Launcher Quote: “Sometimes I would fall into a really dark place.
That’s where she found me.
She’s gone now.
But I’m starting to think that’s ok
As I take a deep breath I know.
I’ll find my way again.”
Loss is something that can be seemingly difficult to work through, and there are many ways to show that. When losing something precious, part of the experience is not just going through that loss, but how you ultimately try to work past that loss and hopefully break through to the other side. Games have tried on a lot of levels to be able to depict the emotional impact and the way that characters can ultimately work through something like loss – sometimes in literal ways. But the way that I’ve felt that has the best method of doing that is through symbolism, through figurative presentation, and through metaphor.
There’s a highly appropriate sense of metaphor in this particular entry for the Meditation Games project. In many ways, a swimming game where you find your way to the end and to the surface has a ton of comparisons to depicting how loss can sometimes be a trial to overcome, how it can be not straightforward to deal with, but which also still has a way to move past and find that light at the end of the symbolic tunnel. In this case, it’s swimming with and sometimes against the current, trying to work your way around different paths with varying senses of uncertainty, and eventually finding your way to the surface. The dangers of drowning, being carried away with the current, or finding the wrong path to swim down, as well as the natural resistance encountered when swimming are all comparisons to being able to deal with loss and getting through it – but not without hazards.
Most of us have experienced loss at some point in our lives, and the coping mechanisms have varied – but the point, I think, is to show that it is possible to fight through it and find your way again, as the developer intended.