Outer Wilds is a game that is humanized by an understanding and conceptualization of purpose that I have never felt. I am humbled by it. The game is still teaching me the higher purpose of progress and the importance of contributing to societal progress, no matter how doomed the universe may be. On the eve of climate change becoming irreversible, examining our individual relationships to progress and activism has never been more vital. Continue Reading
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is a game preoccupied with grief, atonement and confronting death. The apocalyptic, cyclical framework of the narrative allows players to interact with characters who fear their own deaths. The medieval memento mori tradition is an aesthetic and (sometimes) narrative trope by which medieval writers, artists and songwriters came to terms with their own mortality often through a confrontation with a corpse. Continue Reading
With 2017 smouldering around us, let’s talk about the apocalypse!
Many readings of post-apocalyptic media present the genre as inherently judgemental of humanity’s violent effects on the world, and on each other. It’s sometimes argued that the genre should foster empathy, responsibility and (possibly) change. Hyong-Jun Moon suggests that the genre possesses ‘the bold desire to imagine a totally different world by questioning the current order of things’ (Moon, 2014). In a video game, we might suggest that we have the opportunity to live through apocalypse and roleplay survival in a way that helps us cope with the fear of apocalypse occurring. Back in the 80s, Greenberg and colleagues suggested the idea of ‘terror management activities,’ that mitigate our fear of death. Continue Reading