Tuesday 27 March, 2018
I'm not quite done with the game yet, but I feel like I must be close. The story elements are ramping up, the environment has changed drastically, and something big feels like it must be coming. My concerns about finding answers are even larger, now. I've received very few answers, and a lot more things are happening that can only be described as psychedelic. It sort of feels like a cheap trick by the game in an attempt to scare me, but it's only ever unsettling instead of actually frightening. A large part of this is just because I don't truly understand what's going on. All kinds of themes are being brought up, though: drug use, failed relationships, death and the afterlife, figuring out one's purpose and reason for living, etc.
The first few playthroughs of the game I struggled to see how I could approach it critically through an ethical lens. This playthrough, however, completely got rid of that difficulty. One particular scene was gruesome and difficult to play, and I'm still not entirely sure what its purpose was in the game. You enter a theater where a play is about to start. It won't start, however, until you get on stage. As soon as you do, a spotlight lights up the stage and a body falls from the ceiling, hanging from a noose. You have the option to go up to the body and help him out of the noose. As soon as you do, however, another body drops, and another. I spent more than 5 minutes freeing body after body, but there didn't seem to be an end. I finally gave up and just watched the bodies fall until the stage was full, and then it stopped. I felt horrible as if I hadn't done enough to try and save these people. I'm not sure the game would have allowed me to save them all, though, or if it would have just gone on endlessly until I let enough people die.
The ethicality of that scene is most definitely questionable. What was the purpose behind it? Did it have a purpose besides creeping the player out? If it was meant to convey some kind of message, what was it? Just that the player was a bad person? And if that's the case, why is that a valid message, and how does it tie into the overall theme of the game, if at all? Hopefully the ending of the game can answer these questions as well.