We’ve seen Jordan’s contributions before in the form of “First Smile”, the 14th entry in Meditation Games, where a simple color change changed a worldview. With “First Laugh”, we get a little bit more of the same, and even though it’s a bit expected it still has the desired effect.
It’s a little bit appropriate that today’s Meditation Games entry from Brie and Linsey is the 42nd one, because of the fact that Douglas Adams once penned a work that set it as the answer to life, the universe, and everything. True to the moniker for the project, Seek is a little mini game where you are contemplative in a beautiful view of the Northern Lights as you pick things and symbols to be present as part of your reverie.
The journey to find one’s identity appears to be a recent theme in some of the latest Meditation Games entries, and this one is no exception. Set in a relaxing blue sky and bright colors, you manipulate a fox/serpent hybrid creature through and into various places on a planet, coming out as a different looking version of the creature once you enter one of the areas. It’s a very placid type of environment, and the movement of the creature you control is flowing and slow, creating a feeling of contentment as you move from place to place in the planetscape.
Developer: Isaac Schankler Launcher Quote: “No Moon I began to think of him as the Empty Suit. He carries out instructions without thinking, without feeling, without meaning. He is floating in a starfield with no landmarks. He is out of alignment. Isaac Schankler Feb. 9, 2018″ Today’s entry is called No Moon, Continue Reading
Loss is a part of life, and loss of loved ones or people who we find precious even moreso. Games, like other media, take a stab at times at eliciting the feeling of loss, whether that is through poignant scenes preceded by a variety of character-building meant to establish an emotional connection, or through making you get used to the fact that you have someone with you during the course of the game before you lose them, or through the doomed character themselves being a significant part of the plot. The results are typically varied – not everyone can really create the scene that occurs when Sephiroth kills Aerith in Final Fantasy VII, after all – but the ones that do succeed tend to make a lasting impression.
Watching as you control the figures throwing more and more items onto the bonfire and seeing the shadow of the bonfire lengthen and grow stronger with every item that it was fed was a bit chilling for me, on a variety of levels. On a literal level, the destruction of works has never sat with me. We are ephemeral creatures, and the way that history has been passed on, whether that is to know the philosophy, ideas, or achievements of the time, has been to write it down, mark it, and give it more permanence than it would normally have if it was just oral history. Destroying those items, whether out of some sense of purity or out of (more likely) fear is disturbing to me, because doing so removes, as the launcher quote states, things that are irreplaceable.
Today’s game from Laura Michet, one in which you travel from screen to screen picking up parts and pieces in a seemingly infinite loop, reminded me of the old school Atari games where you’d travel around, sometimes aimlessly, looking to achieve the goal of the game with a little exploration. But collecting everything and potentially just winning that way doesn’t appear to be the point of today’s entry. What I did see was moving along, picking up what I thought were pieces of myself from the past, and trying to keep them, only to find more to pick up on the next screen.
Life lessons are a common sort of theme in games. Some of them are subtle, not really obvious, and only present themselves through the journey of the game. Others are extremely direct and in-your-face about what they are seeking to teach you or show you. The depth of the lesson can also be dependent on where and how it’s presented in the game. For RPGs, for example, the plot is a big mover and shaker as far as trying to show you something about life, while action and adventure games may rely on the journey or quest itself to show you what message they’re trying to send.
The theme of finding yourself and your identity continues today with Freya Campbell’s game about moving to a place where they felt like they truly belonged, after a long journey of feeling like they didn’t. This, too, is a theme you see in many games, where the characters struggle to find a sense of self-worth and a place in the world where they tend to start out not belonging, or in some cases shunned or excluded from society as a whole. Like the identity quest from my previous entry, it’s a theme as old as video games have been around, and while they share similarities, it’s not exactly the same.
Developer Credits: Quinn Crossley, InspectorJ, Monk Turner, Fascinoma Launcher Quote: “Destroy your old self Forge a true identity All in three minutes” One of the most common tropes in games, especially when it comes to JRPGs, is the quest to have the protagonist, and/or their surrounding cast of characters, find their Continue Reading