247/365 – Meditation Games #247 – Back to School

Developer Credits: Jesus Marquez, Alex Sanchez

Launcher Quote: “The first day of any school year can be a sad and frustrating day.

First day of high school was not only that. It was a day loaded with fear. The fear of something new and probably horrifying, the fear of not fulfilling expectaitons.

And, more worryingly, the fear of not fitting in.”

The first day of school had always been, for me, a mix of trepidation and anticipation for me. I was afraid for the new things that I’d have to experience and for the people that I’d have to meet and interact with, but also looking forward to new and interesting experiences that result from those. It’s a bit of a mixed experience that I went through, but today’s entry appears to focus more on the former rather than the latter.

The sort of stark difference between the others in the fictional school that game is set in and the player is part of trying to illustrate this fear of having to be different and the lack of being accepted into the crowd. The fact that the others in the school look both grey, large, and intimidating is most certainly a purposeful depiction for the non-player characters in this game – it’s a way to try to show, even though the reality isn’t reflective of this, of how mentally difficult it can be to get past that feeling of wanting to be accepted and even to look and be seen like the others are seen.

Curiously enough, though, this depiction of the player ends up being a message that you don’t need to be like everyone else to find acceptance, as the game ends with you finding someone that isn’t that much different than you as far as looks and mentality. The message being sent is that you don’t have to conform to the crowd in order to find companionship and acceptance from the first day back to school, and that there are always others who you may have something in common with that you can use to get past the anxiety of a new year.

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