A Personal Take on Life


I believe that the most interesting characteristic of the "art" games that we have played in class like Every Day the Same Dream and One Chance is that every player can relate to the game differently. I would like to discuss my personal impressions of Passage.

Quite often I have an emotional and philosophical debate with myself with the topic of discussion being what my life means to me. I doubt this is very profound for I am sure every single person on Earth has this same quandary but this rather generic pondering still holds value. I fight back and forth with myself about whether or not I am making the right choices. Should I play a more active role in my community? Was attending UMW the right decision? Was attending college the right decision? Should I be spending less social time and more time on school work? Do I find my life meaningful and fun, or is it too fun and not meaningful enough? These are the questions I lose myself in, and I am finding it very difficult to find my way out.

After downloading the game and playing it for the first time, there was some sort of bug in which the narrow passage that your character is stuck in started to zoom in and out very quickly and nauseatingly. The sporadic camera behavior eerily reminded me of my spinning thoughts.

I quickly exited out of the game and started it anew, this time yielding a game that decided to cooperate. I immediately noticed how blurry the graphics were on the far left and right sides of the screen. I proceeded to walk from left to right, find my true love, rather easily I might add, and eventually die soon after her death.

My initial reaction to the game was knee jerk: that it was boring, sad, and without a legitimate goal, just like real life. After putting my sardonic teen angst behind me, I thought a little harder.

Passage told me to slow down and to embrace the moment, as cliché as that may sound. The blurred graphics illustrating the far left and right sides of the screen force you to not give a damn what is coming next but instead to focus on your current situation. After my wife died, the pace of the game slowed down, the music slowed and your character's pace slowed to a hobble until you yourself died. This reminded me of the Pixar animated film Up when the old man, who led such a full and animated life, had to say goodbye to his wife of forty plus years.

It seems to me that a perfect life is one void of regrets, one that you live entirely in the moment, one that exists only to be around those that you love.

Sadly, it took an internet video game to open my eyes, settle my restless thoughts, and persuade me that maybe my life will be just fine if I take a page out of Passage.

Play the game with an open mind and who knows how much it will change you.


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