In the long tradition of playing RPG games with good stories behind them in my family, I recently watched my sister play Journey, produced by ThatGameCompany. Mind you I may have more to say about it later, but these are my initial thoughts.
A story with no words that says so much. Its rare, I think, to find a game and a story that so successfully portrays a story from a kind of non-anthropocentric perspective yet involves a lesson for humankind as well.
I loved it. Too short but so sweet and beautiful. The graphics are exquisite. I wish I could have the art book and the soundtrack for this, but that’s working class/poor people dreams and fantasies of grandeur.
As a writer and obviously something of a critic, it was nice to not to need words for the duration of this story. Not quibbling or feeling I’d be disappointed over how the writers decided to say something or the portrayals of gender, race, or other politics and identities.(Despite being a little skeptical when the big white ones popped up, since I view whiteness as an overused and over-represented symbol.) Words would only have screwed the whole thing up.
I was really focused on who the being in this game was and learning who they are, wanting to understand this world, wanting to explore where the story was leading, and wanting to see more of what was left of this amazing world.
As I played, I reflected, as I often do, on my own journey as a young Black woman trying to deal with the struggles of my own life and the consequences of living in a world that may someday face the same fate as the race in the story.
One observation I made, however, was that the game starts over at the end. All things must end and yet what does it say that the game is just an endless revelation loop of the fate of this race? The end of the story leads you directly back to the beginning of the story. All it does is send you back to the beginning to be filled with wonder and then struggle all over again.
I have to play the game over again to hear all of the music since these lousy apartments had construction going right outside my door for eight days…
I’d like to know more about the civilization in the game. I’d love to see a longer version tho the tightness of the story and the nature of it may not permit for there to be much more to it….