310/365 – Meditation Games #310 – Exception-al Romance

Developer: Trever Berryman

Launcher Quote: “The Exception is about the short experience of glimpse into my time as a queer person in the Southern United States.”

One of the things that I think is important to realize as we grow up and mature is the fact that our circumstances growing up are not always the same circumstances as someone else who you might think is going through the same things as you. While the life events that you can generally attribute to everyone are somewhat similar, there’s always a sense of context that you tend to not realize until you’ve gotten older and had a chance to compare experiences with other people. One of these becomes starkly apparent in our modern culture as it relates to romance.

The developer put together a mini-game trying to depict their brief experiences as someone who is queer in the Southern US, trying to find romance. There are parallels, of course – trying to find someone through a dating app, having a correspondence with them, that sort of nervousness at meeting someone for the first time – but even though it isn’t explicit about it, there is a sense of exception to the rule to the entire experience, a sort of context that we should try to understand behind some of these events. The outcome, it seems, appears to be a positive one, but even the intertwining of hands in a joining together of those from different races is in and of itself a message sent about circumstances that aren’t as common in certain parts of the country or in certain cultures.

The acceptance and normalization of the different – whether that is by race, or by sexual orientation, or by religion (or absence thereof) is a value that in today’s modern culture, has found some purchase on the long climb/cliff of evolving culture. It’s one that many people, myself included, hope to find as the common and understood opinion among us humans. But the game appears to be a reminder that depending on where you look and who you talk to, that value might not quite be there yet in their eyes, that there are still challenges and prejudice and hate that need to be overcome, and that there is still a reason to be cautious, be aware, and most of all, be empathetic and accepting. It’s a good thought, and one which we would do well not to forget even as we go through some of the most hardline polarization on issues that we’ve seen in years.



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