I Wish Videogames Was a Building We Could Live Inside

The Pear Game is immediately arresting, filled with chunky animations, deep hues, and brimming with careful personality. The player controls, well, the titular pear. They can run around, double jump, wall climb, crouch, fast fall, dash—a robust platforming system anticipating complex platforming. As I ran around the quaint little town my mind wandered to all of the time I spent in Mario hubs, gestating in each thing the game let me do, relieving stress by mindlessly rolling feelings through my hands and out of my mind. I got a handle on how to move the pear efficiently in the air and on the ground.

There’s no platforming in The Pear Game. Because the game’s physics and contextual interactions, hitboxes etc, feel very loose and unreliable, I felt this possibility unconsciously. There’s even a palpable sense of shame in how the game works and plays. Like the entire design of the game changed to accommodate an unfixable aspect.

Continue reading

Advertisements

A Letter to Steven Harmon

I found Awkward Dimensions Redux incredible in the way I find most things that are so brutally honest and forward. A lot of my favorite things are confessional. Maybe because it takes a lot to convince myself that I’m not alone. What I found so valuable in this game is just how much of it lined up to my personal situation and so I have to admit it’s a really particular game. That’s what it is though, isn’t it? A particular game about the particular time and space you were in when you made it. It’s a diary, a crystallized youth. So I was wondering how exactly to write about something clearly personal and I guess I decided the best way was to try to be personal in turn.

Continue reading

On Self-Loathing

cw: conceptualizations of suicide and self-hatred

Emiya Shirou in Fate/stay night is an exaggerated cipher and not for any clever purpose. He is effortlessly cool and collected. He labors and cares for others; primed to offer help to anyone for any reason, while expecting, even hoping, for nothing in return. All of his chores are done exactly on time, because being orderly is right, and it gives him peace of mind. Emiya exercises regularly, but not for the “vanity” of feeling comfortable with his body, he exercises to remain cautious and healthy. When practicing his magic, he labors until entirely exhausted, and habitually falls asleep on the spot. This personal skill offers no discernible benefit, it is done out of respect for his late mentor (and father) before any personal reasons.

In short, Emiya is insufferable. His only flaws, as they can be called as such, are being bullheaded, sexist, and lacking in certain social graces. These are yet still framed as further positives, masculine traits that are part of the character and charm of Emiya. His personal strivings are without expectations of others and that is infuriating. Perfection is a place that he alone can stand, from its vantage he will provide for all. To join him, to be equal, to expect an exchange of energies is not an affront to Emiya, because he recognizes no such thing. That is the only chink in his perfect posture, the blithe unawareness of the harm he causes. Emiya is not striving to provide, or to be that kind of person. He’s running away from being a bad person. Continue reading