The Cowardly Journey

Posted by Cha

I moved lightly over the sand, leaving trails behind me. I had to admit, it felt pretty good skimming along. But there was so much ground to cover, and limited energy to explore it with. The pace soon slowed, energy depleted, and I imagined myself grumpily kicking sand around with my foot. Stupid sand.

I loved flower, but something made me far more dubious about thatgamecompany's Journey. I went in feeling flippant and impatient. I dared it to try and move me, not expecting to find anything particularly meaningful. I fought against whatever emotion the game was trying to achieve (not always effectively, I'll admit).


Veni, Vidi, Cecidi

Posted by Cha

This post is part of the Blogs of the Round Table at Critical Distance, on the topic of "Fear and Loathing in Game Spaces".

Just being in the world and around other people is scary and exhausting for me. I forget sometimes, because to me it's completely normal. I've learnt to distance myself from the stronger emotions, leaving behind a constant, dull anxiety. But still, no-one would mistake it for anything but fear. I'm not shy, but still perpetually skittish and closed off from the people around me.


Heavy Moments

Posted by Cha

Heavy Rain is like a painting best viewed from a distance. I could run with the emotions of the moment, as though it all made perfect sense. Once you analyse the details it's clearly full of holes and falls apart.

I will certainly stand up for Heavy Rain's potential and vision. But there is something more than just that. I'm an easy target emotionally, but it wasn't just sensitive people like me who were affected. I watched friends trying desperately to overcome a stressful situation. They were caught up in the moment just as strongly as I was. There's a power to that, however easy it may be to pick on the game's flaws.

There are many flaws I can't defend, and wouldn't try. But something I believe helped my Heavy Rain experience immensely was not interpreting everything literally. It's (mostly) a real world setting, yes, but I find it's more concerned with painting an emotional picture than a logical one.


Silent Hill Confessions

Posted by Cha

I love the Silent Hill series. I particularly enjoy trying to understand how the town interacts with a character's psyche. The logic can change a lot with each new character. For example, a religious symbol may be powerful in one game and completely useless in another. Add the residual impact of past events and emotions, as well as elements attributable to the town itself, and you have a lot of complexity to work with.


Ocean Fears

Posted by Cha

I'm having a quiet long weekend, and so I've been on a bit of a game binge the last couple of days. This may have been a bad idea, as my shoulder now hates me.

I have another guest review up on Game people, for Endless Ocean 2.

Yes, I really am afraid of the ocean. I quite enjoyed writing about that. Thinking about it now, I suppose I'm interested in the relationship between games and fear. Not so much intentionally scary games, but how elements in games relate to facing fears. Is a virtual world an easier place to deal with things? I suppose Endless Ocean 2 is an example where this applies for me, though I wouldn't say it made me any more likely to seek out ocean experiences in the real world.