199/365 – Meditation Games #199 – SO Support

Developer: Brendan Keogh

Launcher Quote: “On July 18th, 2006, my now-wife and I walked to a park and had a chat and ultimately decided to start dating. Over the following years, Helen’s earnest belief in my early attempts at creative writing gave me the motivation to pursue them seriously, and eventually, to figure out just what to do with my life. Among all the cliche emo poetry and bad stories I wrote at this time was this sonnet for Helen. It’s pretty embarrassing, but it also reminds me just how much she grounded me.”

Support structures are supremely important to being able to accomplish what we want. While there’s a certain amount of individual dedication and strength required in order to be able to meet your goals and reach new heights, rarely are those goals met without a certain sense of assistance, whether that be from those around you who love you, from dedicated and loyal co-workers, or from friends who are there for you when you stumble. Even rarer are presentations which really show the importance of that structure, as your accomplishments usually take center stage, with the structure only referred to in passing, grateful remarks after the fact.

But poetry and writing is a bit different in this respect, which is perhaps part of why the developer picked a sonnet and a presentation of the player getting to hear the sonnet through picking up heart balloons symbolizing affection and care. A writing, especially one that is presented in a poetic manner, is a lasting impression, something that can endure past time and the life of the author, and something which can express, in words that are persistent rather than fleeting, the emotional impact of the subject – in this case, the developer’s significant other. The interactive element is just a bonus – a way to visually travel the words of the author as they display on the screen.

Part of the result of this ode to significant other support is why I keep playing games. They have potentially compelling narratives, told in stories and battles and messages and, as in the case with many JRPGs, togetherness and teamwork. The genre can change but the message can still be as impactful and important (the last game of the Uncharted series, for example, is a veritable love letter to…well, love and enduring through the hardships that a loving relationship goes through). The medium just makes the ability to present and refresh a more traditional means of communication, like poetry, and make it into something more through its interactivity and its visualization – which is probably why this entire project is compelling in and of itself.

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