Developer: Javier Calderon
Launcher Quote: “Today, two years ago, I started a relationship with my current partner. They’ve been trying their best to support me since then, and I don’t think I couldn’ve made it this long without them.
This last two years have been really tough. I’ve faced loneliness after I moved to a new city on my own. I’ve faced fear after knowing a very close relative was diagnosed with leukemia. I’ve faced anxiety after thinking I couldn’t hold my current job for much longer, because I thought I was a faur.
Despite that, I made it through every single wall on my path, thanks to the strength and support of my partner. I want you to think about the ones that stay near you when you’re in trouble, even if you forget about them sometimes: your family, your closest friends, your significant other.
Whenever I feel lost in my new home, I hold a small token, a wooden otter that fits with a second identical one that belongs to my partner, to remember that I can always count on them, no matter how far we are or how alone we feel in that moment.
This way I know I’m safe and loved.”
When you find someone that you can rely on and count on, as Javier appears to have in today’s Meditation Game, there is a sense of confidence and even invincibility that surrounds you, much like a cloak on a cold winter day. You feel like you can take on anything, work through anything, and stand any hardship. You feel that you can pick up cars, carry children out of a burning building, and in essence be ready for the inevitable challenges the world throws at you. Finding someone like this is a rare gift, and whether it show up in the form of a close family member, someone you become involved with romantically or someone who becomes one of your best friends, it’s a great feeling to have.
From a games perspective, platformers and action games have traditionally been depicted as single player affairs, but every so often (and more commonly in some entries in both genres) the idea of having a partner or someone to help you through some of the more difficult and challenging elements of the game (or which require two people to do) is more prominent. You’re usually shown an obstacle that you can’t get past under your own power, or a puzzle to solve that requires more than one person to get the answer for, or given a challenge that requires more than one person to deal with, and then have to work together to solve it. These are things deliberately done to insert the mindset that you can’t shoulder the world’s burdens on your own all the time, that it’s not always the singular hero or heroine that determines being able to win in the end.
Much as it is with a lot of games, some of this imitates life as well. While it’s possible to go through life solo, there’s a certain sense of power, protection, and possibilities only doable if you have a partner to work with. The game that was put out today also displays this in the context of being rescued or helped when things get rough, and that’s part of what shouldn’t be underestimated, either. The triumph through adversity mindset and narrative that exists today sometimes doesn’t happen without someone else to help prop you up and support you through those difficulties, which is part of what makes the depiction of your rescue all the more powerful. It’s a combination of togetherness and victory that sends a message of both teamwork and partnership, and something that shouldn’t be underestimated in today’s sometimes difficult and thorny life challenges.