197/365 – Meditation Games #197 – Final Resting Place

Developer: Shelly Alon

Launcher Quote: “The day i buried my grandfather

My grandfather was buried in the jewish cemetery in Jerusalem.

We had to bury him there, those are the rules in Israel. He didn’t want to be buried there, but it was out of our hands.

It was a horrid place and a ugly ceremony conducted by the ultra-orthodox jews who run this place.

i miss him very much.”

Many of the entries in this project deal with death on some level or another, and I’ve seen entries that deal with the finality of it, look at it in a positive light in terms of cherishing memories, and try to come to a conclusion about whether or not it is the actual end of existence. But none of them so far have taken the political or religious tack that Shelly’s entry does, putting the burial of a grandfather at odds with the religious orthodoxy of a country itself embroiled in a battle about territory.

Running through the various parts of the map, I noticed a lot of greys and blacks amongst the sad dialogue that happened when you touched certain things or looked at certain people. This sered a dual purpose – a way to highlight the bleakness of the occasion of losing someone you love, but also the environment in which they were being buried in – a bloody and political hotbed that has spanned decades in its conflict and the violence that it has caused. There aren’t any uplifting messages or sugarcoating of what you’re seeing in the game – just a dose of harsh and direct reality that doesn’t shy away from what it’s trying to show you.

Regardless of the directness and somewhat bleak message being sent here, I think it’s a very necessary thing to show in the context of what the developer was feeling at the time of such profound loss and what happened after, as they weren’t able to really respect all of their departed loved one’s wishes. It’s important to show that there sometimes are times when things don’t go your way, and that there is strength to be found in enduring and getting past such hardships. These are the kinds of painful experiences that test us, and ultimately, if we let them, make us stronger.

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