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).


Summer's Gone

Posted by Cha

[Trigger warning: Suicide, Alcohol]

Amazingly, the first sip can still make me shudder as it goes down, as though it's an unfamiliar substance. Even this is part of the ritual; a tiny moment of uncertainty before surrendering to it. Deep red poison sliding down my throat. It becomes an internal crimson stream, promising to smooth the mind's anxious furrows the way water acts on river stones. A pretty lie, but sometimes that's enough.

When the glass isn't there a part of me still reaches for it and, ever unsatisfied, continues to search restlessly for the thing that's missing. No matter how many distractions and substitutes I find part of me will still be looking for that simple release. I look for ways to ignore it and box my compulsions away, taping them down with personal rules and schedules. Sometimes I even follow them.

It's okay. Just so long as the stream doesn't swell and threaten to flood. I'm okay.


My Life as a Sunbro

Posted by Cha

I completely avoided true multiplayer in Demon's Souls, but adored the online elements anyway. There was a fantastic feeling of shared struggle whenever I caught a glimpse of another player's ghostly form. As a solo adventurer the limited interaction actually emphasised the sense of loneliness. Our worlds were linked and we were pursuing the same goals, but there was a wide gap between us. We couldn't communicate directly, but I learnt lessons from their spilled blood and found safe places, shortcuts, and hidden treasure thanks to their scrawled messages.

No community is perfect, and I couldn't completely trust other players. There certainly were misleading messages tempting me to fall to my death. But on balance Demon's Souls players were more helpful than harmful.