Posted on October 23, 2012 AT 02:40am
I’m not really sure why this stuff keeps happening, but it does, and while it does, I feel like there is a need to address it. What I’m talking about is how more and more I seem to be finding connections in gaming between kids with a tough upbringing and outlets that magically highlight that. The biggest elephant in the room to that regard is the PSN title, Papo & Yo, which is in a way simply overwhelming. I’m not sure that I’ve ever felt that completely overwhelmed when playing a game before, so much so that playing that game was just incredibly tough for me to do. The kid hiding in the closet, turning his tormentor into a monster in his mind and fantasizing about a world where he can control things, damn, that is just tough. Even if the game itself had little “gamey” things wrong with it, as a form of commentary and expression it was amazing.
Growing up sucks and there is a lot of stuff that happens in a kid’s life that can make it even worse, and a game like Papo & Yo did a great job of highlighting how a kid who lives primarily in his head handles a childhood of abuse and mistrust. In the same vein is this short film released recently, titled “Escape.” Escape follows a young girl whose home life is anything but warm and inviting and how it comes to embody who she is. Her schoolwork gets neglected, she lives in her mind so much that during school she is unable to deal with the other children and finds herself wanting to escape to Hyrule from Legend of Zelda, where even if things are horrible, she can fix it and be a hero.
It really does a great job of showing how a creative kid can internalize the horrible things that the world throws at them and how they cope with it. If anything, it should speak to a generation of gamers who found themselves not all-that-comfortable in their own skin growing up and turning to games as their ‘escape.’ For those whose torment went beyond kids at school simply not liking you, then this will feel familiar and a bit uncomfortable for you as well, which in turn just means that this short film did a very good job of proving its point, right?
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