Wednesday 17 January, 2018
Game Log 1, Part 2 - 1979 Revolution: Black Friday
If I had to describe playing this game in one word, it would be intense. I picked up where I left off last play session – in the streets during a massive demonstration – and continued to wander around and take photographs. Like last time, I read every snippet of history I could find, and tried to interact with everything I could. At this point, the tone of the game had switched from dark and terrifying to bright and energetic, with upbeat music and commentary from the protagonist’s friend. It stayed that way until I finally reached the front of the protests, at which point the army came in and grabbed the main speaker. Another friend of the protagonist threw rocks at the soldiers, then someone chucked an explosive, and from there it all went nuts.
After running for my life and nearly losing my camera, I had to pull shards of glass out of a man’s head and bandage him up, and then grab any evidence that he had been there, since it turned out he was the speaker that nearly got hauled away. The game then cut back to the interrogation room the story started in, which I had mixed feelings about. I was glad it happened in a narrative sense, since it made the first scene there make more sense – they needed to establish the place so they could go back there throughout the story – but the scene and choices that followed were rough. I had to pick between spilling all the secrets to the interrogator, or watching my character’s brother get tortured as he begged me to cooperate. The choices were timed, and the timer ran out as I freaked out over which one to pick.
As the scene went on, I started to notice something strange about the interrogator. The “learn more” button said that he is based off of a real person, but the way his actions in the game fit so perfectly with the narrative made him feel less than real. An archetype, in a way. I have to wonder if this might be a danger of converting history into a structured narrative – it removes it from real life enough that it doesn’t feel real. Though doing this might help people become emotionally invested, and thus able to remember facts more easily, does it diminish the sense that the things depicted more or less really happened?