When I was in the worst pain of my life, my mind began meandering through media landscapes to try to comfort me through those difficult moments. My mind first went through towns in EarthBound then to bits of ENDLESS WAR. I didn’t go to other games, but when I returned from that reality, when I recovered, and when I got back my better health, I realized all these meandries serve multitudinous purposes including reducing misery.
For years now, my right hand has occasionally gone numb. It hasn’t particularly been the inspiration for John in “The Story,” who had two of his fingers burned off in a childhood accident, but it seems like a weird coincidence. My hand went numb often enough to where I off-loaded some tasks to my left hand, so I’ve somewhat become ambidextrous. I’m not sure I’d call it a good talent.
Spoilers?: Minor [considering character explorations]
WANNA CONSIDER HOW INSPIRATIONS FROM LIFE CAN INFORMATION FICTION? AND HOW, SOMETIMES, THEY JUST HAPPEN NATURALLY? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
Until recently, I never saw much of the appeal of playing demos. Why play a demo when you can play the full game? Maybe it’s information overload in our current content culture, where you can spend a lifetime playing one small subsect of games without running out of new content, same for movies and albums? I ran into three examples that helped me figure out my stance: Without unlimited time, how can we play/do everything?
John and Trishna in “The Story” bond online over their shared interests in videogames, so once they have the opportunity to meet in person, videogames will be a hobby they share. I’ve imagined they primarily play long-form RPGs or other less competitive games, but what kinds specifically, and why? Would they be realistically based on real-world games or would they be imaginarily based on anything? Would they create their own small, amateur games as well?
Spoilers?: Minor [background character development]
WANNA CONSIDER HOW VIDEOGAMES REPRESENT A VALID STORYTELLING MEDIA? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
Why do you play games? Primarily, of course, because you can play games for myriad reasons depending on your interests. Is your primary reason to learn their game mechanics to overcome some impossible challenges or challenger? Or, do you play games to soak in their sceneries? EarthBound was my primary nexus point for videogames, literature, and perhaps even life perspective. EarthBound is similar to FF7, which I am currently playing, because it has superb writing.
I use escapist media most effectively to augment or de-escalate the emotions I’m feeling. If I’m feeling indifferent, finding something that reinvigorates my interests helps. If I’m angry, something to blow off steam helps. I like finding some new world to get lost in, and when I can name those sensations or at least approach that naming, I can quietly think, ‘yeah, let me just go punch a whole bunch of flowers for a while.’
How much effort do you put into a videogame before you give up? Since I’m a filthy casual that doesn’t find much self-betterment in overcoming difficult challenges in videogames, my tolerance is rather low. Still, if I respect the game well enough, like Axiom Verge, I’ll at least try. After close to two hours, though, through which I wrote about my experiences, I finally found my breaking point. Will I bend to future, similar challenges?
My first memory of narrative design is from some ZZT game. It was probably done in myriad other games and media, but there I was in the early 90s as an innocent kid playing games for fun, accidentally learning about narrative structures like callbacks and returns. When I interact with media now, it’s for exploring culturally-significant [or insignificant] titles, learning narrative structure, or casual, sometimes inattentive meandries, through media until I finish or drop them.
My writing ambitions sprouted from playing EarthBound at a young age. There is no other form of entertainment I have returned to more, and yet, I don’t consider it a videogame. There are no objectives or high scores. You’re playing it wrong if you’re merely trying to rush through to the ending credits. The more effort you invest into exploring the world and characters, the more you learn about yourself. Earthbound is a digital novel.
An important part of life is swimming upstream toward what you want. If you only want to play videogames, without conflict, and not doing a whole lot more than that, then you’ll need to establish the structure to do so unimpeded. If there’s a videogame you want to play but you have to do some chore like yardwork or home improvement, that’s not really an ideal lifestyle for you. Swimming toward that isn’t easy, however.