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Friday, August 29, 2008

"meaning of life" video game

You play as Tim, a tiny character scuttling his way across the screen through a series of mind-bending puzzles. You have to figure out when to move forward and backward in time.

As you play more, you realize that Tim has a lonely past — and is alienated from his lady love. And that all the moving backward and forward in time is a metaphor for Tim's attempts to figure out what went wrong in his relationship and where exactly he fits into the universe. When you rewind time, the screen turns red and the music plays backwards — it's disconcerting and disorienting, just as plumbing your own past can be unsettling.

"It's a meaning-of-life kind of game," says Braid designer Jonathan Blow. "Everything about our daily lives that we consider meaningful is predicated on the difference between past and future.
...

Roberts also says that unlike most game makers, who test-market their games incessantly, Blow wasn't trying to satisfy any particular audience. Rather, he felt driven to make the game, if for no other reason than to please himself.

Xbox's 'Braid' A Surprise Hit, For Surprising Reasons (npr.org)
What's interesting to me here is not so much the game itself as the drives at work in the person who created it.

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