Developer: Ian Martin
Launcher Quote: “something really bad happened in the summer of 2013. a few months later i took a bus to toronto.
i met an internet friend for the first time. she told me i was taller than she thought. her dad bought us A&W.
my friend told me nasa was going to prove we lived in a simulation. then we saw a concert together.
i stayed with a different friend from high school. all night i felt the simulation exploding around me.
the next day i took the bus home.”
Some of the launcher quotes from the project, which I try to read in order to get an inkling of what the developer is trying to say, are things that seem more like separate, stream of consciousness thoughts rather than something that delivers a bit of a message. Much of the time it’s a bit confusing, but all of the time it’s intriguing, kind of like a mystery that you’re trying to unravel. That mystery, and the consequences surrounding discovering it, appears to be the point of this Meditation Games entry, and one that is focused on how world-changing meeting a friend you’ve known online for the first time can be.
The internet affords us this sort of instant contact with people that can be as close as another city or as far as the opposite side of the globe. None of that distance, however, means that you can’t become friends, close friends, or even more than that with someone that you meet there. There’s a great deal of talk and summary from people who are both experts and non-experts that the interactions and bonds that you forge online can be just as strong if not stronger than those you may try to forge in real life. Taking that next step from chat and game-playing buddy to one that you know and see in real life, however, is nevertheless a potentially game changing experience.
The developer appeared to display, with their depiction of the traveling and meeting of their online friend for the first time, just how world-shattering it could be. It’s delivered in a way that it seems very science fiction (the idea that the simulation is exploding) but in a lot of ways it doesn’t decrease the amount of impact that meeting someone IRL as opposed to online can be. I’ve gone through the experience a few times myself, and it’s always a bit mind-altering – in how you perceive the person after you’ve met them, in how your IRL interactions differ from (or perhaps are actually the same as) the ones you go through online, and overall how that shifts your perspective. With the internet the way it is these days, it’s also now an experience that many internet users go through some time in life, and will likely need to learn to cope with rather than be scared of in some kind of reality-changing manner.