263/365 – Meditation Games #263 – Wandering Without A Care

Developer: Pierrec

Launcher Quote: “Le 22 Septembre, aujour’hui, he m’en fous”

People talk a lot about how they value the idea of open worlds in their games, where they’re able to wander around to where they want to go without really feeling like they’re constrained or restricted in any way. There’s a lot of value that can be attributed to not having to feel like being directed or shown something, that you can do what you want, when you want, for as long as you want.

Older games, however, have a more difficult time expressing the value of this kind of exploration, probably because they, by necessity, are restricted to more basic methods of expression. While everyone tends to lambast E.T. from the Atari days, one wonders if had the game had a better way of being able to express itself technically if it would have been better received. Not that this game is comparable to that one, mind you, but I was reminded of the kind of aimless wandering, and the gradual lessening of care that that was happening, that occurred with that game as I tried to figure out where to go with this one.

Eventually, in this game, I found a border, what looked like a shore, and an art exhibit featuring a nude model, and these are the kinds of things that without context make an open exploration type game more intriguing. I found myself trying to wonder about the why, the how, and the what of such things being in the game, and whether or not I should care about them for their significance. The developer seemed to exude a sense of not caring about them, from the launcher quote, but one wonders if a bit of reverse psychology is going on with that – if we are supposed to care, exploring through a world the developer built, and trying to glean meaning from what appears at first to be random, but is actually significant in some way. An interesting question, to be sure.

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