those movies and read those books. I sure have.
You know, those stories where, like, someone is lonely, withdrawn or cut off from a community. The new kid in school, sitting on their own. The misunderstood one. The nerdy guy. The awkward coworker. And so on.
We’d watch those movie, where the hero, or a group of friends, or someone – anyone would invite that person in the group, revealing them to be a great friend, a lovable one, a great addition to the team, sometimes the best character of the show!
Everyone love these movies!
So why is it that no one actually applies these principles in real life?
Think about you can change a person’s life just by letting them into yours.”
The developer of today’s meditation games entry poses a question about inclusion that I think resonates pretty strongly with a lot of us, especially those of us who grew up awkward and geeky and perhaps didn’t really have the internet or other mediums to find a place to fit in. Unlike the movies, where the awkward person can sometimes turn out to be the hero, there is definitely a sense where that doesn’t really happen as much in real life – and in fact, the opposite can happen, where someone can be shunned or even told that they don’t matter and that they’ll never fit in.
I definitely got that sense trying to play today’s game, as I struggled not just to be included but also how to be included. The lack of direction as far as gameplay goes that is typical for these games plays into the fact that in real life, those that are not invited in to the group are not only made to feel like they aren’t included, but that they have to figure out for themselves how exactly to be included as a whole. There’s sometimes no playbook for trying to be in the in crowd depending on how comfortable you as a person feel to try to get a foot in the door, and thus a great deal of struggle that happens trying to get there, without any guarantee of success.
I’ve been fortunate to have been included after being excluded, and to find my own set of people that I feel comfortable around and could feel a sense of belonging. It’s why I’ve been motivated to include people generally when it came time to pay back the favor, and be empathetic to the difficulty of wanting to feel like you’re on the in crowd. It’s potentially something that can follow someone around if they’re never made to feel like they belong, and has the potential for some very negative consequences. Gamers in general have had an issue with trying to be more inclusive of others precisely because they may have been excluded themselves, and then don’t decide to pay it forward when it’s their turn. We could definitely be better, and it’s nice to have a reminder of that in game form.