235/365 – Meditation Games #235 – Social Syncing Strain

Developer Credits: Brieyh’leai Simmons, Nic Lupfer

Launcher Quote: “A new school year.

Everything is starting up again.

It’s so difficult to speak to people sometimes,

I find myself struggling to make a connection.”

As school approaches, and those who have been away from academic pursuits wince as they count down the days to getting back to the grind, there’s also an element of difficulty that those who have trouble trying to make sure their social awkwardness doesn’t leak out too far when trying to meet new fellow students, teachers, and other connections that they may have to establish in the course of their time in school. I know that for me, until I changed my outlook on things after arriving in college, I was in this group, and the struggle to do so is perfectly depicted in this entry.

The thing that I found neat about the presentation in this game was the fact that the social anxiety and difficulty with which you have to try to establish a connection with the other students is multi-layered. There was a fog that surrounded the school hallway, symbolizing the fog that obscures and makes social interaction unclear. There’s the mini-game of trying to talk to someone, which involved trying to sync two circles together and having to maintain that sync throughout the interaction. And there was the fact that things seemed faceless, uncertain, and unclear as far as destination. All of these things seem to be a way of trying to depict that sort of social syncing strain, that anxiety that threatens to overtake those who are just coming back to school for a new year with some of the same friends as well as some new ones.

I seem to remember that kind of foggy uncertainty myself, and it was only through being in a new environment with people who accepted the awkward parts of me that I managed to crawl out of my shell to try to combat that, make things more certain, and in the end, learn how to take a more devil may care, assertive stance to my social interactions. That doesn’t mean that those young folks who are going through school have it any easier to do that, and this game is a nice reminder that it isn’t always that simple to break out, especially in a new situation in the challenges of school socialization.

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