Games across the genres and across the decades have been mostly made with a singular narrative or direction of the story. Tales of heroes defeating villains, adventurers felling dragons, fathers reconnecting with their half-octopus offspring and dealing with a chef who wishes to cook them. No matter the thread that connects the gameplay from beginning to end, the story nestled within the book-ends of gaming is what causes us to grow attachments to them.
A main form of story development or creation is making them with a real-world comparison, event, or set of events. Games like Final Fantasy VII were made with a heavy focus on life, death, and the circle of life that keeps the planet going, whereas games like Metal Gear Solid tries to bring across the idea of countries, identify, and the wars that rage between them. These stories form an allegory of their real-world counterparts, sometimes even pulling on the developers own beliefs as well as sometimes events that occur in their life.
With the current state of the world, people staying in-doors to avoid a plague-like chapter in our lives, we’re all experiencing a new story. While some games are based on actual plagues like the Black Death, some are centred on just the idea of disease ALA Plague Inc. Others have the ideals of being quarantined or trapped with little-to-no access to the outside world, like the beginning stages of a Fallout game or just 60 Seconds!
While some games may be close to our current situation, Death Stranding follows a story of a world ravaged by almost invisible monsters that can kill those who don’t cover their mouths and hold their breath. People hide within bunkers, isolated from one another out in the boonies, relying on delivery people to stay stocked up on supplies. Short stocks of necessities require waiting periods before a valued restock comes in.
If you leave your mind to wander, or waste away doing nothing, you will slowly degrade as you await the end of the lockdown. Instead, just like the people in the bunkers of DS, actively seek out new activities or items of interest. Now is the time to pick up a new hobby, or start exercising. Finish that novel you put down due to lack of time, or restart your journey of learning an instrument. There are plenty of activities to be done within the confines of your own home, some readily available already whereas some may require you to make a small purchase here or there.
Talking about games, simulation games were made for those who could not do the particular jobs or events in real life. The so-called walking simulators may now appeal to you more, if the outside world still seems like a frightening climate, pick up Death Stranding or give Breath of the Wild a try. If survival is more your style, as you make it through this time, maybe The Long Dark or RimWorld will entertain you better.
It’s been a long time inside, and while rules change, numbers fluctuate, and timings alter, there is still a light at the end of the tunnel. Keep both your mind and your body active, and we’ll see you at the party waiting at the end.
Also, Cyberpunk 2077 is out next month, so you got something to be excited for there, I guess.
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