Launcher Quote: “On April 13th one of the oxygen tanks of Apollo 13 exploded and severed – for 1.8 seconds – the pilots connection to earth. On days like these, I dream about space and what it’s like to be as separate from humanity as anyone has ever been. I dream about what it’s like to drift through the void of space and wonder: should someone come to join me, will I be able to speak their language? I wonder if I can become part of something new.”
It’s interesting to see a more complex version of the Meditation Games entry from a couple days ago where you had to monitor the simple activity of a baby breathing. Here, the idea of oxygen is taken to another level, as this entry tries to re-create the Apollo 13 crisis and the need to be able to solve it in order to ensure that the astronauts could do the very basic thing they needed to in order to live and just breathe.
It’s in these types of entries that the rule about no text in Meditation Games entries comes to bear here. You’re given a few instruments to try to operate with but not a terrible amount of idea as to how to operate them, leaving you to have to figure it out before your O2 levels drain all the way to the bottom. In a normal game, this would be cause for a bug, or a set of testing feedback that detailed how figuring out the UI of something in a time-based challenge to live wasn’t the best way to introduce someone to a game. But here, the sense of Star-Trek-Red-Alert type urgency with which you have to figure out how to feed more oxygen back into the levels fits. We take for granted the fact that we’re able to breathe, so to be potentially robbed of that, and of that basic function needed to live creates a sense of urgency that certainly must have been felt on some level by the astronauts of that very eventful, almost tragic, space flight.
Interestingly enough the developer highlights more the fact that drifting in space, as you look down on the earth, is an experience in an of itself, regardless of the circumstances, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a perspective change, a way that things shift in your mind when you perceive them from an angle you’d never seen before with your own eyes without pictures. It’s a way to think and shift your paradigm to see space as something that is not alien to us but is something we drift in, exist in, and potentially can incorporate into a new way of thinking about things. We’re not in space yet, at least not with the same regularity as we would when we fly somewhere else or go out on a drive – but one day, we may get there, and have to be ready to contemplate these questions.