Questioning "A Closed World"

Posted by Cha

Late last year, A Closed World attracted attention for its queer themes. It was a summer project by a group from the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, so all credit to them for creating something polished and interesting enough to talk about. Unfortunately, it's not quite what it says on the tin and it's difficult not to be disappointed about it.

Initially, the description simply claimed to include "LGBTQ-friendly content", but they presumably got sick of people pointing out that the binary gender selection isn't exactly T-friendly, because now it just claims it "deals with queer issues". Queer issues… like suicide rates, unequal marriage rights, or discrimination in general? Apparently not.


A Puzzle of Thoughts

Posted by Cha

I was recently thinking about Phantasmagoria: a puzzle of flesh. Which I played in High School, so it's stretching the memory a bit. It isn't a game I'd ever recommend, by the way, but there were some aspects of it I found interesting. It is a far more mental story than the first Phantasmagoria game. And it was brave enough to explore abuse, mental illness and its treatment, bisexuality, and S&M. I had some admiration for a game attempting so many difficult themes, though ultimately it really disappoints.

If you don't want spoilers for a old, not terribly good adventure game then stop reading now.

At the time, I didn't understand the ending. After exploring a relatively serious real-world setting, we suddenly find ourselves in a brightly-coloured, alien landscape. I assumed this was part of the main character's hallucinations, which had been getting worse throughout the game. But it was still very jarring.